This series covers a two-week vacation to Europe that will feature stops in SOF, BEG, TIV, LIS, ARN, and ATH. For background and planning, please refer back to Part 1. As a reminder, the routing for this series is:
Part 1 – IAH-IAD [UA 373, Boeing B767-300ER, Economy] – Here Part 2 – IAD-MUC [UA 106, Boeing B767-400ER, Economy] – Here Part 3 – MUC-SOF [LH 1702, Airbus A321, Economy] – Here Part 4 – SOF-BEG [JU 123, Aérospatiale/Alenia ATR 72-200, Economy] – Here Part 5 – BEG-TIV [YM 201, Fokker F100, Economy] – Here Part 6 – TIV-BEG [YM 202, Fokker F100, Economy] – Here Part 7 – BEG-LHR [JU 380, Airbus A319, Business] – Here Part 8 – LHR-MAD [IB 3167, Airbus A330-300, Business] – Here Part 9 – MAD-LIS [IB 3118, Airbus A321, Business] – Here Part 10 – LIS-LHR [BA 499, Airbus A320, Business] – Here Part 11 – LHR-ARN [BA 780, Boeing B767-300ER, Business] – Here Part 12 – ARN-BEG [JU 411, Airbus A319, Business] – Here Part 13 – BEG-ATH [JU 512, Airbus A319, Business] – Here Part 14 – ATH-IST [TK 1850, Boeing B737-900ER, Economy] – Here Part 15 – IST-ATH [TK 1843, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – Here Part 16 – ATH-FRA [A3 830, Airbus A321, Economy] – You are here Part 17 – FRA-IAH [UA 47, Boeing B787-900, EconomyPlus] – Here
Sofia – Part 4 Kotor – Part 6 Belgrade – Part 7 Lisbon – Part 9 Sintra – Part 10 Stockholm – Part 12 Athens – Part 16
This report will cover the flight from ATH to FRA. This was part of the original IAH-IAD-MUC-SOF and ATH-FRA-IAH open-jaw ticket I bought. The report will cover the A3 and LH Lounges at ATH as well as a tourist bonus of Athens.
The trip back to Houston begins at 5am as I make my way back to ATH. The subway station is very quiet at this hour, but there was a large number of people with bags already on the subway heading to the airport.
Reaching the airport, I follow the masses towards the terminal.
Signage directing me to the left for A3.
Entering the terminal.
FIDS. You’ll notice that there is a flight to BRU cancelled. If you look at the date of this flight, you’ll quickly remember what happened just the day before at BRU. Given that incident, security was tighter at ATH than the day before when I flew to IST.
The A3 priority check-in area. The agent quickly printed off my boarding pass and checked my bag to IAH. She also weighed and tagged my backpack for cabin luggage.
Free Internet kiosks in the terminal.
Security check point for Schengen flights.
Making my way towards the lounges.
My first stop will be the A3 Lounge. I hand over my boarding pass and TK card. The agent swipes my TK card and welcomes me to the lounge.
The Aegean logo with orchids at the front desk.
The lounge is still quite empty since the first wave of 6am flights departed. The aluminum chairs make it look cheap.
The buffet, with drinks on the bottom and food on top.
Newspapers, with front pages littered with the bombing at BRU.
My breakfast offering.
After eating, I decided to get up and head next door to the LH Lounge.
The LH agent was much friendlier as she swiped my TK card and greeted me. She saw me turning right and she quickly stopped me. She explained that the food was on the other side. I told her I just wanted something to drink so she let me proceed to the right side. The right side was just small little room with a bar on one side and chairs on the other side.
A cup of coffee and a newspaper (day old USA Today since it was more interested in Obama on the front page).
My boarding documents.
I left the lounge a little bit before the boarding time and headed towards the gate.
I couldn’t see my plane from my gate, I could only see an A3 A320 at the adjacent gate.
Boarding started on time and I joined the priority queue. My boarding pass was scanned and I was down the jetbridge.
As I entered the plane, a FA greeted me and checked my boarding pass. He then offered a little mint from a bowl.
The European J seating.
Cabin shots as I make my way back to my seat.
My seat, 9E, is the “window” seat in the exit row.
I picked this seat for its very generous legroom.
The jump seat.
I like how the carpet on A3 has the logo embedded into it.
Safety card for this A321.
The rest of the seatback contents.
A3 fleet info.
The mint that was handed to me while boarding the plane.
View of the cabin from my seat.
The safety video played while we pushed back.
We taxied around and then lifted off to the west.
After leveling off, the meal carts came out.
The tray was handed to me and my drink order was taken.
Unwrapping the foil, I find an overdone roll that was stuffed with maybe cream cheese? It was burnt and dry, and just not an overly tasty offering. Kudos to A3 for having hot meals, but this one was not well executed.
The cutlery and condiments.
Cup of coffee.
Winglet as we soar towards FRA.
The overhead monitors played Greek travel programming. There was the moving map in between episodes.
The FAs came through for a second drink service near the end of the flight.
Our descent began near Regensburg as we were crossing into Germany from Austria.
Our route today.
We landed on time and quickly came to a stop. No gate for us, we pulled into a remote stand next to this LH A320.
The door for Esteban.
I took the liberty of loitering to take some pictures of my A321 in order to ensure I would get a window for the ride back to the terminal.
We get dumped at the entrance to Terminal 1.
I’ll leave off this series as I begin my layover at FRA.
Two sunny days in Athens to take in the history of the city.
Athens - ATH
Frankfurt - FRA
My first time on A3 and it was an okay experience. One of the better airlines in Europe as far as in-flight catering, but the rest of A3 is just average.
Cabin comfort: A newish A3 with a decent cabin. My exit row seat had plenty of legroom and the cabins were clean.
Crew: Average and that's about it. Can't recall anything special from this flight. The FA that sat next to me did all the announcements and she had good English ability. They did service with smiles, but didn't really seem outgoing.
Meal and catering: Hot meal offered, but unfortunately they didn't execute it very well since it was overcooked/burnt. Still, I would rate this better than what LH would offer on the analogous *A route.
Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. Overhead monitors rotated between travel shows and the moving map.
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