Welcome to this flight report covering the first leg of my business trip to Athens. I had a couple of different opportunities to choose from for this one and I was pretty sure I wanted to fly Aegean as it is one of my favourite airlines with one of the best caterings in economy. The only thing was I've already tried them and needed some new airline and maybe airport to my collection. Dalajlama said you should go to a place you have never been before at least once a year. I say you definitely should fly more than once a year a new airline/aircraft or go to a new airport. The best thing of course would be to combine all these things in one trip as I managed to do during my stay in Switzerland but even one of these elements is always appreciated. Anyway what helped me make my choice was the fact Aegean flies to Warsaw everyday except Sundays and I realy needed to be back home on Sunday evening so I needed to search for something else for my flight back. The first option was Ryanair to Warsaw - Modlin but I rejected it as I don't think Ryanair is good for a flight longer than 30 minutes and going home 60 km from Modlin by bus (more than one hour) when I live only 4 km from Warsaw main airport WAW would be a nonsense. The second option was to combine the Friday evening Aegean flight to ATH with a Sunday afternoon flight back to WAW via Kiev Boryspil KBP onboard Ukraine International Airlines. That was it: a new airline, a new airport and landing a few steps from home was a great solution. I was thrilled.
Getting to the airport in Warsaw on Friday afternoon is a disaster as you need to pass a district full of offices that we call "Mordor" as working there, getting to or from in the rush hours is literally a nightmare. That's why I decided to leave home before 16:00 and wait at the airport rather than get stuck in huge traffic jam. The second factor is that Friday afternoon is a really busy time at WAW so long queues to security were guaranteed. My ticket included only one bag to be checked-in on my flight back and one hand luggage on the flight to Athens and as I had to take some heavy documents with me an extra big bag for 20 euro for my onward trip was a must. I've checked-in online and found out that only middle seats were available but a friendly girl at check-in desk found me a window seat 5A and changed my boarding pass.
Aegean check-in desks consited of one business desk, one bag drop point and two economy desks.
The main check-in area
There were long queues to security control but as a lot of control points were open it went surprisingly fast and smooth. I headed to the windows for some spotting that wasn't easy at all because of the lights reflecting on the glass and cloudy weather outside.
LH A319 to MUC
LOT E-195 to AMS
and KLM E-190 to AMS too
LOT 737-400 to FRA
SN A319 to BRU
When finally my A320 appeared it started already to rain and get dark
Boarding started 10 minutes later than scheduled. View of rain and my aircraft from the jet bridge
A warm welcome from a senior flight attendants at the door and a surprise: after years of having only female flight attendants Aegean finally let boys too to apply for this job and as a result there are two very nice young male FAs in addition to 3 girls on this flight.
I take my 5 A seat and can't believe my… legs: what a legroom!
Soon I discover my seat is a business class seat but as today there are only two rows of business class and almost a full load in economy the second one has been extended and I was a given a seat that normally would be a businness one. To make things better the middle seat was empty so regarding onboard space I am in business class!
View of the front of the generally new, clean and very nice cabin.
This legroom is so nice
I've flown several times with Aegean and there were always overhead screens in their A320s but this particular model seems not to have them or they were broken as they didn't show up and safety demo was made manually.
The fasten seat belts sing was off shortly after take off and a very smooth flight with no turbulence began. I waited for the legendary Aegean service that this time surprised me even more that the last time.
First the drinks and trays with food were distributed, then there was time for tea/coffee and then again the trolley with drinks came around. Yes, it is economy class on a 2-hours flight in Europe.
The tray and delicious Greek white wine and some water
Let's take a closer look what we have here. A traditional Greek jelly called loukoumi
Some crackers, cream cheese and butter
Fresh and warm roll
And the main dish: pasta with meat balls and herbs. It was delicious.
I enjoyed my meal and my wine, I enjoyed the empty tray table next to me, so I could use mine to check the seat pocket contents.
The safety card
Some fleet facts from the onboard magazine. ATR 42-600 for Olympic seems to be a new addition.
Flying over the city of Thessaloniki
Athens lights seconds before touchdown
After landing there was a long ride to a remote stand and another long ride, this time by bus to the terminal. I've managed to spot this A319 belonging to Cobalt - new airline of Cyprus (currently they operate a fleet of 2 A319 and 2 A320)
I've waited so long for my bag I thought it got lost somewhere in WAW but finally it came out and it was a relief no to be forced to meet my clients wearing sneakers and t-shirt.
And now some bonus for ancient architecture lovers :) Even though I came to Athens for work I found some time on Sunday morning for a trip to Acropolis. I've been here a thousand times but I try to come back every time I am in Athens (as a tribute my classical studies). Athens in general make me feel sad each time I come here. It's because I remeber it from 2003 when I came here to study modern Greek and the city was preparing to the Olympics, it was full of joy and energy while now as a result of crisis it lost all of its past vitality, with a lot of shops and restaurants being closed and the number of homeless people rising. Anyway it was better than during my last stay in 2015 but still I can't find here the Athens I remember.
View of Parthenon temple. Will I ever see it without these ugly scaffoldings?
Cats are everywhere here
The ancient gate building Propylea
Spring is here already, unlike northern and central European countries
Parthenon from the other side. No scaffoldings here.
View on ancient Agora with Theseus temple
The south slope with ancient music theatre called Odeion (or Irodeio as it was founded by Herodes Atticus)
I hope you enjoyed. Many thanks for reading!
Warsaw - WAW
Athens - ATH
It was one of my best flights. Aegean offers one of the best products in economy in Europe comparable only with this of TK. Nice, modern aircraft, very polite and helpful crew, a great meal and my extra legroom seat made this trip unforgettable.
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