Hello everyone and welcome to the second and last part of this quickie to Athens, back in late-February to early-March 2017. This part will show the return leg in detail, the flight from Athens to Stockholm ARN.
November 25 2016, it's a regular Friday night and the weekend is about to start. My family rarely travels during the Christmas holidays as fares skyrocket from Stockholm to warmer places during winter. Most people want to leave, flights get full quickly and fares increase dramatically. That's usually why we never travel in December/ January. Anyway, we have got one week of sports holidays in late-February to early-March and it is slightly easier to find better deals at this time to certain places. A good chunk of people here go skiing in Austria, France, Switzerland and Italy on this particular holiday. Me and dad randomly talked about these sport holidays and told me we could go away if I found something cheap. I immediately started searching the web for fares and found a fare with SAS to Athens for approximately 950 SEK/EUR 100/USD 106 between 26 February and 01 March 2017, tickets with them were at least EUR/USD 50-200 more expensive on similar dates. Aegean was faring for roughly EUR 250/USD 266 and other airlines like LH, LX were at least EUR 200-400/USD. I told my dad about these fares and thought the SK fare was good enough, none of us had been in Athens or Greece either. Sunday rolls by and the tickets are booked, a quickie to Athens had been confirmed. Aircraft types were A320NEO on ARN-ATH and B737 on ATH-ARN, I know aircraft changes happen regularly on these short flights with SK so I told myself to wait and see what we would end up on.
A few weeks pass and my mom tells me she also wants to join us, with my sister as well. I did a quick search on the web and found out that those fares on 26FEB and 01MAR still existed. A quick fill-up of passenger details and some clicks later another booking for my mother and sister has been made. Now we were four instead of two people going on this quick trip to Athens. The hotel was booked a month or two later.
My family has never been fond of SK due to mediocre experiences in the past, my dad would have preferred A3 but we were on a budget and still went with SK despite the negativity.
I live in Stockholm, the city for SAS' third largest hub. This itinerary included some SK flights, the first time in 10 years for me!
NOTE: Pictures used in this FR were taken with my phone and camera.
Part 1 - ARN-ATH, SK1833, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Airbus A320NEO, LN-RGN - Here Part 2 - ATH-ARN, SK1834, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Boeing 737-700, LN-RNU - You are here
Time flew by quickly in Athens. The first day of March approached, and unfortunately that meant our day of return also approached. My family woke up in the morning, we did our final checks and had some breakfast before checking out and grabbing a cab from our hotel at 11:00 AM. There was apparently a public transportation strike in Athens on this date, I believe most transportation modes (metro, tram, railway) except for buses were affected.
A fixed fare exists for taxis between Athens city centre and the airport, it is set at EUR 38 (USD 41). We were charged EUR 39 (USD 42).
There were multiple traffic jams on the opposite direction but not on our side. Driving towards the A64.
Now we've made it to motorway 64 (A64), but first toll station Katehaki needs to be passed.
Made it through, the toll charges were included in the taxi fare.
We later connect to the E94 freeway towards Athens International Airport - Eleftherios Venizelos.
At last we connect to motorway 62 towards the actual airport.
Our driver enters the departures level at 11:35 AM, the 33km ride had taken us approximately 35 minutes.
The driver asked us about the airline, we replied with "SAS Scandinavian Airlines".
The Toyota Avensis sedan came to a final stop at 11:37 AM.
We were dropped off at entrance 2, SAS was not found on the board of this particular entrance.
The airline of interest (in our case) was instead found on the list of the airlines at entrance 4.
Check-in desks inside.
Boarding passes had not been printed for our flight, I walked up to one of these kiosks and printed them out for flight SK1834. We checked-in online the night before, online check-in opens 22 hours before departure (SK).
Interestingly, our scheduled time of departure was 13:55 according to the airports' FIDS. It had been 14:05 at the time of the booking.
The scheduled time of departure was also 14:05 according to this BP and FR24.
There was a small corner with a few different seats and these tablets, located behind the check-in desks. The corner had Aegean and Olympic Air labeling.
Our flight was supposed to depart from gate B9, according to our boarding passes. We headed for the B gates after a few minutes by that corner.
I believe this "B" area was the or one of the Schengen areas of the airport, there was an automated boarding pass control before entering.
The BP check was followed by a security control, prior to arriving at this duty-free area. We purchased some sweets with a few leftover Euro coins before continuing.
Several construction works were noticeable inside of ATH, it's to create a new shopping experience according to the writings on these temporary walls.
Gate B9, the assigned gate for flight SK1834 to Stockholm ARN.
Internet access station. Wi-Fi at no charge is available in the airport, each sesson lasts for 45 minutes but you can log-in again after a completed sesson to get 45 minutes again.
More construction, seems like they are making space for new restaurants and other dining places here.
Some spotting at ATH.
Egyptair (MS) B738.
Aegean (A3) A320.
Qatar A332 (QR).
Aegean (A3) A320.
13:20 local time, the gate area started to fill upp progressively. Meanwhile, our 737 from Stockholm was supposed to arrive at 13:15 but it was slightly delayed according to google.
13:27 (01:37 PM).
The plane finally pulled up to gate B9 at 13:34 local time.
LN-RNU would take us back to Stockholm ARN today, a 737 delivered in December 2009.
Airline: SAS Scandinavian Airlines
Flight no & route: SK1834 ATH-ARN
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700 Winglets
Scheduled time of departure (actual): 14:05 (14:36), UTC +2
Scheduled time of arrival (actual): 16:50 (16:42), UTC +1
Scheduled flight time (actual): 3h 35 min (3h 06 min)
Boarding had not even begun by 14:40 but it already looked like 95% of all passengers had lined up and I knew boarding would start with priority boarding, followed by boarding of the rear rows. I highly doubt all of these passengers were seated in those rows, the flight didn't appear to be empty either. My family quickly lined up behind what seemed like 90% of all passengers. The hand luggage problem was the driving force to line up immediately.
Boarding for passengers in Y commenced at 13:56 local time.
Most of the passengers boarded ahead of us, there were around 20-30 passengers left behind us.
Walking through the jetbridge.
The last few passengers are still boarding, we managed to store our hand luggage in the overhead bins without hassle.
Thankfully the situation was not as dramatic as last time (SK1833 ARN-ATH), there was a little bit of space left after our larger bags had been stored.
Seated at row 19, seat 19F for me.
Wing view from 19F.
Still a tiny bit of space in the bin to the left, my dad took notice and put one of our smaller carry-ons up there. It was unlikely to see more passengers coming to these rows at this stage.
Status of boarding: Completed, 14:23 local time. Overhead bins have been closed.
The seat pitch was decent to me and the seat comfort was average.
Austrian (OS) A321. Our plane was pushing back now, at 14:27 local time. Departure time was 14:05.
Air France (AF) A319 and Lufthansa (LH) A320.
Company A321, getting ready for a flight to Copenhagen.
Taxiing to runway 21.
Waiting for clearance.
Gulf Air A320 behind us.
Rolling down runway 21, a 4,000 m long (13,123 ft) runway.
Leaving the coastal parts east of Athens.
Chersonisi island and the town of Marmari.
Heading towards Stockholm while passing by some visible scenery (pictures are still mediocre though), normally I am greeted by clouds or an extensive amount of fog.
23,900 feet, nine minutes after departure.
Roughly 33,000 feet, five minutes later. Our crusing altitude was set at 38 000 feet.
The safety card, applicable to Boeing 737-600 and -700 aircraft.
Menu, everything is BOB except for tea/coffee and water on cup.
Mount Athos, a mountain and a peninsula in northeastern Greece.
Flying over the last outskirts of Greece, before entering Bulgaria.
The drink service was made at approximately 15:11 (UTC +2), coffee and tea were the choices.
The service was conducted after entering Bulgarian airspace, roughly 35 minutes after departure.
I did not purchase anything from the BOB but I did purchase a whole-grain sandwich from a place called Everest in the airport, for around EUR 4,5 (USD 4,9). I accounted for this in the ticket fare, making it to a total of around EUR 112,5 now.
Sofia, Bulgaria was located on the left side of the aircraft but I was seated to the right, this was the scene from the right wing.
FAs walked the aisles offering tea after the first tea/coffee service. I accepted a cup of tea. The FAs seemed to be quite attentive and friendly throughout the flight, nothing memorable but not bad.
Continuing our cruise towards Stockholm.
The load was pretty healthy today, it was at least 98% full.
It was quite an uneventful flight after the beverages and the lavatory visit, I just tried to relax for the remainder.
Time passed rather quickly, we initiated our descent to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport at 16:20 local time (UTC +1).
It was cloudy in Stockholm today, as usual during fall/winter.
Descending through the clouds.
It would be a landing on runway 19L today.
Runway 08/26 can be seen to the right, below the wing.
Passing the northeastern parts of ARN.
Touchdown on 19L at 16:42 local time.
Slowing down on this shorter 2,500 m long (8,202 ft) runway.
Back in Stockholm, once again.
Taxiing to Terminal 5.
The official spotting hut at Arlanda Airport.
Pulling up to the gate.
The aircraft came to a final stop at 16:49 local time, the scheduled time of arrival was 16:50 (04:50 PM).
A few minutes pass and the doors open, we waited for the pack to leave as we had no stress of any kind.
Leaving the 737 at 16:58 local time.
Walking through the jetbridge.
We were dropped off at the area of gates 1-10, one of three Schengen areas at terminal 5.
Heading towards the arrivals area.
The arrivals level at terminal 5.
Our car was in the Beta parking lot, there are yellow shuttle buses that take you to the Alfa and Beta long-term parking lots. We walked up to the stop for the Beta bus.
Local SL bus 583 can be seen in a distance.
The local bus 583 takes you to Märsta Station and from there you can take the SL commuter train to the central station. The bus ride lasts for around 18 minutes while the train ride lasts for 38 minutes. You can also take the commuter train directly from Arlanda to the central station, it takes 38 minutes but there's a thing to consider for that. You have to pay an additional fee of 120 SEK (EUR 12,6/USD 13,6) for using the station at ARN, it would basically be twice the amount (240 SEK) if you also come back to ARN for a return flight. A private company owns the station and the company has the sole right for this station, from an old deal with the government many years ago. The same company can take out fees on other operators using the station (like SL). I believe the station is the most expensive station for SL to use in Stockholm, the expenses for this sole station can be compared to the total expenses of 20-25 other stations in Stockholm. This explains the fee to use the station at Arlanda airport. A regular 3-day card for travel with SL all over Greater Stockholm costs 240 SEK (EUR 25,2/USD 27,2), if you take the train to and from the airport you would have to pay additional fees of 240 SEK, making it 480 SEK in total (EUR 50,4/USD 54,5). However, this fee can be avoided by taking the bus to Märsta and then taking the commuter train from there. Other options include Flygbussarna (Airport coaches) for 99 SEK one-way (EUR 10,4/USD 11,3, online price, slightly more expensive at the airport) or the expensive Arlanda Express train.
The Yellow Beta shuttle bus arrived after 2 minutes of waiting time.
A blurry shot of bus 583 and one of the Airport Coaches.
Inside the shuttle bus.
We made it to stop K after a ride of 9 minutes, this stop was in close proximity to our car.
The car was found rather quickly (not pictured).
We left the parking lot at approximately 17:22.
Taking the E4 freeway towards the city centre.
There was some light traffic after entering the E4.
The flow was moving at around 30 km/h.
It then started to move smoothly after 3km of driving.
The ride to our home took 27 minutes today.
Thank you very much for taking your time to read this FR! Have a good one, see you later.
Athens - ATH
Stockholm - ARN
A standard flight with SK, nothing interesting to mention.
Cabin comfort - Decent amount of legroom in this 737. Seat comfort was average to me.
Cabin crew - The crew was quite attentive and friendly throughout the flight.
Entertainment - Window view and magazine.
Meal/catering - Tea/coffee service for free (water on cup too). Everything else is BOB, I purchased a sandwich for around EUR 4,5 at ATH airport.
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