Review of Aegean Airlines flight Athens London in Economy

Airline Aegean Airlines
Flight A3608
Class Economy
Seat 6A
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 04:00
Take-off 08 Oct 16, 19:10
Arrival at 08 Oct 16, 21:10
A3   #41 out of 133 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 139 reviews
ChrisB
By GOLD 520
Published on 14th October 2019

introduction


Dear fellow flight reporters; today I have a philosophical question for you (from the country that initiated western philosophy!):

- Should we rank the travel experience as a whole?
-Should we just rank the flight itself? 

My take on this goes with the first option. Why?
- Because we can give our opinion on some other aspects than the flight itself - with the lounges for example
- Because the experience below is that incredible that it worth me mentioning it. 



Miles earned with this flight: 1495


 We went on holidays to the delightful greek island of Crete and on the way back, we purposingly booked a long lay over so that we could had time to visit a bit the beautiful city of Athens.
This was my first flight with the Star alliance member Aegean. 


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Soon after we booked our seats on the website.


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  The app was fairly well designed and user friendly: you can see your itinary, know your seats and of course check in online and download your boarding pass.


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at ATHENS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ELEFTHERIOS VENIZELOS


We arrived at the airport at 5.20 pm, so about a bit less than two hours before take off time - which left us plently of time to relax.
In case you haven't read the other flight report from Crete, I should mention that we checked in our luggage at Chania airport all the way to London, as we just wanted to have a few hours in Athens without luggages to do a quick visit.

The hall was clean and spacious, with a few people around that seemed agitated - apparently about a potential greek ATC strike action. We went to the FIDs to check our flight gate to know to which security gate we should proceed… To my (bad surprise) flight A3608 was missing from the display, and I started to double check on other screens…


We ended up asking the person at the information desk that didn't know where that flight was??? and so without information we asked every Aegean personel we ran into until one told us that our flight had left a few hours ago already..!


Just like us, you might wonder how on earth a plane can leave 4 hours ahead of its schedule without its due passengers being notified?


Indeed, after asking around it seems that the plane left almost empty, that Aegean made the decision to make the plane leave earlier ahead of the ATC strike but without telling any of the passengers…
I did not receive any phone call, any email, any text, any notification on the Aegean app we both downloaded on our phones!


Needless to say I was quite angry towards such careless behavior. And so we were told to join the queue to the customer counter… And that was a very very very very long queue, as you can guess…


There were just 3 customer service people at the desk to manage demands of the whole Aegean passengers stuck at the airline's hub… Yes you read it well 3 for thousands of angry passengers.


Nobody was giving any sort of information, neither the airport staff nor the Aegean ground personnel; let alone any food nor drinks given.

The queue was very long, very long and without information quite stressfull - the only bit of information we knew is that the strike was meant to last 3 days which did seem like we were going to be stuck in Athens up until the next Tuesday.

While I left my partner queueing, I went to see the airport staff to try to pick up my luggage so that at least we could change clothes / refresh a bit… I had to talk to so many various people, I filled in 3 different request until I was escorted to the arrival hall and the luggage reclaim hall where I was left for about 20 min whilst the lady was looking for my suitcase…

And here she was arriving, telling me my suitcase left with the plane..


Yes that's right/ against all the basic aviation security rules, a luggage was carried on board a plane without its passenger! 


I was told the Star alliance luggage reclaim people in Heathrow would have collected it until further notice… At this point I didn't trust any of the Aegean staff at all anymore.

And after hours and hours and hours of queue, we finally reached the counter at …. 1.45 am…


Yes, after 8 hours queuing… 


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At this point nobody apologised and I had to force the staff at the counter to do so for their mess, mismanagement and careless behavior.
She first argued with us that we were notified and that it was our fault not to have been at the airport - I don't think I have been on the edge of loosing my temper since but I did. I asked for a proof of a contact, which they didn't have obviously and that they should have notified us 14 days prior o departure which wasn't the case.
I also stated that at the Checkin counter at Chania in Crete, surely they knew our flight was rescheduled to 3pm but they didn't tell us anything.
Nor the APP as the boarding pass was still showing 7pm take off time when we were at the counter with her.

She finally offered us a stay at nice nearby hotel with some other passengers.

We had to wait another 30 min to have enough passengers going to the same hotel to jump into the taxi..
That we reached at 3am.


at the hotel


The hotel was luxurious but the staff not helpful at all. They first refused to grant us access to our room as they claim they didn't receive the confirmation email from Aegean - and so we were down for some more arguing - that there was no point waiting for it, because we were rebooked on the next morning at a 8 AM flight (and so if not there was no point sleeping there).


AT ATHENS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ELEFTHERIOS VENIZELOS


 The next morning, after a shower and very few hours of sleeping we were back at the airport with the taxi paid by Aegean airlines.

We went through security and boarded the plane soon after.
Again no apologies were made by any Aegean staff, not even the pilot nor the crew on board - even though this flight was scheduled especially for passengers to London from our missed flight.


The cabin was clean and the seat confortable, with the screens available above our head just like on the way from Chania to Athens.

Food provided was good and felt a bit more generous than other airlines.


at london heathrow airport


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We arrived at Heathrow at the brand new terminal 2 and very luckilly my luggage was waiting for me at the luggage reclaim office.


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Below the reasons why I found the whole experience awful:
-Why the Aegean personel in Chania didn't tell us anything when we checked our luggage in?

-Wewere registered Aegean customers even Aegean frequent flyers and have NOT received any texts, emails, calls nor notification on the application.

-My luggage that went to London on the flight at 3pm despite MANDATORY SECURITY regulations, making it impossoble for me to change clothes, brush my teeth etc.

-The 8hours long queue without information nor refreshments.

- According to the EU regulation you are supposed to lest us know at least 14 days before, not a few hours before.

- For a company that claimed to have won the best customer relation regional airline, after 5 calls and 4 emails, you finally come back to us a month after. Even ryanair seem to care more about customers.


The AvGEEK bit
Below the EU law for flight disruptions:
You are entitled to compensation in the following cases:

Delays: Your flight must have arrived at its destination 3 or more than 3 hours late
Cancellations: If you have been informed of cancellation less than 14 days before departure
Overbooking: The airline overbooked your flight and you will not find a seat on board, which is equivalent to denied boarding.
Missed connecting flight: If the final destination is reached 3 or more than 3 hours later due to a missed connecting flight This also applies if the connecting flight was operated by another airline as long as your ticket is valid for both legs of the flight.
The amount of compensation is dependant on the distance of the flight - not on the amount you paid for your ticket.

Short distance flight delays - Below 1500km - Passengers are due €250 compensation
Medium distance flight delays - Between 1500km and 3500km - Passengers are due €400 compensation
Long distance flight delays - Over 3500km - Passengers are due €600 compensation
And as you can see, nothing is planned for a plane leaving AHEAD of its schedule, hence why Aegean didn't care much about its passengers. 


I called the customer service, chased them with about 4 emails before I finally received evasive answers from them, not offering any sort of compensation at all.


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email chain continuing…


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What do you think?

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Verdict

Aegean Airlines

1.0/10
Cabin1.0
Cabin crew1.0
Entertainment/wifi1.0
Meal/catering1.0

Athens - ATH

3.5/10
Efficiency1.0
Access6.0
Services1.0
Cleanliness6.0

London - LHR

7.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

As explained in details, this was my worst air travel experience by far. I ranked this flight the following way: there isn't any customer service ranking option and so giving a notation just on the second flight would not be fair to this situation. I also didn't choose for 0 neither since they did provide us a hotel to briefly sleep and a flight the next day.

Information on the route Athens (ATH) London (LHR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Athens (ATH) → London (LHR).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Aegean Airlines with 7.5/10.

The average flight time is 4 hours and 3 minutes.

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