A very warm welcome back to yet another Flight-Report from my Summer 2019 travels across Southern and Eastern Europe! When last we saw each other, I had just arrived in Athens after a fantastic short Aegean flight from Sofia. Today, I'll be reporting about my return flight. As a reminder, here's how my summer itinerary looked like:
I left my hotel, the Divani Caravel, at the ungodly hour of 5 AM and walked to the nearby Hilton, where the X95 bus to the airport departed from. I didn't have to wait long for the bus to arrive, and was surprised to find a fairly bus. I managed to snag a seat at the very back of the bus.
As we neared the airport, we were treated to a fantastic sunrise!
At 6:30 AM, I was curbside at Athens Airport's Main Terminal.
This morning's departures on a good old-fashioned departure board.
I checked-in on my phone while on the bus, so I skipped the (non-existant) check-in line. Security and passport control were empty, and I found myself airside around 10 minutes after arriving at the airport.
Inside, the international terminal felt like a Low-Cost Terminal, but with nicer furnishings. It was also pretty empty at that hour.
Aegean A321 to Cairo.
I breifly visited the Aegean Lounge which was small and crowded, but ended up staying at the Goldair Handling Lounge, which I accessed via Priority Pass. I'd say that it was the nicest Priority Pass lounge I've been to!
The food as also delicious. I got two chicken wraps and two pieces of Spanakopita, a Greek pastry with Feta and Spinach.
The views, however, were lackluster.
At around 8:15, I went to Gate A11, where boarding would begin shortly.
In addition to Bulgaria Air, Aegean also codeshares with Etihad to Sofia. Who knew!
Flying me back up to Sofia was SX-DVT, a 2008-built A320 delivered to Aegean in January 2009.
I was one of the first passengers to board. Unfortunately, I didn't have the same luck with seating as I did on the flight from Sofia, so I was further back in the bus. My first impressions of the cabin were positive, as it was clean and fresh.
At my seat, 17F.
Legroom was a bit tight but still decent.
Our neighbor, an Aegean A320 named Ethos, which was off to Bucharest.
Air Canada Rouge 767-300 from Montreal-Trudeau.
An abundance of Aegean aircraft, staring with an A320 to Prague…
…an A320 to Stuttgart…
…an A320 (named Nikos Kazantzakis) to Naples…
…an A320 to Istanbul-Havalimani…
…and finally an A320 to Geneva.
As the boarding process winded down, the flight attendants handed out Aegean-branded candies. With a smile, of course.
Turkish 777-300ER 'Izmir' from Istanbul-Havalimani.
Once the boarding door was closed, the captain made his announcement and indicated a flight time of 1 hour. Shortly after that, the safety video played, and we pushed back.
Aegean A321 to Milan-Malpensa.
Another Air Canada Rouge 767-300, this one from Toronto-Pearson.
Taxiing to Runway 3R.
Wizz Air A320 from Cluj.
Scoot 787-8 'Scooti-Mite' from Singapore.
Aegean A320 to Belgrade.
Etihad A320 from Abu Dhabi.
DHL A300 to Larnaca.
Holding short of the runway.
Cabin during the climb.
Left turn towards Lemnos.
Petalioi Islands, Greece.
Walkthrough of the cabin.
As we neared our cruising altitude, a snack was served. It consisted of a chocolate bar…
A ham and cheese sandwich…
Once again, I was impressed by the quantity of food served on such a short flight! The sandwich, however, wasn't as good as the previous one. It tasted as though the bread was prepared the day before. But I still enjoyed my meal. As the meal service finished, we were in a left turn over Lemnos.
Kavala International Airport (KVA/LGKV).
Crossing into Bulgarian airspace.
Commencing our descent over Blagoevgrad Province, Bulgaria.
As the flight attendants prepared the cabin for landing, I was thanked for my loyalty to Star Alliance by the purser, just like on the previous flight. Nice touch!
Iskar Reservoir, Sofia Province, Bulgaria.
Slats coming down.
We were treated for the scenic approach! In the photo, you can the National Palace of Culture (at the end of the flap), and the City Garden at the bottom of the photo…
..and here is the famous St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, at the bottom right.
Over the airport.
Firm landing on Runway 09 at 10:04 AM.
Taxiing off the runway.
Pulling into Terminal 2's tarmac.
A rare bird: ALK Airlines MD82 from Larnaca.
One final look at my seat.
I bid farewell to another lovely Aegean crew, and made my way into the Terminal.
I took a taxi to the city and was in the city center a mere 45 minutes after landing. Thanks for joining me on this short flight, and I hope to see you in the next installment!
Another very pleasant Aegean flight!
+ Friendly crew
+ Decent cabin
+ Good snack
- Overcrowded lounge in Athens
I hope to have the chance to fly Aegean again in the very near future, they are a great little airline!