Review of Aegean Airlines flight Heraklion Athens in Economy

Airline Aegean Airlines
Flight A3301
Class Economy
Seat 25F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 00:50
Take-off 30 Sep 22, 06:25
Arrival at 30 Sep 22, 07:15
A3   #11 out of 78 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 171 reviews
Lia_K
By BRONZE 255
Published on 25th October 2022

Introduction/context


Hey guys! Welcome to the first of another series of flight reports!

After spending an amazing week in the Greek islands of Santorini and Crete with my family, I sadly had to leave a few days early as I had stuff coming up back home. While looking up flights for the trip back, I noticed that flights to Milan via Athens with Aegean was available for a nice price. This was perfect for me as I've never flown with them before, plus I knew someone in Milan that offered me to stay with them for the night before continuing on to London. So, after quick search for flights to London from Milan, this 'interesting' itiniary was born:


Routing


As an added bonus, this would also be my first time flying Wizz, hitting two birds with one stone!

For the 2 flights to Milan, I paid around €125 in total. This includes the flight, 23kg checked luggage and seat selection. I booked the flight itself with a third-party but the seats and luggage on Aegean's own website as most third-party websites inflate the price of these add-ons massively (and I don't really trust them too much from past experience).

Anyway, back to this flight report.

Centre of Heraklion at night. This is when the city is at its busiest where everyone comes out and all the shops are open; it is very quiet during the day.


photo img_55511-31918photo img_55521-59392


I searched online for ways to get to the airport, which informed me that there are buses that run to the airport. However, the information was very confusing and the only location I got for the bus stop was an old intercity coach terminal that was closed. Also, Google Maps doesn't include any bus routes/stops in the city. All of this, combined with the fact that the buses are all in Greek meant that I gave up fairly early on and decided to take a taxi instead. This only costed me €13, very cheap (like most things in Heraklion).


Heraklion airport


As usual, I aim to get to the airport around 3 hours early to account for anything unexpected and give me plenty of time to 'explore' the airport. In hindsight, this was overkill as the airport was almost deserted this early on and it was small enough you can walk from one side to the other in under 5 minutes.

The main check-in area, very quiet…


photo img_55561


…apart from this group of passengers that was supposed to be on the 10:30pm Ryanair flight to Milan that got cancelled. It was later announced that the flight will be delayed until 1:00pm today. The plane actually arrived from Milan on time, however I assume there must be a technical issue as I saw the plane getting towed to a more remote parking position on FR24. Anyway, they stayed there for a while longer before getting a bus to (what I hope) a hotel.


photo img_e55601


The morning's departures. We were actually the 2nd departure of the day, a 05:40 Corendon flight to Düsseldorf was missing for some reason.


photo img_55581


A quick session of cat-spotting. ;)


photo img_55531


There was a load of counters lining the entire check-in area, including an Aeroflot one, which won't be opening for a while.


photo img_55551

Apart from the ticket counters, there really aren't much in the check-in area apart from a 24 hour convenience store staffed by a very rude attendant.

The check-in counters for Aegean and Olympic. As I mentioned I came way too early, the counters only opened 2 hours before the flight.


photo img_e55591

Although judging by the lack of passengers this early and size of the airport, you could probably get away with arriving only an hour early (not recommended though).

Security took under 5 minutes and we are through to the duty-free area.


photo img_e55611


The departures area. The non-Schengen gates (or 'B' gates) are segregated by a passport control point further along.


photo img_55621


There really isn't much to do in the airport, the airport Wi-Fi is incredibly unreliable as it kept saying 'access point full' and it's really pure luck whether you'll be able to connect onto it or not. Even if you do manage to connect, the signal is very weak apart from a very specific area in the terminal.


the flight


Our flight time for this short hop was 30 minutes, according to the captain.

The route for our flight:


photo img_e56781


Boarding started 30 minutes before departure and was done by bus.


photo img_55641

Some quick info about our Airbus A320-200:
Registration: SX-DVV
Age: ~14 Years

She was delivered to Aegean in early 2009 and is painted in the 'Acropolis Museum' special livery, which she's worn for her entire life.



The crew handed out hand wipes during boarding.


photo img_55651-10060


The legroom - not bad.


photo img_55661-60721


Tray table and magazine holder.


photo img_55681


We departed on time - not too much to see sadly as it's very dark, especially as we turn straight into the Aegean Sea after takeoff.


photo img_55691


First signs of daylight as we climb out of Heraklion.


photo img_55711


Cruising just above the clouds.


photo img_55721


Immediately after the seatbelt signs went off, the crew started distributing another packet of hand wipe, a bottle of water and a snack (salted breadsticks), not bad considering the short flight time.


photo img_55741


Nearing Athens already.


photo img_55751


A quick look at the contents of the seatback pockets, which includes a safety card, a seasick bag, a duty-free catalogue…


photo img_56181


…and a really hefty 270 page in-flight magazine.


photo img_56231

Because I didn't get enough time to do this, the 2 photos above was taken on the Athens → Milan leg, which explains the lighting inconsistency. The contents are identical on both flights.



Starting our descent into Athens with a beautiful sunrise.


photo img_55761

 
We'll be landing on runway 21R of Athens. 

Over the Petalioi Gulf just east of Athens with views of Euboea Island (the 2nd largest island after Crete, where we came from).


photo img_55771


A left turn puts us on final approach, with lovely views of the mountains north-east of Athens.


photo img_55781


Flying over some farms? I think. The trees look way too organised, although I'm not too sure what they're farming.


photo img_55791


Anyway, welcome to Athens! We landed on time.


photo img_55801


A short taxi later, we arrived at our parking position, we had to wait here for around 10 minutes for the buses that'll take us to the terminal to show up.


photo img_55811


For those passengers with a short connection (<1 hour), Aegean provides a dedicated transfers agent to help them reach their connection successfully.

I now have a 9 hour layover at Athens, mainly because the only other option was a 45 minute layover, and I wasn't willing to risk that at all.


Athens International Airport


A quick bus ride later, we arrived in the departures area. I opted to leave the airport as I wanted to explore Athens for a bit.

The baggage reclaim area, My luggage was going straight to Milan, so I didn't have to do anything here.


photo img_e55821


With my 9 hours here, I originally wanted to go planespotting in Athens. However, I accidentally bought the wrong metro ticket, which was more expensive. So instead of letting it go to waste, I decided to go to Athens city centre and have a walk around the main sights instead.

Thanks for reading!


Bonus : Click here display
See more

Verdict

Aegean Airlines

8.8/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering9.5

Heraklion - HER

3.9/10
Efficiency7.0
Access3.0
Services1.0
Cleanliness4.5

Athens - ATH

6.8/10
Efficiency5.0
Access6.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

A very nice domestic flight from Heraklion to Athens, cabin was nice with a good amount of legroom. The snack and bottle of water was a really nice touch, especially for such a short flight. Crew nice and professional, overall I'd highly recommend them.

As for Heraklion airport, honetly not a great experience at all, especially considering it's the 2nd busiest airport in Greece. Facilities aren't great, and Wi-Fi pretty much non-existent. The lack of people during my early-morning departure made the experience bearable at least, very curious on how the airport handles during the peak summer traffic.

Information on the route Heraklion (HER) Athens (ATH)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Heraklion (HER) → Athens (ATH).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Ellinair with 7.9/10.

The average flight time is 0 hours and 50 minutes.

  More information

3 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 614312 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1871 Comments

    Hi Lia.K, thanks for sharing this FR! A3 was another one of those regional gems with much better service on board the major European carriers, hopefully they can bounce back post-COVID with the surge in tourism. The offering looks good for this short hop, although it looks like the mints are gone?

    • Comment 614422 by
      Lia_K BRONZE AUTHOR 15 Comments

      Hi NGO85, thanks for reading! Yes, Aegean's product is probably one of the best in Europe at the moment, especially on such a short flight like this one. I'm not aware of any mints, so I think it's safe to assume they're gone (at least in economy).

  • Comment 614455 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6051 Comments

    Hi Lia,

    Nice report! Autumn is such a great time to visit Greece! Good weather, a bit less heat, and a muuuch less crowded! I’ve done the Ciclades in the autumn before and loved it!

    Aegean offer a very nice experience on their domestic network. I feel like they make a better effort at providing a good passenger experience on domestic flights than most other European carriers.

    Thanks for sharing!

Login to post a comment.