Hello and welcome to the second in a series of flight reports covering my trip home from Crete via Athens and Milan.
In the first report, I covered my (very nice) domestic flight from Heraklion to Athens - feel free to check out that flight report. In there, I also explained the context behind this rather interesting routing, so I won't go into too much detail here.
Here's the routing for this trip:
I had a 9 hour layover here in Athens after my first flight (since I wasn't willing to risk a 45 minute layover) so I spent the time exploring Athens city centre for a bit. Public transport in Athens is very convenient, you can buy a ticket for €5, which you can travel the entire network (apart from the airport) for 90 minutes. A ticket to the airport costs €9 (or €16 return). However, you can buy a 3-day tourist pass for only €20, which is valid for the entire network (including the airport), this is the best value for money if you are spending a few days here.
One thing to note about the metro however is that most of them don't run to the airport and terminate early. I waited at the station for around 30 minutes before an extremely packed train arrived. Anyway, after a nice few of hours in Athens, I arrived back at the airport 3 hours before my flight.
This afternoon's departures - it alternates between Greek and English.
You can find our flight, 16:20 A3664 to Milan (Μιλάνο MXP) halfway on the 2nd screen.
I can head straight to security as I already checked my bag in Heraklion.
The area right before security. The airport has a lot of shops and restaurants in the check-in area, very convenient.
Security took under 15 minutes and after that we are greeted with the usual duty-free area.
The main departures area with quite a few restaurants and shops. However, as you can tell from the photo, it is fairly crowded at this time of day.
The main Schengen gates - still fairly crowded but it gets quieter if you go to the very end, although not by a lot.
As usual, I came way too early, so it's time for some planespotting (I was originally planning on using my 9 hour layover for a proper session outside, but I bought the wrong metro ticket so changed my plans last minute).
KLM Boeing 737 heading to Amsterdam (AMS), with an Austrian A320 heading to Vienna (VIE) pushing back.
Lufthansa A320 heading to Frankfurt (FRA)
Swiss A330 heading to Zürich (ZRH), quite a rare sight in Athens as Swiss usually operates an A320/A321 on this route. I assume that this change wasn't planned, as the gate agent was re-assigning seats for all the passengers as they boarded.
Views of the remote stands from the end of the terminal building. This is where the majority of Aegean's planes are parked, including ours.
The bus gates on the lower level of the terminal - our flight will be boarding from B30 on the right.
Boarding started late as the aircraft was delayed during its flight over here from Copenhagen. As we waited I noticed 2 police officers checking the IDs of certain passengers and asking where they're from. Three passengers were pulled aside to have their IDs checked further, I'm not sure if they made it onboard.
According to the captain, our flight time will be around 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The route for our flight:
Boarding from the rear door.
Some quick info about our Airbus A321neo:
Age: Under 1 month.
Equipped with the 'cabin flex' configuration. She was delivered to Aegean on 19 September 2022 and entered service on the 20th, meaning that she's basically brand new as of the making of the flight report (30 September).
I'm honestly so happy to have gotten the A321neo for today's flight. I wasn't sure as the aircraft changed between the neo or ceo between days. This means that I'll get a chance to try their new cabin.
The crew distributed hand wipes during boarding.
Quick look at the seats on this very new Airbus.
Tray table and magazine holder, equipped with a small phone holder.
Every seat has a USB port for charging your phone (which proved to be a lifesaver for me).
As much as I love the new and modern cabin, I don't like this legroom. I flew with the old cabin on my Heraklion → Athens leg and that has quite a lot more legroom than this - quite disappointing considering that I really like this new cabin.
First look out of the window as boarding continues.
Departure from Athens, 50 minutes late.
Sadly the windows weren't the clearest, so some of the photos will be slightly smudged.
Takeoff from runway 21L, an immediate right turn gives us amazing views of Athens.
Over the Aegean Sea with views of Athens and Pireas in the distance.
The scenery is beautiful - so is the weather (at least for now).
Last views of Greece as we have a look at the contents of the seatback pocket.
- A seasick bag
- A safety card
- A buy onboard catalogue
And a really hefty 270 page magazine - I'll be very surprised if anyone manages to read the whole thing!
The mountains near the border between Greece and Albania.
Shortly after takeoff, the crew started distributing a lunchbox and drink. The lunchbox has an option of turkey or vegan, I picked the vegan option along with some apple juice.
The vegan options contains:
- A hand wipe
- A baguette
- A protein bar
Overall, a very solid meal service onboard.
Over the Adriatic Sea, heading into Italy.
Over Italy, with thick clouds below.
Starting descent into Milan Malpensa.
First views of Italy through the clouds.
According to the captain, temperature in Milan is around 15 degrees. So we basically went from Summer to Winter in 2 hours!
On final approach - looks like it's also raining.
Welcome to Milan Malpensa Airport! We arrived around 30 minutes late.
One last view of our brand new A321neo.
It took me around 50 minutes to go from the gate to the train station. This includes having to wait at baggage reclaim for around 15 minutes and another 5 minutes after I got lost trying to find the station.
The arrivals area.
I'll be heading to Milan to get some dinner (most likely pizza, since we're in Italy after all) with a friend and get some rest before my final flight to London tomorrow.
Thanks for reading and see you on my next flight report!
A very nice flight with Aegean. Very solid catering onboard, especially compared to a lot of full service carriers. Their new cabin is really nice and modern, although the legroom is disappointing, especially when you compare it to their old cabin. Nevertheless, still a very nice product and one of the better full service carriers in Europe.