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Poor experience Aegean and ATH connection, lounge etc.

Poor experience Aegean and ATH connection, lounge etc.

Old Nov 21, 21, 1:04 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: ZRH / SEA, DL PM
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Poor experience Aegean and ATH connection, lounge etc.

Recently flew LCA - ATH - ZRH in business class.

Few observations
1) Athens airport is terrible for connections that require going through Shengen / Greek immigration. No fast track, no special lane for connections, 1 hour queue with no social distancing. After immigration you are in arrivals hall and hack to backtrack back to airside.

2) Starting few days before flights, my mailbox was bombarded with dozens emails about check-in, gate changes, check in area changes, trip reminders, upgrade offers (even though I was in business to begin with) and many emails were duplicated from both Olympic and Aegean. There were so many messages that missed a really important one which informed me of a schedule change.

3) Why they keep confusing people with Olympic for LCA flights? The aircraft, crew uniforms, food and announcements seemed to be all Aegean.

4) Both flights A320 took 40+ minutes to board. I am not sure if it's because people of Greece are in general not as organized or the airline boarding process, but it was longest I have seen in a while.

5) Athens lounge was packed, it was not possible to find a seat next to plug in. They said they were limiting number of people due to COVID but I did not see it. People were sitting next to each other and in front of each other and every chair occupied. When I left there was a line to get in, they probably just ran out of seats not distancing.

On a plus side, flights arrived more or less on time and business class food was tasty. But because negatives I would probably stay away unless there is a significant price advantage.
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Old Nov 21, 21, 1:12 am
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Originally Posted by AntonS View Post
Recently flew LCA - ATH - ZRH in business class.

Few observations
1) Athens airport is terrible for connections that require going through Shengen / Greek immigration. No fast track, no special lane for connections, 1 hour queue with no social distancing. After immigration you are in arrivals hall and hack to backtrack back to airside.
Why did you have to go through immigration coming from LCA?
justforfun is offline  
Old Nov 21, 21, 1:18 am
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Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
Why did you have to go through immigration coming from LCA?
Because LCA-ATH is internation (Cyprus is not in Shengen) and ATH-ZRH is within Shengen zone.

Last edited by AntonS; Nov 21, 21 at 1:24 am
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Old Nov 21, 21, 1:31 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by AntonS View Post
Because LCA-ATH is internation (Cyprus is not in Shengen) and ATH-ZRH is within Shengen zone.
My bad. Forgot Cyprus is EU, but not Schengen.
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Old Nov 21, 21, 1:40 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Well, on the bright side the OA thing will change since from January many flights will (re)move to A3 numbers, LCA including.
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Old Nov 21, 21, 1:53 am
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Regarding the Aegean Lounge, they were definitely restricting the number of people who could enter when I was there on Friday. I spent a couple of hours in the LH lounge, (only about 60% full - very unusual for that lounge), before I decided to try the A3 lounge. When I saw the queue outside, about 20 people, I rushed back into the LH lounge before I lost my seat!

I think capacity is likely to be restricted in many European lounges over the next few months.
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Old Nov 21, 21, 2:11 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by AntonS View Post
Recently flew LCA - ATH - ZRH in business class.

Few observations
1) Athens airport is terrible for connections that require going through Shengen / Greek immigration. No fast track, no special lane for connections, 1 hour queue with no social distancing. After immigration you are in arrivals hall and hack to backtrack back to airside.

2) Starting few days before flights, my mailbox was bombarded with dozens emails about check-in, gate changes, check in area changes, trip reminders, upgrade offers (even though I was in business to begin with) and many emails were duplicated from both Olympic and Aegean. There were so many messages that missed a really important one which informed me of a schedule change.

3) Why they keep confusing people with Olympic for LCA flights? The aircraft, crew uniforms, food and announcements seemed to be all Aegean.

4) Both flights A320 took 40+ minutes to board. I am not sure if it's because people of Greece are in general not as organized or the airline boarding process, but it was longest I have seen in a while.

5) Athens lounge was packed, it was not possible to find a seat next to plug in. They said they were limiting number of people due to COVID but I did not see it. People were sitting next to each other and in front of each other and every chair occupied. When I left there was a line to get in, they probably just ran out of seats not distancing.

On a plus side, flights arrived more or less on time and business class food was tasty. But because negatives I would probably stay away unless there is a significant price advantage.

I had exactly the same experience on a recent business return flight from LCA to BER via ATH. There was a minimum 1 hour delay at immigration in ATH which was caused by insufficient and/or incompetent auxiliary staff shepherding passengers into a totally overcrowded immigration area. The problem was that they appeared unable to separate EU passengers from others who included many Middle Eastern passengers.

In the end, I pushed to the front (with my teenage daughter) and got through by showing I was 70 years old and by feigning illness. Without this, we would have missed our flight.

On. returning from Berlin, Aegean lost control of the boarding process and put everyone on the plane when there was a known technical problem. Forcing a full flight to sit on a full plane with limited ventilation for more than 2 hours is not a very clever thing to do during Covid times. Aegean were also not in control of rebooking passengers when the delayed flight reached Athens. To avoid dealing with an overstretched Aegean customer relations, I have placed my claim for €400 x 2 EU261 compensation in the hands of Flightright AG.
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Old Nov 21, 21, 3:54 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Originally Posted by johnirvine View Post
...{snip}...On. returning from Berlin, Aegean lost control of the boarding process and put everyone on the plane when there was a known technical problem. Forcing a full flight to sit on a full plane with limited ventilation for more than 2 hours is not a very clever thing to do during Covid times...{snip}...
Ventilation on land is normally provided by the airport! Moreover, even if A3's plane was "problematic", I would have expected the handlers at BER to take care of the situation, especially during the pandemic, rather than having the passengers wait on board in a non-ventilated plane. Again, in my opinion the airport authorities are to blame and not the captain.
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Old Nov 21, 21, 6:00 am
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Join Date: Sep 2017
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They removed many seats from the lounge, so although it seems that the lounge is packed, they run it with low capacity.​​​​
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Old Nov 21, 21, 9:57 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Chr04 View Post
They removed many seats from the lounge, so although it seems that the lounge is packed, they run it with low capacity.​​​​
If they removed many seats I can only imagine what it was like before. The lounge was packed even by pre-covid standards.
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Old Nov 21, 21, 1:06 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
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As all lounges during peak times.
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Old Nov 21, 21, 5:40 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by Chr04 View Post
As all lounges during peak times.
Try goldair lounge non schengen (even during their peak hours - ie midday when flights to the US and EK pax are in the lounge) the place is not a zoo. A3 lounge are too small and it's a zoo, I don't visit them anymore and go Goldair or LH if I'm schengen.

For the transfer it's not new that it's a mess, but now it'a a real mess. No fast track, 1 immigration officer / 1 security line... not pleasant experience, I agree. Reminds me of KBP... imagine...
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Old Nov 21, 21, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by AntonS View Post
If they removed many seats I can only imagine what it was like before. The lounge was packed even by pre-covid standards.
Before Non Schengen it was no A3 lounge and the lounge they used was very pleasant and spacious, never too crowded etc... And came the "new lounge"... It's way too small and even before covid it was a zoo. I now go goldair lounge, it's comfy and never too busy. It's a PP lounge.
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