Is it a mistake to fly Olympic?

Jun 5th, 2007, 08:05 AM
Original Poster
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Posts: 154
Is it a mistake to fly Olympic?

Between the lack of e-ticketing, incompetent agents, and endless hold times, this airline is giving me a very bad feeling. Maybe I have just had back luck? Has anyone had an enjoyable experience with this airline?? Thank you.
jeepyland is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 08:15 AM
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Do you remember when a lot of people were "nervous" about NOT having paper tickets?

Times and perceptions change. might get you more info.
Dukey is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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When we flew it several years ago, smoking was allowed in several areas of the plane and the flight attendants puffed non-stop in all the galleys. It was shear misery! I hope they have changed that policy since that time. We did not have any trouble other than that but this was prior to e-ticketing.
arriba is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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It's far from sheer misery. I just flew Olympic to and from Athens, and my flights were on time, with edible food and decent service. Even the leg room isn't too bad. And they have tvs in the seatback in front of you, which is nice, though the movies aren't on demand. To get a nonstop from New York to Greece, it'w well worth it to fly Olympic.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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According to (last updated in 2003), Olympic is non-smoking on all flights, as are all other European airlines.
fnarf999 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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I agree with Doug...I had a decent JFK-ATH-JFK experience with them in coach last year. I have yet to have an "enjoyable experience" with any airline in economy and I don't remember my Olympic flights as being significantly better or worse than most other non-Asian carriers. I was able to pick up my tickets here in NYC so I don't know how their system works for those without access to one fo their ticket offices.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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We flew them nonstop last year JFK - Athens and Athens - Naxos, and like you, I was nervous, but the experience was fine. I think we were on an Airbus with an Economy seating configuration of 2-4-2, so DH and I had a row to ourselves each way, which was nice. I think the food was a little weird, but airline food is airline food. The paper tickets didn't bother me. Check-in and all that went smoothly on all 3 legs, and we had enough leg room on the Airbuses. I'd fly them again.
sunny16 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Thanks everyone - I appreciate all the feedback. It isn't just the paper tickets - it's the lack of current technology, coupled with the mess that is Olympic staff. Reminds me of the old Aeroflot days. But I'm going to give it a shot and take the direct flight to Athens. Thanks again.
jeepyland is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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I just flew Olympic from Athens to Paris. The flight was very comfortable with wider spaces between rows and a wider aisle. We were pleasantly surprised. The price was right too!
Leburta is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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I remember a hilarious trip report from someone's visit to Greece last year....wasn't his airline from Hell Olympic?
missypie is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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Here it is:

Author: UreOSceptic
Date: 06/27/2006, 01:35 am
Day 8. How Olympic Airways took me from the sublime to the disgraceful

Is Olympic the worst airline in the developed world?

The day started mediocrely enough. Get to the airport for my 0730 flight to London to find it’s been cancelled. Unsurprised (the conference had been full of horror stories about Olympic’s arbitrary cancellations), I get rerouted via Athens with a 6 hour stopover. Get to Athens, take the tube into town, revisit a few bits of the Acropolis I’ve not seen for 15 years and see a number of new bits they’ve restored, dug out or (in the case of the Parthenon friezes) discovered new things to whine about. Grab a stunningly comforting lunch of pastitsio and horta at a real Lonely Planet eatery (probably had the same meal, from the same waiter, 35 years ago) and get the tube back, stopping only to investigate Acropolis tube station, which has to have THE best displays of any metro station in the world – including the Louvre.

Back at the airport an hour or so before departure, thinking that as screwed up flights go, one that gives you an unscheduled morning on the Acropolis really is about as good as it gets.

How naïve can you get?

The gate room is a zoo. 300 people, all with new horror stories about Olympic cancellations from everywhere, how they waited 2-3 hours to get rerouted, and how non-existent flights were being signalled to London as having left . The airline staff at the desk were clearly trained by Aeroflot before it went all effete and consumerist. An hour after the plane’s due to leave, there’s still no sign of it. The staff get even more bored.

Eventually, two hours after the departure’s due a plane operated by an airline called Luzair (I swear it’s pronounced ‘Loser’) arrives. The slatterns at the desk announce “Free seating” (aka free fighting.) The scrum to get on board makes Easyjet and Ryanair’s boarding systems look like some demonstration of excessive consumer cosseting. It takes 90 minutes to board us and then find and unload the luggage of the 20 people who, whether they got bored, died or decided to walk to London, didn’t get on the plane.

The safety announcement is made by a Portuguese chief stewardess who’s clearly Stephen Hawkins with a female voicebox. The inflight magazine is called Africa Today, and features sycophantic profiles of African dictators in English and Portuguese. This is clearly the airline of choice for flying mercenaries to countries about to change regime involuntarily.

The flight itself, though, for those surviving the terminal experience, is terrific. The stewards dish out more excellent Greek red wine lavishly. My fellow-passengers converse more jollily (mostly about what they’d do to the CEO of Olympic if they ever caught him in a dark alley) than I’ve ever seen passengers converse. They cheer when we draw back from the gate: cheer loudly when the plane takes off (though get a bit muted when the air conditioning starts dripping). They cheer louder still when we arrive at Heathrow (till some wag shouts “Wait till you’ve seen your bags”) And loudest of all when the texts all come through that England’s scraped a win against Ecuador.

It really was the most enjoyable flight I can ever remember. But I really will never allow myself to be booked onto an Olympic flight again.

Just about everything about Greece is millions of times better than 20 years ago. Olympic seems determined to compensate for all that single-handedly.

missypie is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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I book a ticket online from Rhodes to Samos and they Federal Express the paper ticket to me. No problems with the flight -- they were the only option for my destination though and I was concerned about the dreaded cancellation ... but all went well in May 2007.
Miss_Maple is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 02:58 PM
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I've flown on Olympic for over 25 years and never had a significant problem. It's no different than any other airline. None of them are perfect these days. And like Miss Maple says, if you are in the US, they Fed Ex you the ticket.
Eleni is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 03:44 PM
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LOL, thanks for the post missypie, sooo funny. I've flown Olympic twice. Once return Athens/Santorini and the second time Istanbul/Athens/Paros. The only "incident" was the first time. 30 minute flight Santorini to Athens, 60 minutes for our baggage to come out! But in all fairness this may not have been Olympic's fault. Otherwise I found them quite OK and would definitely fly with them again.
worldinabag is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:14 PM
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Just booked Santorini to Chania via Athens on...gulp...Olympic. All our other flights have been booked on Aegean. They just didn't have as good an itinerary this leg. Normally we would wait to book, but we got good fares and our travel dates are all around this year's Easter date in Greece. Had to go for it.

My questions is that since I assume we are checked straight through to Chania, is the chance of loosing our luggage less than if we were to take two different airlines? Or Aegean? Our layover time...God willing.. is one hour.

Also, what is the domestic weight limit these days on Olympic? Luckily, we don't do Athens until the end (where we'll load up on whatever we 'have' to have)and are all light travelers, but when I read 10 kilos for domestic on this thread I began to get nervous.

Eleni, I really enjoy your posts, by the way. Thank you for help, one and all!
seeksocean is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:36 PM
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A few years ago there was a posting here describing how Olympic "lost" an entire planeload of luggage on the short flight from Athens to Chania.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:48 PM
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I flew LGW to Thessaloniki with them last year. The flight was fine, but they changed the schedule a few weeks before I was due to fly, and I had to spend a night in the UK instead of Greece. Turned out, it wasn't a real problem, as I used the time to get over jet lag, but I'm retired & not on a short vacation schedule.

I did find the woman I was dealing with in Washington to be very polite and very helpful. Tickets came promptly by Fed Ex.
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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I've only flown them once. Munich to Athens. 6 AM departure. Warm lamb stew was served for the meal .... perhaps not what I expected, but it was actually pretty good..... just a lighter note for y'all
seafox is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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If it gets you from A to B, and it's cheap, and goes when you want to go - isn't that enough for you guys?

If it isn't, then as it happen I've nothing but good to say about them.

I once travelled with them Nairobi- Athens - London. Before departing NBI I had been to the local office and arranged to stop over in Athens which wasn't originally on the ticket. I wanted to take a side trip to Lesbos to see a recently discovered long-lost friend.

By the time I got to Athens on the day I was sick. I went to the desk and asked if it were possible to change my flight and get on the next available one to London. Done. No problem.

I was impressed and if I ever have the need or an opportunity to fly with them again, I would.
chimani is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 08:22 AM
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Hi. I'm back from Greece and lived to tell the tale. Flying Olympic is indeed a pretty...rustic experience. The plane seemed a bit on the rickety side, the staff is bare-boned, and the food is pretty bad. That said, they got me there and back without incident or delay, and for that I am grateful. There are indeed tvs in the seats, although pickings are slim. Bring your own food if you can. One meal was wheat bread with the crusts cut off, 3 slices of cucumber, margarine and grape jelly.
jeepyland is offline  

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