Jshank83
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ATH to AMS airline question

Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:36 am

I haven't done any flying in Europe before (Only from the USA to Europe and back) so I have a question on flying within Europe.

I am going to be flying from AMS to ATH and back and have a couple questions for those of you with experience.

The flight options are:

Transavia (which I don't know much about but have gathered is LCC, so I probably won't fly them since they aren't much cheaper)
Aegean
KLM

I haven't flown Aegean or KLM before so I don't really have an opinion on either. I know the name KLM better but that doesn't mean much. So, I just wanted some input on which you like better and why. If there is one you would avoid and why. Also, is there anything I should know that is different flying European as opposed to in the USA.
How far in advance is the best time buy?

Thanks in advance.
 
steveinbc
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:22 am

Theres no doubt that Aegean hs the better service. Its also a Star Alliance member so you can earn points and if you have the atatus use the lounges and select preferred seats. KLM is solid but nothing special in my view.
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Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:32 am

steveinbc wrote:
Theres no doubt that Aegean hs the better service. Its also a Star Alliance member so you can earn points and if you have the atatus use the lounges and select preferred seats. KLM is solid but nothing special in my view.


I saw they have 2 fair classes. light and flex. I was surprised the difference between the two isn't bigger since it makes change fees free and you get a checked bag. How do advanced seat assignments work? I am guessing there is a fee. I have a UA frequent flyer account but I only flew one flight on it last year, so I don't have status.


It also acted like there was a meal on the flight when I did a dummy booking. It is only a 3.5 hour flight. That seems weird, but maybe that is how it is in Europe?


I don't have status on DL either so that wouldn't help me with KLM either. My home airport is a big WN station so I fly that most of the time, which doesn't help with international travel.
 
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aerorobnz
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:42 am

Aegean without a doubt. They are the best full fare carrier in Europe. They have regular sales and are good value too.
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
debonair
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:52 am

No question - Aegean!

If you are looking for real adventure, out of the box flying experience, I can recommend https://www.air-mediterranean.com/ flying into STN, where you can pick up a low-cost flight to AMS... Air Mediterranean is a very "exotic" and "unique" airline!
 
CyBeRino
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:06 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
I saw they have 2 fare classes. light and flex. I was surprised the difference between the two isn't bigger since it makes change fees free and you get a checked bag. How do advanced seat assignments work? I am guessing there is a fee. I have a UA frequent flyer account but I only flew one flight on it last year, so I don't have status.


(Assuming you're referring to KL here) Flex also gives you priority baggage, security and boarding. Advance seat assignments involve a fee for non-status pax. If you do not wish to pay the fee, seat selection is free at OLCI which opens exactly 30 hours before departure.

It also acted like there was a meal on the flight when I did a dummy booking. It is only a 3.5 hour flight. That seems weird, but maybe that is how it is in Europe?


KL, being a full-service European carrier, does provide a complimentary meal and drinks on every flight. Of course, since these are short flights, the meal is not a replacement for dinner but more snack-size.
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:29 pm

CyBeRino wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
I saw they have 2 fare classes. light and flex. I was surprised the difference between the two isn't bigger since it makes change fees free and you get a checked bag. How do advanced seat assignments work? I am guessing there is a fee. I have a UA frequent flyer account but I only flew one flight on it last year, so I don't have status.


(Assuming you're referring to KL here) Flex also gives you priority baggage, security and boarding. Advance seat assignments involve a fee for non-status pax. If you do not wish to pay the fee, seat selection is free at OLCI which opens exactly 30 hours before departure.

It also acted like there was a meal on the flight when I did a dummy booking. It is only a 3.5 hour flight. That seems weird, but maybe that is how it is in Europe?


KL, being a full-service European carrier, does provide a complimentary meal and drinks on every flight. Of course, since these are short flights, the meal is not a replacement for dinner but more snack-size.



Sorry I was talking about Aegean during this part. I should have specified. That said, I appreciate the KL info also! It is good to know they are 30 hours check in. I am used to everyone being 24.
 
Blerg
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:12 pm

Without a doubt you should go with Aegean. Their crew is phenomenal, so friendly, kind and helpful. Even on regional flights their service is better than what most airlines offer on longer flights.
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:10 pm

Thanks for all the responses everyone. It was very helpful!
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:30 pm

Next question on this. How far ahead is the best time to book? Should I be booking now for a trip in May or wait longer? I don't know how the European fares usually work.

Thanks
 
Delta777Jet
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:13 pm

Book now ! :)
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Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:26 pm

Delta777Jet wrote:
Book now ! :)


Thanks!
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:39 am

okay things have change a bit and now we are thinking about flying back to AMS straight from one of the greek islands. This means most likely Transavia if we do that. I would like people's thoughts on the airline. I gather it is ULCC? How it is flying them for a flight this length? Should I have any concerns? We are trying to avoid travel time by going back to Athens.

Any info would be great. Thanks.
 
debonair
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:31 am

Well, even flying from Greek islands, I would choose Aegean (if the price is reasonable) for comfort and service - even if this means transit in ATH!

Beside Transaavia, their a LOTS more choices to fly from the islands to AMS, like

TUIfly: https://www.tui.nl/vliegtickets/
Corendon Dutch: http://www.corendon.com/en-EN/
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:58 pm

debonair wrote:
Well, even flying from Greek islands, I would choose Aegean (if the price is reasonable) for comfort and service - even if this means transit in ATH!

Beside Transaavia, their a LOTS more choices to fly from the islands to AMS, like

TUIfly: https://www.tui.nl/vliegtickets/
Corendon Dutch: http://www.corendon.com/en-EN/


Unfortunately, since we are flying back on a Tuesday that limited options. Corendon seems to only fly on the weekends, at least in May. TUI's site linked us to the Transavia flight anyway. I went ahead and booked Transavia and paid for extra legroom. We are just going to hope for the best. I am sure we can manage for a few hours. I get the feeling it is similar to Frontier Airlines over here in the states. We are flying Aegean into Athens for our inbound flight so I will get them on one leg.

Thanks again for everyones input with this. It was appreciated.
 
Cush
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:07 pm

My vote is for Aegean. I flew on them and absolutely loved it! I was able to experience both their turboprops and Airbus aircraft. My flight was from Kos (KGS) to Athens (ATH) to St Petersburg (LED), then back again from LED-ATH-KGS. Amazing experience. Would fly them anytime.
Fly me to the moon let me play among the stars.
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Mon May 21, 2018 9:22 am

So, I am currently on this trip. Waiting on my AMS-ATH on Aegean.

Anyway, do they not check IDs on flights in Europe? All we needed was our boarding pass to get through security.

EDIT: nevermind. It sounds like they check it before you get on the plane
 
Draken21fx
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Mon May 21, 2018 10:46 am

Jshank83 wrote:
So, I am currently on this trip. Waiting on my AMS-ATH on Aegean.

Anyway, do they not check IDs on flights in Europe? All we needed was our boarding pass to get through security.

EDIT: nevermind. It sounds like they check it before you get on the plane


Enjoy your trip and dont forget to update us. Yes they do check ids and the name on the boarding pass should match the one on your id. The same goes for internal flights within European countries.

In Greece avoid yellow cabs. Download the equivalent of Uber called Taxibeat (or just Beat) the moment you land and do all the bookings through it as the prices are clearly displayed in the app. Enjoy.
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Mon May 21, 2018 3:50 pm

^ thanks. We bought a 3 day metro card. I think we are going to go that route. One day we are taking a day tour with a hired service out to Delphi.

Aegean was great. Seats were a tad tight legroom wise but not bad. Not used to getting a meal on such a short flight in the US.

Any recommendations on how to get around Paros or Santorini?
 
P1aneMad
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Mon May 21, 2018 4:34 pm

Keep in mind that Aegean allows you to check in on line 48hours before your flight.
About getting around in the islands better and cheaper option is to use the local buses.
The same tour company who arranges your excursion to Delphi also has a very nice day cruise that takes you to three different islands and it includes food. Costs roughly the same as the Delphi trip.
Enjoy your trip!
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Mon May 21, 2018 9:02 pm

P1aneMad wrote:
Keep in mind that Aegean allows you to check in on line 48hours before your flight.
About getting around in the islands better and cheaper option is to use the local buses.
The same tour company who arranges your excursion to Delphi also has a very nice day cruise that takes you to three different islands and it includes food. Costs roughly the same as the Delphi trip.
Enjoy your trip!


Oh yes, I was ready to check in 48 hours before so I could pick my seats, haha.

I did find a bus for Paros that at least takes us to the town we are staying in on Paros (Naousa). Need to look at Santorini also. Looks like we are staying in what is called Imerovigli there.

We are flying back to AMS from Santorini on Transavia since it was nonstop. We will see how that goes. I paid for extra legroom (exit row). I know what I am getting myself into so it should be okay.
 
NWADTWE16
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Tue May 22, 2018 1:08 am

exciting info, as I am planning to travel to either Santorini, Thessaloniki or Athens in early December and researched Aegean to do my CDG-Greece-CDG loop. Much cheaper that way over buying Skyteam all the way into Greece. Everything I have seen about Aegean matches the comments here, not to mention they received a Conde Nast top 20 Global Airlines nod just this year.

What kind of weather can be expected Early-Mid-December? Fun Christmas vibe or no?
I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list!
 
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FlyRow
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Tue May 22, 2018 9:36 am

Jshank83 wrote:
P1aneMad wrote:
Keep in mind that Aegean allows you to check in on line 48hours before your flight.
About getting around in the islands better and cheaper option is to use the local buses.
The same tour company who arranges your excursion to Delphi also has a very nice day cruise that takes you to three different islands and it includes food. Costs roughly the same as the Delphi trip.
Enjoy your trip!


Oh yes, I was ready to check in 48 hours before so I could pick my seats, haha.

I did find a bus for Paros that at least takes us to the town we are staying in on Paros (Naousa). Need to look at Santorini also. Looks like we are staying in what is called Imerovigli there.

We are flying back to AMS from Santorini on Transavia since it was nonstop. We will see how that goes. I paid for extra legroom (exit row). I know what I am getting myself into so it should be okay.


You can't compare HV with A3 though, full service against low cost. Transavia is fine, as long as you can handle green seats, green and more green seats!
F70-F100-RJ85-RJ70-E190-319-320-321-733-734-735-737-738-752-753-763-764-772-744-380
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Tue May 29, 2018 7:57 pm

Had the Transavia flight today. Much better than I expected. I did pay for extra leg room (exit row) and would do so again. I think that helped. Bought water and food before we got on the plane and it worked out great. I would fly them again if the price was right or in this case, it was the only nonstop. Plane was only 2 years old so it was in good shape.

I'll do a trip report once I get back home tomorrow. Well more likely the weekend but I tried to take plenty of pics of all my flights. It was fun to hardstand board and unload in Greece. Not sure I've done that since 1998 at SJC.
 
MartijnNL
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Wed May 30, 2018 9:57 pm

Draken21fx wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
(...) Anyway, do they not check IDs on flights in Europe? All we needed was our boarding pass to get through security.
EDIT: nevermind. It sounds like they check it before you get on the plane
(...)Yes they do check ids and the name on the boarding pass should match the one on your id. The same goes for internal flights within European countries.

My experience at Amsterdam Airport is different. Quite a few times I have flow to different countries and back without showing my identity card to anyone. Recently to Sweden, Spain and Italy. Absolutely no identity check at the gate. Only boarding pass.

You check in online, show your boarding pass to get access to the security screening, hold your boarding pass in front of a scanning device and you're on your way to the aircraft.

I think you could easily book under a fake name and travel within the Schengen zone of Europe without any problem. Quite a few times my identity card or passport stayed in my pocket the entire journey.
 
Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Wed May 30, 2018 11:16 pm

Made it back. In the cab on the way home now. Really a fan of AMS. I wish my hometown has a nonstop there. It would be great to connect through or just visit the town. It was really easy to get around in the airport. The sky deck for viewing planes is pretty great also.
 
skyduster
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:21 pm

NWADTWE16 wrote:
exciting info, as I am planning to travel to either Santorini, Thessaloniki or Athens in early December and researched Aegean to do my CDG-Greece-CDG loop. Much cheaper that way over buying Skyteam all the way into Greece. Everything I have seen about Aegean matches the comments here, not to mention they received a Conde Nast top 20 Global Airlines nod just this year.

What kind of weather can be expected Early-Mid-December? Fun Christmas vibe or no?


For much of Southern Europe, summer is the hot & dry period, while winter is the cool & wet period. While Greece has practically no rain during the warmer half of the year, the cooler half of the year is when all the annual precipitation comes down. So, you have a much higher chance of rain, but that doesn't mean there's no dry days in the winter.

Not sure if you live in France, but if you do and are familiar with the south of France, Greece will be similar. In comparison to northern France, Thessaloniki will be slightly warmer than Paris, and Athens a slightly warmer than Thessaloniki. Wikipedia gives a good breakdown of Thessaoniki's climate and Athens' climate. In December, the average high is 11C/52F in Thessaloniki, 14C/58F in Athens, and the average low is 3C/37F in Thessaloniki and 9C/47F in Athens. Average annual precipitation in Thessaloniki is almost identical to Paris, and slightly lower in Athens, but keep in mind that in Greece, most of that annual rain falls in the winter. In December, Thessaloniki has an average of 12.5 rainy days and Athens 12.1 (compared to 10 in Paris), while in July it's 5.9 in Thessaloniki and only 1.9 in Athens (compared to 8.1 for Paris).

I wouldn't recommend Santorini in the winter. If you want island or countryside, there's lots of delightful places that may be more worth your while, such as larger islands that will still have a functioning tourism/hospitality industry in December (Corfu, Rhodes, etc) or places that gather winter tourism (mostly domestic), like the Arcadian towns of the Peloponnese region. Between Thessaloniki and Athens, I'd go with Thessaloniki. The city, its vibe and architecture, is just more suited to Christmas season, including the magnificent Aristotelous Square, where they set up the city's Xmas tree, nativity scene, markets, etc, and a big Xmas boat (a specifically Greek Xmas symbol that's been resurrected in recent years)...plus Thessaloniki is just superior in terms of bars and cafes, etc, where you can keep warm while you're out and about exploring. Thessaloniki does Xmas better. Plus, the Meteora would be a great sidetrip from Thessaloniki. The baroque city of Corfu on Corfu island can be your island after Thessaloniki, a bus ride down the A2 motorway to Igoumenitsa and a short ferry. You can always come back and check out southern Greece in the spring/summer/fall. I highly recommend Santorini, and if you want to avoid summer crowds, late summer (like September) or early fall (late Sept to early Oct) is a great time, being grape/wine harvest season and all.
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Jshank83
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Re: ATH to AMS airline question

Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:38 pm

Got my trip report up

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1396011

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