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Olympic Air

bridgnorth
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Olympic Air

Olympic Air are canceling their flights to Athens from London, Brussels and Vienna on March 27. From Paris in May.

Details are the Olympic Air website.

London, United...
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1. Re: Olympic Air

If you already have a flight booked call Olympic and they will rebook you on BA or Aegean at no extra cost. We have just done this for a flight....it was painless...the Olympic salesman did all this over the 'phone in about 5min.

They will also refund if you prefer!

Oxford, England
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2. Re: Olympic Air

We had 2 sets of flights booked for July and September.

The ones in July were booked direct with Olympic and they changed them quickly and free of charge.

However, the September flights were booked through Expedia because I was booking something else through them at the time. When I called Expedia they didn't know anything about this. When I asked them to investigate and call me back they claimed they were an incoming call centre only. Anyway, after 45 minutes on the phone they managed to transfer our outbound flight to BA but could not offer us anything for the return because "there are no seats left at the price you purchased" Surprise, surprise! After another 20 minutes looking for alternatives I was told the best they could do was offer me a refund and let me book something myself! Oh and by the way Sir your refund will take from 2-12 weeks.

This is my first experience of Expedia and it will for sure be the last.

Eventually after being quoted £622 for BA flights when we only paid around £180 originally, I managed to get flights with Aegean (returning via Frankfurt).

Edmonton, Canada
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3. Re: Olympic Air

I feel your pain about booking via Expedia.

My flight from Istanbul to Athens in April has been canceled by Olympic. The alternative flight offered by Olympic is about a 12 hour difference and not one I can to accept.

So I thought, not so bad, I can book with Turkish Airlines instead, since they have a flight scheduled 15 minutes after my original one. But my biggest mistake is to have 3 other flight segments in the same ticket with Olympic that I wish to keep. Expedia rep isn't sure whether Olympic will allow a partial refund for only one flight segment or if I have to cancel the whole ticket.

I checked on the prices. If I cancel the whole ticket and rebook the other 3 segments, the flights are now more expensive than what I originally paid for.

Best of all, they canceled the flight on a Friday night and the Olympic refund department doesn't work on the weekends, as told by Expedia. On top of that, the Olympic call center operating hours are playing havoc with me becase of the time difference.

With only a month to go before my trip, this is quite stressful for the controlling person in me. I have hotels and other stuff booked based on those 4 flights. Having to use Expedia as a middle-man between myself and the airlines is proving to be very frustrating.

Lesson learned, never booked too many flights on the same ticket!

Edited: 05 March 2011, 17:21
London, United...
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4. Re: Olympic Air

Lots of lessons to be learnt here... don't book too many flights on the same ticket, don't book too early, don't book via Expedia ;-)

I feel for you. Expedia are notorious for being unwilling/incapable of putting things right. Try contacting Olympic directly, I know there's a time difference and additional cost to take into consideration, but better than being messed about by Expedia agents who don't know this and are unsure about that.

And take deep breaths - if you're travelling in Greece you have to be prepared for last minute changes. Advance planning hasn't been invented yet in the birthplace of democracy.

bridgnorth
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5. Re: Olympic Air

Expedia got quite a hammering in today's Guardian financial complaint pages in the UK.

Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: Olympic Air

I'm not sure about the protocol when booking with Expedia. Am I allowed to call the airline directly? From the Expedia website, and the emails I get from them, it looks like I'm supposed to contact them first. I'm not too sure if the refund is supposed to come from the airline or Expedia.

When I contact them, they always end up telling me they need to call the airline. While I get that the flight cancellation is not Expedia's fault, their response in helping me figuring out alternatives isn't really that satisfying at the moment. Their power seems to be limited in what they can do for you. In my case, I highly wish I booked with the airline directly. I was just trying to save the foreign currency conversion since Expedia charges in CAD and not EUR. Going through Expedia doesn't seem to provide any advantage, price or convenience-wise.

Well, nothing I can do but sit and cool my heels until Olympic's call center opens (which is middle of the 12AM my time), Hope the refund folks are in to work on Sunday.

BridgnorthSnaps: I just went and saw the complaint pages in the Guardian. Now I'm scared about getting a refund for my ticket!

Edited: 06 March 2011, 00:06
London, United...
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7. Re: Olympic Air

>>I'm not sure about the protocol when booking with Expedia. Am I allowed to call the airline directly?<<

Stuff the protocol. This is your holiday and your money. Even if you're not "allowed", they certainly can't stop you, can they?

At the very least you can try to find out what can be done in relation to the rest of the flights on your coupon.

Oxford, England
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8. Re: Olympic Air

I tried contacting Olympic direct to change my bookings. They said I would have to go through Expedia as the original booking was with them. I asked Olympic if there were flights available to transfer to and they assured me there were.

However, despite me trying to explain all this to my Expedia agent, after 45 mins these flights were suddenly unavailable.

Lesson learned - book direct with airline whenever possible.

With regard to the point made about not booking too early - if you know your travel dates you'll get better deals booking early.

Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
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9. Re: Olympic Air

"

With regard to the point made about not booking too early - if you know your travel dates you'll get better deals booking early.

"

If you have the nerves to wait out and go by frequently checking the airlines own web sites there are special offers coming up quite regurarily. Aegean do their occasional deals, and Olympic has introduced late special offers for the weekend coming up every Friday:

www.olympicair.com/SpecialOffers.aspx…

London, United...
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10. Re: Olympic Air

>>With regard to the point made about not booking too early - if you know your travel dates you'll get better deals booking early.<<

This is not true where travelling from Europe to/within Greece is concerned, as Erik explained. The reason is that the Greeks, who make the majority customer base on your flights, ferry trips etc. won't even consider booking until a couple of months before for flights or a couple of weeks before for ferries. Therefore the companies involved plan their special offers around them - best price tickets on Aegean usually come up 2 months in advance, whereas Olympic release special offers for the domestic routes a few days before.

The other problem you have when booking early is that local companies have no qualms about last-minute schedule changes. When an American airline will have reached 80% of the expected load factor with a month to go, a Greek airline will still be down to maybe 30-40%, therefore by changing times or cancelling flights, they inconvenience a lot fewer people. Even strikes are the same - in the UK, if a transport company has intention to participate in a strike, the official announcement has to be made at least 1 week before. In Greece, the official announcement is made the day before, occasionally on the very morning before the strike starts.

Plus in the case of train and ferry fares, there is no difference in price whether you book early or late - with the exception of a few super discounted seats on a few routes, the ticket prices are fixed. The only thing you gain by booking a month in advance is extra worry when schedules are changed or strikes are announced - and the headache of changing your tix via whichever travel agent you originally booked with.

The same principle applies to everything else, even restaurant bookings. These are largely unnecessary for restaurants frequented primarily by Greeks and even where necessary, if you book too early chances are they'll have lost your reservation by the time you turn up at the restaurant. In London, there are restaurants that are fully booked now all the way to June. In Athens, they don't have the April pages in the diary yet.

Anyway - this doesn't help you at the moment, but I hope explains the predicament jhychin is in, and also to an extent why Expedia are at a loss to help her (except for their own incompetence).

It always pays to book with the company (any company) direct, if not in getting best price, certainly in terms of convenience when things go wrong. Or, as we're finding out, at least use a middle man who's more customer focused than Expedia :-(