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Be careful with Olympic Air

SF, CA, USA
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Be careful with Olympic Air

I just wanted to send a warning to those who are thinking about flying Olympic Air to be careful. I had bought 4 tickets roundtrip with them for Athens->Santorini (May 13 and May 18) and my flight out of Santorini was just changed from 7:10 AM to 10:30 AM, which is problematic since two people in my group has to catch a Delta flight at 11:30 AM back to the US. My own tickets to Rome was changed from 9:05 AM to 1:30 AM as well. Of course, they are willing to refund the tickets, but this sucks since I will have to rebook on Aegean and their tickets are more expensive now since the sale is over for my flight dates. :(

Olympic seems unreliable so if you are booking with them, please give yourself some buffer in case crap like this happens.

Seattle, WA
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685 posts
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1. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

Although that sucks..... schedule changes happen frequently but more importantly....what is emphasized on this forum over and over and over again is always make sure you are in Athens the night before your international departure.

What happens if your AM flight out of Santorini had been delayed which is not uncommon due to weather etc..... At least now you you have enough time to correct the schedule.

Edited: 02 April 2010, 00:00
New York, NY
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2. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

Ιt's not Olympic being unreliable so much as it's a reflection of the pending merger between Olympic and Aegean, with a lot of routes being consolidated.

That said, I would think that there's a very good chance that the members of your group who are flying back to the US with Delta would not have an issue connecting, since the ATH-JFK route, at the very least, is a codeshare flight with Olympic. I would try to find out if baggage could be checked in directly from Santorini straight through to JFK. That will save considerable time in Athens.

Devizes, United...
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3. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

Hi there

I'm sorry to hear of the change in the flight details but as david says, the one, never-changing piece of info the regulars here have been advising for 6 years since the forum began is to leave a 24 hour buffer between arriving back in Athens from the islands and your flight back home. Your predicament demonstrates why this is sound advice, whether it be flights or ferries, delays, cancellations, changes or whatever.

Anyway, I hope it all works out for you OK.

Newmarket, United...
Destination Expert
for Antiparos
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6,981 posts
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4. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

As I recall, there have been posts on this forum re Aegean Airlines schedule changes as well. Several things have been happening this past year to cause the uncertainty. First was the sale of Olympic Airlines to Marfin Investment Group, and it's restructuring as the new Olympic Air. Second has been the tender for 24 island air routes, which was delayed, and winning bids announced only within the last week. Third has been the impending merger between Aegean and Olympic, which will likely be approved in October, and completed in the spring of 2011. Fourth has been the decline in tourism, about 10% last year and predicted to be another 8% this year. That has led to the consolidation of flight schedules to avoid oversupply.

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Santorini
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21,023 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

Unfortunately schedule changes are a fact of life now in the airline industry. No matter where I travel I've learned from experience to keep an eye out on the airline websites I use and to keep checking the flight times. Aegean adjusted their schedule and cancelled my flight a few years ago but because I caught it early I did not wait for them to contact me. I immediately sent them an email with my flight info and reservation number to let them know my flight had been cancelled and to request the next available flight that best fit my itinerary, and within 2 days they responded. I was assigned a seat on the flight I requested with no extra charges even though they were more expensive by then.

As GB has mentioned, building in a little 'wiggle-room' at the end of your vacation can go a long way to relieving the problems that cancellations do cause.

Edited: 02 April 2010, 17:31
UK
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6. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

<<and my flight out of Santorini was just changed from 7:10 AM to 10:30 AM, which is problematic since two people in my group has to catch a Delta flight at 11:30 AM back to the US>>

Scary even if it *was* going at 710am, gives no time to recover from a delay or cancellation and then you are looking at buying last minute international tickets for the next day, likely at full price.

Standard advice is there for a reason, go back the day before.

I've been at Santorini airport when someone was having close to a screaming fit after seeing what I presume was their flight being cancelled (they were screaming in Italian so I couldn't understand the detail, but got the jist "I HAVE to be back by XX time". Well, tough luck lady.

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Santorini
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21,023 posts
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7. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

"Well, tough luck lady." Unnecessarily Rude Comment.

Not everyone has had a past experience that allows them to think of covering all contingencies. On the surface it's not unreasonable to trust the posted schedules of airlines and ferry companies. We know what to expect because we've been doing it for a long time, but we're the exception, not the rule. Making a comment like the one above does nothing to help anyone and in fact is insensitive and hurtful. I wish you would delete your posting.

UK
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8. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

<<"Well, tough luck lady." Unnecessarily Rude Comment.>>

You didnt see the abuse they gave the checkin staff, who I presume weren't personally responsible for cancelling the flight ! Did you see that video on the web a few months back about a lady at ?Hong KOng? having a hissy fit? It wast that bad but approaching it.

<< Not everyone has had a past experience that allows them to think of covering all contingencies>>

Its not exactly "all" contingencies, the fact that a flight might be delayed for a couple of hours is commonplace.

Perhaps however it makes a serious point to the OP, booking flights with so little contingency is a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe my 'rude comment' might save his companions $2-3k each ?

Feel free to report the post and if enough do it will go. I cant delete any of my posts and haven't been able to for about 6 months in spite of contcating the TA folks.

Athens
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9. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

Never, ever, under any circumstances make your schedule as tight as the one you planned! There could be a delay, bad weather, strike, something wrong with the plane... anything!!!

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Be careful with Olympic Air

I just wanted to throw in a thank you to everyone one on the forum. I was in Greece two years ago, Athens, Mykonos and Santorini, I was planning on booking an early morning flight out of Santorini to connect in Athens. Everyone on the site warned me about making this connection, so I changed my plans to stay in Athens at the end of my trip instead. Well I am so glad I did, my flight from Santorini to Athens was cancelled due to an airport strike in Santorini and I ended up having to take the ferry. If I had kept my original plans I would have missed my connection in Athens. I also wanted to comment that Aegean was not helpful at all, pretty much saying it was not their problem, and telling me they couldn't do anything I could only go get a ferry. It also was quite difficult in Athens to get a refund, I had to wait at their counter for almost an hour while someone talked with someone else, but it was finally credited back to my card.

So just again a big thanks to everyone for the advice and making what turned out to big a inconvience but did not ruin the trip!