Perhaps I fly more than the average person. I am no jet-setting executive, yet I love traveling, and I also travel for work. In fact, I traveled enough to have circumnavigated the earth at least 11 times already. And so I guess I can say that flying has been commonplace for me. And because of this, I rarely get impressed when it comes to airline customer service. However, sometimes something out of the blue happens, and an airline you previously haven't used provides you with superb service. This happened to me recently, with Aegean Airlines on a recent flight to Greece.
Remember when I said before that I was heading to Thessaloniki? So one day in May, I flew from Berlin to Thessaloniki via Athens. I haven't used Aegean Airlines before, and I have to say I have been impressed. At least, given how the standard of European airlines are nowadays (and let's not even talk about the standard of North American airlines shall we), I wasn't expecting much. But I was surprised.
Before take-off, they gave you these little lozenges, these little sweet candies, which are actually designed to aid you in the pressure change of the aircraft due to the changing altitudes. I have only seen this technique in Qatar Airways, which I first flew in 2005. And yes, this service of providing something small to eat (in Economy Class) is rare, and aside from the two airlines I have already mentioned, I only saw this in Turkish Airlines, who give their passengers small pieces of loukum before take-off, at least when I used them for the first time last year.
What else? There's a hot meal! The flight from Berlin to Athens is only less than three hours long, yet they provide a hot meal to it. Sure, there's only one meal choice, but at least it is still hot. And it is complete with alcohol, so I got myself some white wine to go with my meal. I've flown European segments of comparable length and I didn't get a meal like that.
When we landed in Athens, we parked at a remote stand. So there were buses that transported us to the main terminal. They had a separate bus for the Business Class passengers. And then they had plenty of buses for the Economy Class passengers. That means that we were not packed like sardines in the bus. There was actually room to have some personal space in the bus!
Overall, I was impressed. It was actually a surprise: given all the news about Greece that I have been hearing recently, I wasn't expecting good things about my trip. But so far, it has been a good start.