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Aegean Airlines A321-200 economy class
First impressions I arrived at Stansted at 0830 for my 1020 flight (A3601) to Athens. This twice-daily Aegean route started in May this year, and will be increased to three-times daily from December 15. Check-in was at Zone D, where there were two desks open for economy and one for business. Passengers can also check in online up to 24 hours before departure. Hand-luggage limits are 8kg (one piece) in economy, with a second piece weighing up to 5kg allowed in business, while the international checked-luggage allowance is 20kg in economy and 30kg in business.
Boarding Security checks passed swiftly, and from here it’s a transit-shuttle ride to Gate 12 from where Aegean’s flights depart. Business class passengers can use a modest Servisair lounge by the gate (where the now defunct Eos lounge is slowly gathering dust).
The flight Aegean is using new Airbus A321 aircraft for this route, with seating in a 3-3 configuration (the middle seat on each side being left vacant in business class). I was sitting in seat 27C, in what was a busy economy cabin. Décor is smart, with dark blue seats which have a 18.5-inch width 18.5, 30-inch pitch, and three-inch reline. There are communal TV screens, which on this flight were showing a recent comedy thriller called The Baker, followed by a flight-status map. Flight time from London to Athens is three hours 50 minutes, and I was offered a choice of free soft and alcoholic drinks, along with a lunch consisting of a salad, chicken in tomato sauce with rice, a warm roll and butter, chocolate cake, and crackers with soft cheese.
Arrival We arrived on time at 1610, and were quickly disembarked and through passport control. Athens International airport (also known as Eleftherios Venizelos, after the early 20th-century Greek prime minister) is located around 30km from the city centre. Transport options are taxi (around €35), metro (line three), or express bus (terminating at the central Syntagma Square).
Verdict A smart new plane and good service – this route should prove popular with travellers in the Stansted catchment area. Other options to Athens from London include Easyjet, BA and Olympic Airlines.
Price Lead-in rates for a one-way trip London Stansted to Athens start from £69.