Monday, October 26, 2009
Home again (lovely flight lovely airline...Aegean wins!)
Right. Aegean Airlines! Check in was simple enough, and I went and got a wheelchair for my mother while we waited in line. There was no problem with me rolling her to the gate and we were all seated first along with the other passengers who needed assistance.
[FYI: Brussels seems to have a specific "EU" approach to handicapped people, wherein the wheelchairs are available for anyone who may need it and you request specific assistance (ie someone to push your chair, or transport to the gate) if you need it. If you are traveling with people to help you, you are provided with a wheelchair, but not necessarily with an assistant. Should I ever have the need to travel with a wheelchair passenger and find myself on Olympic Air, I will make sure the ground staff person who tried to tell me my mother didn't need assistance will be allowed to read the EU paper.]
As for the flight to Athens, the plane was new and very comfortable with plenty of legroom. The crew was charming and helpful and they passed out headsets early on for the music channels and the MOVIE [Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)]. The food was served promptly ( I had an apple as I was still stuffed from breakfast before I left my cousins house) T and my mother had the lunch and it was (T said) "no contest." The meal was excellent. Best of all the trays were removed 45 minutes after they were placed in front of everyone!
On arrival in Athens the handicapped service (Goldair Services were provided) was prompt and polite and took care of my mother. They arranged for our boarding passes (we could only get boarding passes from Brussels to Athens in Belgium- that was a small drawback. But our luggage was checked through to Corfu and arrived with no problems.)
They also allowed me to push my mothers chair through (after giving us our boarding passes) to the gate giving us some walking time (as opposed to following the young men who push the chairs at a brisk trot/dash- making me feel like I need a wheelchair!) My mother and I arrived in plenty of time and waited at the gate (whilst T roamed for a while) We only had about a hour and a half wait between the flights - better than the 6 hours at the beginning of the trip!
The handicapped riser machine worked perfectly both at departure from Athens (where we were picked up at the gate and driven to the airplane) and at arrival in Corfu (where we were met by the riser machine and allowed to descend). It was a nice and comfortable way to end a long trip.
We had a very pleasant time flying with Aegean and I would totally recommend the airline to anyone based on our experiences.