Breaking out of Greece after 6 days of Covid-19 isolation to reach Spain for a back door entry into Portugal was the plan that had us flying Star Alliance member Aegean Airlines from Thessaloniki, Greece south to Athens, Greece for a night flight to Madrid, Spain. We paid 202 EUR per one-way ticket for Aegean Economy Flex with free seat selection and checked bag, although we only had carry-on bags. Econonmy Flex also increased Aegean miles and elite status tier points from 989 to 2,078 miles.
We arrived at Thessaloniki Airport around 4pm and the airport seemed mostly empty. After security we spotted the sign for Aegean lounge.
We wheeled our luggage down the hallway into the lounge, where I was approached by an agent who asked me to go back out and check-in.
I learned to read Greek while waiting for the flight from Athens to arrive.
The display alternated between Greek and English and I struggled with every name in Greek, except for Athens and Stockholm ARN. I love airport codes. I have acquired several more Greek airport codes to memory in recent weeks as I researched potential island destinations for another spring 2023 trip to Greece.
Covid-19 protocols were in place in the food area of the Aegean lounge with signs requesting guests use plastic disposable gloves while handling items in the food area.
There was beer in an open chiller tray, but it was not cold enough for my taste. I added ice.
There was an area oppostite the food section with a full self-service liquor selection and wines.
Our first hour in the lounge was relatively quiet with only a dozen or so people. Then after 5pm the lounge started filling up with people for the 6pm flight to Athens.
An announcement came that the 6pm flight was delayed. After 6pm the lounge filled up more as passengers for the 7:45pm flight to Athens arrived and we had not departed.
Our 6pm flight arrived and passengers deplaned. We boarded for the short 45 minute flight to Athens and arrived at 8:40pm, about 90 minutes late from the originally scheduled arrival time.
For us the delay was irrelevant since all we planned to do was wait in the overcrowded Aegean lounge in Athens until the Madrid flight boarded for a 10:30pm departure.
We visited the Aegean lounge in Athens when we arrived from Lisbon the week before. It was overcrowded in the morning too. Thessaloniki had a more casual lounge feel. Aegean Athens lounge seemed more tense as it was difficult to find seats both times we visited the lounge. The only photos I took inside the Athens lounge were out the windows.
Then, we were off to Madrid.
Most surprising of all was Kelley and I receiving emails with free tickets for Aegean domestic flights with an apology for the 90 minute late arrival to Athens from Thessaloniki.
Free tickets anywhere in Greece is another reason I have been learning Greek island airport codes.
[This another piece of what will become my June-July 2022 Trip Report for Portugal, Greece, Spain and Canada travel I will compile when all the article pieces are written.]