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Messages - Mike G

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Gossip / Re: greek attitude to uk lockdown, Guardian
« on: May 25, 2020, 06:19:09 PM »
I've read recent posts about members buying large amounts of ouzo at the airport. My recent experience with whisky, gin etc is that it is cheaper at Tesco. Maybe ouzo is cheaper. Wherever you buy it I have always loved it as I loved aniseed balls as a child.

Unless Olympic come to their senses or another tour operator steps in, sadly I may not return. Plakias is changing rapidly so maybe I wouldn't want to. So my stocks of raki will run out as I don't know of something similar I could buy in the UK.

I hope Crete/Greece can recover from the current situation.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic and Kostas Chrysoulla 2020
« on: September 25, 2019, 02:08:05 PM »
The accommodation I often stay at on Kos hasn't yet appeared online (but it is in their brochure) and Olympic has told me they are finalising the contracts and it will appear online shortly. This must apply to other places as well.

I fear that what other contributors think about Olympic winding down in Plakias may be true. They shot themselves in the foot when they stopped offering transfers. That's what the "package" in package holiday means. An Olympic taxi at over 140 each way reminds me of John McEnroe circa 1980 ("you cannot be serious!!").

My experience of Olympic is that when the new season holidays first appear online they are at inflated prices. Once they have sold a few (and banked a decent profit margin) they reduce the prices to something more sensible.

Plakias / Re: June holiday report
« on: June 25, 2019, 01:04:42 PM »

As stated in other posts, the mix of nationalities this year is much different than previous years.
Much higher proportion of German, Dutch, French, Italian etc.
But this is not because there are more of these nationalities.
It is because the Brits are not there in any significant numbers.
I leave other to debate the reason for this.
But this mix of nationalities was fine with us, as we enjoy a varied mix of people and languages.

I'm sure Olympic is sending a lot less people this year owing to the dearth of transfers. Next year all Olympic clients will be making their own way from the airport. Olympic seems to have forgotten that most people's idea of a "package" holiday is flight+accommodation+transfer+rep. I hope it doesn't happen but I wouldn't be surprised if Olympic drops Plakias.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2019
« on: June 10, 2019, 02:37:42 PM »
For those Olympic clients who are already thinking about 2020, I have been told that they will have no charter flights to anywhere next year, instead exclusively using third party carriers such as easyJet, Thomas Cook, Tui, etc. This means that no holidays will have a transfer included, although for resorts within a reasonable distance of an airport a coach transfer will be an optional extra.

The only options for Plakias will be to make your own arrangements (taxi or bus) or pay Olympic's exorbitant charge for a taxi. So those lucky Manchester clients who had a taxi transfer at Olympic's expense this year will be in the same boat as those from Gatwick next year. Olympic is offering a decent choice of airports and fly to Heraklion 5 days of the week.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2019
« on: May 18, 2019, 02:40:09 PM »
The welcome pack Olympic gave me on my arrival at Dora Studios said that the rep service was now described as "Tailor Made" which meant there were no rep visits, no Welcome meeting and if you needed to contact the rep there was a phone no given. If you didn't have a phone I guess it was "tough". Their wording implied this was a big improvement in the service when in fact it is the opposite. Also you were only met at the airport if you had booked the taxi transfer (at, as a previous contributor says, 50% more that the local firms charge). I was fine with all this as have been many times but would not have been if it was my first visit.

I used a local taxi booked online and it worked fine. 110 each way although I was told at least one of the locals was quoting 100. Interestingly the taxi meter read about 170.

My feeling was that there were few LGW Olympic clients there owing to the lack of transfer. Manchester clients had a transfer; whether this continues in 2020 remains to be seen.

The place was  very quiet with only Kri Kri, Gorgona, and to some extent Manousssis (next to Medusa) doing decent trade that |I saw. Far end very quiet, although all the umbrellas were installed.

Annoyingly the winter storms had thrown up a line of stones as you entered the sea for almost the whole of the far end which made getting into the sea difficult for those of a certain age.

I wonder how much longer Olympic will feature Plakias. I'm told Love Holidays go there (and no it isn't a "swingers" holiday company).

Still a great place to be though.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2019
« on: December 19, 2018, 10:28:42 AM »
I understand through a Plakias Facebook page, that Elspeth (Olympic rep) will not be in Plakias next season.  It seems that Olympic have decided that Plakias does not warrant a permanent rep.  The rep service will be handled from the head office Reythimno? And if needed urgently needed customers will have to ring up?  This seems to be a way of cutting costs.  So, what will be next?? A worrying situation.
It's true. I quote below what Elspeth told me. So, no rep to show newcomers to their accommodation, rubbish flight times and no transfers from Gatwick. Olympic really knows how to make their clients welcome.

Elspeth told me:

Yes it's true Michael I am sad to say. They are only employing drivers to cover larger areas, and introducing an in-resort app.
I do not know whether it will be appointment service only, or if the Rep will be in Plakias maybe a couple of days a week to see guests.
Perhaps it might work!
As a non-driver I no longer have a job with Olympic as even admin staff (my previous role) need to be drivers!
So if you see me in Plakias I will be there as a holidaymaker not as your Rep....

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2019
« on: October 15, 2018, 02:27:31 PM »
We have had the same problem with Olympic, no transfers flying from LBA, so we are going independent next year its so easy and works out cheaper should have done it before but better late than never.
If you travel as a single it is miles more expensive to book independently, although admittedly there are some advantages with the independent route.

For 2018 I booked 6 months in advance for June with Olympic and paid about 375 with transfers included. Booking independently I would have paid more than this for the accommodation alone.

If I go in 2019 I will have to book the taxi transfer myself which I would be prepared to do to get back to Plakias.

The economics of Olympic vs. independent were debated in length on this forum a few years ago.

Holiday Companies / Olympic 2019
« on: September 15, 2018, 01:30:24 PM »
I phoned to enquire why I couldn't find any holidays to Plakias from Gatwick with a transfer. I was told that Olympic will not have any charter flights from Gatwick in 2019 to any airport and will only use carriers such as Thomas Cook and easyJet. With these, Olympic will book a taxi transfer for you but at a price far in excess of the going rate. The only airport with an Olympic charter to Heraklion for 2019 (and thus a coach transfer included) is Manchester.   

I still live in hope that another Tour Operator may start to feature Plakias and offer what Olympic is unwilling to.

Plakias / Re: This forum is commin' like a ghost town
« on: August 24, 2018, 02:14:20 PM »
I shall only return when Olympic restarts Gatwick flights commencing in early May with a transfer. June is too hot for me. Olympic needs to return to offering what the customer wants rather than what Olympic wants.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2018
« on: May 14, 2018, 03:08:13 PM »
I wonder how many Olympic clients are coming from Gatwick this year as there is no Olympic charter flight from there.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2018
« on: April 29, 2018, 12:30:59 PM »
Does anyone know if Elspeth is the Olympic rep this year? I thought she was excellent last year.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2018
« on: February 17, 2018, 01:48:51 PM »
I had a look at Olympic a few weeks ago, can't remember which airline was on offer but the transfer was a taxi, costing, from memory, GBP150, each way, with no alternative. I booked a BA flight in the end.

I've made my own arrangements in recent years, having been completely hacked off by Olympic's couldn't give a sh#t attitude. It's possible to book a taxi for around 30% less than that - I've used Zak in Plakias and he'll do the trip for EUR105

Are Olympic laying on the 'magical mystery tour' coach transfer again? I don't trust them one little inch either way. Guides who get lost at three in the morning, flights cancelled or delayed at absurdly short notice, etc. I know that it's business and they have the market pretty much cornered, but I don't have to like it.

Rant over.

I suppose that I should try enjoy Plakias, without worrying about these people.

Cheers, Richard

Much to agree with in your "rant".

Following my flight being changed to Thomas Cook, out of interest I went on to the TC website to see how much they were currently selling my flight for. When I had made all the necessary additions for things like baggage the cost was only about 50 less than my Olympic cost.

The only reason anybody sticks with Olympic is that they can undercut the "independent" route, massively so if you are travelling singly. As you say, you have to be able to put up with the "Magical Mystery Tour" as well.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2018
« on: February 16, 2018, 01:51:56 PM »
I had a call from Olympic today informing me that the Enter Air charter was cancelled and would I accept a Thomas Cook flight a day earlier with similar flight times and a transfer still included.

My room will be still be available on arrival, although quite how this will work out I'm not sure.

Seeing as the EA flight was virtually full they must be distributing the passengers between any carriers they can find.

All adds to the general air of shambles at Olympic.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2018
« on: January 27, 2018, 01:16:10 PM »
Olympic did their '12 islands of Christmas' again this year, so, not wanting to disappoint them, I shook their hand before they sobered up and clinched a great deal to KC for 10 days in October again!
We will be off to Finikounda in the Peloponese in June for the firat time, but will be on the lookout for a bargain deal to Plakias any other time.
Can't wait to get back to Greece, and Plakias especially.
I too took advantage of the seasonal offers and booked on Christmas Day. For many years Olympic's Gatwick to Heraklion charter has been on a Tuesday, leaving at around 9am. This year it is a Sat leaving after 3pm (and returning after midnight). Whereas previously I have been in Plakias in either the middle two weeks of May or the last two, I found that the first date that the charter ran was June 2.

Out of curiosity yesterday I checked  to see if the dates had been extended but could find no Olympic charter flights from LGW. On inquiring I was told that they had all sold out as they have had several group bookings.

While only the charter flights come with a transfer, they do offer transfers at extra cost for all the other flights. These are at minimal cost for north coast resorts near Heraklion, but for Plakias they offer a taxi at well over 100 per journey.

Unless Olympic put on extra charter flights a lot of customers wanting to come from LGW will be disappointed.

One good piece of news is that Olympic has increased the "free" luggage allowance to 20 kg on the charter flights, presumably because most, if not all, of the other carriers they use offer 20 kg.

Plakias / Re: News
« on: November 28, 2017, 01:43:36 PM »
The flights to Heraklion that Olympic is offering for 2018 from LGW are at pretty anti-social times, either for arriving in Crete or UK. Having spent a long night in October at the airport waiting for the trains to start, when Olympic changed the flights at the last minute, I am reluctant to volunteer for it.
I asked Olympic why their flight times from LGW are at horrible times. For the non charter flights, easyJet offer 2 a day, one of which is at much better times IMHO. They said they would quote me for the other flight and did.

I also asked if I could buy just the accommodation from Olympic and arrange all transport myself. I was told "no" even though another member of the forum told me that Olympic have allowed this in the past.

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