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Author Topic: Nikos Kazantzakis  (Read 9206 times)

Offline Ploppy

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« on: October 06, 2007, 01:50:40 PM »
Sorry if you came here expecting some high brow discussion of this fine Cretan authour's works.

Nope, its a whinge about our favourite airport  

I see Mandy, Chris, Graham and others have mentioned their experiences this year so I thought I would consolidate here.

Going Out

Flying with First Choice (after XL cancelled flight) from Gatwick North (rats, more time for transit jobby). We get there about 2 hours 15 mins before and went straight to check-in desk, hurrah. Through security quickly which gives us time for a few 'proper' beers and a cardboard burger in the Wetherspoons.
Flight smooth and on-time.
One bag popped out at Heraklion quick enough but then waited 20 mins for the next. Last year we were dead lucky and both came out immediately.

Coming Home

It is bad enough that you are on your way home to rain and a 15 degree temperature drop but first you have to endure you all know what.
Taxi got us to the airport just under two hours to go, damn, transfers were already there. Two queues, eenie meenie minie mo (sp?), yep we picked the slow one  People who arrived 30 mins after us in the other queue were getting through before us.. Lots of grumbling going on around us (people aren't at their best at 3am with nothing to look forward to!).

Then of course you have to take your luggage and queue again to have it scanned, when did they start doing this? Last year?

Anyway by the time we had done this they were already announcing final call for our flight. Security was ok and we were almost the last to get on plane but with 40 mins to departure time. Everyone on, shut doors and then... oh look more waiting, 30 mins waiting for our alloted time slot.

Flight OK, landed on time. Parked up at a remote stand (pilot said to cabin crew 'unfortunately we are at stand 145'). Luggage trucks arrived, buses arrived. No steps. 30 minutes we wait for those ( i was all for jumping or testing the chutes  )

Don't get me started on passport control (bags were already stacked by carousel by the time we got there)  or wait for transit or missing half hourly train by 2 minutes.

 Right that is enough moaning, sorry everyone and thanks for listening. (Hey it is my birthday, a year closer to being a very grumpy old man!)

Cheers,

Paul
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 01:51:25 PM by Ploppy »

Mandy Harrison

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 02:24:45 PM »
Quote from: Ploppy
Sorry if you came here expecting some high brow discussion of this fine Cretan authour's works.

Nope, its a whinge about our favourite airport  

I see Mandy, Chris, Graham and others have mentioned their experiences this year so I thought I would consolidate here.

Going Out

Flying with First Choice (after XL cancelled flight) from Gatwick North (rats, more time for transit jobby). We get there about 2 hours 15 mins before and went straight to check-in desk, hurrah. Through security quickly which gives us time for a few 'proper' beers and a cardboard burger in the Wetherspoons.
Flight smooth and on-time.
One bag popped out at Heraklion quick enough but then waited 20 mins for the next. Last year we were dead lucky and both came out immediately.

Coming Home

It is bad enough that you are on your way home to rain and a 15 degree temperature drop but first you have to endure you all know what.
Taxi got us to the airport just under two hours to go, damn, transfers were already there. Two queues, eenie meenie minie mo (sp?), yep we picked the slow one  People who arrived 30 mins after us in the other queue were getting through before us.. Lots of grumbling going on around us (people aren't at their best at 3am with nothing to look forward to!).

Then of course you have to take your luggage and queue again to have it scanned, when did they start doing this? Last year?

Anyway by the time we had done this they were already announcing final call for our flight. Security was ok and we were almost the last to get on plane but with 40 mins to departure time. Everyone on, shut doors and then... oh look more waiting, 30 mins waiting for our alloted time slot.

Flight OK, landed on time. Parked up at a remote stand (pilot said to cabin crew 'unfortunately we are at stand 145'). Luggage trucks arrived, buses arrived. No steps. 30 minutes we wait for those ( i was all for jumping or testing the chutes  )

Don't get me started on passport control (bags were already stacked by carousel by the time we got there)  or wait for transit or missing half hourly train by 2 minutes.

 Right that is enough moaning, sorry everyone and thanks for listening. (Hey it is my birthday, a year closer to being a very grumpy old man!)

Cheers,

Paul

I couldn't have put it better myself  Heraklion is just rubbish the only good thing I would say in their favour is  they dont raise their eyebrows when my cases are 10 kilos heavier on the return journey.

By the way you missed the bit about obnoxious kids playing drums on the back of the seat on the flight.  Oh what joy

I would do it all again tomorrow if it would get me out of Manchester greyness.  Already checking flight prices as I type this.  

Mandy

Offline compage

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2007, 02:33:35 PM »
Join the club Paul (the grumpy old man club that is).
It's OK, there is no minimum age requirement.

Similar experience to ours at Heraklion only ours was around mid-day instead.
Two queues for check-in.
Guess if we picked the right one?

Then the baggage scanners had 3 goes at Valerie's case until they managed to work out that the 3 'hand grenades' inside were, in fact, 3 miniature bottles of Retsina.
You'd think they'd have seen one of those before.

Then the queue for passport control.
It was so long you couldn't see one end from the other and they were already calling for us to board the plane when we joined the queue.
Fights were breaking out in the queue behind us but being the true-blue Brits that we are we pretended not to notice.

At least we had the consolation of knowing we wouldn't have to spend much time in the amusingly named 'Departure Lounge'.
When we finally got through passport control we found that the real cause of the delay was the fact that they only had one hand-baggage scanner working.
It's true!  Honest!

The flight took off early from Heraklion but that advantage was all blown away by the headwind we suffered all the way back to Blighty.
Over four hours at 110 m.p.h. slower than the speed we enjoyed on the way out duly took its toll.

Don't get me started on the stupidity of 99% of our fellow passengers crowding round the carousel at East Midlands airport.
I swear most of the bags went round 2 or 3 times because no-one could see what was on the belt.
John Page

Offline Mike G

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2007, 02:46:50 PM »
I have just returned from Petra and Mytileni airport was no better. Only 2 out of 5 check in desks open and long queues. No one goes to Greece for the quality of the airport experience.

Mike

Offline Ploppy

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2007, 03:25:57 PM »
Quote from: Mandy Harrison
By the way you missed the bit about obnoxious kids playing drums on the back of the seat on the flight.  Oh what joy

I would do it all again tomorrow if it would get me out of Manchester greyness.  Already checking flight prices as I type this.  

Mandy

We were lucky Mandy, no kids like that.

Though on the way back Marge was trying too sleep with her head on the back of the seat in front and getting most annoyed when the girl in front fidgeted around. To calm her down a bit I pointed out that
1. The girl was quite entilitled to move around in her seat a bit
2. Most normal people don't try and sleep in the brace position

Offline Greecemad

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2007, 12:06:29 AM »
OK, a few rambling airport experiences from me:

Several years ago, before Heraklion aiport was extended, I can remember the check-in queues snaking right across the grass (well I think it was grass) in front of the terminal building, with everyone stood in the hot sun wearing their clothes ready for arriving back home. Also, I can remember waiting an hour and a half for the luggage on arrival.

More recently I thought it was a lot better. I don't remember any great problems checking in for my flight in June, which left about 12.30 a.m. What I can remember is that I went upstairs and sat in the bar. Up there you can't hear the announcements, but I heard from somebody else that the plane was boarding as we were going to leave early. I think I was the last person to get on the bus and it sounded as though some people had been stood on it for ages.

That way to do it is to fly back from a small Greek airport. Last month I flew back from Mykonos, via Athens, to Manchester. Walked straight up to the check in counter as there was no queue. Luggage was checked through to Manchester and I was given both boarding cards. Then took my case to the scanner where there was again no queue. Bought a snack, sat outside to eat it. When I felt like it I went through security - again no queue. Unfortunately I had a 5-hour wait at Athens, but as I had no luggage to worry about and didn't have to check-in again, I took a trip on the new Metro into Athens centre, returning to the airport about an hour before the flight was due to leave. Arrving back at Manchester, there was the longest queue for immigration control that I have ever seen. We were in a big crowd for ages before we joined the queue that went backwards and forwards between the tapes - the bonus, I suppose, was that we didn't have to wait for the luggage - it was all coming round the carousel when we got there.

On that same trip, flying out in August to Paros (via Athens) was a bit more of a problem. After going through security at Athens to board the flight to Paros you are in a small area with no toilets and nowhere to buy anything to drink (and remember you can't take any bottles through security). Then we found there was a delay. So anyone who wanted to use the facilities had to go out through security and back in through the security procedures again, although admittedly there was no queue. Getting off the plane at Paros is like a dream - short walk to the terminal building, luggage comes along a set of rollers (no carousel), all in about 10 minutes.

Can anyone tell me why, when everyone is sat at the gate, as soon as the flight is announced everyone forms a very long queue? I can never see the point of joining the queue as you have a seat allocated, and I would rather be the last on the plane than be the first and then have to sit and wait longer.

Greecemad
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 12:12:54 AM by Greecemad »

Offline compage

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2007, 03:04:27 PM »
Quote from: Mandy Harrison
By the way you missed the bit about obnoxious kids playing drums on the back of the seat on the flight.  Oh what joy
...
Mandy
Quite right Mandy.
I'd forgotten that I had one of those on the way out.
John Page

Offline compage

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2007, 03:26:09 PM »
Quote from: Greecemad
... (and remember you can't take any bottles through security)...
Greecemad
That's what we thought.
So going into the hand-baggage check at Heraklion we duly dumped all of our water, water that would have been most welcome to use while on the flight given the prices being charged by XL, only to find out that everyone else was being allowed to take all their bottles onto the plane.

Quote from: Greecemad
Can anyone tell me why, when everyone is sat at the gate, as soon as the flight is announced everyone forms a very long queue? I can never see the point of joining the queue as you have a seat allocated, and I would rather be the last on the plane than be the first and then have to sit and wait longer.
Greecemad
I couldn't agree more.
And why, when the plane lands, as soon as the seat belt light goes off, most people immediately stand up and start elbowing each other in the face while trying to get their hand luggage out of the overhead lockers.
Then they spend the remainder of the time waiting for the doors to be opened, the steps to arrive and the queue to start moving treading on each others toes.
The ones who had window seats can't even stand up straight but have to spend the wait in a crouch.
Why?
Is it so they can be the first in the queue for passport control or the baggage carousel?
Or do they want to get one of the few seats on the airside transfer bus for the 20 second ride to the terminal?
And if they do, doesn't that mean they will be last off the bus?
John Page

Offline George

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2007, 08:48:06 AM »
This thread is another reason why I went private this year, although Heraklion really wasn't as bad as it sounds now last year or the year before.

Chania is a dream come true, arrived early after a very comfy flight, straight through customs, bag was second one out.

Coming back, joined small queue at check-in then went and got a drink and something to eat and sat outside in the sunshine.

Went through customs with two or three other people then straight into a very civilised duty free area.

Flight called early, on the bus and sat down with enough leg room so that I didn't even have to move when my neighbours came and went.

Only gripe was Gatwick, by the time we got to the car in the car park, I must have walked for miles.

Four years ago Heraklion was a major disaster area, when you walked into departures, it was just a mass of people and you had no idea where your queue started or finished, and when you did find it you had all the usual grief of other people trying to jump the queue. Never again.

I'll stick to Chania, it's quiet, organised and very clean and the experience was a dream.  

george g...

Offline John R

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2007, 01:26:09 PM »
Quote from: George
This thread is another reason why I went private this year, although Heraklion really wasn't as bad as it sounds now last year or the year before.


george g...


Just got back this morning.

Heraklion was a bit hellish at 10:00pm on Tuesday (yesterday 09 October). However it all worked fine. We had to queue to check in for our flight (BA to Manchester) - getting luggage weighed and tagged. Then had to join an enormous queue (common to all flights) to go through baggage X ray (2 machines working) Followed by an enormous queue to gt through security (probably no worse than some queues at some UK airports. Though it all looked superficially chaotic and very crowded - it all worked. We got there two and a half hours before stated take off time. We got into departure lounge (crowded but still seats available) with one hour to spare. However they called our flight early and we took off 20 minutes early - superb BA flights. Some passengers on myair flights had been delayed 5 hours plus. We met friends still there who had departed Plakias at 4pm - we left Plakias at 8pm.

I considered the overall situation to be typical for a Tuesday departure day at Heraklion. Not brilliant, could be a lot better but it worked.

John R
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 01:27:19 PM by John R »

Mandy Harrison

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2007, 08:03:17 PM »
Quote from: Ploppy
Quote from: Mandy Harrison
By the way you missed the bit about obnoxious kids playing drums on the back of the seat on the flight.  Oh what joy

I would do it all again tomorrow if it would get me out of Manchester greyness.  Already checking flight prices as I type this.  

Mandy

We were lucky Mandy, no kids like that.

Though on the way back Marge was trying too sleep with her head on the back of the seat in front and getting most annoyed when the girl in front fidgeted around. To calm her down a bit I pointed out that
1. The girl was quite entilitled to move around in her seat a bit
2. Most normal people don't try and sleep in the brace position

I am with Marge - I sleep like this on the plane!

Mandy Harrison

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2007, 08:08:55 PM »
Sounds good George - I remember Chania with fondness  Chris and I have been looking at flights to Chania for next year.  If we cant get one that suits Heraklion will have to do but I may need to take a gun wih me.

Offline harribobs

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2007, 08:55:38 PM »
Quote from: Mandy Harrison
If we cant get one that suits Heraklion will have to do but I may need to take a gun wih me.

err  maybe not  

Offline Peter&Dawn

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2007, 07:16:59 AM »
Quote from: harribobs
Quote from: Mandy Harrison
If we cant get one that suits Heraklion will have to do but I may need to take a gun wih me.

err  maybe not  

I may be better to take Gin with you

Offline George

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Nikos Kazantzakis
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2007, 08:14:04 AM »
Quote from: Mandy Harrison
but I may need to take a gun wih me.
Will I be safe Mandy??  

Nice to see you back on the forum, I've missed our rapoire.

george g...