Admittedly, when I was planning our flights to Athens for our cruise through the Greek Islands, Air China was definitely the last airline I had in mind. Not because I had any security or safety concerns, but because I was simply not aware of the fact that the Asian carrier was flying on this route at all.
As I had returned the day earlier from a rotation to New York and I didn´t want to spend the night before the cruise jet lagged in some hotel in the Greek capital, I needed a flight that would leave us with enough time to catch the ship in the port of Piraeus even in the event of unexpected delays (i.e. technical, traffic, flight cancellation, etc).
In other words: A flight leaving really early in the morning and, if possible, at a reasonable price and a nonstop connection.
Going Lufthansa is mostly a preferred choice, but in this case the earliest flight left Munich at 10 am and arriving in Athens after 1 pm (+ 1 hour time difference). Adding possible timeframes for luggage delivery delays, traffic in Athens, etc, etc, I was afraid that it could become a little tight to the ship´s departure at 4pm.
The Air China flight is the perfect match for everyone beginning or passing through Munich airport from the surrounding areas! Departure time is at 6.55am and the flight time of 2 hours 05 minutes passes by very well on the airline´s modern Airbus A330-300, featuring state-of-the-art Economy seating with adjustable leg rests, inseat video entertainment and a complimentary hot meal (choice of Chinese or Western meal) with beverage service.
The one-way fare was only 130 EUR pp and it includes one checked baggage per person at 23 kg in Economy Class as well as one carry-on item at 5 kg. A great value in my eyes!
Check-in was swift, the inflight experience good (if you do not expect the charms of the Singapore Airlines Girl) and departure as well as arrival perfectly on time. Have in mind that you will need (depending on your nationality) proper identification with you when traveling on Air China within Europe, as these flights are conducted via the Non-Schengen agreement!
This flight is perfect for everyone who plans to reach a cruise ship in Piraeus in time without needing to spend an additional night on site or who want a full arrival day to use for extra sightseeing time in Athens!
Air China operates this extension to the existing Beijing – Munich rotation on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. Flight times are as following:
CA961 Munich 06:55 am Athens 10:30 am (+ 1 hour)
CA962 Athens 11:30 am Munich 12:55 pm (- 1 hour)
For more infos about Air China and price checks visit www.airchina.com!