Today I rebooked a flight from Athens, Greece to Tel Aviv, Israel with Swiss International Airlines (SWISS).
Why SWISS? When it came down to it it was mostly about flight availability. After the debacle with the mess up with Expedia, where they sold me the ticket with knowing that the flight was to depart at 11:00 am, but in reality it was set to depart at 1:00 am and arriving in Tel Aviv at 3:00 am, just didn’t work for me. Maybe in my youthful state I could have done this overnight flight of 1 hour (with a time zone change), however, it makes life very difficult when you arrive at 14:00 in Athens and then have to leave at 1:00 am, meaning you would need to be to the airport at least by 11:00 pm. Add this to it only being a 1 hour flight, overnight, with no sleep = a very cranky Cronk.
The next logical choice as far as price & availability was Turkish Airlines via Istanbul. Seems like a good choice, however, the stopover requirements were horrific. Which required a 6-hour stopover / layover in Istanbul enroute to Tel Aviv and a 15-hour stopover / layover on the return? Having just been in Istanbul earlier this year, I wasn’t thrilled with this thought and the nightmare that was the Icelandic volcano that erupted causing air traffic closure still looming in my mind.
After Turkish Airlines the next choice was Royal Jordanian Airlines via Amman, Jordan. This also seemed like a nice option, though the return required a 26-hour stopover/layover in Amman. Add this to the point of them using Embraer aircraft between Athens and Amman, 3,5 hours in a little plane did not appeal to me, at all.
Finally it came down to SWISS. They had excellent flights in regards to both aircraft and departure/arrival times. Although a little more expensive than the other airlines, by about $150; it also requires an approximately 1,300 mile backtrack with the flight from Athens to Zürich and then the flight from Zürich to Tel Aviv. The return flight is awesome in that it departs at 3:00 pm, arrives in Zürich at 8:30 pm and then departs at 9:45 pm arriving at 12:10 am in Athens. This is great because I have to be at the airport by at least 3:45 am anyways to catch my flight back to Amsterdam. The only downside of this is that the flights HAVE TO depart / arrive on time. Otherwise I am going to run into problems. Worst comes to worst, I could see about changing my departure flight from Athens to be out of Zürich instead. But we will burn that bridge if we have to come to it.
The flight information is:
|(D)||Eleftherios Venizelos Int’l Airport, Athens, Greece||06:30|
|(A)||Zürich International Airport, Zürich, Switzerland||08:35|
|(D)||Zürich International Airport, Zürich, Switzerland||09:45|
|(A)||Ben Gurion Int’l Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel||14:25|
|(D)||Ben Gurion Int’l Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel||15:55|
|(A)||Zürich International Airport, Zürich, Switzerland||19:15|
|(D)||Zürich International Airport, Zürich, Switzerland||20:35|
|(A)||Eleftherios Venizelos Int’l Airport, Athens, Greece||00:10+|