Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
YoMo2
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Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby YoMo2 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:38 pm

Amusing myself by playing with Flightradar24 this morning, I was stunned to see an Aegean flight heading out from Heraklion, headed direct to Gatwick. (Yes, I know, but I get bored in January.)

Initially I assumed this was an error in the route codes. But no, it did in fact go to Gatwick direct, touching down there at lunchtime.

Looking back at the flight history, it appears the same flight was flying weekly throughout Nov, Dec, and January.

Todays flight flew on to Manchester from Gatwick, and is now heading back to Heraklion as I write.

After speaking to Aegean, it appears this is a charter flight. I'm just curious that I've never heard of any regular winter charter flights from Heraklion. Who are these travellers? Where do they go? And, more interesting, could one possibly get a ticket on these flights?

Andrew

Kilkis
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby Kilkis » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:56 pm

YoMo2 wrote:...After speaking to Aegean, ... And, more interesting, could one possibly get a ticket on these flights?

Andrew


Doesn't your post suggest that there might be a better place to have asked the question?

Warwick

Clio
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby Clio » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:28 pm

Don't be sniffy, Warwick. That is a genuinely useful bit of information. Andrew I've been trying to make sense of the Aegean site and it's all rather baffling. A Gatwick flight from Heraklion is mentioned for today at 6.35, at exactly the same time as one going to Heathrow which sounds odd. And I only got that by keying it in as a return trip: when I tried it as a one-way, Gatwick wasn't mentioned. No price info available, which is not surprising as the slot has gone...and no sign of anything going to Gatwick next Saturday, which one would expect. I've been on eight planes already this winter with another UK trip later this month, and it would be lovely to cut out one leg of that journey, and fly direct. And I know lots of others would be really glad of further news. So please do pursue your enquiries.

Kilkis
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby Kilkis » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:46 pm

I'm not being sniffy, Clio. If you wanted to know about Aegean flights who would you ask? Aegean or a fat bloke down the pub. I would have thought phoning 801 11 20000 from a landline within Greece or (+30) 210 6261000 from a mobile or another country was more likely to produce a sensible answer.

Warwick

YoMo2
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby YoMo2 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:47 am

Kilkis wrote:I'm not being sniffy, Clio. If you wanted to know about Aegean flights who would you ask? Aegean or a fat bloke down the pub. I would have thought phoning 801 11 20000 from a landline within Greece or (+30) 210 6261000 from a mobile or another country was more likely to produce a sensible answer.

Warwick


Well, amazingly, Warwick, I did ask Aegean. I kinda thought that was implied. The robot at the call centre, having first denied any knowledge of the flight said I couldn't book because it was a charter. At that point I gave up. It's hard enough to get correct information when it's on their screens, never mind going off-piste. Perhaps you would do better.

Andrew

Kilkis
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby Kilkis » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:42 am

Well I don't know but I would imagine that the "robot" you talked to did give you the correct answer. It depends how you interpret the word charter.

We mostly tend to use it to mean package holiday flights like Thomson. Those you can book, either as part of a package or sometimes as just a flight where they have empty seats. However, it can also mean a flight that somebody has privately chartered for some reason. For example it might be carrying a football team or a basketball team to a tournament somewhere or a group of business people to some sort of meeting or possibly a political group of some sort. In that case you can't book, you only fly on it if you are part of that group. I would be amazed if the flight fitted into the former category, flying from Chania to Gatwick in February, and also I would have thought that if it was in that category it would be a fairly regular flight and would show up on the robot's system. The fact that it didn't suggests it was in the second category.

I'm afraid I would classify it as an interesting observation but not really helpful to those who dream of direct winter flights. Obviously I could be completely wrong but would be happy to be proved so. If you are a gambling man I would be happy to bet you a bottle of Glenmorangie that there are no direct winter flights from Crete to the UK that you could book onto as an individual. You could, of course, gather together a number of like minded people who all want to fly to the same place at the same time and charter a plane yourself. For 100 people flying Heraklion to Gatwick it would cost about €700 each one way.

Warwick

PS I fully realise that paragraph 2 is "teaching my grandmother to suck eggs" and that you are fully aware of everything in it. I include it because, despite knowing it, you seem totally disinclined to accept it.

Keltz
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby Keltz » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:47 pm

My guess is a winter mediterranean fly cruise charter, although it could be the EU no-deal Brexit preparation to evacuate Crete of these pesky Brits. Just saying.

YoMo2
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby YoMo2 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:51 pm

Thanks, Warwick, for the fascinating tutorial on the charter market. I don't think the flight in question falls into either of the two categories you mention, as evidenced by the fact that this flight flew on a weekly basis throughout November, December, and January. I mentioned this previously but you don't appear to have factored this in.

I doubt that any football team or political group charters a flight to Gatwick from Crete on a weekly basis in the winter.

Whilst you may be perfectly correct about not being able to book a winter direct flight to Gatwick, I think the question was worth asking. I'd still be interested to hear from any of our community who are involved in the tourist trade, fat pub-goers included.

Andrew

Kilkis
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby Kilkis » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:07 pm

So what you are saying is that Aegean are operating a non-stop flight from Heraklion to Gatwick every Saturday but keeping it top secret so that nobody can book it? Interesting marketing technique.

If you put Heraklion to London into the Aegean web site at any time in the year, winter or summer, you only get offered flights with one or two stop overs. Aegean operate a regular timetable, that anybody can book, and they also charter planes. When it is a charter you can't book it, you have to be part of the group that is chartering it. That is the reality of air travel. You might not believe it. You might not like it. It is what it is. Live with it.

Warwick

paul g
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby paul g » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:29 pm

rendition flights for brexiteers.

mouche
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby mouche » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:30 pm

What is the flightnumber?

YoMo2
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby YoMo2 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:53 am

A little excessive, Warwick.

My original question was based on my recollection that in the not too distant past there were what I think were called "bucket shops" offering spare seats on charter flights to individuals to book. This was when I lived in the UK. I don't know if it still goes on.

So, it seemed a reasonable question to try to find out if it would be possible to get a ticket for a spare seat on this Aegean flight by some means.

Not sure why it has rattled your cage to the extent it seems to have done.

Perhaps we should leave it there.

Andrew

YoMo2
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby YoMo2 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:54 am

mouche wrote:What is the flightnumber?


A34220

Andrew

Kilkis
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby Kilkis » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:58 am

YoMo2 wrote:...My original question was based on my recollection that in the not too distant past there were what I think were called "bucket shops" offering spare seats on charter flights to individuals to book...


You are correct. At one time package holiday companies like Monarch, Thomson etc, only sold the complete packages. If they had spare capacity on the plane, because not enough people had booked packages, they would sell off the excess capacity through a travel agent. Those agents that specialised in selling that type of seat were often referred to as a bucket shop, because the seats were sold at a discount. That was in the days before the internet and direct booking so virtually all bookings were done through a travel agent, although there were some where you could do it from home using teletext+telephone, a sort of precursor to the internet. I suspect today that the package companies mainly just sell the spare seats themselves online although the bucket shops may still exist. It must be at least 15 years since I have used a travel agent of any sort and even then it was only to see if they could get a cheaper deal than I could book myself. Sometimes they could and sometimes they couldn't but I was completely open with the one I used and they were quite happy to work that way. I think that the flights I now exclusively use, i.e. Easyjet and Ryanair, are not available through a travel agent?

I am not rattled in any way. Simply making the point that there are two types of charter. One you can book excess seats on and one you can't. The former are usually easy to find, because the people who operate them want to sell as many seats as possible. The second are not widely advertised because they do not sell the excess seats. Since you cannot find information on this particular flight I would guess it is in the second category. As I said in my previous posts I would be happy to be proved wrong. Or to simplify further:

Your original post: "Hey guys there is a flight from Heraklion to Gatwick so it my be possible to book it." Information plus an opinion
My original post: "I doubt it". An alternative opinion.

Isn't that what the forum is for? To provide information and express opinions? Good luck with your ongoing search.

Warwick

PS The last sentence is not sarcastic.

Tim
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Re: Direct flight to Gatwick this morning.......

Postby Tim » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:43 am

YoMo2 wrote:Amusing myself by playing with Flightradar24 this morning, I was stunned to see an Aegean flight heading out from Heraklion, headed direct to Gatwick. (Yes, I know, but I get bored in January.)

Initially I assumed this was an error in the route codes. But no, it did in fact go to Gatwick direct, touching down there at lunchtime.

Looking back at the flight history, it appears the same flight was flying weekly throughout Nov, Dec, and January.

Todays flight flew on to Manchester from Gatwick, and is now heading back to Heraklion as I write.

After speaking to Aegean, it appears this is a charter flight. I'm just curious that I've never heard of any regular winter charter flights from Heraklion. Who are these travellers? Where do they go? And, more interesting, could one possibly get a ticket on these flights?

Andrew


My guess would be that the charter is organised by a trade/business organisation such as the Cretan equivalent of the Small Business Federation or Chamber of Commerce. They probably have sufficient members - hoteliers/business people etc - to be able to put on one plane a month to the UK through the winter and know they can fill it sufficiently without making a financial loss. They probably wouldn't have the administrative capacity to be able to advertise, sell and administer ticketing for any spare seats each month.

Or maybe not ...

Tim


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