Review: Aegean Business Class Airbus A320neo (WAW-ATH)

Review: Aegean Business Class Airbus A320neo (WAW-ATH)

FROM: WAW
TO: ATH
CABIN: Business
DATE: August 2023
REVIEW RATING:
SEAT MAP: A320-200neo
BEN SAYS: Aegean Airlines is one of my favorite European airlines to fly in regional business class, as the airline tries harder than other airlines. Aegean is a great choice if traveling to Greece, whether in business or economy.
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For our trip to Greece, we flew LOT Polish Airlines’ Boeing 787-9 business class from Chicago to Warsaw, and then connected to Aegean Airlines’ Airbus A320neo business class from Warsaw to Athens, so I wanted to review that second flight in this installment.

While intra-Europe flying is rarely something to get excited about in terms of passenger experience, Aegean is probably my favorite regional European airline. The airline offers an elevated soft product in business class, and even offers free food in economy.

Other than Turkish Airlines, Aegean is probably my favorite airline to fly within Europe. I was particularly looking forward to this flight, as it was operated by one of Aegean’s brand new Airbus A320neos. The Star Alliance carrier is currently in the process of refreshing its fleet, replacing A320s and A321s with A320neos and A321neos (which are more fuel efficient and quieter).

How I booked our Aegean business class tickets

I booked us the following itinerary in business class for 70,000 Air Canada Aeroplan points plus $76.70 in taxes and fees per person:

8/28 LO4 Chicago to Warsaw departing 9:45PM arriving 1:50PM (+1 day)
8/30 A3871 Warsaw to Athens departing 10:35AM arriving 2:05PM

Admittedly there are much more creative awards you can book with Aeroplan points, but this was still a very good value. Aeroplan points are easy to come by, as the program is transfer partners with Amex Membership RewardsCapital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. On top of that, there’s the Aeroplan® Credit Card (review) in the United States, which is quite rewarding.

Aegean business class lounge & boarding

We arrived at Warsaw Chopin Airport at around 8:30AM, around two hours before our 10:35AM flight to Athens. We had already checked in online, so could head straight for security.

Warsaw Airport exterior
Warsaw Airport check-in hall

Warsaw Airport has a dedicated premium security checkpoint that’s separate from the standard security area, which is awesome, so we were through in a matter of minutes.

Warsaw Airport departures hall

Aegean Airlines passengers are sent to the LOT Business Class Polonez Lounge, so we spent about an hour there.

LOT Polish Airlines Lounge Warsaw Airport

While I would have liked to review it, the lounge apparently has a no photography policy, so between that and the crowding, I couldn’t really review it. The lounge was totally okay, but it’s not worth arriving early to use.

LOT Polish Airlines Lounge Warsaw Airport no photo policy

We headed to our departure gate (gate 25) at around 9:30AM, just as our inbound aircraft was landing.

Aegean departure gate Warsaw Airport

Our flight would be operated by SX-NEK, an aircraft that had just been delivered to Aegean in March 2023. I quite like Aegean’s livery — it’s not the most exciting one on earth, but it’s modern.

Aegean Airbus A320neo Warsaw Airport

The gate area was pure chaos, as the contract agents were for whatever reason weighing and sizing every single passenger’s carry-on bag. It was just so strange, because with every other person or so they’d get into an argument, and eventually they’d just let them keep the bag. Like, what’s the point, and as contract agents, why do they actually care? It’s not like European airlines generally run out of overhead bin space.

Anyway, while boarding was scheduled to start at 10:05AM (30 minutes before departure), it ended up starting at 10:15AM, with business class passengers being invited to board first.

Aegean departure gate Warsaw Airport

Aegean A320neo business class cabin & seats

At the door we were greeted by the friendly cabin senior. Aegean’s A320neos feature 180 seats, spread across 30 rows in a 3-3 configuration. I’ve gotta say, Aegean’s colorful headrests sure do give the cabin a bit of personality, especially in contrast to Lufthansa’s very gray narrow body interiors, for example.

Aegean Airbus A320neo cabin

As is standard on intra-Europe flights, business class simply consisted of economy seats with blocked middles. That means the size of the business class cabin can be adjusted with each flight based on demand. On this flight, business class had three rows, so the capacity was 12 passengers.

Aegean Airbus A320neo business class cabin
Aegean Airbus A320neo business class cabin

I had assigned us seats 3D & 3F, the window and aisle seat in the third row on the right side.

Aegean Airbus A320neo business class seats

I appreciated how business class had a tray on the center seat. This can be a great place to put a drink or something else without using your own tray table. Back in the day virtually all airlines had these trays on intra-Europe flights, while I think many airlines have now gotten lazy, and no longer offer that.

Aegean business class middle seat tray

As you’d expect for an intra-Europe flight, legroom wasn’t great, though I’ve also had worse. At least when you have an empty middle seat, you can sort of position your legs toward that seat.

Aegean business class legroom

The seat had a couple of new features, at least for Aegean.

Aegean business class seat back

For one, Aegean has finally introduced power outlets, which the airline doesn’t have on previous generation jets. Unfortunately the airline just chose to install USB-A outlets. I wish Aegean offered AC power outlets or USB-C outlets, which are quickly becoming the norm. This seems short-sighted to me.

Aegean business class USB-A outlet

Aegean also has personal entertainment device holders, which are better than nothing, since it’s not like any carrier other than Turkish has seat back entertainment on flights like this.

Aegean business class personal entertainment holder

The tray table folded out from the seat in front, and was totally standard.

Aegean business class tray table

Each seat also had a coat hook, if you wanted to hang a jacket.

Aegean business class coat hook

The overhead console was modern, and had both reading lights and individual air nozzles.

Aegean business class overhead console A320neo

All-in-all, this was a pretty standard but modern-feeling narrow body cabin for a jet in Europe.

Aegean business class amenities

As far as amenities go, Aegean offers each passenger (including in economy) a soft chew candy as they board the plane, which is a cute touch.

Aegean business class candy

Upon boarding, each business class passenger was also offered a pre-departure drink in proper glassware, with the choice of water, orange juice, or sparkling wine. A vast majority of European airlines don’t offer pre-departure drinks on these kinds of flights, so that’s another way Aegean differentiates itself.

Aegean business class pre-departure drinks

We were also given menus for the flight — again, that’s something that not many airlines offer within Europe.

Aegean business class menu

Pillows and blankets are also available on demand, so I requested those.

Aegean A320neo business class entertainment & Wi-Fi

Aegean offers Wi-Fi on its A320neo and A321neo aircraft (but not on its standard A320 and A321 aircraft), available after takeoff. As far as pricing goes, all passengers can get 10 minutes of free Wi-Fi, and then a texting and surfing plan with low speeds costs €4, while a streaming plan costs €9. I’d say that pricing is good, given the lack of data caps.

Aegean Wi-Fi system Airbus A320neo
Aegean Wi-Fi system Airbus A320neo

Aegean also offers complimentary Wi-Fi to its business class passengers and Aegean Miles+Bonus Gold members. You can connect either by logging into your Miles+Bonus account, or by entering your PNR and last name.

Aegean Wi-Fi system Airbus A320neo
Aegean Wi-Fi system Airbus A320neo

I found the Wi-Fi speeds to be very good, so it’s always nice to stay connected above the clouds.

In addition to Wi-Fi, Aegean also has a small selection of complimentary streaming movies and TV shows, which is better than nothing.

Aegean entertainment selection Airbus A320neo
Aegean entertainment selection Airbus A320neo

Aegean A320neo departure from Warsaw

The flight to Warsaw was nearly full, in both economy and business. Boarding was completed by 10:35AM, about 20 minutes after it started. At 10:40AM the captain made his welcome aboard announcement, informing us of our flight time of 2hr30min. A few moments later, a manual safety demonstration was performed.

At 10:50AM we began our taxi. Unfortunately I couldn’t really get good pictures out the window during our taxi, given that it was pouring outside, so my camera wouldn’t focus outside the window.

A rainy morning at Warsaw Airport

We had a very short taxi, and at 10:55AM were cleared for takeoff from runway 29.

Taking off from Warsaw Airport

We had a bit of turbulence on the initial climb out, but the ride smoothed out above the clouds.

View after takeoff from Warsaw Airport

10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, at which point the crew closed the curtain between the galley and the cabin.

Aegean A320neo business class cabin

Aegean business class meal service

Shortly after takeoff, the meal service began. You can find the breakfast menu below.

Aegean business class menu

Then you can find the drink list below.

Aegean business class drink list
Aegean business class drink list

I found it surprising that breakfast was served after takeoff, with a scheduled 10:35AM departure. You’d think that lunch would be more appropriate, but that didn’t bother me one bit, as I love Greek breakfasts.

About 25 minutes after takeoff, the senior cabin crew came through the cabin with a trolley containing the meals and drinks. I ordered the omelet in tomato sauce with red peppers, olives, and crumbled feta cheese, which was absolutely delicious, one of the best egg dishes I’ve had on a plane. Yum. That was served with a side of fruit and cheese, a greek yogurt with honey, and a croissant.

Aegean business class meal

Ford had the other option, which was a zucchini tart with smoked cheese, basil, and prosciutto.

Aegean business class meal

While I just had a water to drink with the meal, after breakfast I ordered a cappuccino. I love how Aegean has espresso-based drinks, as it’s rare you’ll find that in intra-Europe business class.

Aegean business class cappuccino

Later on in the flight I also had an espresso, which was tasty.

Aegean business class espresso

While I didn’t have any wine on this flight, it’s also worth calling out Aegean’s impressive regional selection of wines.

The flight attendant working business class was friendly, and constantly checked on passengers to see if they wanted anything.

Aegean A320neo business class lavatory

There was a lavatory located at the front of business class, reserved exclusively for business class passengers. The lavatory was clean, but otherwise pretty no frills, as there were no special toiletries or amenities.

Aegean business class lavatory A320neo
Aegean business class lavatory A320neo

Aegean A320neo arrival in Athens

At 2PM Athens time (there was a one hour time change), the captain announced that we had started our descent, and would be landing in around 20 minutes. About five minutes later the crew prepared the cabin for landing.

Greece is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and you can’t help but just stare out the window during the approach, because it’s so gorgeous.

View approaching Athens Airport
View approaching Athens Airport
View approaching Athens Airport
View approaching Athens Airport

We ended up touching down at Athens Airport at 2:30PM.

View approaching Athens Airport

We had about a five minute taxi to our arrival stand, which was a remote gate in this case. That meant we had a great view of the aircraft upon deplaning.

Taxiing Athens Airport
Aegean Airbus A320neo Athens Airport

While I’d usually dread a remote stand, it worked out well in this case. Aegean has a separate bus for business class passengers, so we were on our way almost immediately, and were dropped off in a pretty central part of the terminal. From there we took a taxi to Academias Hotel Athens, where we’d be spending the night.

Bottom line

Aegean offers one of the best business class products in Europe. While the hard product is pretty standard (there’s not much variation there among airlines), Aegean really tries with everything else. Aegean offers pre-departure drinks, menus, a nice wine selection, espresso-based drinks, tasty food, and free Wi-Fi.

My only real frustration with Aegean’s new cabins is that the airline chose to exclusively install USB-A outlets, which isn’t ideal.

After Turkish Airlines, I think Aegean offers my favorite intra-Europe business class experience (and people love to argue whether Turkish Airlines flights qualify as intra-Europe, so…).

What do you make of Aegean Airlines business class?

Conversations (29)
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  1. Bols59 Member

    Ooh, contract workers! I got into it w/a contract dragon at AMS 5th Feb. 2006 flying BA AMS - LHR. She tried to charge me thirty five euros to rebook my ticket because my debit card # was changed (I'd left it at a restaurant). This woman was HATEFUL! When it was obvious I wasn't going anywhere she finally backed down and issued the change (why a change was necessary I had no idea).
    ...

    Ooh, contract workers! I got into it w/a contract dragon at AMS 5th Feb. 2006 flying BA AMS - LHR. She tried to charge me thirty five euros to rebook my ticket because my debit card # was changed (I'd left it at a restaurant). This woman was HATEFUL! When it was obvious I wasn't going anywhere she finally backed down and issued the change (why a change was necessary I had no idea).
    When I went to check in an it glitched I told the very sweet check in lady that the dragon could come over to where I was if she had any further questions. "I don't think she wants to talk to you," the check in agent said ever so softly. I appears I'd mown down the biggest beeyotch on their staff.

  2. Terrance Skinner Guest

    TK base is IST which is on European side of Istanbul, therefore is entitled to be classified as European

  3. Abidjan Gold

    Boarding aside, supee flight. Love the headrests, food and great to see the magazine, too.

  4. Marcel Guest

    Aegean - the best airline in Europe, and I am an economy flier!

  5. MT Guest

    I have a little comment about a tray on the center seat. I do not like it because it is not allowing to use the space properly. If you are tall, you do not benefit from the blocked space. In case, there is no second passanger, you can not stretch your legs as the seat is blocked.

  6. Carrie Gold

    On an Aegean flight between Mykonos and Athens, which is over in the blink of an eye, the captain kept apologising that service would not be possible given the sustained turbulence but each passenger was offered a packaged biscuit on disembarking with a sincere apology. The service was immaculate and so very friendly - love this European carrier.

  7. Timo Diamond

    I'm leaving for Greece on Wednesday & have 5 segments on Aegean. Just got upgraded this morning on 2 segments so looking forward to it. Nice review!

  8. Here Hare Guest

    "The flight to Warsaw was nearly full..." I think you mean the flight from Warsaw.

  9. Nic Guest

    About handling agents caring about the hand luggage... The airlines are indeed running out of overhead bin space, if the flight is full and every passenger has and will take a trolley, given the airlines policy of charging for the luggage. And since a lot of passengers are just dumb and put even the small bags or backpacks in the bins instead of by their feet, because a 1-2 hour flight will be for sure...

    About handling agents caring about the hand luggage... The airlines are indeed running out of overhead bin space, if the flight is full and every passenger has and will take a trolley, given the airlines policy of charging for the luggage. And since a lot of passengers are just dumb and put even the small bags or backpacks in the bins instead of by their feet, because a 1-2 hour flight will be for sure awful if they cannot stretch their feet, this leads to a delay since all the late boarding passengers will not find space and therefore all these trollleys will need to be put in the aircraft cargo hold, which creates further delay. And by the way, all airlines have a list of delay codes, and one of them is about boarding. Since the handling company tries to ensure a punctual departure, to avoid having/giving a delay code about the boarding, the agents must and do care about the hand luggage.

    1. Samo Guest

      Why should I, as a person who only takes a tiny backpack on board, limit my legroom because of people who need to bring their kitchen sink into the cabin? They are the problem, not me, so why should I be punished and they enjoy full legroom?

      Carry-ons are the worst evil in European aviation. I actually prefer flying with low-costs like Ryanair, easyJet or SAS that are charging for them, which in turn makes...

      Why should I, as a person who only takes a tiny backpack on board, limit my legroom because of people who need to bring their kitchen sink into the cabin? They are the problem, not me, so why should I be punished and they enjoy full legroom?

      Carry-ons are the worst evil in European aviation. I actually prefer flying with low-costs like Ryanair, easyJet or SAS that are charging for them, which in turn makes fewer people bring them. It's not enough though, ideally checked bags should be the cheaper option and carryons more expensive, since the space for carryons is limited, while the space in cargo hold pretty much never runs out, except on some small regional planes.

  10. Tim Guest

    „ It’s not like European airlines generally run out of overhead bin space.“
    Oh Ben, you have no idea. I‘m flying regularly European shorthaul and haven’t been on a single flight this year that had any free space in the overhead lockers. It’s just crazy…nearly all flights throughout Central Europe are fully booked these days…

  11. Yreal Guest

    Love a3. Breakfast is the worst meal too. The deserts are amazing these days, especially the chocolate cake.

  12. Samo Guest

    You can take pics in Polonez, I've done it many times, no problem. It's more of a disclaimer to let them stop you if you want. But if you discreetly take pics of food or the vibe, it's absolutely ok.

    Did you visit the Elite Lounge (well, sub lounge) too, or just Polonez?

  13. Andy Diamond

    Lucky, I think the service level is pretty much "southern European standard". You find similar service on TK (as you mention), IB and TP. They all offer printed menues, a choice of food, usually some hot meal option, wines and spirits. Unfortunatly, further north its much more frugal, even in Business.

    1. Oliver Guest

      In kind of a general perception I would agree that mediterranean carriers tend to be more generous with their service. But in my experience, this kind of more generous service is driving also the "nothern" competitors to offer a higher service level, esp. when they are competing on the same routes. I recently flew ATH-MUC with LH in C, which is of course also operated by their Star alliance partner Agean.
      There was no...

      In kind of a general perception I would agree that mediterranean carriers tend to be more generous with their service. But in my experience, this kind of more generous service is driving also the "nothern" competitors to offer a higher service level, esp. when they are competing on the same routes. I recently flew ATH-MUC with LH in C, which is of course also operated by their Star alliance partner Agean.
      There was no pre-departure drink, but there was a first service round with drinks, so I had a Gin Tonic with mixed nuts, then there was a hot meal with two options, and there was a third service round with coffee and chocolate and the two more senior and very polite FA's offered several refills. Not so bad for a 2hour something flight and the here so often berated Lufty :-) And a quite good comparison with a WAW-ATH leg operated by Agean.

    2. Miles Ahead Guest

      Where do Mediterranean carriers, AF,AZ, EN, OU fit into this paradigm? Asking for a friend. thx

  14. VT-CIE Diamond

    A3 is one of the world’s most delightful airlines, and has one of the best typographic treatments in the Star Alliance. Now that SAS is leaving, A3’s brand consistency will be one of the finest in the Star Alliance, alongside Austrian, and closely followed by LH, NZ and potentially the renovated AI brand. On top of which the Greek language is one of the loveliest and most melodious I’ve ever heard. I can’t agree with Lucky enough.

  15. cozbyszekzjadl Guest

    I presume you are Star Alliance Gold - did you see that there is a separated Gold lounge inside Polonez? Better selection of alcohols and desserts and usually it's quieter and less crowded.

    I'm surprised about the no photo policy, I am there a couple times a month and never noticed that sign - i usually take some photo to post on instagram story and nobody ever said anything - but maybe for you if...

    I presume you are Star Alliance Gold - did you see that there is a separated Gold lounge inside Polonez? Better selection of alcohols and desserts and usually it's quieter and less crowded.

    I'm surprised about the no photo policy, I am there a couple times a month and never noticed that sign - i usually take some photo to post on instagram story and nobody ever said anything - but maybe for you if you would take 20+ pictures and were to post a review here for us it would be different...

    Polonez is one of my favorite lounges in Europe - really great for people with lower, silver status - I'd say it's on the level of Lufthansa Senator lounges in Germany - with the selection and quality of food. Plus there are some free SPA treatments/massages as well. And like I said you get access already with the relatively easy to obtain M&M Frequent Flier.

  16. Mantis Guest

    I really don't get the thinking behind the blocked middle seat J intra Europe. If you're not going to ever use the seat, why not remove them, just have a table and save weight? I thought Europeans were all about the environment. Or even better install 2x2 seats and make your airline stand out? Is there some particular reason preventing airlines from doing this? The blocked middle seems absolutely insane, like a stopgap measure at best.

    1. mdande7 Diamond

      British Airways has specifically stated they offer this blocked middle seat to provide "something" to long haul passengers that are transiting to a short haul Euro flight. I imagine it's pretty much competitive reasons they all do it now. Those tables pop out easily and then it becomes a regular seat. The "business class" section of a European plane can literally change size per flight, just move the curtain and add or remove the tables.

    2. RichM Diamond

      It's so they can vary the size of the business-class cabin. On leisure routes, it might be only 1-2 rows. On business-heavy routes (or especially flights to Strasbourg full of Euro-MEPs) it could be up to half the plane.

    3. cozbyszekzjadl Guest

      it's what mdande7 says - you can easily adjust the number of rows in Business/Economy - I've seen them do it between flights many times - you are boarding the plane and the flight attendands move the curtain one way or another.

      With the little tables I suppose it might be a bit more difficult, I'm not sure how difficult they are too remove, maybe a bit because last month I flew some Lufthansa flight...

      it's what mdande7 says - you can easily adjust the number of rows in Business/Economy - I've seen them do it between flights many times - you are boarding the plane and the flight attendands move the curtain one way or another.

      With the little tables I suppose it might be a bit more difficult, I'm not sure how difficult they are too remove, maybe a bit because last month I flew some Lufthansa flight and the first row of economy where I chose to sit had the tables still in - maybe they could not remove them and needed that row to be Economy. I have no idea why at this point they don't just upgrade the passengers to Business and give them that lousy salad and a glass of wine, and some feeling that the airline appreciates their frequent flier status...

    4. Sam Guest

      The tables buckle in with seatbelts.

    5. Samo Guest

      The same plane may have 5 rows of J on one flights and 2 rows of J on another. That's the reason. Sometimes it can go down to zero on some airlines (LO on domestics for example).

    6. simmonad Guest

      I have been on a business class flight with only one row, so, at best, they could remove 1B and 1D.

    7. Mantis Guest

      Yeah I get that they can easily change the # of J vs Y, but what they can't do is charge any kind of significant premium for J over Y. Who is going to pay 2x-3x more for that? It's basically J in name only. Are European airlines unable to do the most basic route planning, and assign J heavy config to premium routes? Any airline that installs a real J product on their fleet would have an insurmountable competitive advantage.

    8. CapitalMike Guest

      I don’t like having a stranger sitting immediately next to me. In that respect, on short flights on which the admittedly uncomfortable seats don’t matter too much, I prefer the empty middle seat arrangement to the 2-2 seating on some of the American carriers. It gives me greater privacy. Strange, that nobody ever seems to acknowledge this.

    9. Grey Diamond

      So you want them to remove and install seats between every flight? Do you genuinely believe this is a worthwhile idea for any commercial airline anywhere in the world?

    10. Trident 3 Guest

      Missing the point about flexibility,Mantis.
      Forward cabin can be swiftly reconfigured to cater for low biz/high eco demand (and vice versa). Try doing that if you remove the centre seats!

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Mantis Guest

I really don't get the thinking behind the blocked middle seat J intra Europe. If you're not going to ever use the seat, why not remove them, just have a table and save weight? I thought Europeans were all about the environment. Or even better install 2x2 seats and make your airline stand out? Is there some particular reason preventing airlines from doing this? The blocked middle seems absolutely insane, like a stopgap measure at best.

2
Nic Guest

About handling agents caring about the hand luggage... The airlines are indeed running out of overhead bin space, if the flight is full and every passenger has and will take a trolley, given the airlines policy of charging for the luggage. And since a lot of passengers are just dumb and put even the small bags or backpacks in the bins instead of by their feet, because a 1-2 hour flight will be for sure awful if they cannot stretch their feet, this leads to a delay since all the late boarding passengers will not find space and therefore all these trollleys will need to be put in the aircraft cargo hold, which creates further delay. And by the way, all airlines have a list of delay codes, and one of them is about boarding. Since the handling company tries to ensure a punctual departure, to avoid having/giving a delay code about the boarding, the agents must and do care about the hand luggage.

1
Tim Guest

„ It’s not like European airlines generally run out of overhead bin space.“ Oh Ben, you have no idea. I‘m flying regularly European shorthaul and haven’t been on a single flight this year that had any free space in the overhead lockers. It’s just crazy…nearly all flights throughout Central Europe are fully booked these days…

1
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