Each week, my Meal of the Week feature examines an airline meal from my travels over the years. This may be a meal from earlier in the week or it may be a meal served over a decade ago.
Today I’m going to write about the flight that made me fall in love with Aegean Airlines. My first flight. My best flight. The lunch served in business class was simply delicious. It was a feast.
I could have done a full flight review, but it wasn’t the check-in experience, lounge, seat, or service that stood out (though the check-in experience, lounge, seat, and service was all great).
While the general check-in line was crowded, the business class line was empty. Onboard, we found only one row had been designated for business class on ur A320 and my brother and I were the only two passengers. Score!
Menus were handed out prior to takeoff and I immediately fell in love with Aegean. Thessaloniki (SKG) to Frankfurt (FRA) is only a 958-mile, 2-hour, 35-minute flight. Yet the meal service was better than what some airlines serve on flights far longer.
Here’s the menu and drink list:
Service began with a warm greeting and offer of sparkling wine or orange juice pre-departure. I had the OJ and it was not freshly squeezed…no flight is perfect.
Lunch service began after takeoff with a delicious glass of Greek red wine with some peanuts.
That was followed by a meal tray including a fresh, crisp, delicious Greek salad with capers and anchovies, warm bread from the oven, and delightful olive oil.
For my main course, I chose the lamb leg stuffed with ladotyri, a traditional Greek cheese made on the island of Lesbos and preserved in extra virgin olive oil. It was served with grilled vegetables, vine leaf capers, and roasted potatoes…and simply one of the best airline meals I have ever had.
Now if the meal ended here I still would have raved about how great it was. But it wasn’t over yet. Next came dessert…traditional Greek pastries in syrup and a superb cappuccino.
I was so pleased by the fresh salad, the tender and flavorful lamb, and the real (not powdered) cappuccino, that I became an instant fan of Aegean.
My Aegean Airlines feast set the standard for what meal service should resemble on a sub three-hour flight. While Turkish Airlines often comes close, this flight on Aegean remains my favorite intra-European meal of all time. Let’s hope Aegean does not go the way of Turkish Airlines in the era of pandemic…
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Read more of my classic trip report through the Balkans
Introduction: Road Trip Through The Balkans
Review: US Airways A330-300 Business Class Philadelphia To Munich
Balkans Day 1: Sick In Belgrade
Balkans Day 2: Belgrade – Sarajevo
Balkans Day 3: Sarajevo – Dubrovnik
Balkans Day 4: Beauitful Dubrovnik
Balkans Day 5: Accused Of Espionage In Montenegro
Balkans Day 6: The Diverse Architecture Of Tirana, Albania
Balkans Day 7: Refreshment In Kosovo
Balkans Day 8: Racism In Skopje + A Pirated Hollywood Premiere
Balkans Day 9: Timeless Thessaloniki
Review: Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki
Review: Aegean Business Lounge Thessaloniki (SKG)
I do believe you, those pics look pretty good! Hopefully next time I rould have a similar grest meal! Thanks for sharing!
I fly LHR-ATH often and Aegean catering is always exceptional, it’s just like honest, basic, Greek home cooking served at 37K feet.
Sadly, it’s all off at the moment but hopefully it will be back before too long.
I’m sure you used to fly Olympic, maybe one one of those beautiful A300s. How does Aegean compare to the old Olympic?
I did indeed fly Olympic back in the day on the A300B4s and the 727s and 707s before them. I loved the A300B4s, so spacious and comfortable compared to travel now and after the 707/727 so quiet.
Olympic was not a good advert for anything, the service was decent enough if you don’t mind being served food by a crew member who has a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, is grumpy and lazy. Olympic personified all that was bad about Greece in the run up to their financial crash.
Aegean is just such a slick operation in comparison and the crew are just so welcoming and enthusiastic about their jobs and such a great advert for Greece today which is so different to my first memory of it in 1975.
IMHO, Aegean catering quality is generally pretty good, even though it’s gone downhill a bit since your trip in 2012. Glad you enjoyed it!
“only one row had been designated for business class on ur A320 and my brother and I were the only two passengers.”
Also, from the pictures, it seems as though there’s at least 1 row in front of you… Did they move the curtain back?
Indeed, as I found last summer, meal quality has slipped from my first flight–
I am still a big fan of Aegean.
As for the seats, you are right…not sure why I recorded only one row, but we were certainly the only two passengers.
Why can’t they offer at least one vegetarian option? I don’t want lamb, lesbian or otherwise, or chicken. So the 30% of the population that is vegetarian must go without?
I like Aegean, although my flights have all been Y. It’s a good experience and a reminder of how airlines used to be…
In my experience, Aegean (and Olympic before it) provides vegetarian meals in the normal course during the Sarakosti / Lent period before orthodox Easter. Vegetarian meals are also provided as special meals the rest of the year. My husband is vegetarian and he has never had a problem getting a great meal on Aegean Business Class.
Matthew, great review! (By the way, Aegean called it “Mytilini” on the menu precisely to avoid the discussion of lesbian lamb…)
Yes there is always the option of vegetarian, but you have to pre-order if nothing changed. You can select so as a permanent option within your Aegean airlines account preferences. In fact there are close to 10 options of special meals, also for economy passengers.
Did you expect to have a bad meal in a 2 1/2 hour BUSINESS flight? Especially since you are bought and paid for? Did Aegean comp you? Back in coach, people were being served alleged Greek food that tastes like sawdust glued together but it doesn’t matter because you can’t bend forward to take a bite in their coffin-sized seats. This is what you get from Aegean Pirates airlines and be glad they didn’t cancel your flight because they don’t give refunds and have stiffed customers by refusing to repay the cost of flights canceled because of COVID-19, offering you vouchers for flights you will never take and now will do the same to Greek taxpayers because they want a big bailout. Everyone has their price and now we know yours. Have some integrity for dessert. We’lll know if this reply is posted unless you want me to pay you not to do it.
I paid for my own ticket.