EWR-ATH gone next summer?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by meFIRST, Nov 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    OMG. I know the Greeks are broke and all, but the greek islands are still desirable. In fact, I dream of returning to Mykonos and Santorini. And plan to, next year.

    In years past, the plane did fill up. Mostly with Americans. Of the Greek kind and those on vacation. Or both.

    I would like to believe this is not true.
     
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  2. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    This could either be very wise or very foolish. If Greece stays in the Euro, then next summer will not be a time to visit, with significant social unrest - basically following this year's trends of decreased tourism. However, if it comes out and enjoys / suffers a massive devaluation, then people will be flocking there to enjoy a really cheap dose of the three s's - sun, sea and sand....

    More realistically, I'm surprised that they couldn't downgauge to a 757, or perhaps it doesn't have sufficient range.
     
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  3. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Tourism must be down significantly due to the unrest. I'm surprised service wasn't dropped mid-way through this summer.

    Ath is about 4,900 miles from ewr. This would require a stop for a 757. Recall 757s barely make it to bcn, which is about 3,800 miles.
     
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  4. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    This flight saved my life once. I got so sick while in JMK, I was able to fly non stop back (and went straight from EWR to the hospital). I was not able to find good care while in Greece. [ In hindsight, I should have flown to athens]

    Maybe not daily, but 3-4 a week in the summer, still makes a lot of sense. The alternative is OMG Olympic in Diguise "Hellenic Imperial Airways".
     
  5. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    The 757 does not have the range for Athens at all or anything east of Zurich reasonably...

    If they completely stop ATH I will be surprised because it would make more sense to go from daily to 3x/4x weekly service but if UACO feels that their Star Alliance partners i.e Lufthansa can pick up the slack then they will do whatever financially makes sense.
     
  6. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    I guess that is what alliances are for. LOL. I do know a greek family (based in NYC) that would not fly Lufthansa, come hell or high water. LOL. Illogical, I know. But Real
     
  7. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Who would blame them... They think Olympic I mean Hellenic is the da bomb :p
     
  8. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Lots of Europeans refuse to fly the flag carrier of one or more other nations. It's not a Greek thing...but a Euro thing. (Just as we have people here who refuse to fly a particular domestic carrier.)

    Would they fly a different European-based carrier? All the Euro majors fly to ATH.
     
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  9. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    Too early to get worried. Odds are they will run the flight, but leverage the new United's fleet mix to get a newly reconfigured 2-cabin 763 on that flight, which will have superior summertime performance.
     
  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Why would they then take it out of the flight schedule? I'd take that as a sign that they are at least seriously thinking about canning the flight.

    Does that impact the islands as much as Athens?

    Personally, I would still go even to Athens. It's not like it's Damascus. And the Greek certainly need the tourism dollars.
     
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  11. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    Eh, it could show up again by the end of this week, or sometime next. I'm not worried about the service just yet.
     
  12. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I'd be curious to see some stats on this. IIRC the unrest is primarily in Athens, so the islands should be fine. Sort of like the previous unrest in BKK, other places in Thailand were fine to travel to.
     
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  13. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    http://www.greekdefaultwatch.com/2011/01/another-dismal-year-for-greek-tourism.html

    The unrest problem is indeed principally in Athens...but as the gateway city, trouble there is more impactful.
     
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  14. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    thanks for the article NYBanker, the article doesn't tie the unrest to the decline however.
     
  15. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    All I can say is WOW!
    I know Greece is having a lot of problems now but so sad to see this flight going away :(
    John
     
  16. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    The timing of the flights fit perfectly for connections to JMT and JMK too.
     
  17. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    Lets just say, Germans aren't exactly liked in Greece. For various reasons. Most of them related to recent events.
    (this is based on my observation with my Greek friends)
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    How much of a gateway city is it for European tourists? I'd have thought a lot of them fly straight to the major islands? Is it very common to fly to Athens first (then ferry, maybe?) ?
     
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Something tells me the Greek aren't exactly popular in the rest of Europe at the moment either ;) (whether that's fair or not I don't know... but generalizations rarely are fair)
     
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  20. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    Athens is the gateway for some of the islands, but certainly most tourists fly directly to their particular island or a nearby island. There was a significant reduction in tourism to the islands this year and presumably that means fewer flights (which are, for the most part, charters). German tourism to Greece has been particularly badly hit - discretion being the better part of valor! Anyhow, with everything so expensive in Greece while it's tied to the Euro, it doesn't make it easy for the Greeks to increase tourism.

    But, for UA, a route needs business demand as well as tourist demand and I suspect that it's a collapse in business demand that will really drive this decision.
     
  21. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    I went to JMK this summer, and for months I looked for award biz seats on CO for ATH-EWR and I could not find availability even right up to the time of the trip. I didn't look at the actual loads but one would think that if BF seats are not being sold they would open award availability eventually. Also, I never saw economy seats either at the low award rate.

    Anyhow, this is all anecdotal evidence. UA would do better to use an extra 76 to speed up conversion or to increase frequency to other more profitable routes like Brazil or Argentina.
     
  22. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I've heard some interesting research results that suggest such schedules are highly frowned upon by many, particularly in corporate booking departments.
     
  23. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    It may surprise you tourism in Greece is not down ( it may go done ) many of those tourist who were going to Egypt etc. switched to Greece , many, many islands and not a thing has changed on them --Athens was usually a 2 day stop then onto the islands ( maybe 2 days to much ), DELTA HAS A JFK-ATH NONE STOP and it is always full , with tourist from the island and cruise ships etc. , I do not know if CO.filled the planes like delta did but this will make if more difficult to use delta miles --I know this based on fact -- i have been watching delta to book ath-jfk this june up till today had many choice to use 100k biz -- today none available only 200k
     
  24. DCA1K

    DCA1K Silver Member

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    I travel to Greece about every other year (visit family, relax in the islands) and as a United guy, I usually connected on either LH or A3. I quit LX when their intra-European food offerings started to look like Fancy Feast. The advantage of connecting (for me) is sometimes spending a day visiting another city.

    I have never taken the CO non-stop and was looking forward to it. I hope Heathrow Guy is right and it gets reloaded.
     
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  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Welcome to MilePoint, Steve. My wife took the CO flight a few years ago, and I was hoping to make it to Greece one of these years, so the discontinuation is disappointing.
     

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