Newest Review: ... to me on flights, as she is so terrified of flying, so she insisted on ringing Olympic Holidays to ensure that we would be sitting toge... more
Olympic has let itself down
Member Name: Biggsyboo
Advantages: Cheap, Great destinations
Disadvantages: Air line, Reps and Trip offers
ATOL protected, Offering package holidays at great prices.
Now let me start this review with a little personal history; I have use this holiday company to travel to what are short hall flight destination a number of time in the past. In the last 4 years I have used Olympic to travel to the Greek Island of Corfu 3 times. I use this company and the apartments I stay in are fantastic and I would not ever want to stay in any other accommodation. I shall review this family run accommodation at a later date. Needless to say if they had subscribed to a different holiday provider I would ultimately use them.
Never the less, the first 2 years, I had found Olympic, relatively average, a means to an end to get to a great destination and lovely apartment. The Holiday Reps were knowledgeable, amenable and there when your required them, they offered trips around the Island, excursions etc. The air line in which they contacted was Monarch who would never break any records but were a decent enough air line to get you from A to B.
Last year I did not holiday outside of the UK, so as you can imagine I and the family I travelled with were excited about heading back to our known friendly resort in Sidari, Corfu.
I had been away with work for the majority of this year so the organisation was left to my good lady, which had gone without a hitch.
To the day of travel, everything at Gatwick ran smoothly as you would expect, and then we boarded the plane...
Something had changed, no longer was Monarch our vessel, we were to fly Strategic Air lines.
This Bird was an A320 Airbus aeroplane, where on earth they company found these I do not know, quiet possibly the worst plane I have ever been sat in and I have been lucky enough to have been in many.
I was initially taken aback by the size of it, 6 seats abreast (3 on each side), a relatively small plane in today standings. The interior was extremely poor and did not give me the warm comforting feeling you require when about to be thrust skywards. The cabins and over head lockers were nicotine stained yellow/cream colour, screaming to me that they were dirty and un-clean since people were once able to smoke during air travel. The carpets were well worn, frayed at the edges and the Luminous "safety" strips were cracked and old looking. The fold down tables were shiny with no recess for a drink/cup meaning that anything placed on the table slid off. This may be because my tray was not flat too. That said I was lucky as my partner sat next to me didn't have a tray and had to eat off her lap.
The meal time provided even more calamity, where by in the age of saving money, if you didn't pay for the meal, you didn't get one, an initial trawl through the plane finding out who had paid and who hadn't ensued before the meal was distributed, we had paid for 5 meals and got 4. Most annoyed, as the paperwork didn't correspond. Not a great start to the holiday. That said the in flight service offered a range of 5 sandwiches if we wanted to pay £4 for them, as only 3 of the 5 were available one of us sacrificed the meal on what was the short 2 ½ flight. In-flight drinks are notoriously expensive, here we paid £3.80p for a 330ml can of beer, £1.60p for a mini can of coke which were both warm!
I haven't yet mentioned the noise of the aircraft, extremely. Needles to say a majestic flight we were destined not to have. What made things worse was the fact that one of the toilets was un-serviceable. I over heard someone saying that it was good of them not to delay the flight by fixing it, and just fly with one broken one. My view, the Airline didn't want to pay the taxes imposed if the strict flight time lines aren't stuck too!
Flight over, thank god and were landed in Corfu's airport, a swift retrieval of our luggage identified that my Mountain Equipment 'rubberised' duffel bag was ripped. Fantastic.
The passengers including us were corralled onto the necessary coach, our initial Rep was Jenny. The transfer stops off at various stops as people get off at their hotels, apartments and villas the norm with transfers on this sort of holiday; it took around 2 hours to get to ours which was the second to last stop. Which we were aware of.
We took our bags, along with the other passengers that were also staying at these particular apartments. It was 0445 in the morning.
As we were a large group we waited as the other 3 couples were shown to their rooms. We waited only a mere 10 minutes before a flustered Jenny appeared and went to get on the coach.
We approached her, requesting that she show us to our apartments, 5 people, in 3 separate apartments, blank looks, confusion and fluster followed. She hadn't a clue where we were stayed, conscious of the coach driver wanting to get on she announced "Just find a room, top and tail until the meet and greet with the Rep at 1200 midday and she'll show you where they are, I've got to go cos the coach driver needs to go".
A blink and she was gone. 5 in the morning by this time, a tired frustrated group stood amongst luggage with the sun coming up. After some time we did eventually find 3 rooms, which were allocated to us. Not that tricky to find as it turns out, but this wonderful place that my misses and I love and recommended suddenly didn't seem too great.
After a few hours sleep we were up by the pool waiting for the meet and greet, complained about the previous night drop off to our Rep Beth, who shrugged and wasn't bothered.
During this meet and greet, the rep offered the normal excursions etc previously mentioned, with a price hike that seemed un-necessary. In protest of the price and previous evening shenanigans we didn't book any through the company and chose to go to book in Sidari itself, which as it turns out is much, much cheaper. Olympic, state that the reason theirs is more expensive is due to the insurance they provide, is we all had our own holiday insurance, this didn't wash!
Over all, this was not the greatest travelling experience, and the read may seem like we had a poor holiday experience. I am pleased to say that the initial first day blues did not taint the rest of our trip. Our apartment, the staff, the family, the beach the trips the island were fantastic, I recommend a trip to Corfu and I shall review later. It's a wonderful place just a shame that the apartments have subscribed to the Olympic brand.
Would I use Olympic again.....Not through choice but necessity, we love the Apartments in which we have stayed many times before and unfortunately using Olympic is the easiest and cheapest way to do so. I have used Olympic before, and I hope that this trip is an isolated event. In my raw state I think I would say never again, but time will heal all wounds I'm sure, I will keep an eye on future reviews and gauge with my wallet next year!
If you have booked with this company, I hope this doesn't taint your view to much, be prepared I guess would be my words of advice.
Summary: A bad experience, bad flight, poor reps but a fantastic holiday!
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