Helios ZU549/8 NCL-LCA-NCL 12&26th June

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19 years 9 months

Posts: 920

Every report I had read about Helios Airways in 2003 was positive. Their UK flights were being run with NG 737s which had leather seats, good timekeeping and excellent service. So, when I was booking my 2004 Summer holiday, I decided to try flying with these fine people rather than the usual UK charter Airlines. In the weeks prior to departure, I checked Ceefax on most Saturday evenings to see how the flight was performing. In short, there wasn't one week that the flight ran to time (and I maybe only missed checking two weeks from April - June). I naturally prepared myself for a delay and a poor start to the holiday. ZU549 was due to depart NCL on the 12th June @ 22:55, but it was 23:30 by the time we pushed back, a short delay of 35 minutes. The aircraft was 5B-DBH, a 737-800. We were allocated seats 14 A and B, which is the row in front of the emergency exits on the wing. The problem with this seat was, they don't recline (presumably because of the emergency exit behind). This made for a very cramped space, particularly when the guys and girls in row 13 decided to recline their seats. The seats were leather (much more comfortable) and the entertainment average (headsets £3). I didn't find the crew particularly friendly, but then I probably wasn't that friendly in the early hours either. The flight was smooth and non-eventful, though we did see a spectacular thunderstorm which we by-passed; always a great view on a night flight. The flights was 4 and a half hours and we landed at Larnaca at 6am local time on the Sunday morning. **** The return flight on Saturday 26th June (ZU548) was again delayed, this time by 3 hours. The only reason given was "late arrival of incoming aircraft". This time we were on DBI, the other 738 in the fleet. We were assigned better seats (18 E and F), which were reclining seats two rows behind the second over wing exit. The flight once again was non-eventful, though I did find again that the crew were less than pleasant, (less than happy at accepting sterling in exchange for drinks), and the food and entertainment nothing more than average. After a flight of just over 5 hours, we arrived at NCL at 1am, 3 hours and 5 minutes later than billed. **** The delays have left me with a negative impression of Helios. Not because I have incurred delays (because they happen) but because they were two delays in amongst many others week after week on this route. Something is seriously wrong with the schedule or operations, or it is an amazing coincidence that this flight doesn't run to time whilst many other Helios runs do. I have yesterday e-mailed Helios with this comment and await their response. In summary, I found Helios to be nothing other than average and next time I plan on visiting Cyprus, I will try and go on a more conventional U.K. charter airline first and foremost.
Original post

Member for

15 years 4 months

Posts: 841

Sorry to hear that you didnt have such a great experience. I've heard good things about Helios in general; maybe the timing of the outbound flight and the delay to the inbound flight upset the crew.
Profile picture for user LBARULES

Member for

16 years 5 months

Posts: 9,401

Great report Pembo, sorry you didn't have such a great experience, as Pablo said, I've also heard lots of very good things said about Helios, suppose every airline has an off day (Or two :) ).
Profile picture for user captainben

Member for

15 years 8 months

Posts: 929

Brill report Pembo, just a shame that you didn't get what you wanted with Helios.