The Basics

Airline Delivers My Friends 50 Minutes Late – And Gives Free One-Way Tickets as Apology

a person standing in an airport with a luggage
Written by Charlie

Imagine an airline that was delayed just 50 minutes – and then they give you a free one-way ticket anywhere they fly! This is what happened to my friends.

Before we even start, you may already think that this is about an Asian airline since this sounds like something they would do. But, it is not and it definitely is not a US airline! In these days when there are negatives with airlines often, it is great to see an airline take a different route with customer service!

A 50 Minute Delay Turned Into a Free One-Way Ticket

I had some friends flying from Santorini to the mainland of Greece last week and they flew with Aegean Airlines. Their outbound had been an incredibly cheap $19 one-way flight with Volotea but their return was with Aegean and via Athens. It cost quite a bit more but it was all that worked with their schedule.

On their outbound, the high winds on Santorini caused their Volotea flight to arrive over an hour late. On the return, their flights were also running late. With just a 40 minute connection in Athens, their sudden 45 delay on the first flight was about to cause a big problem. But, the gate agent told them not to worry because there were many passengers on their flight that were making the same connection.

Aegean Airlines Makes Things Right in a Big Way

En route, they received notice from Aegean that they were doing what they could do make it work and that they should immediately see a customer service agent that would be waiting for them to get to their next flight. In the end, they arrived just 40 minutes late at their final destination and it wasn’t that big of a deal.

The amazing part was that they received an e-mail from Aegean later that evening that said:

Today, we acknowledge that the services provided were rather far from our standards. We wish though, to welcome you on one of our future flights and have the opportunity to provide you with our authentic services. On this basis, we would like to offer you one reduced fare ticket for a forthcoming flight.”

This was definitely a surprise and something that we were all not used to from an airline! Upon looking at the terms, it said “we would like to offer you a ticket to any destination of our network.” That is huge! Aegean flies all over Europe and even into Africa and the Middle East so this could be a significant deal. All they are responsible for (and why the letter said a “reduced fare ticket”) is the airport taxes and fees. That isn’t that big of a deal for many airports.

This voucher is good for one year from the date of issue, except for peak times (Christmas, Easter, and July and August) but that is absolutely fine with my friends. Oh, and, unfortunately, they cannot transfer it to me. 🙂

I am not sure what triggered this very generous offer. Again, it was my friends and not me and it was the first time they had flown with Aegean Airlines. I had upgraded them on their last leg to business class so maybe that had something to do with it? But, at any rate, this is an impressive showing by an airline to new customers. I am not sure that others on the flights got the same offer but both my friends did!

Oh, and the free one-way is also in the original class of ticket booked – so if they had booked business, they would have been able to secure a business class ticket for free on this one-way journey!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Received same thing twice –could never use as to many restriction and “difficult” —just as many things are in Greece–“ice in winter”

    • Hey, STAN! Good to see you! Hope all is well, my friend! Hopefully my friends can find a valuable use for their tickets – and be able to use them!