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Connecting flights in Athens airport

North Carolina
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Connecting flights in Athens airport

My husband and I are traveling to Greece in late May. Our direct flight from Philadelphia is scheduled to arrive at 9:10am in Athens. We are planning to go straight to Santorini. There is a 10:50 flight on Aegean Airways, but I am wondering if this is enough time in between. The next flight is not until 4:15 in the afternoon. If we took that flight, do you have any suggestions as to what to do for seven hours?

There is also a 12:30 flight to Naxos (which is where we are also going). My only problem with that is we really wanted to spend our airfare money on the Santorini travel because the ferry ride is so long. Any suggestions??

Devizes, United...
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1. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

Hi there

I personally would never take a chance on any thing less than 2-3 hours between flights. Athens airport is easy enough to navigate as it's all under one vast roof, but remember that your inbound flight LANDS at 0910 after which you still have to taxi to the terminal, disembark, claim bags and all that stuff.

I'd consider doing the Naxos leg first rather than wait hours for the next flight to Santorini - you'll be on the island relaxing poolside by 3pm at the latest.

If you do decide to wait for the 1615 flight, then there's plenty of places in the terminal to eat, drink and shop.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

Hey and welcome jrsmith324:-) Well, that OA flight to Naxos actually does work out better! Assuming that's the USAir direct..if on time, do-able..but a bit too close for comfort! Any delays could result in a not-so-good start here..If you do go to Naxos first, you'd ferry over to Santorini from where you may be able to find a good fare for the return to Athens on www.aegeanairlines.com/ Bottom line, to somewhat cover yourself, you really should give yourself at least a 2.5-3 hour time spread on a connecting flight when arriving on an int'l! EnjoY!

Newcastle upon...
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3. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

Aegean Airways check in closes 30 minutes before departure time.

If your Athens inbound flight arrives on time then you would have 1 hour 10 mins to get through passport control, customs & baggage reclaim.

Then find the Aegean desk to check in.

If everything went smoothly then you could just about do it. If your arrival into Athens is delayed only slightly or there are any hold ups at the other stages then you could miss your flight.

Personally I would opt for the later flight.

Leave your luggage at the luggage store in the airport then have a few hours in either Athens city or Rafina. There are regular buses to both places.

North Carolina
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4. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

Another question...

if we fly from Santorini to Athens at the end of our trip, there is a 7:00am flight on Aegean Air. Our flight from Athens to the US is at 11:45am. Is this too risky? If we did this, we would plan on seeing Athens for the first few days of our trip, then taking a ferry to Naxos, stay there 4-5 days, then a ferry to Santorini, stay there for 4 days, then flying from Santorini to Athens for our trip back to the states.

New York, NY
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5. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

The general advice given on this board is to leave Athens for last, precisely to avoid the problem you are talking about. By spending your last few days in Athens, you get back on the mainland and protect yourself from any flight/ferry delays or cancellations from the islands that could leave you stranded at the last minute.

So, in your case, it seems like the best itinerary for you would be to:

-Arrive in Athens and transfer to Naxos by plane immediately

-From Naxos, ferry to Santorini

-From Santorini, fly or ferry back to Athens

-Spend a few days in Athens

-Fly back to the states

Houston
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6. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

jusmith324, sounds like we might be on the same US Airways flights. :) We're going May 31 and returning June 13. We opted to do the early 7:00am flight out of Santorini that you mentioned. That gives us 4 hours before the flight back to the US leaves. I think we'll be okay.

Oregon
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7. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

With a direct flight, which means collecting your bags, passport control and customs, I would risk the earlier flight out _ONLY_ if I had carry-on luggage and didnt' have to waste time at the baggage carousel, which can eat away at the time.

It doesn't appear that you're planning to spend any time in Athens this trip, so waiting until the morning of your flight home to fly back to Athens is a bit of a risk. It would be wiser for you to go back the day before, relax and take the stress out of your last day in Greece. Nothing will ruin your vacation faster than the anxiety of worry.

There are two small hotels out near the airport that provide shuttle service.

http://www.perishotelapt.gr

http://www.stay-in-athens.com/index.htm

North Carolina
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8. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

Brotherleelove, we would actually be doing the Athens sightseeing during the first few days of our trip. I was thinking this would minimize the amount of time we spend driving all around Athens on various days.

Newmarket, United...
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9. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

Hi jr,

There is also a 1230 Olympic Airlines flight to Santorini (shown as Thira Island on the Olympic website), so you can still go to Santorini first with the safety of a later flight. :o)

Regarding the 0700 Aegean flight to Athens, and the 1145 to the US, it's your decision whether or not to take the risk. Chances are you will be okay, but if the Aegean flight is delayed, the consequences would be costly. If you can change your itinerary to leave Athens for last, it would be prudent to do so.

Oregon
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10. Re: Connecting flights in Athens airport

"driving all around Athens"??? I hope you mean outside the city. Driving in Athens is not only unnecessary, it's downright insane!