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Arriving ATH International Connecting to Domestic Separate Ticket

I am trying to get the lay of the land for Athens International Airport with no luck...all visual maps I pull up are unreadable.

I arrive Sunday at noon on American and have a flex fare ticket for Aegean Air to Santorini @5:15 pm.

I know I have to clear immigration and exit Arrivals area and make my way to Departures for Aegean Air flight.

Would someone be so kind as to outline the process o making my way to Departures area ie...do I need to check in at a ticketing desk . My international carryon bag unfortunately will be over the 8kg weight limit by about 5 -7 US pounds....so I will most likely need to check it which is free with the fare I bought.

Posted by
20632 posts

No different than any other airport. You will exit customs after clearing immigration. Procedure to the check-in area of the airport and find the the desk for Aegean. Check-in with Aegean, get boarding pass, and check your bag. Proceed to the correct terminal, pass through security, and find your gate. Since you allowed almost five hours between you should have plenty of time.

Posted by
256 posts

Thank you both....I’ve been through airports before...Frankfurt being the worst and least helpful getting directions within the airport. Last winter at CDG at 5 am many of us discovered we were in wrong place to wait for opening for our BA flight to the UK and there were not many workers at that hour that knew either. Granted this is mid-day and hopefully there will be people to ask.

I do much better with visual and or step by step directions.

OAN the linked map to Departures is nice and clear ...looking at flight history on Flightaware Terminal B does not seem to go beyond Gate 15 when in fact flights have departed out of B29 and 30 as well as some of the lower #’d gates.....is it correct to assume B Gates continue beyond 15?

Posted by
20632 posts

I have only been through Athens three times but all on domestic flights. I thought the signage was good and not particularly complicated. Just follow the arrows. You do worry me a bit since I have always through of Frankfurt as having excellent signage and never had a problem there other than sometimes it was a long hike between gates. CDG doesn't surprise me since it is such a huge, sprawling airport with poor signage with an associated reputation. I think you will be fine with Athens and as you say it is mid-day. Good luck.

Posted by
256 posts

We were in the right terminal at CDG just not in the right place that seemed to be hidden somewhere downstairs.

In Frankfurt we were trying to find the Hilton Garden Hotel after deplaning .....no one knew what we we were talking about . Just found it it to be a rude experience.

I have had no problem with LHR, CDG, MAD, RAK, Tel Aviv, DBV, VCE, UIO, JNB or CPT or other airports in the US.

Posted by
1099 posts

Athens airport is easy. There is a separate terminal for international and domestic flights but very close together. There are signs and they are just minutes walking apart. The first time I did what you are doing I had a four hour layover. I had so much time that I got bored and went back out of the secure area to visit a travel agent to discuss ferry tickets and then back through. So do not worry.

Posted by
743 posts

Just a final assurance you have lots of time to make this connection.
Do you have any checked luggage on the transatlantic flight? That might hold you up a bit if you do.

Once you deplane you have to go through passport control. Just follow the signs. The process is reasonably quick but can be slowed down if all three Transatlantic flights all arrive at the same time.

Now you walk to the arrivals door. There is a sign that says nothing to declare and another one that says Declarations. Presumably you have nothing to declare so walk through that door and you are out of the secure area and into the lower arrival terminal. There will be a crowd just outside this door with private drivers, and tour representatives. Ignore these people and turn left and walk down the corridor a hundred meters or so until you find the escalators. There are also elevators but the Escalator is easy to spot. Go up to the top and you are now in Departures level where you will find information on the flights and the gates plus all the check in counters. The transition from Arrival level to Departures level will take you less than 2 minutes from the time you walk through that no declaration door.

Aegean airlines allows you to get your boarding pass 48 hours before your flight. If you have done that there will be no need to go to the check in counter. As I recall there are electronic machines in this area where you can get the luggage tags for your bags. Print them off attach them to your bag and find a baggage drop off location. They take bags for all the airlines at a central area. Its easy to find. Chances are you will be too early to see what gate your flight will be assigned to so you can wander the departures area. There are shops and restaurants and even a small museum of the artifacts they discovered when they built the airport.

When you are ready go through security which is a fairly fast process as they have lots of machines. Again there are lots of shops in the secure departure areas. You do want to be at your departure gate well before departure time. The reason is that domestic flight do not depart from the gate. You have to take a shuttle bus out to the aircraft which takes some time.

Hope this helps

Posted by
28 posts

stanbr -thanks for the info about checking baggage for the Aegean flight. Last time I think we mistakenly stood in a check-in line even though we had already checked -in on line. That's good to know we can just print out baggage tags this time and drop them off. Is the museum before you go through security?

Posted by
13967 posts

First, relax. Athens is a small airport and easy to navigate.

Contact with your int'l carrier and ask if they can route your checked bag straight to Santorini. If so, do check at the airport that the luggage tag issued by the agent is for Santorini.

Posted by
743 posts

The museum is on the second level of the main check in area. Just look for the Macdonalds restaurant. Its right there. Yes I know Macdonalds in Greece but their menu is basically Greek.

Posted by
256 posts

Thank you BethFl, Stanbr, Chani for all your responses...sorry it’s taken a bit to thank everyone..been busy this last week with unexpected visit to vet for ear infection...all is good now sitting in AC ORD waiting for transatlantic flight...Santorini tomorrow ❤️

I have no transatlantic checked bags but I will have to check my 1 carryon on Aegean. It’s been awhile since I actually checked a bag other than at a jet bridge. Is it necessary to lock the bag before dropping it at bag drop....it’s all clothes...I have the more important items in my tote.?

Posted by
13967 posts

With security these days, they may break the lock to check the contents, so I wouldn't lock the bag or worry about it. If you have a key ring, maybe use it to secure the zipper, so the bag doesn't open accidentally. You could always buy a souvenir key ring at the airport. Don't forget to have a luggage tag on the bag.

Posted by
2416 posts

They say that the only bag theft that occurs is (1) when your bag looks very expensive and (2) VERY easily zipped open in seconds, because it must be done bfore loading on to the airplne luggage carts that go out on runway. And as others have said, if you lock it & officials (not luggage handlers) want to inspect, they'd break the lock. Therefore... good idea to make it time-consuming to open without use of a lock. Those plastic luggage ties work -- or even simpler, use 2 large plastic paper clips to hold the 2 zippers together. That's what I've done. This last trip I must have been inspected on the US side -- the paperclips were gone, and when I opened my bag there was an official TSA paper saying: Inspected. Things were not stirred around, and nothing was missing.

Posted by
13967 posts

For everyone, Chris should be waking up soon in Santorini.

For Chris - Enjoy!!!