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Best way to get to Santorini

I will be spending a week in Greece, arriving in Athens, then will head to Santorini for a few days and return back to Athens for the remainder days. I was planning to go by plane to Santorini, after my flight to Athens which will be at least a 2 hr layover, using Aegean Airlines, but I'm having trouble booking with their website with debit card errors. I called my bank and they say my card is fine and I also booked an Athens hotel using the same card online with no problem.

My concern is after reading reviews and horror stories of using Aegean I'm a bit nervous now to use them (if I can even book!). My other option would be a different airline with similar bad reviews or the ferry which even the fast one can take almost 5 hours. Are there any suggestions on the best way to get to Santorini? Should I just go with Aegean? (Despite the mixed reviews).

Posted by
571 posts

I am surprised that Aegean is getting bad reviews, I have used them from LHR to Athens and Athens to Crete on numerous occasions and been very pleased with their service. They even managed cabin service in the very short haul from Athens to Crete. Maybe just the post-Covid malaise affecting all travel nowadays? Admittedly departure from Crete has been chaotic sometimes dur to multiple flights departing and arriving, but That is a security issue not Aegean. Aside from the time factor there is also ferry cancellations due to rough seas, or if the ferry runs can be somewhat queasy making if you are not a good sailor.

Posted by
1261 posts

Aegean is an excellent airline. Eve good earliness will have complaints perhaps due to weather or strike action.
Aegean has been a top airline 11 of the past 12 years. Here is an announcement.

AEGEAN has been announced as the "Best Regional Airline in Europe for 2022" at the Skytrax World Airline Awards for the 11th consecutive year and this coincides with another strong performance in the overall World's Best Regional Airline section with an excellent 2nd place position.

Definitely fly to Santorini and fly back at the end for the Athens portion of the trip.

Perhaps you might want to try booking using a credit card. We have never had a problem booking when using a credit card.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for the replies. I was wondering if I was being overly cautious lol. I'm definitely not fond of being on a ferry for 5 hours after a long flight (will be coming from the US). The website errors had me concerned. I'm going to call them directly to see if I can book without a fee. When I tried calling yesterday the rep mentioned a charge of 40 euros, but after contacting my bank and knowing my card works for booking my Athens hotel directly I know it's not on my end.

Posted by
1224 posts

If you read all the bad reviews on the internet about airlines you will never fly!
There will always be people to complain (and often the airline is not responsible)

For your payment problem, maybe you would have a solution by contacting the Aegean call center
(+30) 210 6261000

As mentioned by stanbr Aegean has been consistently ranked for years among the best airlines in Europe.

Posted by
5 posts

Ok thank you for the number. I will give them a call and make sure to explain the situation. Hopefully they can help without charging me to book via phone.

Posted by
947 posts

Aegean was great for us. Santorini, not so much, but I get why everyone goes there.

Posted by
1354 posts

Where are you flying from in the US? Have you made your airline reservations? The reason I ask is that perhaps you can fly directly to Santorini from the US with a lay-over somewhere in Europe (all on one ticket). That is what we did last May. We flew on Swissair from Boston to Santorini with a layover in Zurich. I personally think this is the better way to go but I seem to be in the minority about this. The advantage is that if you miss your connecting flight to Santorini from Zurich, the airline is responsible for booking you on the next flight. Additionally, you don't have to deal with your luggage until you arrive in Santorini.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Everyone,

I was able to resolve the issue. Turns out after speaking to multiple agents for my bank, someone finally saw in another system that the transaction was being blocked. Once it was cleared I was able to make the booking with Aegean. To the previous poster, I already made my direct flight to Athens and didn't go the direct to Santorini route due to pricing from my home airport.

Thanks for all the assistance!

Posted by
551 posts

Just an added tidbit here to consider showing up ahead of time for your flight (of course you would, right?).
Euro laws regarding overbooked flights are stringent and can result in unexpected windfalls for the decisive.

A few years back, we were waiting in the departure gate along with our fellow travelers for the Athens-Santorini flight to be called. Suddenly there was a PA announcement stating that the flight had been overbooked and that Aegean Air was offering anyone who'd be willing to be bumped...

...500 Euros cash plus meals! We immediately rushed over and accepted. Our substitute flight was less than 3 hours later--a no-brainer. I know the odds of that scenario being repeated are of course slim, but just sayin...
I am done. the tzatziki

Posted by
5 posts

gregglamarsh - Oh wow that is something. That would pay for some nice excursions lol. I def planned on getting to the gate early. My layover will be 2.5 hours. If something like that happens again I would def take up that offer as my departing flight is 1:30 so that would be plenty of time.

Posted by
252 posts

It looks like you have resolved your concerns, but I wanted to second the idea of flying directly into Santorini from Europe if it saves you an extra stop. Last May, we flew LAX to Munich and then from Munich to Santorini. Arrived around 4PM (1600) which was perfect.