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Changing planes in Athens on our trip

Hi,
We are from Florida and currently in Rome. We fly to Athens on July 13th on Aegean Airlines and decided to do Santorini first. Our arrival in Athens is 14:00. The departure flight to Santorini is at 15:40. None of us have been out of the country before and we are scared to death about getting our luggage and checking in for our flight to Santorini. We're nervous about losing our luggage. Is that enough time, and are there actual people in the airport that speak English to show us where to go?

Thanks,
Cheryl Petty

Posted by
21875 posts

That is too tight if checking luggage and using two separate tickets. Either get one ticket from Rome to Santorini or give yourself at least four or five hours between flights. Mid-day flights in the summer time are no different in Europe than they are in the US. All are subject to operational and weather delays at that time of day. And some airlines will cut off check-in 45 minutes prior to departure so your 15.40 is actually 14.55 for check in if you are using two separate tickets. The probability of losing your luggage is no greater in Athens than anywhere else. Yes, there are actually people who are bi-lingual and sometimes multi languages to assist you. Also, all signs are English

Posted by
186 posts

Frank is right.

Don't be nervous. People will be nice and English is everywhere.

Give yourselves 4+ hours to change flights if they are booked as separate tickets. On the plus side, there are many daily flights to Santorini so if you miss one, you should be able to get on a later flight. You just don't want to have to stay overnight if you arrive later in the day.

Have fun!

Posted by
2951 posts

Yes, buy both tickets at the same time on Aegean Airlines so that your luggage will be checked through to Santorini. If you do that, your 1:40 window is plenty of time. No need for a 4-5 hour layover. The airport is compact and efficient and has modern technology for showing arrivals and departures (including gates) on monitors throughout the airport. It's easy to find your departure gate for Santorini. There is staff available for questions, either in a general information kiosk or at the ticket counters. Police are also helpful, as are shop owners. English is widely spoken. Don't be nervous. You'll be fine.

Posted by
8020 posts

Do you have one ticket? Rome to Athens to Santorini? Or two tickets?

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks for all the responses. The problem is we bought the flight from Athens to Santorini before realizing what we did. Will they let us take a different flight if we miss this one since we already paid for It? We don't want to leave our luggage behind.

Thanks,
Cheryl Petty

Posted by
21875 posts

I am sorry but your responses are confusing. What DID you do???

Did you buy a a single ticket from Rome to Santorini on one airline? If so, then you luggage will be checked through to Santorini when you check in at the Rome airport. All you have to do is get off your plane in Athens and find the gate to the connecting flight to Santorini. In that case, your hour 40 should be enough. If you miss the connecting flight because your first flight is delayed, then they will have to put you on the next available flight to Santorini. Just like flying in the US with connecting flights. Is that your situation?????? If it is --- then there is no problem.

Posted by
3356 posts

Thanks for all the responses. The problem is we bought the flight from
Athens to Santorini before realizing what we did. Will they let us
take a different flight if we miss this one since we already paid for
It? We don't want to leave our luggage behind.

Thanks, Cheryl Petty

It sounds like you bought two separate tickets to fly from Rome to Santorini as opposed to one itinerary. The good news is that you will be flying within Schengen countries so you will not go through immigration at Athens from Rome.

The bad news is that you will need to retrieve your luggage, then wait in line to check in your luggage for Santorini and then wait on the security lines. Thus you will miss your flight unless you arrive an hour early and the flight to Santorini leaves an hour late.

If you do miss your flight, of course the airline will "let" you take the next available flight with seats to Santorini; you will need to buy new tickets for that flight, however. Check to see how many flights are left that day. You might in addition have to a spend then night in Athens if there are no more flights or there aren't seats in whatever is left that day. That will be on your dime too.

Posted by
1940 posts

Sounds like you’ve already bought the tickets from Rome>Athens & Athens>Santorini? If they are on different airlines (1) call the airlines involved and see if you can change one of the tickets to allow you a little more connection time. Or (2) go ahead as scheduled and be ready to run through the Athens airport. At any screening lines, explain the situation & ask people if they will let you ahead in line. It’s a small airport and with some luck you’ll make it. And almost everyone will speak English.

Have some plan b’s in mind ... ferry schedules or hotels near Athens airport. Good luck. And come back and report how it worked out!

Posted by
2951 posts

I'm thinking that since both tickets are with Aegean all you have to do when you check in in Rome is to show your other ticket and ask that your bags be checked all the way through. There's no reason why they wouldn't do that.

Posted by
2930 posts

I was thinking what Lee said. Both flights are on the same airline. Check your bags all the way through. Athens airport is a small, easy, pleasant airport. This shouldn't be an issue making this plane if your flight is reasonably on time. From what I could tell most people at this airport didn't start wandering in to their gates until about 20 minutes before the flight. When I checked my bag for my flight home, the employee told me to hurry over to security as they were crowded today. So, not getting the joke, I went to security to see one person ahead of me. Relax and enjoy your trip.

Posted by
360 posts

Aegean is an efficient airline and I really doubt that they would have booked you Rome to Athens to Santorini without adequate time for the change, so long as the flights are on one ticket. I did a similar routing some years ago Rome-Athens-Crete with a similar layover time.

Strongly suggest you check-in on-line for both segments of the flight 24 hours before you leave Rome.

Posted by
22 posts

Thank you everyone. We bought 2 separate tickets, one from Rome to Athens and another one from Athens to Santorini. So you're telling me if we miss the flight from Athens to Santorini we have to buy another ticket to catch the next available flight even though we've already paid for it?? It's on the same airline.

Posted by
22 posts

If I'm not mistaken we paid for travel insurance for our flights, but I'll have to go back and check. We've tried calling the airlines from my cell phone, but we're having a bit of trouble because the number for the US office keeps saying invalid. I've never called internationally before so have no clue what I'm doing. I guess I could try calling customer service for Aegean in Italy and see if that number works.

Cheryl Petty

Posted by
8870 posts

So you're telling me if we miss the flight from Athens to Santorini we have to buy another ticket to catch the next available flight even though we've already paid for it?? It's on the same airline

That may be true, but you have two separate distinct contracts with them.One for transport from Rome to Athens. The other for transport from Athens to Santorini. The way you booked it, one has nothing to do with the other. Should you miss the transfer in Athens they might take mercy on you and not make you buy another ticket, but they have no obligation to do so.

If you booked the Athens to Santorini as a r/t, i.e ATH-JTR-ATH, and you miss the ATH-JTR leg the return flight will be cancelled and you will need to buy a new return ticket.

Hopefully all works out, but this will be a lesson to not book flights as separate pieces, when a single booking can be done.

The positive thing is that the Aegean website shows it sells your 2 flights as a single booking, so there is a reasonably good chance you will make the transfer. If you have checked luggage, hopefully you will be able to check it through to JTR when you start in Rome. Having only carry on would be better

Good luck!

Posted by
4741 posts

Airlines recently have tended to rescind past practice of allowing through checking on journeys involving two separate tickets, as this gives them potentially extra liability without any additional revenue. I don't specifically know about Aegean.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks everyone. To be on the safe side we called the airline and changed our tickets to the next flight out. That way we are not rushed and no longer worried about missing the flight or losing our luggage.

Thanks for all the help,
Cheryl Petty