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Customs and Travel

Hi there! I’ve got a question & hopefully you can help me with it.

My friend and I will be in Athens from Sept 18-20th. We’re then flying from Athens to Santorini roundtrip from 20-23rd with Aegean airlines with a checked bag. We then fly back home to the US the 23rd with Turkish airlines from Athens to Dallas via Istanbul.

Now, my question is when we land back in Athens airport from Santorini, do we have to re-clear security, passport control & go through customs for our next flight with Turkish airlines (Athens to Istanbul to Dallas)? I will have 1 checked bag and we’re both US citizens. They’re also 2 different airlines.

I’m asking because we’re thinking of booking a 6 am flight back to Athens the 23rd & we wanted to know if it was enough time so that we don’t miss our 10:30 am flight back home from Athens to Dallas via Istanbul.

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
4828 posts

So your flights will be on separate tickets? One from Santorini to Athens, and the second ticket from Athens to Dallas? If on separate tickets, you might have to leave the secured area to check your bag for your flight home. Then go back through security. But since Aegean and Turkish are codeshare partners, you might be allowed to check your bags in Santorini all the way through to Dallas. Cant hurt to ask. Since Turkey is not part of Schengen, you would have to go through exit Passport control in Athens. You don't need to worry about Customs when leaving a country. Looks like you would have about 3 1/2 hours in Athens if your first flight is on time. Do you have a backup plan if that flight is delayed or cancelled?

Personally, I would want to be in my departure city the night before that flight home.

Posted by
1796 posts

Cjean is right, Aegean and Turkish are both Star Alliance members but it's not possible to check your baggage in Santorini to go directly to Dallas (via Istanbul).
Anyway it is not possible to book a one ticket Santorini-Dallas flight with Aegean or Turkish Airline

So, you will have to pick it up at the baggage claim when arriving in Athens at 7:05 a.m.

Go upstairs (Departures level) and check in your luggage for your ATH-Dallas flight via Istanbul at 10:30 am.

The 3 1/2 hours you have are enough

Passport and security checks will take place in Athens.
Customs controls are usually not done on departures but on arrivals. If you have nothing special to declare you don't have to worry about customs (unless customs want to check you).

In Istanbul you will have security checks even in the transfer areas.
But I don't know what kind of other specific controls you will have in Istanbul with one ticket if you go to USA

Posted by
11160 posts

Are you able to rearrange your schedule so you do Athens last?

3.5 hrs is enough time, provided the 1st flight arrives close to on time.

It looks like the 'walk up' price for ATH-DFW on Turkish is ~$6000

With that alternative I know I would be in Athens the day before.

Your money, your choice

Posted by
1796 posts

The Santorini to Athens flight you are going to take is the return flight of the first Athens to Santorini of the day.
Unless there is an exceptional event, it will not be cancelled.
If your flight is not on time, it's because he will be early.
You will have as much risk of breaking a leg the day before departure or of having an accident or car breakdown while going to the airport as of having a flight problem.

I'm also a Plan B and backup solutions guy but in that case I wouldn't worry, although I experienced in September 2019
3 days without any ferry or flight to return to Athens due to bad weather.
In this kind of situation, a plan B, C, or D is useless.