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flight to athens/santorini

Hello all!

My family is traveling to Greece June 2015 for my sister's wedding (depart US Wed 6/3/15 for Santorini, depart Mon 6/8/15 to Athens and return to US Thurs 6/11/15). She is getting married in Oia. We will be flying Atlanta to Greece.

Here is my question: For the arrival, would it be easier to fly Atl-->Santorini (JTR) and then buy a one-way ticket from Santorini to Athens after the wedding and then fly Ath-->Atl to come home? I was going to book a round trip Atl<-->Athens and then buy the tickets from Athens<-->Santorini separately, but then I didn't know how it would work upon arrival in Athens. I know we would go through customs in Athens, but would we have to re-check our 1 checked bag for the flight to Santorini? I also had no idea how much time to leave for customs, etc and it seems we wouldn't get to Santorini airport until 20:00, plus the ride to our villa in Finikia. Normally I wouldn't worry, but we will be traveling with an 18-month old for the wedding AND family members are looking to us to organize the trip since we have planned international trips before.

I found that British Airways has a flight from Heathrow-->Santorini and the price for that with the flight from Atlanta seems reasonable and seems like it may save some stress in the long run. BA also seems to have some of the most favorable policies for traveling with lap infants. I hope my question makes sense and I welcome any feedback on this!

Thank you in advance!!
Angela

Posted by
2951 posts

Hi Angela-

Flying BA from London direct to Santorini would be the best option if the timing works. If you have to go through Athens you can save some time and stress by printing out your ATH>JTR boarding passes online before you leave home, then once you're finished with Passport Control and Customs all you have to do is go upstairs, drop your bags off at the designated drop off point set up for that convenience, then enter the secure departures area and make your way to your departure gate. One thing I'm not clear on is excess baggage charges so you'll have to figure that out in advance, perhaps pay it when you book your flight to Santorini. If your ATL>ATH airline is partnered with Aegean or Olympic that may not even be an issue. Give yourselves a minimum of 1.5 hours to make that connection. Anything shorter would be too risky, although I've done it in an hour myself. It's a bit stressful if your bags are late getting to you off the carousel.

Finikia is a charming little settlement on the outskirts of Oia. You'll have lovely views of the sea and possibly the sunrise. Enjoy!

Posted by
1816 posts

Have you checked a multi-city option with this itinerary through British Air? We've never booked a flight where you had an international layover before reaching the final destination,so I'm not sure if you have to collect baggage in that scenario. However, if you can't check all the way through, Athens airport is much more user- friendly than Heathrow.

Posted by
16883 posts

You might as well change planes in London with British instead of in Athens with another carrier. It is often cheaper and easier to book the whole ticket with the trans-Atlantic airline, such as British Airways. If they serve the route or have a code-share partner, then you just request a multi-city itinerary for two legs: ATL-Santorini and Athens-ATL. That way your bag can be checked all the way to Santorini in the outbound direction. (If you book Athens-Santorini on a separate ticket, then you likely will have to collect your baggage in Athens and re-check it.)

Posted by
41 posts

Thanks for the input! I should have mentioned I was looking to book it multi-city with BA. (Atl-->jtr, then ath-->atl with just the one way jtr-->ath in the middle of our trip on Olympic or Aegean). I've already plugged in our travel dates and the heathrow-->santorini is flying that day!

Thank you for your feedback; it sounds like this can be a less stressful option!
Angela

Posted by
2951 posts

We're happy to help. Let us know if you have any other questions,