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I am considering a flight from Philadelphia to Santorini with a 1 hour layover in Athens. The flight from PHL to ATH is an American Airlines flight. ATH to JTR is an Olympic Air flight operated by Aegean Airlines. Has anyone done this flight? Will my bags be checked from PHL through to JTR? If I have to collect my bags in ATH then I'm guessing the 1 hour layover will not be long enough. Thanks for any help........

Posted by
3118 posts

I'm pretty sure you'll have to collect your bags in Athens to clear customs, but check with AA to determine if they are part of a partnership with Aegean (Star Alliance?). But either way, 1 hour is cutting it too close. Any delays will leave you stranded. One thing you can do in the US to save some time is to print out your Olympic boarding passes in advance (48 hours) so when you get to ATH you can just drop off your bag at the designated dropoff ticket counter before you head for your Santorini departure gate.

Posted by
2699 posts

If your flight is even a bit late, you'll miss that connection. Even on time, it's very iffy. Why not stay in Athens a night? See the Acropolis, have a good meal, shake your jet lag, then off to Santorini the next day.

Posted by
1506 posts

We did this (from SFO) in 2012. We did have to collect our bags but we arrived at 10:30am and left for Santorini at 3pm. Sounds like a long layover but we had time to get our bags, have a snack, then stroll to our gate. It didn't seem that long and we were not stressed about missing our flight. Hope you can book a later departure from Athens to Santorini.

Posted by
32196 posts


It's very likely that you will have to collect your checked luggage, and then re-check it for the ongoing ATH-JTR flight. I doubt whether one hour is going to be enough time, as you'll also have to clear Passport control in Athens.

I believe American Airlines is part of the OneWorld airline network, while Aegean has code shares with Star Alliance partners. If your flights were booked with airlines that had code share agreements, your luggage would likely be checked through to the final destination.

I don't know what airlines operate from your area or what the options might be for connecting flights. You might find it helpful to talk with a Travel Agent.

Posted by
42 posts

Thank you for your replies! I was planning to spend time in both Santorini and Athens. Maybe I will begin the trip in Athens then fly to Santorini. I could then fly back and stay at the Athens airport the night before departing home to the US.

Posted by
3312 posts

Betsy, a couple of key facts could affect our advise and your choice:
(1) exact ARRIVAL DATE of proposed AA flight; then we could find what other Santorini options exist, vs. the too-iffy 1-hour one
(2) Length of your stay??? (not counting arrival/departure days). Why? Because if you have only one week, every hour is precious. Going into Athens 2x (or even booking into Airport hotel night before departure) eats up precious time.

OPTIONS -- Because u mention the PHL nonstop (which I've taken at least 9 times), I know you're going in May 2017 or later -- when there are at least 2-3 Santorini flights between 11:30 - 4 pm. I just tried a "dummy booking" for a Saturday in May (I'm guessing you leaving US on a friday), and there are 2 aegean flights 11:40, 15:50 (3:50pm). There's also SkyExpress @ 14:00 (2pm) ... but u pay €€ for luggage. In June-July, there would be even more choice, such as Ryan Air @ 12:15. By the time you get off plane, thru passport line, retrieve bags, get €€ from ATM, it's at least 10:30. U could get an 11:40 or 12:15. If only a 2 or 3 pm flight is open you just find a cafe to chill awhile.

Do I misunderstand your situation? Or is this a solution ...

Posted by
42 posts

Thank you Janet! Yes, I am planning to travel in May 2017. I see that there is a flight to JTR leaving ATH at 11:40 the same morning that I will arrive in Athens (09:15). I am planning to spend 4 nights in Santorini. I would then take a flight from JTR to ATH rather than a ferry because I want to save time. Then would spend 6 nights in Athens before returning home.