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Santorini/Athens Connection

On October 23 2022, we are scheduled to leave Athens airport on a 2:45PM US-bound flight. We will be coming in to Athens from Santorini. Flights from Santorini arrive in Athens at either 9:30AM or 12:20PM on Aegean or Sky Express. What's the situation like when checking in at the Santorini airport? Is it like at a major US airport with a two hour check-in time? Will we have to collect bags at Athens and then recheck them for our US-bound flight? Will it be possible for us to take the flight that gets in at 12:20 and still make our connection or should we take the earlier flight (or is it just better to fly into Athens the day before, just to be sure)?

Posted by
3121 posts

First of all, it's NEVER a good idea to try to make a same-day international flight if you're out on an island. There are just too many variables that could cause you to miss your flight, such as a strike, mechanical breakdown, flight cancellation, evey strong winds. ALWAYS return to the mainland at least one day before your homeward bound flight so you have at least that much extra time to come up with a Plan B in case of a problem.

That said, if you decide to gamble for a flight the same day, unless your tickets are purchased together using partnered airlines you will have to collect your bags and re-check them for your flight home. Give yourselves a minimum of 2 hours to be safe.

Posted by
11175 posts

Presumably you have two separate flight reservations. Santorini to Athens and Athens to US and have checked bags.

If that is the case you would have to go to bag claim, retrieve your bags then go to the check in/bag drop for the US bound flight and go back through security..

If you ATH departure goes to the US ( or a non-Schengen) location you would also have to go through exit passport procedures before heading to your gate. If your first flight is one time you should make it. Any hiccup and the train is off the rails.
Personally I would go to Athens the night before. The 930AM flight is the only 'day of' flight I would consider, if a gun was to my head to do it on the same day

(or is it just better to fly into Athens the day before, just to be sure)?

Yes

Posted by
6113 posts

Go to Athens the day before unless you are prepared to risk having to buy a new ticket home.

The later flight of your 2 options is too tight. I wouldn’t want to take the earlier flight, but it would be a better option than the 12.20.

Posted by
55 posts

I changed our schedule to fly into Athens the day before. We're going to stay at the Infinity White Complex (please hurry and tell me if it stinks) the night before we leave. It looks to be close to the airport with a shuttle and within walking distance of restaurants and beach.

Thanks all.

Posted by
1808 posts

I do not know this "Infinity White Complex" apparently it is not a hotel but a kind of residence located in an area where there is not much. They have a free airport shuttle but there aren't many shops or restaurants nearby.
Personally, this is not the place I would choose for a one-night stopover before going to the airport. Moreover it is quite expensive. But test it, it will be an experience that can be useful for other travelers.

In case you change your mind, check out Peri's Hotel which is located in the city of Artemis.

https://www.perishotelapt.gr/athens-airport-hotel.html

Posted by
531 posts

I would stay at the Sofitel near the Athens Airport…..it’s 700m from the airport.

Posted by
1808 posts

The Sofitel is indeed the closest, it is right in front of the airport, there is only the street to cross. (I would say less about 100 meters). On the other hand, given that it is the only one in the airport area, it is two to three times more expensive than all the other accommodation options with free shuttles to the airport.

You will have the atmosphere of an international airport hotel. Nothing to do with a hotel in Athens or in a small town near the airport.

Posted by
55 posts

I just can't see a big spend for the Sofitel. At this point, I'm thinking of rolling the dice on the Infinity White Complex. There looks to be a beach and a decent fish restaurant within walking distance and we're only going to be there for the one night. Hopefully their shuttle service to the airport works well, since it's a few miles away.

Posted by
2125 posts

The Avra hotel in Rafina is a favorite of people on this forum. They have a free shuttle to pick you up at the airport & return you the next day for your flight.

Posted by
15582 posts

With a mid-afternoon flight out, there's no reason to stay near the airport. There's a shuttle bus from Syntagma Square that takes about an hour. There's a metro connection. There must be private shuttles and of course taxis as well. There's no reason to expect traffic delays on a Sunday. Stay in town, have a really good farewell dinner, and you'll even have time to enjoy the heart of the city in the morning.