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Santorini (JTR) to Athens Flight

Friends, I am planning to take flight from JTR /Santorini to ATH starting at 8:30 am and landing in ATH at 9:15 am on Aegean airlines. I have international flight at 2:35 pm the same day. Do you think it is risky to travel the same day. This is for June 2023.

thank you for your feedback.

Posted by
1935 posts

From a statistical point of view, it is no more risky than planning a few hours layover before catching a domestic flight when you arrive in Athens from an international flight.

Santorini airport is an international airport, your Aegean JTR-ATH flight will be on an Airbus A32x and you will have > 5 hours layover in Athens

The risk would have been a little greater in the event of bad weather and strong winds with a flight operated on an ATR42 turboprop from, for example, Milos domestic airport.

Posted by
3130 posts

Return to Athens the day before so you are not stranded out on the island if something prevents your return the day you are scheduled to depart for home.

Posted by
1935 posts

Most experienced travelers to Greece ALWAYS spend the night before an
international flight back in Athens

Partially wrong.

Most experienced travelers know the risks of returning to Athens by ferry on the same day as the return flight home. (and possibly by plane from a small domestic airport such as that of Milos with its East-West oriented runway). This risk with ferries in Greece is well known, I have practiced it for more than thirty years.

On the other hand, in the case of a departure from Santorini with a stopover in Athens, the risk is no greater than for any other stopover in Europe.

At Santorini airport, last year 47% had a delay greater than 15 minutes, the average length of delay was 22 minutes.

1% of take-offs were canceled, out of 15,652 take-offs.

This is less than the 1.8% of flights that were canceled or diverted in U.S.

(at Milos airport 9% of flights were canceled. In this case it is a risk to be taken into account)

Posted by
3333 posts

JoLui's percentages are accurate I am sure. However, the decision is easier for someone whose home is in Europe, because the downside cpst is so much less than for a N. American if one misses the homebound flight. An unexpected one-way ticket to Canada or USA is waay more than such a ticket to Germany, France, UK, Netherlands etc, especially since those countries are also served by a few regional airlines that may have bargain rates.

Posted by
1935 posts

Janet you are absolutely right, but the OP's question is "is it risky"
Here I'm talking about risks and not consequences.

So to balance my previous answer:
A long time ago, before the internet and cellphones, I was also in the situation of missing my return flight due to a ferry cancellation, sleeping in the airport while being on a waiting list on a flight with an unlikely stopover. flight that I had to repay (when I was broke), missing 2 days of work appointments etc etc.

These are the consequences, even for a European.

And to quote a famous author:
“always take the maximum risk with the maximum precaution.”

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for taking time to respond.
I am leaning over to take the risk of taking the morning flight assuming the risk of flight cancelation is very low. i have 5 hours of time between flights (domestic and Intl). Plus i get to see a sunset at Santorini and dont have to book a hotel in ATH for 1 night and logistics to /from airport.

Posted by
1067 posts

Most experienced travelers to Greece ALWAYS spend the night before an international flight back in Athens.

Doesn't sound accurate to me. I'd like to see stats on that. Thousands of people make this connection every year without trouble (including us). And if the risk is you HAVE to spend an extra day in Athens, what torture that will be!

Posted by
1935 posts

I was unaware that return flights with a stopover in Athens were victims of a particular curse that requires staying overnight in the city and which would not affect flights with a stopover in other European cities.

Posted by
3333 posts

Isn't there a difference between a "stopover" (to me that means a fllight that stops but you don't get off) and a "connection" (where u must deplane and board a different flight).

Posted by
1935 posts

Indeed, it's possible that I was completely wrong on the word stopover.
I should have said layover instead

I'll note it for next time.

Posted by
14 posts

I am totally struggling with the same decision as the OP. We are currently coming back to Athens late the night before our 2pm flight to CA. I HATE IT in concept and have been debating for 2 weeks if I should change it to what the OP is proposing.

For those posting for/against the same day flight -- does the airline booked influence that opinion? What I mean is does Aegean air provide more comfort about not having a cancelation than say the discount airlines like RyanAir or Volotea? Happy to pay more if an Aegean air fly if it will allow me to stay on the island one extra day.

Posted by
2142 posts

I would probably feel comfortable leaving an island on the same day as my international flight IF both flights were booked on the same ticket. Then, if there’s a problem with my originating flight, the airline is obligated to get me home.

Adding to my comfort level would be if my island were Crete or Santorini or another island with multiple flights daily.

In a dozen trips to Greece, I have never encountered that scenario. I have always returned to Athens a day or two before my homeward flight. However I no longer stay in Athens, having learned on this board about the wonderful Avra Hotel in Rafina. You catch a free shuttle at the airport, are transported to a very nice hotel, can take a short stroll to the harbor for your farewell Greek dinner, then board a free shuttle to the airport the next morning. An easy, pleasant, stress-free way to end your trip.

Posted by
1935 posts

"does Aegean air provide more comfort about not having a cancellation
than say the discount airlines like RyanAir or Volotea?"

Aegean is part of the Star Alliance group. If your flight to Athens and your transatlantic flight are codeshared (with United or Air Canada) you can have both flights with one ticket.

In this case, if there is a problem with the Aegean flight and you are stuck at Athens airport waiting for a replacement flight, European regulations state that Aegean must offer you:

  • Drinks and meals
    • Allow you to make two free phone calls, two faxes or two electronic messages (SMS for example),
    • If the departure of the replacement flight is not scheduled for the same day, you are entitled to hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation until departure.

The other difference with Ryanair or Volotea flights is that Aegean/Olympic can sometimes operate from Santorini up to 9 flights per day to Athens while Ryanair and Volotea only have one flight per day (and have no codeshare agreement)

Finally, you can post a new message here asking all travelers who took a Santorini Athens flight if that flight went well or if they had a delay or cancellation that caused them to miss their next flight.
And among those who stayed a night in Athens just as a precaution, did this precaution pay off or was it useless?

Posted by
1935 posts

Of course it paid off.... we ended our trip stress-free

I assume you were particularly stressed after you interpreted that a layover in Athens without spending a night there was risky.

But actually you didn't have any problem with your Santorini-Athens flight, right?