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Time needed to transfer in Athens airport (ATH to ZRH, June 2022)

We are planning a trip to Greece (Athens & Santorini) and Switzerland (Zermatt) early June 2022. This will be our first time to Greece and second time to Zermatt. Some flights and accommodations have been booked. We are planning on taking the train from ZRH to Zermatt (3.5 hrs). We have a full travel day (Sunday) from Santorini-Athens-Zurich-Zermatt. Plane tickets have been purchased from JTR-ATH. We depart JTR 7:20am and land ATH 8:15am (first flight of the AM for airline). As of now Swiss Air is the only airline with 3 flights out of ATH to ZRH that day (9:20am, 3:05pm, 5:25pm). It takes about 2hr 50mins from ATH-ZRH. How much time do I need at ATH? I'm looking for a AM flight to get into Zermatt by late afternoon/early evening. Would we have enough time if we went with the 9:20am flight to ZRH?

Posted by
7459 posts

How much connection time do I need at ATH?

You're not actually looking at connection time, as you are looking at tickets on completely different airlines. You're looking at arriving, and then checking in again with a totally new company.

Normally you have to be checked in and present a certain amount of time before the flight. I would check on what Swiss Air's requirement is for that, if that's the airline you are thinking of taking. I can't imagine that you would be in a position to take a 9:20 flight if your other flight isn't arriving until 8:15.

Posted by
1645 posts

My husband and son had unconnected flight tickets on Aegean air scheduled to leave 90 minutes after their flight landed from US. I actually had arrived earlier from Samos and knew where everything was. For example, bags had to be checked in because plane to Santorini was small. I do think less than 90 minutes if unconnected might be problematic. You also likely will have to check bags coming from Santorini and retrieve them while my husband and son did not have to do that as they had carry on.

If it is on one ticket, I would book the early flight with the idea you would be put on later one if you missed it.

Posted by
3067 posts

Why have you bought tickets from Santorini to Athens? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to buy tickets from Santorini to Zürich?

You don't mention any travel dates, but on June 1st there is a direct flight that departs Santorini 10:50 and lands in Zürich 12:40. Should give you plenty of time to get to Zermatt without having to get out of bed very early in the morning.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you for the thoughtful responses. I'm new to this forum and don't know how to reply to individual responses. We will be in Athens for 3 nights, June 5-8, before Santorini (USA to Athens roundtrip). We've looked at both one-way and round-trip air fares since we'll be visiting multiple cities. We have other friends joining us that will be departing from different cities. We realize pre-COVID/post-COVID/during COVID travel is different price wise... and we'll be traveling in June, high season.

As of now for Sunday, June 12, I don't see that flight from JTR-ZRH (Edelweiss Air). That would be convenient and my first choice.

You are correct Kim, I am not looking at connection times at ATH. It would be checking in with a different airline to get to ZRH. So it seems I will have to wait to see what other flights depart since I will need over an hour at ATH. Thanks!

Posted by
3067 posts

There is a direct flight on 12/6 but it is very late (which makes sense). But still, why not book a ticket from Santorini to Zürich, even if involves a stopover in Athens, Vienna, Rome or somewhere else. It a lot less risky than self connecting.

You can also look at flights to Milan Malpensa, it is not that much further from Zermatt. And you can also wait and see if more flights will show up, you are booking very early I'd say.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you for your insights Badger. Flying out of JTR would be ideal and I will keep an eye out for flights from there. Yes, it is months away and maybe I’ll wait a little longer.

We did take the train from Milan into Zermatt two summers ago. We aren’t planning that route this time but will keep our options open. We did one way air tickets & trains that trip since we visited multiple cities in Italy before Zermatt, Denmark, and Sweden.

Thanks again for your suggestions.