I wanted to know which is best to use for transportation from the Athens airport to our hotel near Psiri - waiting in the taxi line or prescheduling the Welcome Athens service. Both are the same price of 38 euros. There will be four of us with four suitcases-will this make it difficult for a taxi? The only concern I have with Welcome is that I am not sure how long it will take to get through customs and retrieve our luggage so I wouldn't know when to tell them to pick us up. What are some thoughts on this?
About 4 fitting into a taxi, it will work unless you are all major biggie size, or not good with being 3 in back seat. All taxis in Greece are 4-door Mercedes. You can squeeze 4 "rollaboard" size bags (20") into the trunk. You each will have to hold your "personal bag" (the carry-on backpack or shoulder bag) in your laps. The Welcome Athens car will be the same vehicle.
We cannot help you decide on timing, without knowing key facts. There's a big difference in the time required from getting off plane, claiming bags and reaching common area; it would vary depending on • arrival DATE (June is way different from August) • TIME OF DAY ( as day goes on, more planes arriving, more chance of delay), • plane-seat location & nimbleness (how long it takes you to get out of the plane and hustle to the passport control lines). BTW, there is no customs-line at all, it's all about getting passport stamped. Time from plane door to exit area (where Welcome Guy would await with a sign) could vary from 30-40 minutes to way over an hour on a high-season Saturday. Here's an idea: Why not book the Welcome Guy with a notation that your plane arrives at ___, and have them figure out when to be there?
I used a car service and it was super easy - they were waiting for me outside the customs/immigration hall with sign. They know when your flight is scheduled to arrive, they check to see if it is coming in on time, and have a good idea of how long it takes to get through the arrivals procedure. I find Athens is an efficient airport and bags are usually arriving at the carousel by the time you have gone through Immigration.
I used Welcome Pickups and loved them. They welcome you as soon as you leave the secure area. You don't need to worry about how long immigration, etc. will take because they follow your flight and have the timing worked out. They do the thinking for you, which was nice for this Greece entry, IMO.
Another vote for Welcome. I’ve used them twice in the last few months and been really pleased both times.
We used Welcome Pickups several times during our stay in Greece (b/w airport and hotel and b/w hotel and port). When you set up your pick up times, you include your flight info and arrival time. They keep track and wait an hour. Also, it's good to provide them with your cell phone number or email. I always got a reminder email about the pickup info, and they'd text me once the driver arrived. We arrived at 5 pm on a Sunday in Athens. We didn't run into any serious delays, but not sure what it's like on a weekday. Anyway, as soon as we picked up our luggage (airline didn't allow carry-on plus personal item), our driver was already waiting outside with our last name on a sign. For about the same cost of a taxi ride, they include bottles of water and a welcome bag with a map of Athens, and great, friendly drivers! All of our drivers were gave us all sorts of information about places/sites we passed along the way to our destination, and it was really interesting learning about where they live/grew up/favorite places/opinions on all sorts of subjects. Conversations with a couple of them actually reminded me a lot of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, lol! Like, they'd mention one word and then go into it's root word, variants of the word, and how it's used today, lol! (Welcome Pickups provided other services, too. We took advantage of the portable mi-fi, which came in handy for us, especially on the bus outside of Athens.)