Please sign in to post.

USA direct to Greece experience

I just arrived in Athens this morning on AA, starting in Raleigh and connecting in Chicago and I want to write this while it is still top of mind (though admittedly jet lagged).

Raleigh - only asked by gate agent to scan my passport - no other documents asked for.

Chicago - everyone had to stand in line at the gate to have the following docs verified: their passport, vaccination card/negative covid test, and a print out of the information inputted online showing that you'd filled out the request for the passenger locator form (PLF). Since our flight left at 1:30 Friday afternoon and arrived in Athens 7:30 Saturday morning, we would not have the actual PLF until we landed. I actually don't know what all counted as proof that you'd filled out the form, but I did witness several folks get told they could not get in the second line to board the plane bc they could not show proof that they'd filled out the form. This first line was very slow, with only 2 gate agents frantically trying to check everyone's documents. Once the documents were checked, the agent stamped my boarding pass with "ORD DOCS OK" in red ink. This allowed me to get in the second line. In the second line they were taking a photo of each person before letting them on the gangway, but about 2/3 of the way through boarding, they abandoned this practice, I'm guessing bc it was taking too long? I ended up in the line that didn't take my photo. Only my boarding pass was scanned. No other documents were re-verified.

Athens - first waited in a line to meet with two plain clothes men (no uniforms, no name tags) checking for passport, cdc card, and PLF QR code on my phone. It was handy to have internet access while I waited in line! I'm not sure what someone would do if they couldn't connect to the internet to show the QR code (which had come through while we were in flight).

Second, waited in a line to get my passport stamped. To the far left was a line for - I think - people that were pulled for random covid testing. Folks were accidentally getting in that line bc they were reading the big official signs that said "non-EU passport". That is misleading!

For both of these lines, our flight was the only one being processed.

There were 5 agents stamping passports. The agent did not ask to see anything except my passport, and did not ask any questions. That line moved quickly.

From touchdown in Athens to clearing boarder control was about 45 min easy peasy. I was on the back third of the plane, which probably slowed my thru-time.

I hope this helps!

Posted by
7691 posts

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. Every one of these with people sharing their experiences sheds a little more light.

Hope you have a great time in Greece now!

Posted by
3078 posts

Agree with Kim! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience!

Posted by
2142 posts

Very helpful as I’m going to Venice late August and we are on a direct RT Covid tested flight Atlanta to Venice. Requirements much the same. I hope by then things will loosen up. Who knows but we will be in compliance.
Enjoy Greece!

Posted by
36 posts

Thank you for this information! Just wanted to ask if the Athens airport has wifi so that one can show the QR code, or did you purchase an international wireless plan?

Posted by
2536 posts

Also you write, vaccination card/negative COVID test. Did you need both?

Posted by
5648 posts

When, where, and how was that negative Covid-19 test done? Glad the experience was so smooth and easy for you. Our trip to Athens arrived at night - you got there early in the morning! Greece timing for you was like Reykjavik for us, a few years ago.

Posted by
270 posts

Thank you, another question to add to the pile, why did you say your PLF wasn't ready until you landed?

Posted by
60 posts

Thank you so much—am on this exact flight in a few weeks with my somewhat anxious mother and this helps tremendously

Posted by
10 posts

To answer your questions best I can:

Yes, Athens airport has free wifi. I have TMobile with international data plan already included.

The PLF QR code is emailed to you around midnight on the day you arrive so if you're on an overnight flight, you either use the wifi on the plane or the airport once you land. Yes, it is nerve wracking not to have that QR code in hand prior to leaving. Best thing you can do to feel secure is print out all you can proving that you filled out the application in the first place.

You need to have either proof of vaccination (I used my CDC card) OR negative covid test. I used proof of vaccination.

I'm in Santorini now. For the flight to Santorini all we had to show was our passports. It is definitely (obviously?) not as busy as the RS guidebook describes it. Gold Street is not "tourist crammed". Caldera-view restaurants are all practically empty. I've seen nary a cruise ship.

Posted by
55 posts

Really great info. Thanks! My wife, daughter and I hope to go later this month. However, as we fly standby (wife is a Delta Airlines retiree), we will have no way to know for certain where we will be staying, or even if we'll b able to get on the flight until we can actually board the plane. At that point, I usually hop on the Wi-Fi and quickly book a hotel. How might that impact how I fill out the PLF?

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you so much, very very helpful as we're going in a week but on a AA/British Air flight and have been re-routed several times. As of today we are SFO-Dallas-Heathrow-Athens. (Whew). Just trying to exhale and take it in stride. (We started with SFO, Chicago-Athens, oh well).
Wondering how soon before departure you can fill out the PLF. Is it only 48 hours ahead?
We will be doing them for London and Greece so trying to keep all the timing sorted in my head. Thanks again!

Posted by
1 posts

Hi all. OP, can you please share the first number of your PLF QR code? Whether selected to the random testing procedure should depend on the first number of the QR code. Thank you.