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Airport Gurus: Istanbul to Athens: Would we have time to make flight home?

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I booked my US/Athens flights a month ago (was able to get a Business Class upgrade that way) and have now planned my 2 days in Athens and the rest of my stay in Turkey.

Now it's time to book my "tween" flights and I'm torn between
--playing it safe and flying into Athens the night BEFORE our flight home
OR
--taking a chance, enjoy one last night in Istanbul, and fly to Athens the day of our return US flight.

Here's what's in stone: We fly home on US Airways at 11:30 from Athens. Earliest flight we could snag out of Istabul that day via Turkish Air: 8:05 a.m. with arrival at 9:30 a.m.

On paper, we can do this. In real world, I just don't know because I am so unfamiliar with Athens airport and with the reliability of Turkish Airlines. Do I have to go through security again once I get from Istanbul to Athens? Is there any type of problem with luggage I should know about?

One of the things that bugs me is that if I fly in night before, I probably would be best off $$ by forking over $$$$ for that darn Sofitel Athens Airport since taxis in and out of Athens are so darn pricey.

Your thoughts?

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