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Aegean eliminated my Athens-Mykonos flight & rebooked on flight departing before arrival in Athens. What to do?

Aegean eliminated my Athens-Mykonos flight & rebooked on flight departing before arrival in Athens. What to do?

Feb 8th, 2005, 05:51 AM
  #1  
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Aegean eliminated my Athens-Mykonos flight & rebooked on flight departing before arrival in Athens. What to do?

I had everything planned perfectly. After Rome, we were going to Mykonos with a good connection in Athens: from Rome on Alitalia 6/3/05 at 8:50 AM, arrive Athens at 11:55 AM, then take Aegean #374 at 2:30 PM to Mykonos. Now flight 374 apparently no longer exists and they have us on #372 that leaves at 11:30 AM, which obviously won't work. The next available flight is at 6:40 PM, not arriving until 7:15 PM. I am considering a ferry now. Checking the Blue Star website, they show one that leaves Rafina at 2:15 PM on Fridays (6/3/05 is a Friday) and arrives Mykonos at 4:00 PM, which would only be an hour later than the original Aegean flight. Is it possible to get from Athens Airport to Rafina for this ferry or would you wait around for the 6:40 PM Aegean flight? Any other suggestions?
Richard1148 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2005, 06:02 AM
  #2  
rex
 
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How did Aegean communicate with you e-mail? snail mail? I would ask them.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Feb 8th, 2005, 06:06 AM
  #3  
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It was booked through a travel agent who mailed me the new itinerary. I am calling them to check on this, but in the meantime wondered about taking the ferry.
Richard1148 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2005, 07:36 AM
  #4  
 
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Unfortunately this is the time of year when, for the upcoming tourist season, both Olympic and Aegean reassign their aircraft to the routes they service. Your travel agent used the "old" schedule to book your flights. Mine was just cancelled too, from Santorini back to Athens in June. I caught it myself by having checked the Aegean website, then emailed them with a request for rebooking using the new schedule's closest replacement. They did it for me with no problems and apologized for the inconvenience.

Did your Travel Agent check with Olympic Airlines? They have a flight on June 3 to Mykonos that leaves at 6:05 PM.

Yes, there is a bus from Athens Airport to Rafina Port. One leaves at 12:15., a very tight connection, possible only if your plane's on time and you get through baggage claim, passport control and customs fast enough. The next one's not until 2:10, which is too late for the ferry run to Mykonos you mentioned. Use this website to keep current with the airport's other transportaton options:

http://www.aia.gr/EN/passenger_infor...king/body.shtm

The website below shows other express boats from Rafina that you can make from the 2:10 bus, as well as ferries from Piraeus.

http://www.mykonos.com/travelinfo/boatsferries.htm

I suggest that if you do go with another flight you personally keep checking their website in case they decide to make more changes. If your travel agent doesn't catch it you could really be up a creek.

http://www.aegean-air.gr/aegeanen/home/

http://www.olympicairlines.com/

Don't stress out over all this too much. A solution will make itself clear. Enjoy your holiday!
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 8th, 2005, 08:02 AM
  #5  
 
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Here's another option:

If you have any interest in seeing Santorini you could fly there instead at 5:45 PM on Aegean or 6:45 on Olympic, have a look around for a couple of days then take the express Flying Dolphin over to Mykonos.

http://www.greekislands.gr/hfd/

Afterthought: Is there an earlier Alitalia flight that would allow you to make the 12:15 bus to Rafina?
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 8th, 2005, 09:35 AM
  #6  
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Thank you Brotherleelove for all of the info and options. A few other questions:

As we are coming in from Rome, I thought that we would not have to go customs and immigration. Is that not correct? I am hoping to take just a carry-on bag each, so we won't have to wait for luggage. In case we can't make the 12:15 bus, how long would it take to get to Rafina by taxi and what is the approximate cost?

We are planning to go to Santorini. The current order of our itinerary is Mykonos, Santorini and Athens. Previously there was no flight early enough from either Mykonos or Santorini to arrive at the Athens Airport for our 12:10 PM flight back to the US. Now there is an Aegean flight at 7:25 AM, arriving at 8:10 AM, which would work if I changed the order to Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. This would also solve the problem of getting to Mykonos right after landing in Athens. The only worry is whether the flight from Santorini would make it. I hear that Aegean is pretty reliable, unlike Olympic. What do you think?

I am aware of the Olympic flight to Mykonos on June 3 at 6:05 PM, but that's not much earlier than the 6:40 PM Aegean flight, and like I mentioned above, Olympic seems to be unreliable.

Unfortunately, there is no earlier Alitalia flight. I already looked into that option.
Richard1148 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2005, 10:36 AM
  #7  
 
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You're probably right about immigration and customs, although since you will be entering another country you still might have to stop and show your passport. Hopefully someone else with experience with this situation will answer here.

And since you'll only have a carry-on you should be able to make the 12:15 bus with time to spare as long as your flight's on time.

Never having taken that ride, I have no idea how long the taxi would take, or how much it would be, but since the bus back to the airport leaves Rafina at 1:20, my guess is that a taxi would take somewhere around 45 minutes since it's a faster mode of transportation, maybe less. I don't expect that it would be very cheap, however. Try for the 12:10 bus and if you don't make it ask at the Tourist Information Desk for assistance on a taxi to Rafina.

Your idea of changing your itinerary seems like a good option to consider. Unless something completely unpredictable and unavoidable happens I think you can rely on the plane schedules once they're fixed for the summer. I would, however, be sure to reconfirm my flight the day befor it returns to Athens just to be sure so I could adjust my plans accordingly.

Lately Aegean has achieved more of a reputation for reliability than Olympic.

You don't say which date your return flight to the States leaves, but on the off-chance something goes wrong with your scheduled flight from Santorini to Athens, IF you knew a day in advance that there was a problem with your flight, and IF you couldn't come up with any other alternative, and IF the Flying Dolphin was running to Mykonos that same day, and IF you could discover all this early enough in the day, you could take the Flying Dolphin over to Mykonos and catch the evening plane or a fast boat back to Athens. Whew!!

brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 9th, 2005, 11:00 AM
  #8  
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I sent an email to Aegean yesterday and actually received a reply today. They advised that because flight 374 is not operating on June 3, then I could get a refund without any penalty and provided an email address for my travel agent to confirm this. I am impressed with Aegean's customer service.

Now I still have to decide whether to leave my hotel reservations as is and take the ferry to Mykonos on June 3, or change the order of our itinerary. If someone has gone directly from Athens Airport to Rafina, please let me know how long it took you, and if you took a taxi what it cost.
Richard1148 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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I agree about Aegean's customer service, the seem to be right on top of things.

Try posting your question about time and cost to Rafina on the following websites as well as this one:

http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/ca...s.cfm?catid=27

www.virtualtourist.com
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 10th, 2005, 05:30 AM
  #10  
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Thanks again Brotherleelove. Now there is a new twist. I sent an email to Blue Star Ferries asking if they thought we can get to Rafina in time for the 2:15 PM ferry assuming our flight arrives on time, and they responded that the summer schedule is not out yet and that I should check back in May. So the schedule on the website for March 11 through June 11 might not apply for June 3? I thought the summer schedule would be effective June 12 based on their website. Could they change the current schedule before June 3? I assume there will be some ferry we can take to Mykonos that afternoon, but we may not get there much earlier than taking the later Aegean flight.
Richard1148 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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After looking at the Blue Star website I see your confusion. Unfortunately there's no way to know what's accurate and what's not. Since you've just been told, when you inquired about June 3, that the summer schedule isn't out yet I don't think you have any choice but to assume that their website is inaccurate and that the 2:15 departure time may change to something else later on. I have just sent them an email as well to see if I get the same answer that you received. I won't be surprised if it's different. I've run up against these sort of inconsistencies before many times in Greece (and elsewhere). The answer seems to depend on who is doing the answering. It's one reason why I try to always counsel people to not depend 100% on published schedules. I see now that I didn't mention this to you before, and I apologize. I have a very cheap international phone service, so tonight, when it's "tomorrow" in Athens, I'm going to call Blue Star and see if I can get someone on the phone who can clear up the discrepancy on their website. I don't know if it will do any good, but it's worth a shot. I'll post the results of that conversation here as soon as I get through to them.

I will say now that the uncertainty surrounding your ability to make these connections based on "perfect timing" is going to prey heavily on your mind from now until you actually get on that 2:15 ferry in June, or until you miss it. This is your vacation and you shouldn't have to worry about such critical details, you should be able to enjoy each day and what it brings to you with no mental distractons about whether or not you can catch a boat later on. That being said, you might want to relieve yourself of all this anxiety by changing your itinerary as you've already suggested to staying in Athens first so you can then catch whatever mode of transportation to Mykonos or Santorini you choose, and _at your leisure_. If you do decide to do this, be aware that on your return to Athens you should give yourself a cushion of a day if you plan to travel by boat, in case of unforseen delays. The planes are almost never stopped by high winds the way the boats are, so it's not as important if you fly back. If you split your time in Athens to some before the islands and the rest after you will eliminate all the stress related to having to make precise connections back to the mainland.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 10th, 2005, 08:01 AM
  #12  
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Brotherleelove, I will be interested in hearing what Blue Star tells you. As you suggest, I am now leaning toward changing the itinerary. There is an Aegean flight that leaves Santorini at 7:25 AM, arriving Athens at 8:10 AM. Our flight back to the US is not until 12:10 PM, so even if the flight leaves Santorini late, we should be OK. The only worry would be a cancellation. On the other hand, if the flight arrives on time, we have four hours to spend in the airport, which my wife didn't want to do. She may just have to put up with it. One other question - Is there any chance that Aegean would change their schedules again or would the current one be the schedule for the summer?
Richard1148 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2005, 09:15 AM
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Your guess is as good as mine. I am assuming the "worst" and am keeping an eye on their website in regards to my own Aegean itinerary. I suggest you do the same. I will say that both Olympic and Aegean always have morning flights from Santorini to Athens, so even if the departure time does change more than likely it will not impact your ability to make your 12:10 flight home with plenty of time to spare.

I hate long and exhaustingly wasteful layovers too, but sometimes you just can't avoid them. I once paid an extra $100 on a ticket to Thailand just to avoid spending 13 hours in the transit lounge in Seoul.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 10th, 2005, 09:57 AM
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When entering Greece from another EU country I have not had to show my passport just pick up my bag and exit. This is coming off an Alitalia flight and off an Air France flight.

I would weary of booking my ferry ticket too far in advance not only because of the schedule being likely to change but also worrying about making the boat if your flight is late or there is traffic problems and heck at Pireaus it can even be hard to find your ferry in the confusion sometimes.

I had made a reservation for my father on Aegean Air out of Santorini and the day before the flight he decided to take the all night ferry back to Athens and then go straight to the airport and Aegean just cancelled the ticket no penalty full refund. I'm not sure if this is their standard practice but if it is you may be able to reserve your plane tickets and cancel them later if the ferry schedule looks more promising.

Trish is offline  
Feb 10th, 2005, 10:57 PM
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Richard, as promised I called Blue Star tonight, 9:30 AM Athens-time. I was told that the 2:15 departure schedule for June 3 is fixed and will NOT change, but tickets can't be purchased this far in advance. I was told to contact them by email in a month from now if I wanted to make a reservation. I know this doesn't apply to you but I wanted to report everything that was discussed. I was very firm about wanting to be sure that there would be no schedule changes on that specific day and the woman I spoke to was just as firm in assuring me that there would not be any changes.

I have not yet received any response to my email enquiry.

I hope we get a chance to meet on Santorini. I'll be there from May 12 to June 7, staying in Oia. If you want to get together go to Karvounis Tours in the middle of the village next to the big church at the main square, a short walk up from the bus square. Ask for Markos. He'll know where I'm staying. Ask him for Lee Marks.

brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 11th, 2005, 04:57 AM
  #16  
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Lee, thank you for all of your help. I sent another email to Blue Star yesterday regarding the website showing the schedule as being through June 11 and again received a reply that the schedule for that time period was not available yet. With so much confusion, we have decided to change the itinerary and stay in Athens first, rather than hoping there will be a convenient ferry connection when we arrive. This means, unfortunately, that we will be in Santorini starting June 9, so we will not be able to meet you there. There are certain people on this forum that go out of their way to help others, and you are certainly one of them. If for some reason, our itinerary changes again to put us in Santorini before June 7, I will be sure to look you up.
Richard1148 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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One thing about the Greeks--they're certainly consistent about their inconsistency!

Changing your itinerary sounds like the best way to go. I'm sure you'll be much happier in the end.

Sorry our visits don't coincide. Just be sure to go to Oia when you're there, stay there if you can. Unless you need to be centrally located and have close proximity to nightlife, it's by far the best village on the island.

I don't know your plans, but if you're thinking of renting a car, it's really not necessary unless. The island is small and the bus system is excellent.

brotherleelove2004 is online now  

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