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blueberry5203 Jul 26th, 2009 07:21 AM

Greece- any direct flights from NYC?
Hi Fodorites-

I'm looking for a flight to Greece for end of May 2010. I know it's a ways away but I want a direct flight from an NYC airport to Athens and I wanted to start monitoring. So far (and this may be because its so early) I'm only seeing one direct flight leaving on the dates of my travel- May 27th, returning June 6th. And its nearly $2,000. Please tell me that if I wait, I will find a better option down the line. I was hoping to spend $1,000 on the flight. Any tips on how to find good deals would be greatly appreciated!


fun4all4 Jul 26th, 2009 07:31 AM

A few thoughts/comments.
First, be careful with your terminology - a direct flight CAN have a stop if you don't have to change planes. You are looking for a nonstop flight. There can be a difference so just want you to be clear when you are asking someone (for example, when you call an airline).

Second, in addition to the nonstop Air France/Delta flight I am guessing you are talking about, Olympic flies a nonstop and is showing a bit under $1800 right now. As for $1000, that may be a bit optimistic for prime time and nonstop, but not totally impossible. I would guess you'd be able to do better than $2000 though, but the economy and airlines are so nuts that it is hard to say for sure. I would certainly wait a while before commiting.

If $1000 is your target, Swiss is showing a flight for just under that, BUT with a connection. Still, it may be worth a connection to save hundreds of dollars - only you can decide that.

Good luck! :-)

tengohambre Jul 26th, 2009 08:34 AM

May 2010 is eons from now. Granted, though this year has been unlike any other, I think predicting airfares that far in the future is very difficult. The airlines are going through unprecedented bad times. Fares from NYC to Athens this year, for peak summer travel, were as low as $700 this year. That's unlikely to happen again but you never know. Airlines simply do not focus on pricing this far out. If you have to depart on dates certain, then $1,000 is reasonable. If not, I would wait quite awhile. Good luck.

travelerjan Jul 27th, 2009 06:43 AM

Lauren, you should use a multi-site search engine such as Kayak or Mobissimus. They have a criteria whereby you can whittle it down ... specific nonstop, and you will get various round-trip offers from Delta and Olympic... both arrive just after 9 am. You may also want to include Continental out of Newark nonstop, and possibly US Air nonstop out of Philly. These all leave the east coast late afternoon (4 - 6 pm) and arrive 9- 10 am the next day. You would consider USAir only if it were 300 or so below the others, because u woudl have to fly from Laguardia to PHL also.

Don't think about booking until after hte first of the year... as others say, they won't settle down in terms of price until then. Just monitor this.

This past season, I booked for May 2009 n October 2008, when prices wre HIGH and I felt lucky to get US Air at about $1100. Then air travel tanked, and prices sank, to $750 or so i nmy case. I was able to get the lower price, but not a refund -- just a voucher which I can use only on ONE US air flight, and only before May. To avoid this kerfuffle wait, and watch.

dfr4848 Jul 27th, 2009 07:00 AM

Yes, you are way too far out to get any discounts or fare sales. There's no incentive for the airlines to do so until it gets within a few months of a flight and they can determine the need to provide incentives to sell more seats.

When we were checking fares last year, CO's nonstop out of EWR was usually very competitive. NOTE that it's now a seasonal sevice but you should have that option in May '10 since that flight usually resumes in April.

Delaine Jul 27th, 2009 11:24 AM

I have a non-stop flight on Delta, round-trip from JFK to Athens (for travel in September). I purchased it for $604 in April. It leaves JFK at at 3:30 pm and arrives in Athens at 8:55 am.

My travel agent arranged it for me for a fee of around $15. The fee was worth it for me for the convenience and low fare. If it were me, I would wait.

travelgourmet Jul 27th, 2009 12:01 PM

Wait. Wait. Wait some more. It is about 7 months too early to be panicking. I wouldn't jump at anything more than $600 until February at the very earliest, more likely March.

And, I would absolutely not fly Olympic. I would take a connection with a reputable carrier before I would bother with them.

travelerjan Jul 27th, 2009 02:16 PM

Olympic FLIGHTS are OK, it's just the stupid food, especially the return flight, and the sulky attendants. We hear the new management requires staff to Re-apply for their jobs, but I don't know if they can weed-out the rude attendants. My friends on TA often speak highly of Olympic, but they are greek-american, speak greek to cabin staff and get markedly better treatment. Plus, I never can get over the attitude of "little old ladies in black dresses" -- either coming or going-- who beat u down the aisle and snap up other people's blankets and pillows. How petty. I'm not making this up... I've done at least 3 round-trips on Olympic.

billbarr Jul 27th, 2009 02:29 PM


I think fondly of Olympic and have used them for years both internally and externally. Things have changed though particularly over the past few years but perhaps that's due to much of the internal strife they now seem to be having.

Have you seen the Olympic look of death? I've witnessed it a few times on internal flights when folks have perhaps not observed all the safety rules or have put feet up on the seat in front. All it has taken is a stewardess to stand in front of them with arms folded and give them 'the look'. It works a treat. Scary but effective.

I once flew from London to Athens with Olympic and was fortunate(?) to have all of the Greek football team on board. We in economy had no service. No food. No drink. No crew! Nothing. They spent the whole darn flight with the team up in business class.


blueberry5203 Aug 8th, 2009 01:22 PM

Thanks to everyone for your informative responses. Its simply too early for me to start looking!

erinmatt Aug 14th, 2009 10:37 AM

Continental also flies nonstop from NYC to Athens. My husband and I are flying there direct in September. They also have good deals with miles if you have enough (RT can be as low as 50K miles per person).

Dukey Aug 14th, 2009 10:46 AM

What you can use is a so-called "aggregator" site such as which will show all possible connections from your origination to destination. You can also use the "month-long view" feature which shows the prices for every day in a specific month-long period.

You can do as you wish but I would not even consider what happened "last year" or to someone else in terms of airfares. They change by the minute. If you book "too soon" SOMEBODY will tell you they got it cheaper and that you booked too soon; if you book "too late" somebody ELSE will tell you they got it cheaper and you waited too long.

Don't you wish you were as perfect as all those people????

blueberry5203 Aug 16th, 2009 05:34 PM

Thanks erinmatt abd Dukey-- great info! I'm going to check out that itasoftware site. very cool...

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