Greece Price - did I get taken???

Old Mar 14th, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Greece Price - did I get taken???

In booking my trip to Greece, I have asked two separate travel agencies to respond with prices. Both are highly recommended and I didn't imagine the difference between the two would be that much.

Agency A was not very responsive and took several weeks before responding to various e-mails.

Just my luck, I paid my deposit to Agency B yesterday - for a total of 800 Euros more than Agency A is offering. Here is the itinerary:

Plane tickets Athens to Mykonos
Upon arrival on Mykonos transfer to your hotel
September 01-03 : 2 nights accommodation at Hotel Kouros in one standard double room with breakfast
September 3rd : transfer from hotel to port
Fast Boat tickets businessclass Mykonos to Santorini
Upon arrival on Santorini transfer to your hotel
September 03-06 : 3 nights accommodation at Porto Fira in one petite Suite for 2 persons with breakfast
September 6th : transfer from hotel to airport
Plane tickets Santorini to Athens
Upon arrival in Athens transfer to your hotel
September 06-07 : 1 night accommodation at Hotel Electra Palace in one superior double room with breakfast
September 7th : transfer from hotel to airport
Plane tickets Athens to Istanbul departing 10:50am arriving at 12:05 noon time
Or if prefered departing at 08:05 am arriving at 09:20am

Price - 1.505,00 per person in double room


Agency A has given me a price breakdown of flights and hotels which comes to 2312 for both of us, or 1156 per person. This does not include transportation.

I can't believe I was stupid enough to rugh into my booking, but I was afraid of hotels getting booked.

I can cancel my reservation and forfit 200 Euro, which still would save me 600, and I can't imagine those transports are worth that. Please advise!!!
hawaiimoon05 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2006, 09:08 AM
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You are talking about a difference of $349.00 per person. Are you saying that other than the transportation the lower-priced package offers the EXACT same accommodations, etc.????
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Good question from Intrepid, are they the exact same accomodations and transport options?

Which travel agencies did you contact. I recently used Dolphin-Hellas (Uli was my rep) and was extremely pleased. I have also heard many good reports on Fantasy Travel.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Hi there - those numbers are actually in Euros, so it is a difference of 349 Euros or $838 dollars total.

The accomodations are exactly the same - the only difference being the transport to and from airports.

Uli at Dolphin-Hellas was the one who gave me the lower quote - Fantasy gave me the higher. I think I made a HUGE mistake.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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I would speak with your travel agency directly and share your concerns with them - this might give you some answers. Who knows? If they think you are considering switching over and footing the penatly fee, they may find a solution.....

Good Luck Hawaiimoon!
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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A number of people have used Uli with D-H successfully on these forums. We have not left for our trip yet (April 29 - May 13), but she has been AWESOME about all of our requests. She sometimes takes a few days to respond but that is because she is personally checking with various hotels and sometimes they are slow to get back.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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Update - I just spoke to my travel agent - the more expensive one - and they indicated that the difference is in part due to the fact that the other agency uses Olympic Airlines for both my inter-island and Greece - Turkey flight, whereas they only use Aegean and Turkish Airways for the fact that they are non-restricted flights and are more dependable.

This does not seem worth $800 to me. In your experiences, would you agree?
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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I have heard better stories about Aegean than Olympic, but I honestly can't say if it's worth $800 since I have never flown either. How about trying a search on both airlines in the Fodors Search box at the top of the screen?
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 07:04 AM
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Aegean is known to be more reliable than Olympic. We flew Aegean with no problems. Why don't you go to both airlines websites and see what prices you get for the times you are flying - see what the difference adds up to.

Just an FYI on the cost of transfers - Our hotel transfer in Santorini was 60 Euro total (2 people to and from hotel). From Athens to the airport you should be able to arrange a taxi for about 30 - 40 Euro depending on where your hotel is. So, if the agency is charging you more than that for your transfer I'd cancel that one.

Good luck! You will love Greece.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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My travel agent booked all my inter-island flights with Olympic for this upcoming May/April. Having heard many of the comments on this forum however, I really wish I had looked into Aegean Air as my flights are at inconvenient hours and so far Olympic has moved my flights 3 times in the last 2 months (always to even more inconvenient times). So I wonder what my flights will look like by the time I actually get to the airport to leave for my destination....it is a bit worrisome. Though I do not have the experience to say this is unusual.

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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 07:26 AM
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Thanks everyone - I just looked everything up and it appears the problem is not Aegean vs. Olympic, but rather the flight to Turkey on either Olympic or Turkish Airlines.

The agent booked us on an unrestricted flight which is almost $400 more than the flight on Olympic.

On a side note, they broke down the transportation costs for us to 430 Euro. This includes transfer from airport in mykonos to hotel, transfer to boat dock in mykonos, transfer from boat dock in santorini to hotel, transfer from hotel to Santorini airport, transfer from airport in athens to hotel and back.

That's a lot of transport. Maybe it is worth it? And if we select the restricted flight rather than the restricted one, that would pretty much make up the difference right there!
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 10:35 PM
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Was that just for the transports and not for the travel between places. That is typical amount of transfers. If so- roundtrip transfers in Athens, Mykonos and Santorin will run about 60 Euros roundtrip for a total of 180 Euros. Are you saying that you are being charged 430 Euros for that!?!? Say it isn't so.

Flights from Athens to Mykonos were on sale (some still available for 19 Euros per person plus fuel charge and taxes of 26 Euros = 45 Euros per person. Wow. And Brotherleelove2004 who posts here a lot said the Olympic planes are older and the airline is less reliable, so I took his solid advice, and the agent who told you they use Aegean, but thier flights are usually less money than Olympic. Hmm.
You can check the fares on your date on www.aegeanair.com Santorini was a bit higher in price and some of the sale flights have gone up since the flights went on sale in January.

the Flying Cat 4 between Mykonos and Santorini was about 35 Euros per person last year. the schedule and fares do not even post until mid April and as this boat holds 400 people you probably could have just bought tickets when you arrived in Greece. They could not have purchased tickets for you yet for September. On this boat, I don't think Business class is needed. It's a nominal difference anyway. Again check prior posts by Brotherleelove2004, he is very knowledgeable.

You also said it is a difference of 349 Euros or $838, you must mean Euros per person, right?

You may be stuck with your flights and some hotels have very strict cancellation policies in summer so you may need to check and see what the consequences truly are.

The Mykonos and Santorini hotels we have chosen all assist with the transfers, so you are not left on your own, a taxi is reserved.

Did you get an Acropolis view room at the Electra Palace. Check their website.

When you use a travel agent, don't be afraid to not take the whole package. You could have done the flights on your own for example.
But most like to include all the transfers, they make it seem like they are doing you are favor, but it is how they make money. Some won't book you a hotel without the transfer and some insist on minimum stays when the actual hotel has no such policy. That one gets me too.

Double check all your reservations directly with the hotels, too, unless you have written confirmations from them.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 12:01 AM
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I have heard many statements on this forum to the effect that "Aegean is known to be more reliable than Olympic." Known by whom? Let's hear some stories to back up those statements.

I have flown Olympic many times on both international and inter-island flights, and so far they have never let me down. Olympic provides service to many more islands than Aegean, which prefers to cherry-pick the most profitable routes. Both are good airlines - choose according to price and service, not unsupported rumours.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 02:50 AM
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Hi

I think you may well be glad about paying the extra for Agent B. They sound like their "on the ball". I would be concerned about Agent A's organizational skills given the fact that they were "not very responsive and took several weeks before responding to various e-mails". They may be cheaper but that won't be any good to you if they botch up your travel arrangements. After all this is why you ended up choosing Agent B wasn't it? I've got a gut feeling you made the right decision.

Have a great trip.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 03:43 AM
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Hawaiimoon
349 Euros are 421 Dollars and not 838.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 04:49 AM
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Hi H,

>The agent booked us on an unrestricted flight which is almost $400 more than the flight on Olympic.

On a side note, they broke down the transportation costs for us to 430 Euro. This includes transfer from airport in mykonos to hotel, transfer to boat dock in mykonos, transfer from boat dock in santorini to hotel, transfer from hotel to Santorini airport, transfer from airport in athens to hotel and back.<

You are getting 1 cl treatment, for which you should expect to pay 1cl prices.

Is Agency A providing the same transfers?

If you somehow miss your flight through Agency A, will you lose the full amount of your ticket(s)?


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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 05:53 AM
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This isn't exactly addressing the issue at hand, but we used Fantasy Travel for an "island package" (Mykonos and Santorini) a few years ago, and we were very pleased with their service. During our stay in Mykonos the wind was so bad that cruise ships were unable to pull into the harbor, and our ferry trip to Santorini was cancelled. They arranged for us to get there by another ferry line, which involved changing ferries in Syros, and this was handled as seamlessly as possible, given the circumstances. We got to Santorini on the day we were supposed to, if later in the day.
In summary, I am saying that I don't think you can go wrong with Fantasy. Good luck with your trip.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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Thanks so much everyone.

Gaspard - I meant to indicate 349 Euros per person, not total, which is where I came up with the 838 number.

I've asked them to eliminate the flight to Turkey all together and now have a new price of 1280 Euro per person for everything else. I told her to go ahead and book it, partly because it kills me to lose the 200 Euro for cancelling, even if we make up some money by going with the other agent. Also because everyone has said that Fantasy is great, so I suppose they must be doing something right. It's the path of least resistance now, even if it was an expensive lesson to learn.

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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 07:35 AM
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P.S. - Thanks so much to everyone for their input! Extremely helpful as always.
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