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May 12th, 2019, 05:52 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2019
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Help!

We ( 4 mature 60 + ) women are heading to Greece in September. We are landing in Athens and are heading to Naxos the same day(9:30 a.m.). We’re hoping to fly from Athens to Naxos on Sky Express. Howerver, our travel agent said there would be a great likelihood of plane being cancelled or schedule changing with no refunds. I have e-mailed sky express but have received no reply.
looking into ferries has also been challenging and we were hoping to avoid another lengthy trip as we will have been on the move for over 20 hrs. One article I read said the fast transport options are cancelled in September so we would have to go by slow ferry 6 to8 hours. Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated.
loumar747 is offline  
May 12th, 2019, 10:36 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,596
Your TA doesn't know what they are talking about. Sky Express is a reputable Greek airline, and once their schedules are published flights are rarely cancelled, and then only for good reasons such as severe weather. If the flight were cancelled of course you would get a refund! September is still main season, so there is no reason why that month should be any different from June or July.

That said, I have always taken Greek internal flights with Olympic Air, which is part of the award winning Aegean Airlines family. Both airlines use ATR-42 turboprops for flights to Naxos—the runway is too short for jets. These are modern propeller aircraft using the same type turbine engines as jets, but are more efficient at airfields requiring short takeoffs. You can book the flights yourself at:
https://www.skyexpress.gr/en/
https://en.aegeanair.com

Both airlines have ticket offices at Athens Airport, so if there are any problems you can walk up to the service counter.
Heimdall is online now  
May 12th, 2019, 11:24 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,596
One article I read said the fast transport options are cancelled in September so we would have to go by slow ferry 6 to8 hours.
That's also untrue. The real problem for you is that most ferries to Naxos leave in the morning 7:00-7:30 am, and unless your flight arrives in Athens earlier than 5:00 am you would have to wait until afternoon. Occasionally there are docker's strikes in September, or storms that cancel ferries, but you would have to be very unlucky to arrive when either is happening. Some highspeed ferries keep running until October, while others stop in September. Again, once the timetables are published ferries are rarely cancelled. Here is the September ferry schedule for Athens (Piraeus and Rafina) to Naxos:
https://gtp.gr/RoutesResults.asp?Sch...RSKY56,11943,6

All things considered it would be wise to book your flight as soon as possible, either with Sky Express or Olympic Air (Aegean Airlines). You don't need to book ferries in advance for September, so if for some reason the flight fell through you could buy tickets for the ferry on the spot when you arrive at Athens Airport. There is a ticket agent on the Arrivals level of the terminal, and you would have a choice of ferries from Piraeus or Rafina, the latter being closer to the airport.
Heimdall is online now  
May 13th, 2019, 05:10 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 232
I fly with Aegean/Olympic which is Greece's best airlines. I've never used Sky Express or Astra the other airlines in Greece.

It is rare that any airlines will cancel a flight unless there is something terribly wrong so I doubt the flight will be cancelled.

Whichever airlines you choose make sure you know what you are getting with the ticket you purchase, especially luggage and carry-on rules. You don't want to be surprised with an extra cost because of selecting a ticket based on cost rather than what you are getting.

Here's a great website showing which airlines flies to the Greek Islands or mainland.

https://www.aia.gr/traveler/flight-i...ghts/domestic/
crazyh is offline  
May 13th, 2019, 05:22 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Do-it-yourself flight plans require a lot of time and effort. The alternative is to use an on-line agency to do the planning for you. The site with the most choice (in my unscientific opinion) is matrix.itasoftware.com Enter your departure and destination airports, and it will show you choices for the route. Quite possibly you can buy a single ticket for the entire itinerary to the island. Some of the island-hopping airlines connect to trans-ocean carriers. Aegean/Olympic, for instance, is part of one of the biggest alliances. With the flights combined, you can expect help if there are delays, and should be able to check your luggage all the way through. PS: Itasoftware does not sell tickets but the information can be used to buy your trip through an agency or, better, the appropriate airline.
Southam is offline  
May 13th, 2019, 08:47 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I always book my flights directly with the airline, whether I be flying to Greece, the USA, or South Africa. I don’t recall it ever being much effort. Most people flying to Greece book their Greek domestic flights separately and often get a better deal and more flexibility that way. Subscribe to the Aegean Airlines newsletter and they will email you when they have seat sales:
https://en.aegeanair.com/newsletter/
Heimdall is online now  
May 13th, 2019, 09:41 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 232
I agree with Heimdall.

Since there are only two airlines that fly from Athens to Naxos: Olympic (Aegean) & Sky Express it's rather easy to find a flight. I would still recommend Olympic

Booking directly with an airlines is a lot safer with better customer service than using a third-party airlines that may or may not tell you everything you are getting with your ticket.
crazyh is offline  
May 13th, 2019, 10:26 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Olympic Air is the carrier, but flights appear on the parent Aegean Airlines website too. I like the Aegean Airlines website for its easy to use format. Last I checked all seats on the Naxos flights are Flex, which include 23kg checked luggage. Flex also has generous terms for ticket changes, and you can contact the airline direct if you need a change.
Heimdall is online now  
May 13th, 2019, 12:59 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,864
Loumar - you will have to disregard all the plugs for Olympic/Aegean because they are not relevant to you. I checked their Naxos schedule and as of Septmber they have eliminated the mid-day flight, the morning flight is too soon (9:25) and then nothing until 17:40 (5:40pm). So yes, your only choice is Sky Express. But as Heimdall says, they are reputable airline and published schedules are very rarely cancelled.

I checked Sky express & I see that there's a 12:30 daily flight which is excellent for you.. enough time to collect bags, get some Euros at an ATM, even time to get a coffee before going to the SkyExpress check-in line 1 hour before departure. As for baggage allowance here's a very clear explanation on their website: https://www.skyexpress.gr/en/travel-...ight/baggages/ The ticket available for that flight is Sky Basic Plus which allows you a checked bag of 23 Kiles (about 46? lbs or more) and the same dimensions as a 21" rollaboard. You can carry on a smaller Handluggage (think medium size backpack or similar shoulder-strap tote size) & one "personal item" (think handbag or laptop case). The "hand-luggage"must fit in the overhead & the "personal item" under seat.

I'm worried about an agent that would give you questionable info about this airline cancelling abruptly with no refunds. Perhaps about 8-10 years ago, when this airline had fewer and smaller planes they were more subject to weather cancellations. But this is certainly in the past, and a midday flight from Athens -- totally unlikely to be cancelled. I would question how up-to-date your agency is about things in Greece, and would advise you to question him/her directly on how many GReece trips he/she plans yearly, and apply skepticism accordingly.

I do think that you must have gotten some good advice from somewhere, because you're heading Straight for Naxos (yay!) on one of the 2 best times to be there (the other is late May-June). It's an island for grownups -- not oldies, just adults -- who like to enjoy life a lot!. In September, in the tavernas at sunset, a lot of people at tables around will be Greeks -- Naxians love to go out for dinner, those restaurants were there before any of us came along... Enjoy!
travelerjan is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 04:50 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,596
Good catch, travelerjan! I see on some days in September there is a 16:00 flight, but even that would be far less convenient than the 12:30 Sky Express. Friends who have used Sky Express are happy with the airline, and I understand you can even use the Sky Express lounge at Athens Airport.

Loumar747, suggest you book as soon as possible now there is no longer a mid-day Olympic Air flight. The ATR-42 aircraft hold only about 40-some passengers (sometimes with short runways they can't fill all the seats, and the Naxos runway is only 900 meters long) so seats will sell out quickly.

Sky Express is a Cretan based airline with a good reputation. I can't imagine any reputable airline cancelling a flight and refusing to give you a refund. Schedule changes sometimes occur in September or October when the summer season ends, but normally the airline notifies passengers who are affected by email.
Heimdall is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 08:41 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,348
Canceling a flight with no refund is not allowed in the EU.
The link will give you more information on that subject and what you are entitled to : http://tinyurl.com/y7be8483
clausar is offline  

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