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How long in the Athens airport for customs and rechecking?

How long in the Athens airport for customs and rechecking?

Old Jun 8th, 2014, 07:17 PM
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How long in the Athens airport for customs and rechecking?

My husband and I are booked on a JFK-ATH flight in September, arriving ATH at 9:15am. We are connecting directly to the islands on Aegean Air, but we need to choose a flight to book. The choices are 10:45am or 1:20pm. After the transatlantic flight, I really hate to spend 4 hours in the Athens airport before connecting, but is 1.5 hours enough to go through customs, then make our way to Aegean counters and check in for our domestic flight? We are familiar with the airport and its not too sprawling, but I'm not sure about the distance between these terminals or whether customs is a long process at that time of morning. Any thoughts?
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 08:28 PM
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With checked luggage, no.
With carry-on only, may be.
The luggage claim, while not as bad as FCO, was slow.
What I dislike about this airport is the carry-on security check. This is an airport in Europe I get yelled at every time I go through the security check. The process is also slow. They don't want you to take the tray from the stack to put in your belonging to pass thru the x-ray machine. You have to wait your turn and receive your allotment of the tray as if it were a gift. Then they yell at you to get things out including digital cameras. Since only one person can be putting belongings at one time, the queue moves slowly.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 08:35 PM
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Do NOT even think about booking the 10:45 flight. Way too many things can go wrong.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 08:52 PM
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I agree with both previous posts. Take the 1:20. If you do arrive on time and get through immigration quickly, you can walk outside and across to the Sofitel and sit on their patio for coffee or something stronger. Very relaxing. But as greg says, the security recheck for the Aegean flight will take a little time, so don't overstay!
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 10:40 PM
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If by some miracle you do manage to get through the formalities in time to catch the earlier flight just go upstairs to the Aegean ticket counter and see if they can put you on that flight. If there's room they'll do so at no extra charge.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 10:48 PM
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It is possible you could make it in 90 minutes, but I wouldn't take the chance. You don't have to sit in the terminal for 4 hours. Walk across to the Sofitel Hotel and have coffee or an early lunch. There is also a small museum in the airport terminal.

Let's me clarify a few things:

There is no wait at all for customs — you simply walk through the green door if you have nothing to declare. I've never seen anyone stopped by customs officials. There will be a line at passport control (before you pick up your bags). Passport control is divided between booths for EU and non-EU passport holders. I've never had to wait for more than a few minutes in the non-EU line, but it will likely be longer if there are several flights arriving around the same time.

Aegean Airlines check-in counters are very busy early in the morning, but not so bad later in the day. If you already have printed boarding passes you can leave your bags at a special drop-off point rather than join the check-in line. Then all you have to do is walk to the departure gate with your boarding pass and baggage receipts.

Security at Athens Airport is at the individual departure gates rather than at one big security point. That means only passengers on your flight will be going through the check, so it's fairly quick. I don't know anyone who enjoys going through security checks, but remember it is for your own safety.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 05:26 AM
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So, Heimdall, are you saying it's likely we would be able to make the 10:45? I'm thinking we should book the later flight, but hustle to get to the Aegean counter in time to stand-by on the 10:45? Brotherleelove, does that work even if you have luggage to check? I did check the on-time record for the delta jfk-athens flight, and it looks to be consistently about 15 minutes early (arriving at 9:00).
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 06:33 AM
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Europhile, I'm saying it is possible, not likely, because too many things could go wrong, e.g. a delay in baggage arriving on the carousel from the JFK flight. If you do want to try for the 10:45, suggest you book Flexible tickets on the later flight.

It will take only about 10 minutes to walk from Arrivals to the Aegean ticket sales counter, but you may have to wait to be served when you get there, then go to the check-in counter. Latest check-in is 30 minutes from takeoff: http://en.aegeanair.com/travel-infor...port-check-in/
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 07:43 AM
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Good advice, thanks! I'll book the flex ticket and hope for an early arrival from the US. How close to ATH is Sounio? Would it be possible to leave the airport and visit the temple before our 1:20 flight? That's a site on my list to see, but we aren't planning to stay in Athens on this trip.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 08:48 AM
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Don't know about Sounio — it may be possible if you hire a taxi for the day.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 08:54 PM
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The only way to reach Sounio from the Airport would be as Heimdall said with a taxi.

Sounio should be about 30 minutes away, but i am not sure you would have enough time to deposit your luggage, go to Sounio and be back on time at the Airport.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 09:26 PM
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Even though you seem to have your two flights on seperate tickets and airlines, you should be able to check through your luggage to your final destination at Delta's counter at JFK.
You check-in online and print your boarding pass at home also for the connecting Aegean flight from ATH and present that to the Delta check-in agent in JFK.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 10:46 PM
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Cowboy1968 makes a good point, but that won't work if you are booked on one Aegean flight but trying to switch to an earlier one. If you end up taking the later flight but want to go somewhere during the layover, don't worry. The Aegean check-in counter is open all day, so you should be able to check your bags in early before leaving the airport. Pacific Travel also has a luggage facility at the airport.

Allow me to paraphrase what I wrote on another thread about things to do near the airport:
"If you aren't up to a trip on the metro into Athens, think about taking the bus or a taxi to Rafina, the small ferry port near the airport. Find a taverna overlooking the harbour, have a leisurely lunch, and enjoy soaking in the sea air.

There is also Attica Zoo near the airport if you are into that sort of thing."
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 03:08 PM
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I'm kinda in the same boat with two other people in my party - in September we're flying from PHL to ATH and connecting to Mykonos at 1050a. Thing is, our tickets for the 1050a flight are already purchased, so the goal is to do carry on only. I figure one and a half hours should be plenty of time. Fingers crossed on this.
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