Quick question on Athens airport

Aug 13th, 2010, 05:21 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 79
Quick question on Athens airport

Just under 3 weeks left for our Greece trip! Am so excited - just going thru the final details and had a question for those that have gone thru Athens airport recently. The guidebook says it is pretty big. Four of us are flying in from the US on Continental, landing at 10:30 am, and are then waiting for two additional family members who are currently in the Middle East and are flying in on Qatar Airways, landing 2 hours after us. I understand the airport is split into Terminals A and B, but we are all landing at Terminal A. My question is - is it relatively easy to find each other? Are there multiple exits or do all the passengers come out of the same exit before heading towards cabs, etc.? Is there a particular meeting point where we should stand and they couldn't miss us as they came out? Just want to avoid running around trying to find each other. Thanks!
Baby_Bear is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 06:42 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,550
Hi

I've been through the airport a couple of times but can't remember specifics. Maybe this map will help you pick out a spot - http://www.aia.gr/UserFiles/File/map...3_Arrivals.jpg
worldinabag is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 06:55 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,698
Regardless of where you arrive you'll all be collecting your baggage at the same location. Choose an obvious location for you all to meet down on the Arrivals level, maybe by one of the numbered doors. Door 3 is central to the baggage collection area.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 07:25 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 79
That sounds good. Since 4 of us are landing 2 hours earlier, we are planning to exchange dollars, get something to eat, etc. while we wait. I assume the cambios and restaurants are located inside the Arrivals area?
Baby_Bear is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 08:18 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,698
Yes. And you'll get a much better exchange rate if you use the ATMs instead of the currency exchange businesses. Just be sure to notify your bank and VISA or Mastercard of your intention to use your ATM card in Europe.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 01:33 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 574
The airport is not big, Gate 3 is central as brotherleelove says, a good place to meet. Alternatively one of your party could wait outside the arrival area of your family, this map shows you where arrivals A & B are,
http://www.aia.gr/flash_files/imap.asp
With your 2 hour wait for them you could just go upstairs to departures where there are numerous places to eat. Click on the arrivals/departures tab down the left hand side for location of everything you need.
yiassas is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 01:40 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,256
There are ATMs, travel agents, and a few shops in the hall outside Arrivals, but most of the shops and restaurants are on the Departures level. The airport is actually very small by international standards. One idea would be to check your bags at Pacific Travel, which is to the left as you exit Arrivals. Then you will have the freedom to wander around the airport without suitcases in tow. You could even walk over to Sofitel for a drink or early lunch while you are waiting. Pacific Travel would also be a good meeting point.
Heimdall is online now  
Aug 14th, 2010, 01:58 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,256
Here is the prices page for Pacific Travel: http://www.pacifictravel.gr/baggage.html#

I was assuming you will be staying in Athens. If you have a connecting flight with Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air, you could also check in early, dropping off your bags and getting your boarding pass. Then, when your relatives arrive, you can show them where to go.

BTW, there is only one terminal at Athens Airport. Departure gates are divided into A and B, the A gates for international flights, and the B gates for domestic departures. Arriving passengers all collect their bags in the same place.
Heimdall is online now  
Aug 15th, 2010, 10:50 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 79
Thank you to everyone for the most informative replies! It's reassuring that the airport is not so big that coordinating with people is difficult. Heimdall - we are connecting to Piraeus to board a cruise that afternoon, so we will be exiting the airport after everyone has arrived. Since the 4 of us landing earlier will each have a bag, I think we may just hang on to our luggage carts (I think they are 1 Euro each), and take the elevator up to the Departures area to get something to eat - it's cheaper that way Brotherlees Love - thanks for the advice on ATM's. I will look up the Citi web site to see if they might have an ATM at the airport, that would be great.
Baby_Bear is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 11:06 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,698
You don't need a Citi ATM. It's not about which bank you use, it's about whether or not your card is Visa or Mastercard and if your bank is partnered with Cirrus, Plus, Star or one of several other global banking alliances, which I'm sure Citi is. Your card will work in all the Greek bank ATMs.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 11:11 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,808
Baby Bear, while you're at it, you might check what Citibank charges per transaction. I know that Wachovia/Wells Fargo rates have soared. Wach used to be 3$ per withdrawal... now it is $5 PLUSSS 3%!! ... so to get $300 worth of Euros, it costs $14!! Highway robbery... Citibank charges $3 PLUS 3% ... so to get $300 worth of Euros, you would pay $12. Do you really want to do that???

If you're anywhere around the East Coast ... NY, Philly, NJ. DC, there are a ton of TD Banks. TD charges NO percentage.... and NO transaction fee for up to TEN transactions per month. I arrange (as of course you should) to have th daily $$ withdrawal limit raised... to $750 or $1000. At the latter, you could withdraw 10 times for a total of $10,000 without incurring any fee ... 10 withdrawals at CItibank for $10,000 would cost you $30 + $300.

How about dropping by TD bank, and opening an account Strictly for your travel??? It only takes a minute and you can get your cards within a couple of days.

Don't be a wuss and let these banks reach into your pocket!
travelerjan is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 11:16 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,808
I forgot to add the valuable link that shows the transaction rates charged for debit cards by variuos banks --- it varies wildly. http://www.flyerguide.com/wiki/index...d_Credit_Cards

Everybody who uses ATMS abroad should bookmark this useful site.
travelerjan is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 12:32 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,256
If you want to save money, the luggage carts will be fine. Unless you have a lot of luggage, you can probably get away with only two carts. UK airports provide the carts for free, so I have an aversion to paying €1 in Athens, and just use my suitcase with wheels. ;-)
Heimdall is online now  
Aug 22nd, 2010, 06:54 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
TIP:It is usually easy enough to get direct from from the airport in Athens to the docks in Piraeus

see here for details :

http://www.athensinfoguide.com/arriv...rtopiraeus.htm

scroll down to see a map of ferry departure locations there as well so you know where to go.

However currently there are construction and repair works in progress on some sections of the Metro [subway] system, which can sometimes mean changing from train to bus etc.However you can avoid this by just getting on the X96 express bus which leaves every 20 minutes from the arrivals level (between doors 4 & 5 ) and "should" take about and hour and a half to get from the airport direct to the docks in Piraeus.

This might be the most useful spot to arrange to meet with your friends. Athens is notorious for traffic gridlock, and for frequent street closures for political demonstrations etc. so my advice would be to head ASAP straight to Piraeus before any hold ups or rush hour delays. Then treat yourself to a Greek frappe (iced coffee) to cool off
KALAMOS is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:06 PM.