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Short connection in Athens -where to clear immigration?

Short connection in Athens -where to clear immigration?

May 23rd, 2019, 09:22 PM
  #1  
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Short connection in Athens -where to clear immigration?

I have a tight connection of 60 minutes in Athens -does anyone know if Iíd have to clear immigration and costumes with everyone else whoís existing the airport and then go through security from outside? Or is there an internal immigration point for connecting passengers?

Iíll be connecting to one of the isles (Rhodes), which is likely similar to entering the Schengen zone then connecting to a domestic Schengen flight.

In my experience in Frankfurt upon arriving from the US, you would clear immigration with all arriving passengers and then proceed directly to a security line for domestic transfers. But Iíve also connected through other much smaller Schengen airports that require you to exit the transfer area completely and clear customs (gulp, American style) and then use the airport check in area on a separate floor which might be so time-consuming!

Last edited by chillout; May 23rd, 2019 at 09:41 PM.
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May 23rd, 2019, 09:55 PM
  #2  
 
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Where will you be flying from?

There is no customs or immigration with in the Schengen zone. That includes all of Greece (Athens and Rhodes)

There is no customs within the common market.

If you're coming from outside the Schengen zone you should clear immigration in Athens.
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May 23rd, 2019, 10:45 PM
  #3  
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I thought it was clear that I was flying in from outside the Schengen zone. I do realize immigration clearance will surely take place in Athens but if anyone has actually flown into Athens from the US or the UK did you have to leave the transit zone completely which might be very time-consuming or is it like in Frankfurt where you just clear immigration (clearing immigration obviously means flying in from outside Schengen) and continue on while inside the transit area.

In some smaller airports and American airports you generally have to leave the transit area completely when flying in from outside.

Iím not sure what you mean by ďcommon marketĒ because the UK for example in part of the common EU market zone but not part of the Schengen zone and so UK flights always clear immigration unlike other EU arrivals.

I really donít want to have to reschedule my connecting flight!

Last edited by chillout; May 23rd, 2019 at 10:51 PM.
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May 23rd, 2019, 11:36 PM
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I've flown in from the UK to Athens many times, and have a US passport. You will have to go through passport control when you arrive in Athens (since that is where you are entering Schengen), and if your luggage isn't checked through all the way to Rhodes will have to pick it up from the carousel and recheck it for the connecting flight. I've always had to leave the transit area, and domestic departures is at the other end of the terminal from international arrivals.

There are separate lines at passport control for EU and non-EU passport holders. If there is a long non-EU line see if they will let you jump the queue. Customs is merely walking through the green door, and you won't be stopped unless you look suspicious.

Check with the cabin crew on your arriving flight to see if they can help you get off the plane as quickly as possible. I wouldn't book a connecting flight with such a short layover time, but if you do there are a couple of ways to speed things up.
1. Obviously flying carry-on only is quicker.
2. Passengers flying with Aegean Airlines/Olympic Air can check in online and print out boarding passes up to 48 hours in advance. Then you can leave your luggage at the airline drop-off point without lining up for the check-in counters, and proceed directly to the domestic departures gates. Since you have left airside you will go through security to get to your domestic departure gate.

If you are flying to Rhodes with Ryanair or another budget airline they leave from the satellite terminal, which I understand takes up to 20 minutes to reach from the main terminal. In that case you won't have a hope of making the flight.

Last edited by Heimdall; May 23rd, 2019 at 11:40 PM.
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May 24th, 2019, 01:52 AM
  #5  
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Thatís really helpful thanks so much Heimdall. My ticket is Aegean/Olympic all the way so I have the advantage of early check in in addition to using the same terminal.

The last I was in Athens back in December there were unexpectedly long passport control lines at 6am. I guess I will have to try and request to use the EU lines with my US passport and if not allowed I will have to request from fellow non-EU travelers to let me through before them. Iíve seen people do that successfully several times. Thanks again!
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May 24th, 2019, 05:08 AM
  #6  
 
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Even better if you are travelling Aegean/Olympic all the way. I pulled this off the Aegean Airlines website:
”For more information, upon arrival at the Athens International Airport, feel free to contact AEGEAN’s representative in the blue waistcoat with the Connection Ambassador sign. Download the instructions’ leaflet or request it from the cabin crew while on board.”
https://en.aegeanair.com/travel-info...ng-passengers/
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May 24th, 2019, 09:44 PM
  #7  
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Oh wow thatís really helpful thank you very much!

Iíll just have to try and pass through passport control/ customs/domestic security as quickly as possible.
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May 24th, 2019, 10:06 PM
  #8  
 
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Iím not sure, but the Connection Ambassador may be waiting before you even get to passport control, and could help you with that. In fact, thatís probably the case, because once people get through passport control they scatter in all directions. Ask the cabin crew before you land at Athens. I usually fly in on the Aegean flight that arrives at 4am and have a longer layover than you, so have never looked for the Connection Ambassador.

Are both flights on the on the same ticket, or did you book them separately? If you are flying from London you should be able to send your bags all the way to Rhodes without picking them up in Athens even if you booked the flights separately. You need to confirm this when you check in and make sure your bags are tagged for Rhodes. The reason for this is that although the UK isnít in the Schengen zone it is still a member of the EU. Schengen controls movement of people while the EU controls movement of goods. Many people donít realise this, but passport control and customs are two separate functions.

Last edited by Heimdall; May 24th, 2019 at 10:10 PM.
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May 25th, 2019, 03:59 AM
  #9  
 
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I was just guessing that you might be flying from the UK, because it's not in Schengen but in the EU, for now at least. If you are flying from somewhere else outside the EU, ignore that part of my last post. The comments about Aegean's Connection Ambassador still apply.
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