Flying time to Athens is 3½ hours from London, 10½ hours from New York, 12 hours from Chicago, 16½ hours from Los Angeles, and 19 hours from Sydney.
There are only four nonstop flights from the United States to Athens, on Delta (from New York–JFK), American Airlines (from Philadelphia), United (from Newark–EWR), and Emirates (from New York–JFK). There are five nonstop routes from Canada, on Air Canada (from both Toronto and Montreal) and on Air Transat (from Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary). Therefore, most U.S. travelers will need to connect in an airport in Europe; further, most travelers originating in the United States will need to transfer in Athens to reach any other destination in Greece. There is a large number of charter flights, especially from Northern Europe, that fly directly to resort destinations in Greece during the high season. Nevertheless, many discount carriers fly from (mostly) secondary airports in Europe nonstop to Greece, and these flights may be relevant, particularly for those travelers who plan to visit another country in addition to Greece.
Strikes, either for several hours or days, can be a sporadic problem in Greece, so it's always a good idea to keep your eyes on the local headlines while traveling. Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) posts real-time flight information on its website. You can contact the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority at the main Athens airport if you have complaints or concerns about flight cancellations or flight delays or are denied boarding.
Airline Security Issues
Transportation Security Administration. The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that has authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States. Its website offers travel tips and security screening advice to travelers. 866/289–9673; www.tsa.gov.
Air Travel Resources in Greece
Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority. This Greek organization is responsible for Greek air space and handling of national air traffic and security. Vas. Georgiou 1 , Glyfada, Attica, 16604. 210/891–6000; www.hcaa.gr.
Athens International Airport at Spata, 33 km (20 miles) southeast of the city center, opened in 2001 as the country's main airport. Officially named Eleftherios Venizelos, after Greece's first prime minister, the airport is modern and quite user-friendly (there's also a very nice, albeit expensive, Sofitel if you need to stay over). The main terminal building has two levels: upper for departures, ground level for arrivals. Unless you are flying directly to one of the islands, you'll likely pass through the Athens airport during your trip to Greece. It's quite easy to switch from international to domestic flights or get to Greece's main harbor, Piraeus, about a one-hour train ride south of the airport. Greece's second-largest city has another busy international airport: Thessaloniki Makedonia Airport, which handles both international and domestic flights. So does the airport on Rhodes (in the Dodecanese islands). Two other airports, in Heraklion and Corfu, also have a large number of international flights. Airports on many smaller islands (Santorini, Mykonos, Karpathos, Kos, and Paros among them) receive international charter flights during the busier summer months.
Athens International Airport–Eleftherios Venizelos. Greece's largest airport handles more than 20 million passengers per annum. Its website offers real-time flight information. End of Attiki Odos, Spata, Attica, 19019. 210/353–0000; 210/353–0515; www.aia.gr.
Heraklion International Airport–Nikos Kazantzakis. Heraklion, Crete, 71601. 2810/397800; 2810/397368.
Kerkyra Airport–Ioannis Kapodistrias. Anapafseos 1, Corfu Town, Corfu, 49100. 26610/89600.
Rhodes International Airport Diagoras. Rhodes, 85106. 22410/88700; www.rhodes-airport.org.
Thessaloniki International Airport–Makedonia. Thessaloniki Airport is the second biggest airport in Greece and serves 3.5 million passengers per year, Kalamaria, Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, 55103. 2310/985000; www.thessalonikiairport.com.
While both Athens and Thessaloniki have public transportation, other places in Greece, especially the islands, do not.
In addition to Delta, American, United, and Emirates (and Air Canada and Air Transat from Canada), many carriers offer one-stop connections to major destinations in Greece (but particularly Athens) from the United States. And most of the larger European airlines, including Air France, British Airways, KLM, and Lufthansa, also offer code-share flights with their U.S. partners. Some European budget carriers, including EasyJet and Ryanair, offer flights to a wide range of destinations throughout Greece.
Flights Within Greece
In Greece, when faced with a boat journey of six hours or more, consider flying since domestic flights have good prices for many destinations. The frequency of flights varies according to the time of year (with an increase between Greek Easter and November), and it is essential to book well in advance for summer or for festivals and holidays, especially on three-day weekends. There is usually a fee to check bags; only hand luggage (with strictly enforced limits) is free.
Scheduled domestic air travel in Greece is provided by Aegean Airlines and its subsidiary Olympic Air (both of which operate out of Athens International Airport in Spata), Astra Airlines and Ellinair (which fly from Thessaloniki), and Sky Express (which has a more diffuse network of flights around Greece). Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air have the largest route network around Greece, with flights to virtually every destination you might need, with the best connections through Athens. If you fly into Athens, you'll be able to transfer quite easily to a domestic flight.
Aegean Airlines. Consistently voted Best Regional Airline in Europe, Aegean flies to more than 75 destinations around the world and carries more than 15 million passengers per year. It has consolidated its position as Greece's biggest airline since acquiring Olympic Airlines in 2013. 14564. 801/112–0000; 210/626–1000; 855/323–4326; www.aegeanair.com.
Air Canada. Flights from Montreal and Toronto to Athens. 888/247–2262; www.aircanada.com.
Air France. Flights from Paris (CDG), Toulouse, Nice, Nantes, and Marseille to Athens. 800/237–2747; www.airfrance.us.
Air Transat. Flights from Montreal,Toronto, and Calgary to Athens 877/872–6728; www.airtransat.com.
Alitalia. Flights to Athens, from Rome (FCO) and Rome (ROM). Flights to Corfu from Milan (MIL), Rome (ROM), Rome (FCO), Milan (LIN), Naples, and Turin. Flights to Heraklion from Bologna and Verona. Flights to Mykonos from Milan (MIL), Rome (ROM), Lamezia Terme, Rome (FCO) and Turin. Flights to Santorini from Rome (ROM), Palermo, Milan (MIL),Brindisi, Rome (FCO) and Catania. Flights to Rhodes from Rome (ROM), Rome (FCO), Milan (MIL), Bari and Milan (LIN). Flights to Thessaloniki from Bologna, Pisa, Cagliari, Trieste, and Catania. 06/656–49; www.alitalia.com.
American Airlines. El. Venizelos Airport welcomed the first flight of American Airlines on the Athens–Philadelphia route in 2015. 800/433–7300; www.aa.com.
Astra Airlines. 2310/489391; www.astra-airlines.gr.
British Airways. Flights to Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Heraklion, Rhodes, Santorini, Corfu, Kalamata, Skiathos, Zante, and Kos (flights to islands and to Kalamata are summer only) available from all London airports. 800/247–9297; www.britishairways.com.
Delta Airlines. Twice-daily flights to Athens from JFK. 800/241–4141; 210/998–0090; 210/353–0116; www.delta.com.
easyJet. Flights to Athens, Chania, Corfu, Heraklion, Kalamata, Kefalonia, Kos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Salonica (Thessaloniki), Santorini, Preveza, Syros and Zakynthos. 0033/365–5000; 211/198–0013; www.easyjet.com.
Ellinair. Regional airline connecting Thessaloniki to Athens, Herakleion, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, and Kithira. 2311/224–700; www.ellinair.com.
Emirates. Εmirates' daily flight connecting Dubai with Αthens and Newark has opened up Greece travel to U.S. travelers and to travelers from 101 more destinations. 800/777–3999; www.emirates.com.
Iberia Airlines. Flights to Athens from Madrid 800/772–4642; 211/198–0095; www.iberia.com.
Jet2.com. Budget flights from the U.K. to Corfu, Crete, Kos, Kefalonia, Rhodes, Thessaloniki (Halkidiki), and Zante. 203/059–8336; www.jet2.com.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Flights to Athens from Amsterdam. 211/180–9473; www.klm.com.
LOT. Flights from Warsaw to Athens. 213/038–2141; 212/789–0970; www.lot.com.
Lufthansa. Flights to Athens, Mykonos, Chania, Heraklion, Rhodes, Paros, Santorini, and Thessaloniki. 800/645–3880; 210/617–5200; www.lufthansa.com.
Monarch Airlines. Flights from the U.K. to Heraklion, Rhodes, and Preveza (Lefkada). 0333/003–1793; www.monarch.co.uk.
Norwegian. Flights from Oslo to Athens and from the U.K. to Athens, Corfu, Chania, Heraklion, Kefalonia, Kos, Preveza (Lefkas), Rhodes, and Santorini (mostly in the summer months) 800/357–4159; www.norwegian.com.
Olympic Air. Flies to 33 destinations within Greece. 210/355–0500; 801/80110101; 210/355–0500; www.olympicair.com.
Qatar Airways. Flights from Doha, to Athens. 210/950–8700; www.qatarairways.com.
Royal Jordanian. Flights from Amman to Athens. 210/924–2600; www.rj.com.
Ryanair. Flights to Athens, Chania, Corfu, Kefalonia, Rhodes, Thessaloniki, Santorini, and Mykonos Some flights are available only in the summer months. 871/246–0002; www.ryanair.com.
SAS Scandanavian Airlines. Flights from Oslo to Athens, Santorini, and Chania. 210/961–8411; www.flysas.com.
Sky Express. Sky Express is a regional airline based in Heraklion, Crete, and is currently flying to 29 domestic destinations. 28102/23800; www.skyexpress.gr.
Swiss International Airlines. Flights from Zurich to Athens, Corfu, Heraklion, and Thessaloniki. A fully owned Swiss subsidiary, Edelweiss Airlines (www.flyedelweiss.com) also flies seasonally to Mykonos, Santorini, Kos, Zakynthos (Zante), and Rhodes. 877/359–7947; 210/617–5320; 210/353–0382; www.swiss.com.
Tarom. Flights from Bucharest to Athens and Thessaloniki. 21/204–6464; www.tarom.ro.
United Airlines. One non-stop flight daily from Newark, NJ, to Athens in the summer months. 800/864–3331; www.united.com.