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Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

Edmonton, Canada
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Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

Hello,

I am scheduled to fly into Athens in a few days. I have heard that the airport was shut down for a few hours and that the trains and ferries were shut down even longer. It also sounds like a lot of rioting is occurring in Athens right now. Can anyone tell me what the current situation is like in Athens and whether there is likely to be difficulty getting around to other parts of Greece, including the islands.

Thanks!

Philadelphia
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1. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

"It sounds like" ... where?? Who says? There was a ONE-DAY general strike which did halt transportation, and resulted in closing of museums and ancient sites. Demonstrators were in a limited area, the blocks right by Syntagma Square. The papers reported 20,000 people marched through in demonstration -- I lived in NYC 35 years and believe me, 20,000 people would not even crowd up half of Times Square, while people go about their business 100 yards away. This was and is not an ongoing thing.

As for the "rioting" the reality is, violence was perpetrated by a small band of Anarchists who (just as they did in 2010) came to "piggyback" on the legitimate demonstration in order to create attention for themselves. But it boils down to this: Associated Press reported that police arrested 30 black-clad anarchists, 15 of whom were detained for smashing signs and breaking a shop window. That's right. "A" shop window. Woooo. BBC always likes to film 10 seconds of confusion & police with shields and run it nonstop, just to scare newcomers. Please don't fall for it.

I''m scheduled to arrive in Athens airport next Thursday, and will take the x95 bus to Syntagma Square & walk to my hotel. Then I will go have a coffee. I will see friends. Life goes on. And so can you. Enjoy your time in Greece!

Edited: 13 May 2011, 04:53
Athens, Greece
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2. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

please do not attack the BBC. they are an excellent news channel, far better than most. give your opinions and advice on this forum by all means, but please do not use it as a way of attacking others.

Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

Reality though is that most tv channel,s BBC included are having a party on Greece's fiscal difficulties, without taking a look in their own yard. I guess it's their closeted dream to see the euro flopping.

I guess they don't get sorting party will continue there afterwards.

Things are ok pipedream09. Don't believe intl media channels. Simply as that.

<I have heard that the airport was shut down for a few hours>

It is called a strike. It has been on strike for 8 hours from the start of the year. That means 8 hours not working and 3240 hours working.

That's less than 0.2% of flights, or 2 flights out of 1,000 affected.

JFK has closed down for more hours this year due to bad weather. No one says "It usually has bad weather around NYC.

<the trains and ferries were shut down even longer>

It was a 24 hours strike. Strike can happen in any place in the world even in Edmonton buses.

<It also sounds like a lot of rioting is occurring in Athens right now. >

Nope.

Edited: 13 May 2011, 08:16
Athens, Greece
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4. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

So, going back to your initial question

"Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?",

my answer is "No, they will not".

Athens, Greece
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5. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

i was in athens on wednesday, the day of the strike. the metro was running but not the suburban trains. i did see some buses. i left athens on the 19.10 flight to london and my flight left on time.

looking at the departure board it seems that mostly internal flights were cancelled.

Athens, Greece
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6. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

Unfortunately a limited number of international flights were also cancelled, specifically those from Easy Jet, falling in this time window.

Easy Jet offers a "point to point" service, so it's impossible for them to delay a flight in order to fall off a certain time window when something like this happens, even if rarely.

So, EJ cancelled, as far as i know 8 flights, while Olympic also cancelled one flight to Cairo. All other international flights were executed as normal.

----------------------

It seems to me that air traffic controllers are trying to fit two melons in one hand, meaning participating in a strike but in a way that will not severely disrupt flights. So, pattern is we have approximately 4 - 5 times a year, when the airport stops for 4 hours, usually midday to 4pm. That ends up in not disrupting the two big flight waves, one at morning and other at evening, especially the UK - USA - CAN flights.

These airport strikes can happen but are a rarity, around 4 - 5 times per year for 4 hours. Last year this affected 0.2% of the flights or 2 flights per 1,000. Real effect is even lower if you take in place that most companies time their flights out of this time window.

Boca Raton, Florida
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7. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

I am scheduled to fly into Athens on Thursday and then take the Hellenic Seaways highspeed 5 ferry to Santorini next Sunday morning. It seems the unrest in Syntagma Square is worsening - any thoughts on whether these new protests will affect 1.) safety (travelling with my 10-yr old daughter, 2.) sight-seeing (I am a half-Greek American and have waited a lifetime to see the country), and 3.) the ferry schedules to the islands?

Philadelphia
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8. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

There is nothing announced in the way of a generalized job-action for next week, so please don't panic unecessarily. An ongoing "protest" in Syntagma probably will continue (the people in tents), but this is determinedly peaceful ... in fact, after the 6/15 disruptions, the "tent folks" tidied up the area! To affect sites, museums or ferries, there would have be a General Strike, which is always announced well in advance. And weekends are never affected.

PLUS... as is continually explained on this board, safety of tourists is really not an issue, unless u decide to go into the middle of Syntagma during a march, and throw something at a policeman. Which of course you won't.

Rhodes
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9. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

Don't knock the BBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why not? There reporting has been terrible. Very, very over done and miss leading.

From my point of view they are not a reliable news source. They definately blurr the truth to give a sensational news story!!!!!!!!!

I'm am sure I am not alone, having seen for my self what is happening and then seeing the BBC coverage.

stockton on tees
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10. Re: Will the recent strike/riots affect travel to greece?

Without wishing to get into a pro or anti BBC debate,I was sitting in my hotel room in Athens last wednesday watching the events in Syntagma unfold live on all the Greek TV channels.As far as I could tell,the pictures later shown on the BBC coverage were no more graphic or detailed than those fearured on Skai,Mega,Alter etc etc.