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Check-in Transfer issues - need advice

Pasadena, California
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Check-in Transfer issues - need advice

Hi all - I need some insight

My group and I are flying into Athens from Santorini on Aegean Air in September, 2014. We hacked the airfare, meaning all of our tickets were purchased as separate trips:

Ticket 1 - LAX-GVA // ATH-LAX (via MUC)

Ticket 2 - GVA-ATH

Ticket 3 - ATH-JTR-ATH

Total cost for the tickets was $1385pp - almost $1000 less than booking the flight as one trip on Kayak.com - no longer than a 3hr layover either - booking with a flight consolidator required anywhere from 12-20hrs in layover time.

However, what worries me is baggage limits on the return leg, Aegean JTR to ATH.

Because we bought separate tickets, all baggage needs to be carried-on. If not that baggage will need to be collected at the luggage kiosk and we will be forced to reenter Athens airport and go through security. If that happens when we fly into Athens from Geneva it won't be a problem because we have three hours between flights.

However, on the home-bound flight, we arrive in Athens from Thira at 7:15, and our outbound flight from Athens to Munich leaves at 8:35, (both flights are on Aegean).

Unless I am over-thinking it, 1h20min is too little time to: collect bags, reenter the airport, check-in, go through security, find the gate, and board the plane.

So here's the question:

**Am I wrong about 1h20min being to little time to reenter the airport in Athens? Or is there some mechanism in Athens to accommodate this sort of thing?

If not, I will need to enforce a strict, 18lb, one bag policy for our travel group. A challenge considering we will be away for 17days.

Thanks in advance for your insights!

MjS

Edited: 07 January 2014, 00:56
Athens, Greece
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for Athens
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1. Re: Check-in Transfer issues - need advice

You did well on booking separate tickets in order to get the good price, but why on Earth didn't you leave some time in Athens before the long flight back. This is a typical advise here: "be in Athens the day before" in case anything goes wrong. It has been here 35 centuries. Staying an overnight or two nights in a 17 days trip would not be a bad option.

It is extremely tight if the initial flight is late for any reason but under normal circumstances it is doable at least for Aegean. That's 85 minutes between landing and next flight.

Who is the LAX/GVA / ATH/MUC/LAX ticket with? There is a possibility they check you and all the luggage all the way to MUC. You ;ll have to got though passport control at some point and this is in MUC so, there is a possibility Aegean check you in all the way to MUC. This means you don't have to retrieve luggage or check in again but you just use the Transfer Desk and go from one gate to the other, withour exiting to out of security zones.

In the unlikely case you have to collect, check in and go through security it is doable but tight, which means that you 'll be with your luggage in hand at appx. 7.45, which is still 55' before next flight. You need just another 20' - 25' to recheck in and go through security, arriving on time on next gate, sincerely though i am not sure they will not check you in all the way from Santorini Airport, even if these are two different tickets.

Suggestion 1: Email Aegean, with the booking details of all flights to ask them if they 'll check you in all the way to MUC from Santorini. Ask them about luggage too. These are common connections here in one ticket, ask them how they 'll deal with this on a separate ticket.

Suggesiton 2: That's a 17 days trip. If this is your first time in Greece, make your life easier and add a day or two at the end in Athens, chenging the last ticket.

Pasadena, California
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2. Re: Check-in Transfer issues - need advice

Hi Nick - thanks for the response. I will call Aegean today. It sounds silly but I hadn't thought of that. Not confident that I can get anyone by phone that is capable of helping - but it surely could be addressed by Aegean staff in Thira at some point during our time there.

Regarding our trip, we actually will only be in Greece for 7-days; eight if you count the day we arrive. Because we won't get to our hotel til around 21:00, I haven't been counting that day. Prior to Greece we spend seven days hiking and biking the French Alps below Mont Blanc. Our accommodations are in Chamonix. That's why we're flying into and out of Geneva.

The vacation is intended as a "Slow Travel" experience. In other words, we go one or two places and soak up the culture, the sun, the food, the views....the wine and Ouzo ;-) etc. After many years of flitting from place to place on holiday, I've found that I much prefer to land in a destination and stay there long enough to really relax and breathe. For me that means at least 6-days in one place. We had 17-days to spend this year. Three full days of that 17 will be spent traveling by air. That gives us 14 to enjoy - really only time enough for two locations - at least in my travel economy.

Flight-wise bought three tickets:

Ticket #1: R/T - The States to Europe (LAX to GVA on SWISS // ATH to MUC on Aegean // MUC to LAX on Lufthansa). Aegean, SWISS and Lufthansa are all 5 Star Alliance and code share so this the itinerary was sold as one R/T ticket.

Ticket #2: O/W - GVA to ATH on Aegean (cheap at $115pp)

Ticket #3: R/T - ATH to JTR

On this trip we will first stay in Chamonix in the French Alps, and hike, bike, and para-glide for a week...possibly day-trip into Annecy and/or Italy. Thereafter we fly to Santorini from Geneva via Athens.

There will be no issue with luggage on the intercontinental SWISS flight. Luggage might be a problem flying into Athens from Geneva - but with three hours between flights, I'm not concerned. The only worrisome possibility is the return flight, Thira to Athens.

But asking the gate agent to check our bags through to our final destination might solve that problem. We will have proper paper tickets specifying Thira and LAX respectively so it's doable. The only question is, are there rules against forwarding bags to accord with a non code shared ticket. Only one way to find out - I'm on hold with Aegean now. I'll update when I know.

Till then **Two questions**

1. Are lockers available in the Athens airport?

2. Where can I get quotes for shipping freight from Thira to Los Angeles? I can't seem to find a reasonable service online. I know it's possible b/c the last time I was on Santorini, I had pottery shipped that weighed about 40lbs. At less than $75, it wasn't very expensive. I tried UPS. But the quote was almost $600! I believe my pottery was shipped via the Greek postal service. Shipping excess clothing back would be an elegant last resort solution - especially if the excess clothing were protecting pottery and other purchases in whatever box was shipped.

Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
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3. Re: Check-in Transfer issues - need advice

1. You will find this in the arrival hall of Athens airport:

http://tinyurl.com/of674p3

New York City, New...
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for Skopelos
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4. Re: Check-in Transfer issues - need advice

Hey and welcome Mike S:-) Great pic of Pacific Limited.. storage facility at the tail end of the arrival's terminal.. make a left exiting formalities/luggage retrieval.. you can find info at the airport's official site at www.aia.gr/

Trusting Nick.. someone in the know will kick in re sending stuff back to the States.. am guessing there is a DHL there but chances are it'll be super pricey as well;-) FWIW, both Swiss and Aegean are wonderful carriers.. just flew Swiss r/t to Geneva over our Thanksgiving.. known for their timeliness;-)) Happy planning.. Happy New Year.. and EnJOY!

Pasadena, California
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5. Re: Check-in Transfer issues - need advice

Just a follow-up for future folks with a similar question.

Aegean eventually wrote back saying that it was likely we would merely give our bags to the counter agent in Thira, show them both sets of tickets and that agent would tag them for our final destination in California.

Though - "likely" is the operative word. The message did say it would be up to the agent to decide.

I can't imagine that they would want us to miss an international connection - and the connecting flight is another Aegean flight. I guess there is only one way to find out. That'll happen when we get there.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

~m

6. Re: Check-in Transfer issues - need advice

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