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Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

New York City, New...
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Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

Hello!

We are planning to fly on April 30 (to avoid the May 1 strikes), and in this case we will be arriving on British Air at 13:10 and leaving at 19:00 on Aegean Air. My question is twofold:

1) is this enough time to collect baggage, go through customs, then go back again to switch to Aegean Air?

2) What lounge will be best for us to book, so I know that we have a good place to sit, have a drink, and use the internet for a few hours? We are totally willing to pay for a day pass - it's the honeymoon, gotta life it up :)

Thanks in advance!

London, United...
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1. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

As no-one with up-to-date experience has replied, I'll have a go, but be warned that mine was 14 years ago, and it's quite possible that things have changed.

I was returning to London from Crete in January 2000, and my British Airways flight, which was to depart late morning, was cancelled. I was put on a flight eight hours later, and my "compensation" was a free pass to the business lounge. I wouldn't have thought of it myself, but of course took advantage of the offer. What I most remember about that day, which passed very quickly, was an endless supply of very delicious titbits to eat. I think there were free drinks too, but I could be mis-remembering that. It was extremely comfortable, and I read my book while all around me business travellers quietly tapped away on their laptops. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

I've no idea what it cost then, and certainly have no idea what it costs now, but since it's your honeymoon, why not go for it?

Your first question: as you have six hours between flights, yes, of course that is more than enough time. Much more than enough.

Have a nice time and a nice honeymoon.

Edited: 01 March 2014, 17:23
New York City, New...
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2. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

Hey again sarahe84:-) Am assuming here you'll then be leaving the States on the 29th to arrive on the 30th?;-) If you depart the States ON the 30th, you will be arriving ON May 1st;-)

Having said that, you have loads of time to spare.. as far as lounges, don't know what they've done with the Olympic and Aegean ones since the carriers merged, they were separate.. but did enjoy the Onassis Lounge on a number of occasions when OA was doing the directs to the States.. sure beat what I believe was the Swissport lounge but could be wrong with the name.. it included pax travelling on the then running UA/CO flights.. these are both located in Area A which is non-Schengen!

If you'll be traveling onwards to an isle via Aegean, you'll be in Area B ~ Schengen.. and there I do remember the Aegean Airlines Club Lounge which was a good one.. believe there is also a Melina Mercouri Lounge which was for Olympic pax at the time there.. Again, since the merger is new, I don't know how they've arranged these.. nonetheless, you can check them all out at the airport's official site at www.aia.gr/ or even google each one individually for specifics;-) Again, for Schengen area B, I found the Aegean Lounge a good one.. plenty of beverages, snacks, etc;-) Happy Honeymooning.. and EnJOY!

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3. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

Thank you so much, everyone! After quite some discussion, we have decided to take the ferry on April 30 to mykonos - switching santorini and mykonos and saving Athens for the end of the trip now, but I think it will definitely be the only way to travel without fear of sitting in airports fearing delays!

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4. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

Our pleasure.. and sounds like a plan:-) FWIW, if you were considering flying out of the 30th, don't think you'll have any problems.. if you're still arriving from the States.. and will be at the airport anyway;-) Will save you the trek to the port.. and numerous daily flights to this popular isle as well making it a usually convenient transfer.. just something to consider.. regardless, great call on saving Athens as a finale when you'll be ready to take it on;-) Keep us posted.. keep enjoyin'!

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5. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

@Litsa: We are going to take the ferry only because my fiance truly hates flying...just the thought of another flight - even one under an hour! - makes him so nervous that his whole day is ruined. We have decided to ferry entirely in Greece and just take it easy and enjoy the journey as much as the destination :)

We have 4 hours between the time that we land and the time that we depart from Rafinia for Mykonos. Can you recommend anywhere near the port for lunch?

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6. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

Hi there. I just happened to read through these latest posts and realized that I am in the same position but arriving from Rome to Athens on May 1st in the morning, and then departing to Santorini in the early evening. This is the first I've heard of strikes on May 1st. Can someone tell me more about these? Also, we have about a 5-hour layover too, so I'm not sure about how to book a lounge. Can anyone explain the process and the cost?

Many thanks, Kathy M.

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7. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

.. I believe your 4 hours will fly by.. by the time you're done with formalities and finally get to Rafina, sarahe84;-) I haven't ferried out of there so have no clue on making any recs.. but loads of folks here say it's a wonderful place to hang while waiting for a ferry.. am sure you'll find a nice place on the water to grab a bite and start the de-lagging process;-)

As a side note, you made me really laugh!! He hates flying.. yet you're transiting through Heathrow, lol!! May be a bit stressful after dealing with formalities on this end.. but don't tell him;-)) Am guessing by the time you guys get to Rafina, he'll be looking for coldest local brew available.. if he's a drinking man;-))

Hey Kathy M:-) Chances are you'll be just fine staying put at the airport since you'll be there anyway waiting for your next flight;-) I've never had to book/pay for lounge access since when I've used it, it's been a perk with class/miles, etc.. so no clue myself how to go about it.. I'd google for each lounge's site.. separately.. believe they have a link where you can buy a pass.. but bottom line.. with only 5 hours.. I'd just head across the Street to the Sofitel and grab a bite.. glass of wine.. getting some air sitting outside after being couped up all those hours;-) Regardless, this is a great airport.. lots of great DF shops.. cafes.. snack bars, etc.. not to mention a Museum with the artifacts found when building the airport;) Enjoy!

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8. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

thanks very much. You always give the best advice!

What's the scoop on strikes? I've seen several references to the strikes in May so I'm a little worried. I also got told that we're coming during one of the busiest weeks in Rome and then flying to Greece on the first, so strikes could potentially keep us in Athens for a night. I like your idea of going over to the Sofitel for a drink. Can we leave our luggage in a locker or do we need to drag them with us? Many thanks for all your help. Kathy

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9. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

My pleasure.. and thank you Kathy:-) Quite honestly.. I doubt you'll even notice anything going on hanging around the airport.. traffic controller strikes get deemed illegal and rarely occur.. and even in the rare event that they do, it's usually only for a few hours in the afternoon.. and again, you'll hardly notice since your flight arrival and departure times don't fall into that iffy time spread.. but again, this is extremely rare!

As far as luggage, no lockers.. but there is a place that was named Pacific Limited.. changed names.. but at same locale in arrival's hall.. make a left when exiting formalities/luggage retrieval.. all the way down the hall dead end;-) Bit why waste money?! The Sofitel is smack across the Street from arrivals.. no steps or climbing.. same street level.. takes literally seconds to walk there! Assuming you're not dragging a trunk around.. roll your luggage over and grab one of the many outdoor tables/chairs.. what I usually do if waiting.. and you'll find lots of folks with lots of luggage there as well;-) Makes for some great people watching too;-) Enjoyin'!

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10. Re: Which Lounge to Pre-Book for 5 hour Layover in Airport?

Here you can see the airport and the Sofitel:

http://tinyurl.com/daeq8f

and the arrival part of the terminal:

http://tinyurl.com/a3rtoek

Edited: 05 March 2014, 17:51