I'm trying to sort out the best flights for a colleague but it appears to be unbelievably difficult to do this on a single PNR.
I would have expected that LIS (with TP) and ATH (with A3) both would have a reasonable interconnectivity but it seems it isn't the case.
The only flights I can see coming out of LIS to ATH are red-eyes with a 23xx departure and 05xx arrival, which obviously isn't preferable. Then getting on from ATH to HER is possible on A3 but it doesn't connect very well, same thing for the return flight.
Outbound should be on SEP04 or SEP05 (as long as pax arrives SEP05 before 18:00 @ HER)
Inbound should be on SEP07 (after 14:00 free to leave HER)
The only alternative I have found is EZ from LIS to MXP, then re-check luggage and onwards from MXP to HER.. obviously on 2 different PNR's and not *A.
Are you using a booking engine? Expedia and lastminute come up with multiple daytime options taking around 8 hours with two stops. Via combinations of ATH, FRA, VIE, MXP on combinations of TP,A3 and LX/LH for under €300.
However, given the need for two connections the leaving-HER-after-2pm restriction doesn't really work well.
On a couple of occasions, I've done HER-ATH-BCN-LIS and back (first two flights on A3, third on TAP: all *A. Except for the fact that the flight out of HER leaves at 6:30 (I have no problems with that), connections are very good in both ATH and BCN, and you can do everything on an A3 ticket using their booking engine.