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Transit Time from Crete to Athens to USA

Transit Time from Crete to Athens to USA

Old Jun 23, 19, 6:09 pm
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Transit Time from Crete to Athens to USA

Hi, this summer, we have a 5PM return flight out of Athens back to USA. We need to book the connection flight from Crete to Athens that day. What is considered a safe time to depart HER airport to Athens? Also, is it a long wait to pass the custom and security? The two flights are not booked together.

I know there are quite some short flights. Appreciate the help.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 7:25 pm
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HER is a zoo during the summer, in contrast to ATH, which is very efficient. Still, it's summer, and the European skies become as full as European highways when school vacations are starting or closing. In other words, there are a lot of delays, especially in the afternoon and evening which are due to "something" having gone wrong thousands of kilometres away several hours earlier. I'm saying this to stress the quasi impossibility to give a correct answer to your questions, given the "threat" of missing your TATL. In a perfect world you'd need 30 minutes at Heraklion and not more than 60 in Athens. In reality, you'll need about 60 minutes in Heraklion and anything between 60 and 180 minutes in Athens. If you think of a possible long delay for the arrival of your first flight out of Crete, the bottom line is that to be safe if you should take an "early" flight (before noon!) out of Crete. If you want to play it absolutely safe, you can always spend the last night in Athens and use the morning to visit the Akropolis museum or something else you haven't yet seen in Athens...
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Old Jun 23, 19, 9:29 pm
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I must agree with KLouis.....but even more on the conservative side. The experienced tourist who frequent Greece have a rule never to travel from the islands the same day as an international flight. Weather, winds, strikes, late incoming flights, etc can cause chaos....and there are many stories of people missing their flights, especially when the connection in Athens is on a different airline.

It's not Athens that is the problem .... its making sure you can get off the island to get to Athens.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 10:58 pm
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Remember that as you will be on separate bookings you aren’t connecting and you won’t be protected if your HER-ATH is delayed / cancelled at the last minute and a walk up fare back to the US won’t likely be cheap.

I’d take the advice and fly back to ATH the day before in your circumstances.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
Hi, this summer, we have a 5PM return flight out of Athens back to USA. We need to book the connection flight from Crete to Athens that day. What is considered a safe time to depart HER airport to Athens? Also, is it a long wait to pass the custom and security? The two flights are not booked together.

I know there are quite some short flights. Appreciate the help.
I would want to plan to get to ATH by noon, because of the potential for delays for the flight heading to ATH.

US carriers tend to be more flexible if barely missing a flight, but the generosity is usually limited to being on standby. And if this is AA’s ATH flight, I wouldn’t want to count on it being easy to clear during the summer, especially if you’re a party of more than one passenger.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post

I would want to plan to get to ATH by noon, because of the potential for delays for the flight heading to ATH.

US carriers tend to be more flexible if barely missing a flight, but the generosity is usually limited to being on standby. And if this is AA’s ATH flight, I wouldn’t want to count on it being easy to clear during the summer, especially if you’re a party of more than one passenger.
It is Emirates at 5:30 PM to USA.... Do we have to exit the terminal and go to custom and security again?

We could shorten our stay at Crete if we have to do. I guess ferry from Crete to ATH is even less reliable....
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Old Jun 25, 19, 11:28 pm
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Ferry Crete/Athens is about 11hrs .. and than you've to go from Piraeus to ATH. Not really an option in my eyes.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
It is Emirates at 5:30 PM to USA.... Do we have to exit the terminal and go to custom and security again?

We could shorten our stay at Crete if we have to do. I guess ferry from Crete to ATH is even less reliable....
Crete being part of Greece, you don't have to go through customs when "connecting" in ATH. You do, though, have to go through security and immigration as you cross from intra-Schengen to non-Schengen (from either the B or the CI area to the A gates). By the way, everything is under one roof in Athens.

As for the ferry, it is certainly very, very reliable. It leaves Heraklion around 9 pm and arrives at Piraeus around 7 am. Using public transportation (train or bus), you'd be at ATH before 10 am. The question is what would you do till 5 pm, which is why some of us suggested a flight the day before the TATL and overnite in Athens.

Last edited by KLouis; Jun 26, 19 at 8:53 am
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Old Jun 26, 19, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
Crete being part of Greece, you don't have to go through customs when "connecting" in ATH. You do, though, have to go through security and immigration as you cross from intra-Schengen to non-Schengen (from either the B or the CI area to the A gates). By the way, everything is under one roof in Athens.

As for the ferry, it is certainly very, very reliable. It leaves Heraklion around 9 pm and arrives at Piraeus around 7 am. Using public transportation (train or bus), you'd be at ATH before 10 am. The question is what would you do till 5 pm, which is why some of us suggested a flight the day before the TATL and overnite in Athens.
I would just take a same-day 7-10am flight to ATH and call it by ear from landing, assuming if luggage can be made to not be an issue.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
Crete being part of Greece, you don't have to go through customs when "connecting" in ATH. You do, though, have to go through security and immigration as you cross from intra-Schengen to non-Schengen (from either the B or the CI area to the A gates). By the way, everything is under one roof in Athens.

As for the ferry, it is certainly very, very reliable. It leaves Heraklion around 9 pm and arrives at Piraeus around 7 am. Using public transportation (train or bus), you'd be at ATH before 10 am. The question is what would you do till 5 pm, which is why some of us suggested a flight the day before the TATL and overnite in Athens.
You will have to collect your luggage in Athens from Crete and then drops them at Emirates check in then you will go to passport control and cabin bags security
Allow 3 hours layover just to be safe Athens airport is very well organized
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