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ATH MCT - Arriving from US, transfer to Intra-Greece

ATH MCT - Arriving from US, transfer to Intra-Greece

Old Jul 16, 19, 11:53 am
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ATH MCT - Arriving from US, transfer to Intra-Greece

I will be flying with my GF in late August from JFK -> ATH on DL 204, scheduled to arrive at ATH at 12:25pm.

We will then be transferring to a flight to Crete (HER and CHQ both fine). We are both US citizens and will likely have checked bags.

There is a 2:40pm and 4:00pm on Sky Express ATH -> HER. Will a 2:15 connection time be sufficient to make the 2:40pm? I read a number of previous threads on Athens MCT that seemed to suggest this is very do-able, of which this one seemed most relevant, but wanted to confirm.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 12:39 pm
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The first option would be OK but in case of a delay in the Delta flight, you would lose your rights for the domestic flight. In addition, the wait at passport control for non-EU citizens could be long during peak season, especially when the flights from USA and Canada arrive all at the same time. Otherwise, the transfer is doable but the risk is not worth it if you are traveling with children. A walk-in ticket for a domestic flight in Greece could be up to €300-350+ per person during the summer.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:11 pm
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As you appear to have separate tickets you are not connecting so MCT does not apply.

If you did book the 2.40PM flight you don't have 2 hrs 15 mins - you have that less the bag drop close off time for Sky express. So less time to de plane, clear immigration, collect bags and then get to the Sky express bag drop desks than you think you have.

If you missed that because your DL flight was late or because of queues you would likely have to buy a walk up fare that day for the next flight which could be expensive. European airlines are far less lenient than US ones with doing same day changes when passengers are delayed on other flights (and especially on totally separate airlines)
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:21 pm
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The 4pm flight will definitely give you a more relaxed state of mind - I would opt for that. Is all the extra stress and hurry really worth arriving one-and-a-half hours earlier in HER?

Even if all goes smoothly with your trans-atlantic flight it means you can take it easy and even enjoy a bite or drink in the lounge (Sky Express provides free lounge access at ATH even though it is an all-economy class airline).
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:41 pm
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Thanks for all the replies! A couple clarifying questions / points:

- We will be in J on the DL flights. Does that give us expedited clearance through passport control at ATH as it does at some European airports (e.g. LHR)?
- I note the comment about European airlines not being as relaxed on SDCs. If we purchase a refundable fare on Sky Express ("SkySmart"), would that allow us to switch flights to the later one if needed? Or, if we booked the 4pm, switch to the 2:40pm if we get there early?
- If we skip checked bags, does this seem more reasonably do-able?

Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
As you appear to have separate tickets you are not connecting so MCT does not apply.
Yes, separate tickets. Just using it as short-hand.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jboylan View Post
Thanks for all the replies! A couple clarifying questions / points:

- We will be in J on the DL flights. Does that give us expedited clearance through passport control at ATH as it does at some European airports (e.g. LHR)?
- I note the comment about European airlines not being as relaxed on SDCs. If we purchase a refundable fare on Sky Express ("SkySmart"), would that allow us to switch flights to the later one if needed? Or, if we booked the 4pm, switch to the 2:40pm if we get there early?
- If we skip checked bags, does this seem more reasonably do-able?



Yes, separate tickets. Just using it as short-hand.
I don't think the J priority benefits will carry through to your separate flight.
Last year, I flew Sky Express ATH-HER in mid May. The flight was full. I wouldn't count on SDC being possible, even if allowed.
Finally, just me, but I'd rather spend an extra hour or two in the airport than stress a tight cxn. I hate being in a rush yet dependant on lots of other people who may not be.
​​​​​​I'd book the later flight.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 4:10 pm
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Also.... August is the height of tourist season in Greece.... the chances that any flights to Crete would not be sold out are slim.....I would do 4 PM and hang for a couple hours in the airport..... or walk over to the Sofitel for a welcome to Greece drink.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 2:24 am
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European airlines don't really do stand-by or SDC. Everything is fare-dependent, so if your fare is flexible you can change to a later/earlier flight. If your inbound flight is late and your next flight has already left, it's a case of too bad, so sad. You'll probably have to buy a new return ticket. No one can predict whether your arrival will be on time or two hours late. These are the risks you take on board in separate ticket scenarios.
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