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Departure from JTR

Level Contributor
17 posts
Departure from JTR

I have read a lot of mixed reviews about massive waiting times at departure (but also the lounge being a place where you don't really want to spend any time...).

If our flight is at 17:00 in August on a weekday, when do we really have to arrive to be in good time?

7 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
60 posts
11 reviews
6 helpful votes
1. Re: Departure from JTR

We got there with a little more than 2 hours until flight time and we had plenty of time but I'm sure all days are different,stuff happens.

Birmingham, United...
Level Contributor
15,070 posts
14 reviews
64 helpful votes
2. Re: Departure from JTR

The reviews are largely by whingy UK package tourists.

Absolute nonsense, I have been through Santorini Airport many times before with UK flights.

Sure it is a small airport, but no worse than other small Greek island airports. There is a taverna just outside up the road a few steps if you arrive early, no worries.

I aim for about 3 hours, be that by bus or taxi.

Level Contributor
17 posts
3. Re: Departure from JTR

Well that puzzles me really - 3 hours. I wouldn’t come to Heathrow any more than 2 hours before departure. Do I really need that long at Santorini? With hand luggage only?

Level Contributor
2,649 posts
53 reviews
47 helpful votes
4. Re: Departure from JTR

I certainly wouldn’t get there 3 hours in advance, especially with hand luggage only.

Level Contributor
23 posts
7 reviews
4 helpful votes
5. Re: Departure from JTR


I’ve never departed from the airport in August (always May, June, or September) so it’s likely to be quite a bit busier than we’re used to. But, as has been said, if you’re travelling with hand luggage only it’s less of a wait, although the biggest wait will probably be going through security.

When it’s busy, you’re queued outside the airport while the slow process of all passengers emptying pockets, bags, and belts etc takes place at a slow pace. Once you’re through that hurdle, you’re in a very small airport area with a lot of other people and some meagre shops. However, upstairs is another area with washroom facilities, a snack bar and an outside area overlooking the runway. So if you don’t object to smokers (there’ll be a lot of them) that’s probably the best place to go before your flight is called and you have to go through the very slow passport control booth, often manned by one person and processing sometimes 2 flights.

So in summary, I’d say you could get there within 2 hours of your flight time in order to get through security, grab a drink, relax as best you can, and just keep an eye on the announcements.

If you’re any earlier than that, just take a look at the security queue and make a decision on how busy it looks as to whether to go through or not. Even when it’s busy, it should take less than an hour even with a long queue. If busy, perhaps stay outside and grab a drink or snack at either the outside bar or the Taverna over the road.

Above all, try to relax and not get stressed.

Have a great holiday and a good journey home.

Hope this helps.

Edited: 2:29 pm, July 29, 2019
Level Contributor
56 posts
66 reviews
45 helpful votes
6. Re: Departure from JTR

Check in only starts 2 hours before your flight is due so there is no use in being at the airport earlier . You're just adding up to the amount of people waiting to leave. Get into your zen mode, enjoy watching other people. You'll find out this is well organised chaos, not half as bad as it seems at first sight.

Edited: 6:12 am, July 30, 2019
Destination Expert
for Goa
Level Contributor
12,567 posts
95 reviews
208 helpful votes
7. Re: Departure from JTR

We arrived at the airport early (not our choice but down to our accommodation owner) and had to wait outside until check in opened, which was slightly more than 2 hours before departure but not that much. As it happened our flight ended up being delayed anyway. By choice I'd never get there more than 2 and a half hours before (and we have hold luggage) as it is only a small airport with not a lot of seating so if everyone gets there extra early it just adds to the crowds. You can check in and go to the taverna down the road for refreshments if you wish.

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