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How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:27 pm
by PaulaJ
Can anyone tell me how I'd go about getting to Chania from the UK, preferably from the Midlands airports, during the Christmas holidays?

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:39 pm
by bobscott
If you think Manchester is still in the Midlands, try this link:
http://www.easyjet.com/en/cheap-flights/Manchester/Athens

You still have to get from Athens, of course, but there are a few flights to CHQ each day. Bob.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:00 pm
by Kilkis
Outside the holiday season you have to fly via Athens.

Year round Ryanair flies from Stansted to Athens, Easyjet flies from Gatwick to Athens and Aegean flies from Manchester, Heathrow and Gatwick to Athens. Once you get to Athens Aegean and Ryanair fly to Chania. Some of the Aegean flights may be Olympic.

Warwick

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:06 pm
by KateD
From Birmingham we did train to Gatwick (really cheap if you book at the right time (think it was £14!) then Aegean/Olympic to Athens and then Crete (Aegean and Olympic are the same company) No direct flights.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:12 pm
by filippos
Unless the fares are significantly different I'd try to book both legs with the same airline and make sure hold baggage is checked through Athens to avoid collecting baggage and re-checking it. I think that limits you to Aegean/Olympic and Ryanair since (I believe) easyJet don't fly Athens/Crete in winter but that might have changed.
If you haven't looked at prices yet be prepared for expensive flights as they do tend to rocket during the Christmas/New Year period.
At present Ryanair doesn't look too bad a little while either side of the holiday (Outbound 16 Dec/Return 7 Jan) with a base fare of about £270 per person but to that you'll have to add baggage etc. Nearer to Christmas, e.g. 23/12 return 07/01 and the base cost is £400 pp.
Both of those also need the ATH/CHQ added on.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:54 pm
by Mixos
I would endorse all the comments above, Paula, especially filippos's suggestion that you book both legs with Aegean/Olympic if you can. Flight delays to/from Athens/UK are fairly commonplace in the winter months and if, say, Ryanair or easyJet cause you to miss the Athens-Crete connection it can get very expensive and tiresome. If you can't use the same airline then build in a good gap between flights at Athens. The other advantage of booking both legs with Aegean is that they are obliged to get you on the next available flight if their delayed outbound causes you to miss your connection (or provide accommodation if there is a very long delay.) One thing to be aware of, though. Aegean have a tendency to change their schedules at quite short notice (well they do to/from Sitia anyway) so you might find the flight you'd booked suddenly gets changed.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:06 pm
by Carolina
filippos wrote:Unless the fares are significantly different I'd try to book both legs with the same airline and make sure hold baggage is checked through Athens to avoid collecting baggage and re-checking it. I think that limits you to Aegean/Olympic and Ryanair


Note that Ryanair do not offer full connecting flight bookings apart from in Rome & Milan airports currently. That means that if booking UK to Chania via Athens with Ryanair you will need to collect luggage in Athens and re-check in (with all associated costs) for the Chania flight. It also means the connection is not guaranteed i.e. if there is a delay on the first leg they are not liable to pay for your costs of missing the second flight. Best bet is definitely Aegean, if the first flight is delayed and you miss the connecion they will put you on the next available at no cost.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:48 am
by filippos
Carolina wrote:
filippos wrote:Unless the fares are significantly different I'd try to book both legs with the same airline and make sure hold baggage is checked through Athens to avoid collecting baggage and re-checking it. I think that limits you to Aegean/Olympic and Ryanair

Note that Ryanair do not offer full connecting flight bookings apart from in Rome & Milan airports currently.
We travelled CHQ/ATH/Malta last year and baggage was checked through both outbound and inbound. We also got fast track security at Athens. Whatever, it's always sensible to check current policy with any airline.

I must say, too, that I prefer to travel Aegean on the rare occasions I travel to UK out of season. When there are plenty of flights during summer I prefer Ryanair as they fly Xania/Bristol which is the most convenient route for me.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:24 am
by Kilkis
I could be wrong but I think there is a difference between a consolidated ticket and booking luggage through. I think Ryanair do NOT offer consolidated tickets so, as Carol pointed out, they are not responsible for the connecting flight if there is a delay on the first flight. I think the same is true of Easyjet, although that is not relevant in this case. As Filippos pointed out, however, I think Ryanair will check luggage through on connecting flights. Aegean do both.

It is also possible to fly from Stansted to Chania via Thessaloniki with Ryanair. I am not sure if it offers any advantages in time or money but worth a look. It used to be possible to do this with Aegean but now they seem to route everything through Athens.

Warwick

PS I haven't flown through Athens for a long time, so things may have changed, but I never found security there to be particularly slow. It is certainly worth buying fast track security at Stansted where the queues are endless.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:10 pm
by Guy M
I fly through Athens each year and it's fine for security queues. I agree Stansted is horrendous- and coming back in to the UK too.
Last Christmas we flew back to the UK (Gatwick - we stayed in the Premier Inn before driving to the Midlands on Jan1) on New Year's Eve via Athens - not a popular day to fly (or stay in the Prmier Inn Gatwick) so quite cheap.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:16 am
by Kilkis
I also use the Premier Inn if I have an early morning flight back to Crete. The one at Gatwick North Terminal is brilliant as it is directly opposite the departure building. It's very clean and modern, not a bit tired like some of them, and the restaurant is not bad. Get up, walk across the road and check in. The one at Stansted is equally good but not quite as convenient as it is a short, 5 to 10 minutes, courtesy bus ride away from the airport.

I discovered that the Easirent car rental office, nothing to do with easyCar, is a portakabin on the edge of the Premier Inn car park so drop the car and walk into the hotel. Decent prices and very good service. The last time I took the car back there was a slight dent which wasn't on his copy of the checkout form. I told him that I certainly hadn't done it so either it was there when I hired it or it had happened in a car park. He went back through their computer records and found the original report of it happening so he knew it was pre-existing. I think many companies would simply have said, "Tough luck. It's there now so you pay." When I got home I found that it was on my copy of the checkout form.

Warwick

PS The long queues coming back into Stansted, and Gatwick for that matter, are passport control not security so there is no way to fast track them.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:43 am
by filippos
Ryanair have just started a 'flash' sale

"Get 20% off up to 2 million seats. Travel November 2017 to January 2018. Book by midnight Sunday."

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:48 pm
by Carolina
filippos wrote: We travelled CHQ/ATH/Malta last year and baggage was checked through both outbound and inbound.


Not on Ryanair Filippos? 'Αποκλειεται' - quote from my daughter who works at CHQ airport and was working for the Ryanair check in agents last year, it is not possible to check baggage through Athens with them without collecting it and rechecking in. I suggest the ol' memory is playing tricks on you and you travelled with hand luggage (or with Aegean) !

They may be starting soon ( https://www.irishtimes.com/business/tra ... -1.3039316 ) but currently the recommended minimum connecting time with Ryanair is to allow at least 3 hours between flights in Athens. e.g. if booking LON/ATH/CHQ and vice versa and collect/re-check in luggage in Athens.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:52 pm
by filippos
Carolina, you're correct and the memory isn't merely old unless you're counting in archaeological time. 'Er Indoors reminded me that we did, indeed, spend longer than three hours in Athens. Left Xania ridiculously early to Athens, dumped bags at airport hotel and spent day in Athens (mainly @ Acropolis museum) and overnight back in hotel. Next a.m. back to Athens for another full day with 2nd night at hotel before departing to Malta. All in all, a bit more than 48 hours in Athens so that's a memory mega-failure. But we did travel Ryanair.

Apologies to those I've misinformed.

When booking flights I was lucky to spot that Ryanair was running a promotion for Business Plus so checked the prices. Good move: the promo was so good that in total the return fares were €60 each cheaper than Economy with hold baggage. Deal included free 20kg bags, priority boarding, seat choice, fast-track security in Athens, free change of flight time, dedicated service phone line. Essentially all flight extras included plus a couple of extras. Unfortunately I haven't seen comparable discounts since then.

Re: How do I get to Chania at Xmas?

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:29 pm
by Kilkis
filippos wrote:...When booking flights I was lucky to spot that Ryanair was running a promotion for Business Plus so checked the prices. Good move: the promo was so good that in total the return fares were €60 each cheaper than Economy with hold baggage. Deal included free 20kg bags, priority boarding, seat choice, fast-track security in Athens, free change of flight time, dedicated service phone line. Essentially all flight extras included plus a couple of extras. Unfortunately I haven't seen comparable discounts since then.


I recently helped a friend to book some seats because he was having problems with the Ryanair web site. Based on that experience, Ryanair seem to have changed their descriptors. They now have Standard, Plus and Flexi Plus. From his description, I think what Filippos booked as Business Plus is now Flexi Plus. The Plus category does give you seat selection but only at the lowest price. If you select one of the higher priced seats, e.g. emergency row to get extra leg room, you have to pay the difference. Flexi Plus claims to include "Priority Seat selection" so that may include the higher priced seats. I'm not sure since my friend didn't choose it.

Warwick