Can’t find a direct flight to Rhodes or Kos on the date or at a time that suits? Take a flight to Athens or Thessaloniki and connect to a domestic flight to Rhodes or Kos from there. If you can get the two flights booked on the same ticket you will get your baggage transferred automatically in Athens, and be rebooked onto another flight if you miss the connection due to delays on the inbound flight.
However if you have two separate tickets (inevitable if one or both of the airlines is Ryanair, EasyJet, Wizzair or other low-cost carriers) and quite possible with other airlines depending on who you book with, you need to allow lots and lots of time, as in 5 hours or so. If there are no changes to the scheduled time of either flight between booking and travelling, and the first flight arrives punctually, you’ll have more than enough time and curse me, even though you’ll need to go through immigration in Athens if entering or leaving the Schengen Area, and wait to reclaim your baggage, take it upstairs and queue up to check it in again. But if for whatever reason you eventually turn up at the head of the check-in queue after the cut off point for the second flight, you’re on your own, with no rebooking and no help from anyone – you need to find another flight and pay for it yourself.
Now you may think I’m a total hypocrite, because I’ve done this sort of “not-really-connection” in about 75 minutes in the past. But this was in the middle of the night, so no waiting at immigration, and no long queues at check-in, and I know my way round Athens airport, and most importantly was prepared to take the risk of losing my second flight and the money I’d paid for it.
Here’s a file showing summer scheduled flights from Athens and Thessaloniki to Rhodes and Kos. There will be flights (not daily) from Thessaloniki to Kos operated by Astra Airlines, and I’ll add them to the file when they get round to making their website tell me the dates and times..
You’ll find it far more likely to get through-ticketed connections using Olympic/Aegean.
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