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Heraklion Airport (HER)

airforced

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May 5, 2010
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Flying into Heraklion (Iraklio) soon. It's been a while since I was there and from memory it was as chaotic and poorly organised as any non third world airport could be.

Anyone been through there recently who can update me please on things like bars, catering, smoking area?? once through security. I read elsewhere that their security screening/xray machine was somehow plonked in the middle of some check in queue. Can that be right or was this particular correspondent mistaken?

Maybe someone will be able to tell me that it is now a joy to travel through with loads of seating (a first for any Greek airport I've been through) or maybe not.

I'll go for the not shall I. :whiteflag:
 

Aviador

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Re: Heraklion Airport

According to Wikipedia a new airport was being planned but it's unclear if this is still going ahead because of the financial situation Greece is in at the moment.

Wikipedia said:
During the summer months the airport can become very congested. During this period it is not uncommon that passengers have to wait in queue for check-in outside the terminal.
Therefore, a new airport at Kastelli Pediados has been planned. The project is originally expected to be completed by 2015. The cost of this airport will be approximately 1 billion euros. When the new airport is up and running, the existing airport at Heraklion will cease operations
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heraklion_ ... al_Airport
So by all accounts, it's going to be very congested so be prepared!
 

Seasider

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Re: Heraklion Airport

My wife and I went to Crete last September, came back on the last Jet2 flight to LBA. As far as I remember, there weren't any problems on arrival or departure.
 

airforced

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Re: Heraklion Airport

After having 'done' HER twice in the last 9 months now I can report that it has gradually improved over the years and is now a quite acceptable airport even though it may not seem it at times, particularly if you are at the wrong end of a departures queue which doesn't seem to move very much.

There is plenty of seating both land side and air side and the security screening staff are the most polite and helpful I've come across anywhere. They must all have been to the Hellenic Charm School. One other thing I stumbled across when traveling through there last week is that there is a good, unprotected, wi-fi signal in land side departures although it disappears once you pass through security to the gate area. It isn't advertised anywhere as far as I could see so suck it and see as they say.
 

airforced

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Re: Heraklion Airport

Aviador said:
According to Wikipedia a new airport was being planned but it's unclear if this is still going ahead because of the financial situation Greece is in at the moment.

Wikipedia said:
During the summer months the airport can become very congested. During this period it is not uncommon that passengers have to wait in queue for check-in outside the terminal.
Therefore, a new airport at Kastelli Pediados has been planned. The project is originally expected to be completed by 2015. The cost of this airport will be approximately 1 billion euros. When the new airport is up and running, the existing airport at Heraklion will cease operations
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heraklion_ ... al_Airport
So by all accounts, it's going to be very congested so be prepared!
The new Heraklion airport at Kastelli Aviador mentions here is edging towards being built. After years of threats to build it on the current military base tenders are now being invited from interested parties, including French, German and Chinese, and the tendering process will close on 6 May 2016. They hope that the new airport will be open in 2018 although I doubt that very much. Due to it not being financed by the Greek Govt but by foreign money it has a better chance of happening. It is just the time-scale they are contemplating that bugs me.

Good luck to them though. I'll update as and(or) when there is progress.
 

airforced

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The update I promised quite some time ago is as follows;

"An infrastructure consortium made up of GMR Airports Limited (GAL) and Greece’s GEK Terna has placed its bid at 480 million euros for the construction and operation of the new Kastelli airport project in Heraklion, Crete, and is expected to receive parliament approval by year-end.

The state will contribute 180 million euros or 46 percent down from the initial 220 million euros set earlier in the tender. Airport use fees have also dropped below 20 euros, while expected time of completion has been set for 60 months.

GMR Airports Limited (GAL) is a subsidiary of India’s GMR Infrastructure Limited, and together with GEK Terna, on award will be the airport operator holding a minimum of 10 percent equity stake in the consortium.

The project involves the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the airport – expected to handle more than seven million passengers per year – for a concession period of 35 years.

GMR Group is a leading global infrastructure conglomerate with interests in airport, energy, transportation and urban infrastructure. Greek company GEK Terna is active in construction, energy, mining, waste management, and real estate development.

The Kastelli airport will replace the current Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Heraklion and is expected to become Greece’s second biggest."

Still no concrete movement but the noises are promising. The news was taken from Greek Travel Pages bulletin dated 18 April 2017. Fingers crossed for a while longer. I'm flying into the other Crete airport (Chania) soon which I am told is a much quieter affair than Heraklion, thank goodness.
 
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Mar 19, 2013
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Flew back from Heraklion to Manchester on Saturday evening. The worst airport I have ever been through in my life.

They are doing improvement works, which is fair enough but the chaos around gates 1 and 2 is a joke. We were crammed into a luggage reclaim area. One tiny coffee shop with a small (4) selection of prepacked sandwiches. This area catering for 3-5 flights at a time. One small duty free shop and one set of toilets. No real announcements. People had no idea what was going on which meant people missed calls for flights etc.

Really badly organised, I am trying to get in touch with easyjet, not to complain to them as it's not their fault but so they can raise the issues.
 

Aviador

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Flew back from Heraklion to Manchester on Saturday evening. The worst airport I have ever been through in my life.

They are doing improvement works, which is fair enough but the chaos around gates 1 and 2 is a joke. We were crammed into a luggage reclaim area. One tiny coffee shop with a small (4) selection of prepacked sandwiches. This area catering for 3-5 flights at a time. One small duty free shop and one set of toilets. No real announcements. People had no idea what was going on which meant people missed calls for flights etc.

Really badly organised, I am trying to get in touch with easyjet, not to complain to them as it's not their fault but so they can raise the issues.
From personal experience I think Greece has some of Europe's worst airports especially in some of the Islands. Skiathos is notoriously bad but the worst has to be Corfu and Zakynthos where the terminals more closely resemble a freight shed than a terminal. According to Wikipedia 14 Greek airports were privatised 22 March 2017. This may bring about substantial changes over the coming years.

upload_2018-4-24_17-1-35.jpeg
Kos Airport inews.co.uk
 

TheLocalYokel

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I've never been to Greece - perhaps I've not missed anything with the airport experience there. The nearest I've been is Cyprus- both Larnaca and Paphos airports - but both were nearly 30 years ago and I can't recall anything particularly bad about either airport then.
 
Mar 19, 2013
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Had a reply from EasyJ:


Hi Adie, thanks for your kind feedback. I've forwarded it to our cabin crew managers who'll be sure to pass it on to the crew for that particular flight. I've also passed on your thoughts about Heraklion airport so that they can look into how to improve their service. Thanks again Robbie
 

LBA787

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I've never been to Greece - perhaps I've not missed anything with the airport experience there. The nearest I've been is Cyprus- both Larnaca and Paphos airports - but both were nearly 30 years ago and I can't recall anything particularly bad about either airport then.
LCA and PFO are practically brand new now, the Cypriots sorted it out and fair play to them. LCA in particular is very modern with 10 air bridges or more all air conditioned.

As Aviador points out Greek arports are extreamly poor, I find CFU especially bad as it’s slightly busier than some of the smaller island airports but with pretty much the same facilities as 1985!

Changes are no doubt coming and very much overdue in my opinion. Let’s hope they get on with the new HER asap, I adore Crete but cannot stand the current HER.
 

airforced

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News from another forum says that the completion date for the improvements (paid for by the Hellenic Duty Free people by the way and not the Govt) have overrun which isn't surprising as everything overruns in Greece. The works should be completed by the time I go through at the end of May so heres hoping!

I've been through Heraklion many times over the years and, even though regular improvements have been made during that time, it certainly can be a horrendous place to travel through, particularly on the return journey. It should be noted though that the past two years have seen passenger numbers increase by 13% and 9% year on year to nearly 7.5m, the majority of which pass though within a 6 month summer season. Not sure sure if the 7.5m is incoming or the total. I thought is was a bigger number than that but that is what Wikipedia says right or wrong).

An additional factor which no doubt has and will prevent further infrastrucure investment is that a new airport is being built at Kastelli 20km to south east of Heraklion and that work is due to start on that in the autumn with completion scheduled (it is Greece so scheduled means maybe) in 2022/23. Google Kastelli Airport for more info.

PS I'm pleased to see that Jet2 have decided to run flights to Chania in 2019 even though they are late to that particular party. Better late than never though. Chania is a joy compared with Heraklion and is one of the Greek airports that has been privatised and is being run by Fraport.
 
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airforced

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With the recent arrest of a British man following him taking photographs at Chania airport in Crete it is probably an opportune moment to remind people that the majority of Greek airports are shared by civilian and military aircraft and photography airside is illegal. This applies to Herkalion and Chania airports and will also apply to the new Heraklion airport at Kastelli once it is opertional as this too will be a shared facility. Link to the Chania arrest here http://apokoronasnews.gr/british-man-arrested-for-photographing-military-facilities/

You may recall a similar incident that became international news not too long ago when spotters were arrested at Kalamata airport. Do take warnings about this seriously as they mean it!
 
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