Review: Sky Express Economy ATR72-600 (JTR-ATH)

After two gorgeous days on Santorini the time had finally come to start the long journey home. I found award availability on Air France from Athens to Dallas via Paris but first, we had to get to Athens.


Like all of my cash bookings, I started searching with Google Flights. Sky Express had the best combination of timing and price as the similarly timed Aegean flight was 3x the price in economy. For the 45 minute flight I chose to forgo the Star Alliance perks with Aegean and booked directly with Sky Express via their website. Though their ATR72’s are in an all economy configuration, we booked the higher level economy ticket due to our checked bags. Our fare class would have given us access to the Sky Express lounge though Santorini is one of the airports that doesn’t have a lounge.

Arrival and Check-In

As part of our stay at Oia Mare, we had a free van that took us from the hotel to Santorini Airport. We were out of the hotel at 6:15a, having handled the check out the night before. A porter met us at our room and carried our bags up the hill to our waiting shuttle for the ride over to the airport.

a black van parked on a road
a building with people walking in front of it

We arrived at the airport at 6:45a and joined the queue for checked bags. As Sky Express is an all-economy airline, there was no priority lane available and, after 25 minutes in line, our bags were tagged to Athens, and we headed for security.

Sky Express Check-In Desk Santorini

Pre Flight

Security was quick and 30 minutes after arrival we were airside. With 45 minutes to go before boarding, we grabbed coffee and found a couple of seats in the gate area to relax as there are no lounges at JTR. I took the time to do some plane spotting but the windows were fairly dirty and I couldn’t get any great photos because of the light.

people in a store with luggage
a plane on the runway


Five minutes before boarding was scheduled to begin, there was still no sign of our aircraft. A few minutes later, our ATR72 arrived from Athens and pulled into the arrival stand. To my surprise, boarding was called just a couple of minutes after our inbound aircraft arrived.

Sky Express ATR72-600 (SX-TEM)

Sky Express

GQ 341

JTR-ATH (Santorini International – Athens International)

Seat: 1D (Economy)

ATR72-600 (SX-TEM)

Scheduled: 8:30a-9:25a

Actual: 8:30a-9:28a

After scanning our boarding passes, we stepped outside and then onto one of the oldest buses I have ever seen. Seriously, this one was worse than our one from the Maldives with the missing escape handles and may have been older than me. Thankfully it was only a 50 yard ride out to the plane.

Santorini International Airport Bus

We ended up still sitting on the bus for 10-15 minutes while they finished offloading the arriving passengers and cleaned the plane. Once the crew was ready, we boarded from the rear, which is an opportunity you don’t get much.

Sky Express ATR72-600 (SX-TEM)


Since the plane was in an all-economy layout, each seat is basically the same. If you want to be last on and first off, I recommend sitting in the rear. We chose the bulkhead as it doubles at the exit row, which gave us a bit of extra legroom though not much. The only downside to this is that you’ll be the last passengers off the plane upon landing.

Sky Express ATR72-600 Bulkhead Legroom


Though boarding started late, we still managed to depart on time, next to an Aegean A320 that was also headed to Athens. We flew that same flight in to Santorini a few days before and had a very pleasant experience.

Aegean A320 at Santorini Airport

We taxied down to the south end of the airport, passing some administrative buildings and old military bunkers before taking off to the north from Runway 35.

Taxiing at Santorini Airport


Once airborne, the crew quickly hopped into action, as the flight was only 136 miles. They managed to perform a full beverage service on this short flight. I had a cup of coffee which was accompanied by a biscuit and a hand wipe.

Sky Express Inflight Service

Though our plane was pretty new, having been delivered to Sky Express in 2021, the windows were really dirty which caused a glare with the rising sun. The views were still impressive and I passed the short flight looking out the window as we overflew more islands before beginning our descent into Athens.

an aerial view of land and clouds
a landscape with mountains and buildings


Once on the ground, we pulled up to a remote stand next to another Sky Express ATR, an older 42-500.

Sky Express ATR42

Since we were at the front it took a few minutes to disembark and once we stepped onto the bus it was off to the main terminal.

Schengen Arrivals Athens Airport

We followed the signs for baggage claim and made our way over to carousel 9 where the bags for both our flight and the Aegean flight from Santorini were coming out.

a group of people walking in a hallway
a blue and white sign on a wall

We had a short wait on bags and then headed out to the arrivals curb to catch our car into the city.

Athens Airport Arrivals


For a short hop around Greece, we really enjoyed Sky Express. The legroom in the bulkhead row of their ATR-72 had good legroom and the staff was extremely attentive. Though Santorini didn’t have a lounge or a priority lane, the airline does offer complimentary lounge access on Economy Flex tickets at many airports they serve. As they continue to take deliveries of more Airbus A320 family aircraft, I expect the experience to get even better as they replace the flying done by the older ATR-42s. We would happily fly with Sky Express again if the timing and price was right. The only downside is the lack of options to credit flights to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post
a screenshot of a website

American AAdvantage Instant Status Pass

Next Post
a street with trees and a building

Review: Moxy Athens