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So we're a married Indian couple on our honeymoon trip to Greece. Our original flight from Mumbai to Athens (via Muscat) on Oman Air was scheduled for July 10, 2019 and arriving at Athens at 1950 hours on 10 July. Basis this schedule, we had applied for our tourist Visa with the intended date of arrival in the Schengen area as 10 July.

Today I received a call from the airline informing me that our onward flight has been cancelled due to B-737 Max grounding. They can accommodate us either on the 11 July flight (in which case we miss the first day in Athens) or 9 July (in which case we arrive at Athens at 1950 hours on 9 July itself).

If we decide to take the latter route, i.e. reach 4 hours prior to the midnight of our intended date of arrival in the Schengen area - How likely are we to face difficulties either in (a) Mumbai (i.e. origination point) or (b) Muscat (where we need to change aircrafts) or (c) Athens itself with the security/ immigration authorities?

We will, of course, wait until midnight of 10 July to pass through immigration. But I'm concerned if we will face challenges explaining our situation or with our checked-in luggage or with the transit authorities in Oman itself.

If anyone knows of a similar situation or familiar with Greek immigration, would love to hear you out. The safer (albeit, inefficient) option is to just cut our trip short by a day and reschedule to 11 July.

Thanks!

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    You'll have to take the later flight. Try tweeting the airline saying how amazing it would be if they can figure something out so you don't miss a day of your honeymoon, and see what happens. – David Richerby Jun 27 at 9:14
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    IMHO the answer to "How likely are we to face difficulties?" is "very". You probably won't make it onboard. – jcaron Jun 27 at 9:14
  • That's a good idea David. Tweeting about it might help. The way I see it, this is a screw up by the airline. B-737 Max grounding was announced before we booked our tickets, and hence this excuse doesn't really fly. – Bh33shma Jun 27 at 9:19
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You are highly likely to be refused boarding given that your flight is scheduled to arrive before your visa start date. Your plan to loiter in the Immigration area of Athens airport for around 4 hours after your flight arrives will not work.

The only feasible option is to take the later flight.

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    I've also written to the Greece embassy in India explaining my situation. Hope they'll either fix my Visa date or at least give me a letter saying I can wait it out at the Airport immigration area. Will immigration really have a huge issue if we wait around for a bit. I mean, this is not a deliberate attempt to circumvent rules or anything right? More of a logistical issue because the Airline messed up. – Bh33shma Jun 27 at 9:23
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    @Bh33shma getting the Greek authorities to modify the visa is certainly the best solution here. The problem of course is that consular bureaucracies are not known for going out of their way to be helpful. Some are more service oriented than others, however, and we do occasionally hear about success stories, so it is worth a try. Good luck! – phoog Jun 27 at 12:53

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