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How Early Do You Usually Arrive At The Airport?  
User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3527 posts, RR: 8
Posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 25944 times:

I am very anal about getting there early. Two reasons:

1) I love airports
2) I get nervous about being late!

Once at the airport, I try to get through security as quickly as possible. Then I go club hopping.

My partner hates this! He would much rather be at the airport 30 seconds before the flight leaves!

17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineAirtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1564 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 25933 times:

I agree with you, I love airports so I usually try to arrive early and go directly at check-in, this way I have more chance to have a window seat for my flight...

Life is short : eat dessert first !
User currently offlineCapicuuu From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2001, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 25911 times:

Hmm, for me it really depends on how I am flying. If I am on a Rev ticket then I like being there at least 2 hours prior so that I can get a good seat. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Usually I am able to secure a good seat so it makes it worth the time spent. As others, I also like spending time at the airport and just seeing plane movements and takeoff/landings if possible.

On standby however (Delta) I get there whenever I can. Going to NY the other day I showed up about 45 min before the flight. As I have no choice of seat (or even getting on the plane) I don't bother with getting there too early. Coming back, I did get there early to see what LGA-ATL flight I could jump on. I arrived at LGA at 10:35 and was in the air by 11am. It also helps that I don't check in bags unless I am away for more then 15 days.

User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 25906 times:

Always 2 hours. I have club memberships, and use them to get last minute tasks taken care of. Getting there early also maximizes the likelihood of getting an upgrade.

User currently offlineDeltaFFinDFW From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1496 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 25899 times:

Given that I travel every week, I'm over "hanging out" at DFW. I leave my house about an hour before my flight, so I can get in the airport and get on the plane.

I also have club memberships, but that doesn't usually matter to me.

User currently offlineGlidepath73 From Germany, joined Mar 2005, 1021 posts, RR: 41
Reply 5, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 25889 times:

Same for me!
Try to be always two hours or more before departure at the airport. Early check in makes it easy to get the seats you want.
Then got to the shops and look out of the windows. The cafeteria in MAD is very nice to watch the traffic, even ZRH with the new Airside Center is brilliant.


Aviation! That rocks...
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6526 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 25885 times:

About 60 min for business trips w/o luggage to check.
90 min for other flights with luggage to check.
60 min again if I checked in (luggage + boarding card) the evening before (available from several charter operators in Germany).

This all is valid only for my homebase at HAJ with its very short distances; at some other airports I´ll show up about 2h before departure (with luggage to check).

Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 25879 times:

I have a regular travelling companion who likes to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before the recommended check-in time, often having to wait for the check in desk to open. That way, he says, he has a greater chance of getting an exit-row seat.

I cannot understand why he endures waiting in the airport check-in queue for 2 hours, yet cannot endure 2 hours sitting in a normal row on the aircraft.

MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 25871 times:

Every single time we are cutting it from 1 hour-30 min. Most of the time it is 30 min. even with checked bags. And I am always the one who has to be dropped off at the curb so I can run as fast as I can to the kiosk and get us there before the 30 min. deadline. Gets kind of tiring, but atleast I don't have to sit around for hours waiting for the damn plane especially if it were delayed. This is on Delta Non-rev BTW.

The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1716 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days ago) and read 25851 times:

Depends largely on the airport concerned, I guess; in my case for AMS it's 1.5 hours, but for TXL or PRG 30 minutes would be fine ...

don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3831 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 25850 times:

Depends who is taking me to the airport or if I am driving.

I do like to lounge hop if I haven't flown from the airport before, although LHR Terraces usually only gets about a 10min look-in nowadays if I am flying shorthaul!

If longhaul and ex-LHR on BA I try to get there about 2hrs 30mins beforehand so I can get a massage in the Spa.....  Embarrassment

"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 67
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 25827 times:

For trips with little luggage and/or domestic/European itineraries usually between 45 and 60 minutes before the flight; for longhaul usually somewhere around 90 minutes before.

And it wasn't more while I had my LH FTL membership and had access to their lounges on every flight.


Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12976 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 25808 times:

I prefer to arrive at the airport about 2-3 hours before departure

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31875 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 25804 times:

I work here,so if BOM is the Dep Airport,I hang out with a few collegues.If its another airport.Probably roam the shops.But always a couple of hrs earlier.

Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineFLAIRPORT From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 25791 times:

2 hours is my goal...if i'm in atl 2 1/2-3 hours...if i'm at FLL T1 1 1/2-2 hours...FLL T2 2 hours...BDL 2 hours...this way I can see the sights etc...T2 is my favorite terminal, so I like to spend time there, but 2 hours, longer if its a hub.

User currently offlineJeffry747 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 968 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 25772 times:
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I like to get to the airport anywhere from two to four hours early. Get checked in, get my luggage checked, get through the checkpoint, find my gate, and then mess around for a few hours. I will get something to eat and drink, check out the shops (found a shop at IAD that has some nice airplane models), load up my camera, and then do some spotting. I sometimes wander the entire terminal trying to find the best viewpoint.

However if I am flying WN, it's a different story. I am anal about getting an A-class boarding pass. I will check in at the earliest possible time, and go straight to my gate. I am in line the moment my gates previous flight leaves, so I can be first on board when my plane arrives. This way I have the seat I want and enjoy my flight SO much more.

C'mon Big B, FLY!
User currently offlineLHB727230Adv From Germany, joined Mar 2005, 255 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 9 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 25769 times:

About 2 hours before: one for spotting and the other for relaxing in the lounge.

Alex  bigthumbsup 

User currently offlineDENplanenut From United States of America, joined May 2005, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 9 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 25767 times:

I try to be at the airport about 90 minutes before departure... never know how long security lines could be. For the most part, I'm running late. So, when I fly non-rev on F9 I have to be at the check in counter 45 prior to departure, other wise ticketing is denied.

I kinda miss the good old days when I would arrive at my former home airport (DCA) 20-25 minutes before departure and still make the flight.


User currently offlineHorizonGirl From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 808 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (10 years 9 months 1 day ago) and read 25754 times:

I arrive very early to ensure a wing seat.
I love airports too.
But if my dad has an afternoon flight, you'll bet he will be there at 4:00 am!


Flying high on the Wings of the Great Northwest!
User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 25720 times:

Depends on the airport and airline, but in general I play it fairly conservatively.

B6 out of JFK - I'll aim for 60 min, with another 15-30 min "slop" in the schedule if I'm going by car (the Van Wyck can be one of the world's truly annoying experiences.)

AA out of LGA - 90 min minimum, 2 hours at holidays. If I luck out and get a short curbside check-in line, I'll have a little extra time, but better safe than sorry.

B6 or AA in TPA - 60 min is fine.

Any airline in LAS - 2 hours, only because the security lines can be horrific. I've been lucky last two trips, but again, better safe...

Anywhere else, I'll check the airline's website and go with their recommendation, plus 15 minutes.

User currently offlineBrokenrecord From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 772 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 25719 times:

Usually 2 hours... I honestly could get away with 60 minutes at ORF but I just have a habit of 2 hrs...

User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 25721 times:

When I am booked in Business: Early to enjoy the lounge.

When I am booked in Eco: 5 minutes before check-in end.


User currently offlineAerofan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1538 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 25684 times:

When I non rev - 30-45 mins depending on carrier and where I'm going
when it's a revenue ticket 45-60mins no matter where i'm going and no matter the carrier.

User currently offlineUAalltheway From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 25683 times:

I'll usually get to the airport between 3 hours to 90 minutes before my flight leaves. But it depends on the carrier I'm flying. When I fly UA 2 saturdays from this saturday my flight leaves at 7:24AM so I'll probobly get to the airport around 6AM, maybe a little bit later. Also on a side note- the drive to JAX from my home is about 45 minutes.

User currently offlineAlphafloor From Chile, joined Jun 2004, 1277 posts, RR: 35
Reply 24, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25677 times:

As I live near GVA airport I usually do the check-in the day before so I can go to the airport the latest possible, I don't like to wait in GVA because I know this airport too well.

But in the other hand if I travel with U2 I'll arrive early 2 hours before the check-in counters close to have max chance to be one of the first to enter the aircraft and chose my favorite seat.

And finally if I travel with my young kids whether it's for a normal airline or U2 I'll arrive the latest possible as with U2 they let parents with their childrens enter the first in the aircraft.


25 CV990 : Hi! Flying Intercontinental or International flights I always try to be at leat 2 hopurs before. Regarding some airlines like KL or LX you can in adva
26 Matt27 : Hey, I always arrive at least tow hours early, and Zrs70 said I love airports and I hate being late. I also like the feeling when I can walk around an
27 Post contains images Cornish : Well in July when i had to fly from Cape Town to Jo'burg in peak hour Sunday late afternoon, I got to the airport 10 mins before my flight I made my f
28 Post contains images PipoA380 : Well I usually show up 1hr before scheduled push-back time when I only have carry-on (short trips, week-end or whatever) because I don't really care a
29 FlyBoy84 : I like to arrive at the airport a minimum of two hours ahead of time! At my homeport of STL, I usually fly UA or US and that means using the A gates.
30 Pbiflyer : The amount of time I arrive at an airport prior to departure varies depending on the size of the airport. At my home airport, PBI, I look to being the
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