zrs70
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Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:41 am

I’m trying to remember how much time I used to give myself at the airport.

Before electronic check in, we all had to check in at the ticket counter. If you had elite status, it often took longer (even though the line was shorter). Why? Because everyone in line wanted an upgrade, and it would take time to process. The non status line went more quickly!

But security took less time.

When all is said and done, if I have no bags, and with Clear or TSA Pre, I am usually from the terminal door to beyond security at LAX within 6 minutes.

That said, I usually give myself an hour.
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Coal
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:48 am

I usually arrive at the airport 30 mins pre-departure (and all departures are international). Gotta love Changi's efficiency.
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:48 am

When I was a kid my father would often take us to the airport 2 hours before the flight, even though my house was like 10 minutes from the airport. I guess that trait sort of rubbed off on me today. I would arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before a flight, even if I did web check-in.

Heck, once I arrived some 8 hours early!
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acjbbj
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:58 am

You arrive at least two hours before your boarding time.
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flipdewaf
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Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:52 am

I will arrive normally 1hr before for a European flight and 2 for anything longer (from the UK) but it isn’t a hard and fast rule. If for example the train will arrive 1hr 45 before my flight from LHR-YYZ then that will do for me. If however I am flying somewhere new or slightly less well served or potentially that needs more care/time I will go with 2 hrs plus a bit.

Fred

Edit: if there is somewhere nice to watch planes and I’m by myself I’ll arrive 4hrs early. Heathrow has nice stuff to watch, Leeds less so.

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LTU932
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:17 am

I always try to arrive minimum three hours before departure or more, regardless of online check-in or not.
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trijetsonly
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:49 am

I always schedule my arrival to be 30mins before boarding.

If online checkin is unavailable I make it 60mins.
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:13 pm

We check-in online 24 hours before the flight so we (Wife and I) plan on arriving at the airport two hours before our departure time so we can zip through security with Pre-Check and go to the Centurion Lounge (now that I've cancelled my UA Club membership) or Priority Pass Lounge and enjoy something to drink and maybe eat. Head to the gate to arrive there 10 minutes before boarding so we're able to get overhead space as we seldom check luggage.

This is probably 15 minutes earlier than before online check-in started, but leave enough time for traffic since there is more of it now as opposed to previously.
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PanzerPowner
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:14 pm

I arrive 3-4hrs early just to get my plane photo fill.

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fsx98
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:51 pm

PanzerPowner wrote:
I arrive 3-4hrs early just to get my plane photo fill.

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As an avid plane spotter, I strive to arrive about two hours or more so that I could maximize as much time as possible for plane spotting aircraft. Another reason to arrive early is to avoid the crowd whenever possible and even traffic on the way to the airport.
 
evank516
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:26 pm

It depends on the airport for me. When originating (home airports are JFK and LGA), I aim for 1.5 to 2 hours prior to departure because it's JFK and LGA despite the fact that I have Clear now. When returning it depends on where I'm coming back from. If it's an airport I'm not familiar with I give myself 2 hours. I have three common destinations: DAB, MCI, and EYW. DAB I give myself an hour, MCI, an hour to 1:15, EYW an hour to 1:30.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:57 pm

LTU932 wrote:
I always try to arrive minimum three hours before departure or more, regardless of online check-in or not.


This exactly. That way you know for sure you're not missing your flight even if you get delayed on the way to the airport which can easily happen. Travel times are always estimations, they're never entirely correct so don't cut them too tight.

Of course I check-in online whenever possible, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm at the airport at least 2 hours before departure, mostly even more. Difference is that I can go straight to security. Suppose I do get delayed in traffic I'm at the airport an hour before departure instead of 2 hours. Not entirely my intention, but I still catch my flight.
 
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LTU932
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:54 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
LTU932 wrote:
I always try to arrive minimum three hours before departure or more, regardless of online check-in or not.


This exactly. That way you know for sure you're not missing your flight even if you get delayed on the way to the airport which can easily happen. Travel times are always estimations, they're never entirely correct so don't cut them too tight.

Of course I check-in online whenever possible, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm at the airport at least 2 hours before departure, mostly even more. Difference is that I can go straight to security. Suppose I do get delayed in traffic I'm at the airport an hour before departure instead of 2 hours. Not entirely my intention, but I still catch my flight.
One other thing you need to consider is indeed traffic. When I lived in Hamburg, I could walk to the airport because I lived like 15 minutes away from HAM (though when I returned to HAM, I either took the taxi or the bus). From SYQ (which is near where I live now) to SJO is a whole different story, because the ruta 1 is prone to collapsing and there's no train connection, nor any other alternative way to get there (while PTY in Panama is getting a metro connection on top to the existing connection through the Avenida Domingo Díaz and the Corredor Sur expressway). I can't imagine how traffic must be to get to airports like ORD, LGA, EWR, JFK, etc.
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VapourTrails
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:19 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
This exactly. That way you know for sure you're not missing your flight even if you get delayed on the way to the airport which can easily happen. Travel times are always estimations, they're never entirely correct so don't cut them too tight.


Yes, this is me too. I like to relax, eat and drink and take in the sights before my flight. If I arrive later, then I am more often not as ready psychologically. However, this has had the reverse effect if the flight is then delayed after a two hour wait! But, mostly, it is my general nature, to allow some time due to unforeseen circumstances, for any kind of appointment so to speak. The only time I was not really early was for a very early morning flight. By the time I got to the departure gate I had ten minutes to spare till boarding. Nowadays, including this example I will stay at the airport hotel or nearby to help counteract this. Those early morning flights are more likely to be on time too. The airport is also not fully operational to get there too early for a pre 7am flight. The fact that I have already checked in online hasn’t changed my habits regarding the time I usually allow to get to the airport, it just makes me stress a bit less should something delay me.
 
dredgy
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:16 am

I fly at least ten times a week between ROK and BNE. If I was to arrive at the airport an hour early for each flight, I would spend 22 days a year waiting around.

Thankfully both airports are super efficient - I arrive about 5 minutes past scheduled boarding time, clear security immediately and still usually have to wait for boarding to commence. I’ve never missed a flight (flights almost never leave early, but are delayed very often).

On international departing Australia, I will give it an hour to enjoy the lounge, and when at an airport I don’t know I will usually give it two.

The only time I’ve nearly missed a flight was when I arrived theee hours early on a connecting flight, went to the lounge to have a shower and got so engrossed in a book that I didn’t hear the boarding announcement.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:30 am

I definitely arrive earlier, but it's got nothing to do with electronic check-in.

First, there's security. Even having TSA pre-check, I make sure to build in extra time because scanning itself takes longer than it did in the old days and there can still be lines even in the pre-check lane.

Then, there are the rules that some airlines seem to have that seem arbitrary and probably aren't standardized. For example, Delta apparently requires an hour to get a bag from check-in to the airplane for some reason. The first time I flew after getting pre-check, I decided to try to get to the airport an hour before my domestic flight (which is what they at least used to recommend), figuring I'd be safe. I got there 58 minutes in advance and Delta almost wouldn't accept my bag; I had to convince them, and they acted like they were doing me a favor. Didn't used to be this way in the old days; I don't remember there being a specific cutoff (though there may have been), but I distinctly remember getting to the airport a few times 20-30 minutes before a flight and they just said they'd "try" but somehow the bag always made it on the plane.

So now I give myself a minimum of 1:30 before a domestic flight, and 2:30 before an international flight. Both of which are kind of ridiculous IMO, even with bags (it just should not take that long for a bag to get from the check-in counter to the gate, and it didn't used to). But c'est la vie.

That's not even counting the fact that boarding now usually starts 40 minutes in advance. That's 10-20 minutes longer than it used to be too.

I think this is one of the things contributing to the overcrowding at airports over the past 15-20 years. You used to be able to get to the airport right before a flight, which should be normal IMO. I mean you don't wait 2 1/2 hours at a bus station for a bus. If you have TSA pre-check, security should actually be less of an issue than it was pre-9/11. So it makes no sense why anyone needs to be at the airport that far in advance for a flight.
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jetblueguy22
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:53 pm

All airport dependent for me. The BDL, IND, and PBIs of the world I plan on arriving an hour before. JFK, LGA, AND LAX, always two hours. For JFK and LGA especially I always arrive earlier than that though specifically because of the lack of traffic around the times I fly.

When I lived in GFK, at the start of boarding and walk right on. Could go from the car to the gate in 3-4 minutes without breaking a sweat.

Vacations though I usually arrive later, while work travel I’m always earlier. I won’t take the risk of being late to a meeting, but if I’m going away for a week, I’ll take the risk.
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Kent350787
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Re: Do you arrive at the airport earlier or later than you did pre electronic check in?

Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:06 pm

If I arrive earlish, it's only to watch aircraft movements. Domestic usually an hour or so before boarding (often checking baggage via self check). International I web check-in and give my self a couple of hours, but could probaby cut that down these days.

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