How Early Do You Recommend Someone Arrive For Their Flight?

How early do you recommend someone arrive for their flight? It is generally recommended that customers arrive at the airport at least one hour prior to departure. But that time may vary depending on the time of year, the airport you’re traveling from, and your personal needs.

People search for the magic number of actually how early they need to arrive at an airport before their flight. Many concerns and issues exist today in our state of heightened security. However, spending half of your vacation day sitting around in an airport terminal is extremely unappealing. Newspaper and handheld video games only last for so long.

We generally recommend that Customers arrive at the airport at least one hour prior to departure. But that time may vary depending on the time of year, the airport you’re traveling from, and your personal needs. If you’re traveling with children or require wheelchair assistance, for example, you’ll want to allow yourself a little extra time.

Most U.S. airlines print recommended times on your tickets. Standard answers are for one hour before a domestic flight and two hours for an international flight. Use that number as a guideline since you know how well you travel better than the airlines know.

Many airlines now suggest arriving two hours before a domestic flight and three before an international trip, especially if the threat advisory level is at yellow or higher. Several factors are modifiers for that suggested period. If you are returning a rental car or parking in a long-term offsite parking lot, extra time may be needed to deal with any problems that may occur.

Another result of tightened security measures is that airports no longer offer the option of checking in for your flight from curbside. All other offsite airport check-ins are no longer available either. This means that you will have to use the check-in counters to check your luggage. And that means longer lines.

If you are traveling with items such as a baby stroller or wheelchair, extra time should be given to check these items. That also means you may need extra time to get through security to the gate and qualify for early boarding. Passengers with small children or those with injuries or handicaps can get on the plane first once boarding has begun.

Holiday travel is an experience all on its own. Overall, passenger air travel has risen, but during peak holiday times, it is the worse. Give yourself plenty of extra time, as it will take longer to get to the gate.

If people bring wrapped packages in their carry-on luggage, security has to open each one. People will forget about metal items that they toss in their jacket pockets, also slowing down security checkpoints. Gifts fill extra pieces of luggage, making for long, slow lines at check-in terminals.

  • What is the recommended arrival time at the airport for an international flight?

    Typically, it is advised to arrive at the airport approximately 3 hours prior to your international flight. However, it’s important to consider various factors that could influence this timeframe, such as the time and season of your travel, the number of individuals accompanying you, whether you plan to check in any luggage, whether you have priority access to security clearance and other relevant aspects.

  • How early should I arrive at the airport for a domestic flight?

    As a general rule, arriving at the airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled departure time for a domestic flight is recommended. Nevertheless, suppose you are traveling during a particularly busy period or from a large airport. In that case, it might be wise to allocate additional time for your arrival.

Ultimately, you want to arrive at the airport with enough time to park your car, check your luggage, negotiate the security checkpoint, and arrive at your departure gate at least 30 minutes prior to taking off because boarding usually starts around that time. If you are unsure how much time you’ll need, visit your airline or airport website for the most current information on airport arrival times.

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About the author
Growing up in Detroit, Lindsey is a Michigan State University alumnus. She feels incredibly lucky to live in Detroit, and much more, to spend her days promoting the Detroit area as a travel destination.