View Full Version : How early do you go the airport?

02-21-2005, 10:38 AM
I don't want to feel rushed, but I also don't want to be there TOO long since we will have 4 small children with us!!!


02-21-2005, 10:55 AM
We usually fly out on the 7am flight, so we try to get to the airport around 5 - check in, go through security, let the kids walk around a little while...then hopefully they're ready for a little nap on the flight!

02-21-2005, 12:00 PM
We always like to be there early enough in case there are long lines for security or check in. Last Dec, I flew to West Palm Beach, and DH got me to the airport a little less than 1/2 hour before flight (probably didn't want me to leave??) and I didn't, cause I missed boarding, and had to go on the next flight (luckily that was an hour later, so DH stuck around for a bit).

02-21-2005, 12:21 PM
I also vote for 2 hours early.

When you think about it, they start loading the aircraft 30 minutes before the departure time so you are really only there 90 minutes before they start loading.

In that time you can check in, check your bags, leave time for a backup at security, locate your departure gate, use the restrooms, and more often than not grab a quick bite to eat at a counter service restaurant.

My flight home a couple weeks ago, I only had 1 hour from the time I walked in the airport door to my departure time, and with a security backlog, even though I did make the flight (barely) it was not a good experience, in fact it was a high stress experience.

bubba's mom
02-21-2005, 01:50 PM
we're always there 2 hour- 1 1/2 hours before flight time. let the kids run around and exert energy. they'll be "penned up" on the plane and maybe get tired enuf to nap!

02-21-2005, 01:57 PM
I get to the Orlando airport 60 minutes in advance. I always have plenty of time! Ive actually gotten there 30 mins before my flight and still made it!

02-21-2005, 04:41 PM
I am in the 60 minute group, but I have no kids. My only exception is Atlanta where I aim for 90 minutes since they have the world's worst security lines.

02-21-2005, 05:24 PM
DS & I get there 2hrs early
When we fly with DH we'll need to get there up to 3hrs early - his name is on the "most wanted" list

02-21-2005, 06:07 PM
I like to play it safe and do 2 hours. That accounts for car return, check-in, security, etc. So it's usually less than an hour before boarding.

02-21-2005, 06:16 PM
I'm staying across the street from the airport Thursday night so I don't have to worry about Friday morning traffic or possible accidents. I still plan to check out of the hotel and walk over to the airport about 6 am for my 7:15 am flight. I will already have my boarding passes and since I'm carrying on my bag, only have to get through security.

02-21-2005, 06:55 PM
I still get to the airport 2hrs ahead of time. I have paid to much money to miss my flight. We don't have the option of $49, $59, or even $150 deals like Jet Blue and Southwest airlines offers.

The minimum fare leaving of MSP going anywhere it $200+ with tax. So for my $200 per person....you bet I am there early with a smile. :teeth:

02-21-2005, 07:03 PM
Two hours - just in case lines are long.

02-21-2005, 08:20 PM
I get to the Orlando airport 60 minutes in advance. I always have plenty of time! Ive actually gotten there 30 mins before my flight and still made it!

I agree about the Orlando airport. We arrived 2 hours early for our trip home. It was a Sat. eve. We were checked and thru security in 15 min. That was a very long wait for the plane. THe kids kept asking why we had to leave the hotel pool so early, just to wait at the airport. I had to agree.

I thought this might be the exception, and we just lucked out, but maybe not?


02-21-2005, 09:16 PM
It seems that 60 minutes is good for Orlando but I have had to be there much earlier at other airports.

Twice I have gotten stuck in security lines at Pittsburgh that stretch out into the covered walkway in the parking lot of the airport! :guilty: That is not much fun when dressed for Florida and the Pittsburgh temperature is near zero!! One time the wait was close to four hours long and no one was making their planes. We finally gave up after 3 1/2 hours and a missed flight and went back 24 hours later!

Just a few weeks ago I waited 2 hours to get through the line at Pittsburgh and this is after waiting in line to check in my luggage! They really need to figure out a way to speed up security there!

02-21-2005, 10:06 PM
When we fly with DH we'll need to get there up to 3hrs early - his name is on the "most wanted" list

This one caught my eye. Are you serious about your DH or did I just not get the joke? The "most wanted" list?

02-21-2005, 10:12 PM
We're usually at the airport 60 minutes before our flight. And one time we were running late that we got there half hour before our flight! We made it, but it got me nervouse cause I thought we would miss our flight.

I know we should be there 2 hours before the flight time, but I just don't like waiting that long and my kids get bored quickly at the airport.

Dan Murphy
02-21-2005, 10:14 PM
2 hours.

02-22-2005, 01:42 PM
For myself, I get there 60 minutes if I'm not checking bags, and 90 minutes if I am.

But with 4 kids, I'd say 90 minutes regardless, more if you think potty stops and/or a stop at a food court will be needed. Trying to get 4 kids moving the same direction at the same time with all the distractions an airport offers is a little like herding cats...

02-22-2005, 01:50 PM
This one caught my eye. Are you serious about your DH or did I just not get the joke? The "most wanted" list?

Some people have a name that's the same or similar to someone on the terrorist watch list. It's hard to get off that list and people who find out they're on the list usually allow extra time for security. Ted Kennedy was on that list and it took him months to get off. He's a recognized public figure, knew the people to call and it still took awhile.

Most airlines will let you standby at no extra charge if you miss your flight. Get to the airport earlier if there aren't very many flights to your destination, or if you have the last flight of the day.

02-23-2005, 10:36 AM
Definately 2 hours. We were there in January and the lines were very long to check in. With Southwest being there early can make a big difference on your seats...just in case thats what you are flying. :sunny:

lauran cameron
02-23-2005, 10:40 AM
2 hours...playin' it safe :Pinkbounc

02-23-2005, 11:20 AM
We get there 2 hours before, that way we are not rushed or stressed that we may miss our flight. You never know what the lines going through security will be like. :confused3 Rather be safe then sorry. ;)

Chip 'n Dale Express
02-23-2005, 09:40 PM
I just flew out of Orlando Int'l today... I was running late, and did not arrive at the airport until 10:30 for my 12:05 flight. Between the extremely long lines to check baggage (both counter and curbside were enormous), and the huge security line, I made it to my gate at 11:45, just prior to boarding. Too close for my comfort.

(On a side note, I was flying Southwest, used online checkin, got an A boarding pass, and even though I was one of the last, I managed to get the seat I wanted, with no one sitting next to me on a nearly full flight... so it all worked out)

Two hours prior to departure time is a GOOD amount of time to get there, because you really never know what's going to happen. You might get pulled for a random security check. Even if it's a slow time, there might be delays in check in or security due to less staffing. There are plenty of stores and other things to do in the airport to keep one occupied should they get there early, and there be no hold ups.

02-24-2005, 09:28 AM
We usually give ourselves two hours, but we live relatively close to the Philly airport. However, security check-ins can tie you up sometimes. When leaving WDW, most shuttles and towncar companies will pick you up at least two hours ahead of time.

However, I just learned that a friend of mine was returning from MCO on Tuesday (on a morning flight). She and her traveling companion had to return a rental car at the airport. They ran into an accident on 192 and she missed her flight. Instead of returning home at 10:00 a.m., she did not arrive home until 11:00 p.m.! So, after hearing that, if I was renting a car, I'd probably give myself more time (we usually do not rent, but when we have, we pick the car up on Disney property).

Also, I did come up against a problem several years back when a Mears driver was driving VERY slowly and most of the passengers on that bus missed their flights. There were no accidents, no tie-ups, he just drove unbearably slowly for some reason. I did not miss my flight because it was late arriving from Philly and lucikly I only had carry-on luggage with me. So, I always give caveats when talking about arrival times.....life can throw you a curve now and then......:rolleyes: .