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Old 08-13-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
pta-mom
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Three Hours at Airport Before Flight??????

Hello Fellow International Travellars!!

Apparently, to come home from DW, we are supposed to be at the airport three hours in advance of our flight. Does anyone actually do this? As being there three hours in advance would mean being picked up at 4:00am, could we plan to be there two hours in advance and still be good?

Thoughts?
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Are you by any chance flying back on Air Canada? If so, their ticket counters at MCO are not open very early in the a.m.

That said, MCO is a very busy airport, you will need to be there well in advance of your flight. You should be good arriving 2 hours in advance of your flight. There will be lines.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:20 PM   #3
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At MCO 2 hours would be the bare minimum.....it is a super busy airport and security always has a long line that moves slowly. I was there last month and arrived at the airport at 6:30am for an 8:40am flight. I ended up with only about 20 minutes to wait at the gate for boarding.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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Just be glad you aren't taking DME to the airport- they'd be picking you up 4 hours before you're due to depart. I agree with the PPs- MCO is a very busy airport from early morning to evening. And security can be a major bottle neck. I think arriving 2 hours ahead is cutting it way too close, especially if you have to turn in a rental car.

IIRC, Canadians used to be lumped in with domestic departures, and only had to arrive 3 hours early. Now they've lumped us with all the other international visitors and it's 4 hours.

Last edited by minnie mum; 08-13-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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For our 11:45 pm flight from Edmonton we are arriving at about 9pm mostly because I need to do a counter check in since they don't recognize the address of the resort online.

On the way back we are being picked up 3 hours early by ME for our flight to Houston. Hopefully that will be enough time.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancin Disney style View Post
At MCO 2 hours would be the bare minimum.....it is a super busy airport and security always has a long line that moves slowly. I was there last month and arrived at the airport at 6:30am for an 8:40am flight. I ended up with only about 20 minutes to wait at the gate for boarding.
So you did fine with a bit more than a two hour prior arrival. Did you have your bags prechecked or have to check them at the airport?

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Originally Posted by dontthrowsand View Post
For our 11:45 pm flight from Edmonton we are arriving at about 9pm mostly because I need to do a counter check in since they don't recognize the address of the resort online.

On the way back we are being picked up 3 hours early by ME for our flight to Houston. Hopefully that will be enough time.
If you are flying to another point in the US, the DME will pick you up three hours prior to flight but flying out of the US (as in our case), they pick up four hours prior. I get that security can be a bit longer but I'm thinking that we would still be good if we arrive with two hours to spare....fingers crossed of course!
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontthrowsand
For our 11:45 pm flight from Edmonton we are arriving at about 9pm mostly because I need to do a counter check in since they don't recognize the address of the resort online.

On the way back we are being picked up 3 hours early by ME for our flight to Houston. Hopefully that will be enough time.
We've always been fine flying back to Edmonton with the standard DME pick-up times.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigi22 View Post
Are you by any chance flying back on Air Canada? If so, their ticket counters at MCO are not open very early in the a.m.
Yes, it is Air Canada. Any idea what time they are open?

Quote:
Originally Posted by minnie mum View Post
Just be glad you aren't taking DME to the airport- they'd be picking you up 4 hours before you're due to depart. I agree with the PPs- MCO is a very busy airport from early morning to evening. And security can be a major bottle neck. I think arriving 2 hours ahead is cutting it way too close, especially if you have to turn in a rental car.

IIRC, Canadians used to be lumped in with domestic departures, and only had to arrive 3 hours early. Now they've lumped us with all the other international visitors and it's 4 hours.
You misunderstood....I am being picked up FOUR hours in advance so that I can be at the airport THREE hours in advance of our flight!! My flight is at 8am and DME want to pick us up at 4am!!

I would think that arriving at 6am at the airport would be enough time to get through security and all. We only take two hours from this end...why would they need three?
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Sorry I misundersood. Unfortunately you can't negotiate pickup times with DME. It is what it is. IF you find yourself at the departure area with a lot of time on your hands, at least you'll have time for a leisurely breakfat and last minute shopping.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #10
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Pta-mom I don't think, for the sake of a half hour, I would chance it. Last time we flew out of MCO our line was reasonable (we were flying to a US destination). I remember seeing the line for International travel and it was around the block and back on itself. I remember thinking that was reason enough to fly from a US airport when we go to Florida. You will likely also have to stand in the line to check in your luggage as you aren't able to do resort area check-in on international flights.

Like a previous poster said get something to eat and relax if you find yourself with extra time after security. It can be a real long wait to rebook and get another flight.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
I would think that arriving at 6am at the airport would be enough time to get through security and all. We only take two hours from this end...why would they need three?
We have flown from Syracuse our last 3 trips. Taking Magical Express each time, two out of the three times I recall waiting with the kids, shopping at the airport for about an hour before bothering to go through security.
BUT, last year, we barely made our plane. When we left our resort we thought we had tons of time. But the airport was PACKED, which I was surprised, since we are "mid-week" travelers. It was stressful!
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:50 AM   #12
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We often take this 8:00 flight.
We print our boarding passes the day before, leave from our hotel at 6:00 (our own rental car), arrive at 6:30, head straight to the security and are well through the line in 20-30 minutes, putting us at the gate one hour before departure. Of course, taking DME is another issue.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcortesis View Post
We often take this 8:00 flight.
We print our boarding passes the day before, leave from our hotel at 6:00 (our own rental car), arrive at 6:30, head straight to the security and are well through the line in 20-30 minutes, putting us at the gate one hour before departure. Of course, taking DME is another issue.
Thanks Hcortesis. I think this is probably closer to what we will do. Instead of having DME get us at 4am, I'll bump it to 5am pick up. We've taken DME over a dozen times in the past and never seen them take longer then an hour to get to the airport from the time we've been picked up so I'm sure we woudl be there by 6am with lots of time to check in, go through security and make boarding time. If we run, we run but it's not likely unless there is some extreme circumstance.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:43 AM   #14
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let us know how it goes
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:53 PM   #15
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airport time

we just got back last month from Orlando.
I would suggest the 3 hour time span. We flew air canada coming home and it took them over an hour to check us in and process our luggage. I would suggest online check in if you can. Sometimes the security lines can cause delays, and there's always the unexpected. I've been flying to Orlando for the past 5 years and , Yes, I would suggest that the 3 hours is a good idea. If anything, you can sit and relax a bit before your flight leaves.
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