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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, 03:49 PM   #6
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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   #7
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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?

Quote:
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 08-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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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, 03:59 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.
Actually, that is not true. You can negotiate...but if you miss your flight...too bad! LOL!

May still bank on the fact though that if we get picked up at 5am, arrive for 6am (or earlier as there is NO traffic at this time of day!), we would easily make an 8am flight (providing there has not been some weird airport thing, which could delay us even if we were there an extra hour earlier!)

Not decided yet what to do but probably will try to go at least a 1/2 hour later, if the buses are running every 1/2 hour.
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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, 12:16 AM   #11
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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 08-14-2012, 12:11 PM   #12
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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   #13
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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, 07:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
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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?
I would barely say it was fine. We did have to check bags at SW but that only took 5 minutes. The security line was the issue. They had a sign up that said 20 minutes from this point and the sign was posted near the first agent. The line was maybe 35 people back from that.

Quote:
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Actually, that is not true. You can negotiate...but if you miss your flight...too bad! LOL!

May still bank on the fact though that if we get picked up at 5am, arrive for 6am (or earlier as there is NO traffic at this time of day!), we would easily make an 8am flight (providing there has not been some weird airport thing, which could delay us even if we were there an extra hour earlier!)

Not decided yet what to do but probably will try to go at least a 1/2 hour later, if the buses are running every 1/2 hour.
I wouldn't recommend changing your DME pickup time. Many times we have gotten on the bus to find out that we were the first stop and there were 2-3 more before even leaving the property. Those additional stops can take an hour and then add in the 30 minute drive to the airport. Also, once you arrive at the airport there are multiple drop offs on both sides of the terminal. Our DME ride last year let us off the bus with only 90 minutes to spare before our flight time....remember boarding starts 30 minutes before that. We did have to run to the gate and when we got there we were the last to board the plane. I think we only made it because we managed to grab an airline employee that helped us get through security faster and had called the gate.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:47 PM   #15
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Wow! We have a 6am flight to return however we are travelling to US airport and we need to return our rental car. I guess we won't be going to bed or getting up pretty early to be ready to leave the hotel by at least 3:00am....
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