Okay, so how early do you REALLY get to the airport?

CindyAnn

Crazy Canuck
Joined
Jul 24, 2000
We'll be leaving on a 6:20 a.m. Air Transat flight on Friday, leaving from Pearson. The documentation suggests that we should arrive 3 hours before the scheduled departure time. Okay, I know they're covering themselves, but will there even be anybody there? I remember from leaving on early flights before that U.S. immigration didn't even open until 6:00 a.m., although admittedly I'm not sure if we'll be clearing customs/immigration here at Pearson this time. Will we be the only people there, fast asleep, but with our lime green ribbons proudly waving?
 

noplot

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 2, 2002
Two suggestions based on recent flying:

First, call the airline (or check their website) and see when their ticket counter actually opens for business in the morning. US airlines are often saying to get to the airport two hours early, but a counter may open at, say, 5am when the first flight is at 6:35. Getting there before the airline staff do isn't any help.

Second, check to see how many other flights are leaving near the same time from your terminal, combine that with what you know about how many security lines there are, and extrapolate from that. Early morning, unfortunately, will be busy. The assumption here is that one would not have to arrive as early when there are four flights leaving within a half-hour of yours than when there are ten.

The airline would also probably know whether you clear customs at Pearson or Orlando, and that would be helpful info as well.

Have a wonderful trip! Love to hear what the crowds are like now, since I'm following you by about two weeks...

Andrew

P.S. What's the lime green ribbon for?
 

timC

DVC Member at BWV
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
I've done a lot of travelling (mostly business), including recent international trips, to/from Canada, and Europe. Even with the increased security I have never taken 3 hours to go through the process and get to the gate... The longest it has taken is about 2 hrs. That was 2 years ago, was when some idiot decided that both Air Canada and Canadian US flights could be handled out of Terminal 2. What a mess. We got there 2hrs ahead, and boarded the plane 15 minutes AFTER it's scheduled departure.

That said... I haven't taken a charter recently, and they can be a zoo. If it was me, I'd probably get there 2hr ahead (4:30am). Yikes! Also. We'd typically stay at an airport hotel the night before.
 

funetics

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Nopolt--I can answer this because I asked the same question not that long ago. The lime green ribbons are to symbolize that you belong to the DIS Boards and are a visual tool for get togethers at Disney properties and on the cruise.
Nicole
Disney Magic Jan 26/02
 

SandraC

Longs for the feeling of sandy salt water in her k
Joined
Oct 27, 2000
Oddly enough, I just got off the phone with AIR TRANSAT. Their ticket counter closes 45 minutes before flight time, a new security thing. (BTW, we had your exact time with Air Transat in April).

Things are different since 9-11 I'm sure, but this is want we did. We got to the airport at 4:30 am for a 6:30 am flight and at first I thought THIS IS WAY TOOOOOOO EARLY! But everything went beautifully. We got to the counter with only two families in front of us. Took about 20 mintues or so to get thru. Security was a breeze and the rest was fun!

We were one of the first families to stake claim to seats in the waiting area. There was a yummy pastry and foo-foo coffee stand too. Very comfy. We watched planes come and go and feed the baby. We waited less than one hour I think. It was a nice relaxing time. The plane took off on time and landed early, both ways.

I think 2 hours before your flight is plenty ~ but things might have changed. I am looking forward to reading your airport report upon your return. S
 

tmli

Wants to be known as tmlh....
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
I just got my documents from Travel Agent, the actual itinerary from Air Transat says "flights within Canada, to Las Vegas and Florida require a 2 hour check in time..." or something to that affect. My TA highlited it for me, I'm taking that 6:30a.m. flight next week. I assume from the previous post their counter is open by 4:30.
 

marty3d

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2000
2 hours is plenty of time when leaving from Canada. However, I would strongly recommend being at the airport three hours early on the return. The last 2 flights I've taken back from the US (Philly and Las Vegas) have taken me over 2 hours to get through the ticket counter and security. It took my mother 2 1/2 hours this week in Fort Lauderdale.
 

poohbear7

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
We had an Air Transat 6:30 am flight in Dec to Orlando.
Arriving at 4:30 am is plenty of time, as U.S. customs opens at 5am
I believe checkin counter opens at 4am, there was a line up but it moved quickly.
Then we waited in line for U.S. customs to open at 5am.
We had lots of time to get to the gate and wait for our flight.
Returning from Orlando go at least 3 hrs before as we had a long wait at check
in, then another long line at security then they random checked people at
the gate before boarding and it took extra time.
Hope this helps.
 

DSNY FN

<font color=darkcoral>DVC is the place for me<br><
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
Personally I would fly out of Detroit or Buffalo it is alot easier you clear customs on the way to the airport so you don't have that delay before getting on the plane or getting off the plane. Also flying out of Detroit or Buffalo is more cost effective we have found. My in laws flew south west out of Detroit this Dec when we went and it was 59 dollars US each way and that is cheap and the service is excellent we also fly Northwest out of Detroit they are my first choice but you have to call way in advance and book really early morning or late evening flights to get the good deals they call them their K fare the last time we flew with them and I really like the service with Northwest. They also are direct to Orlando unlike Southwest . Hope this helps people with some decisions.
Darren & Lisa
 

sammi

<font color=purple>I'm a born traveller!<br><font
Joined
Nov 19, 1999
Darren do you leave your car at the Buffalo airport or a hotel etc? I'm wondering what the cost would be if we decide to fly from Buffalo next year. We seem to be getting "taxed" to death and it's really getting my ticked and this trip we might just go through Buffalo! ;)
 

hockey mom

<font color=coral>Loves to do the Napkin Dance at
Joined
Oct 2, 2000
Sammi, I can answer that one for you. We flew southwest last April and stayed at the holiday inn airport for $79.95/night and they keep your vehicle for 2 weeks. Their shuttle service was awesome. Took us over when we were ready and when we got off the plane they were there within 5 min. We are justing waiting for a sale to book again out of Buffalo.
 

sammi

<font color=purple>I'm a born traveller!<br><font
Joined
Nov 19, 1999
Thanks for the prompt reply hockey mom!:)

I'll do a little searching around and see if I can find their web site. We'll be going for at least 3 weeks and even possibly 4 (yipppeeee!) so I guess we'd have to pay for the reamining weeks? I'll check around and thanks again!

.........Cindy:wave:
 

DSNY FN

<font color=darkcoral>DVC is the place for me<br><
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
My suggestion would be to call the hotel and ask them about leaving the car for that extended period of time. I knoe in Detroit the hotel offered rooms for 50 bucks a night and free shuttle with secured patrolled parking for up to 3 weeks so you should just ask I am sure they will accomodate you in some way
Darren & Lisa
 







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