Airport check in time leeway- any experiences to relate?

  SparkyJack 12:44 PM 23 Jul 12

I am off on as trip in a month or so.

The flight time is 07.40

Going by the check in times this means arriving at the airport in the region of 04.40 or as near as.

This would mean a taxi to pick up a 03.00 or thereabouts.

How much lee way is there in these times considering that 200 or so other folk will presumably going through the motions of checking security boarding etc.

Any experience of how late once get away this?

  KRONOS the First 12:48 PM 23 Jul 12

I think it can largely depend on the airport. I fly from Manchester a while ago and I had to be there just two hours prior to take off and a pretty painless experience it was to.

But I must add a while ago means a few years, long before airport paranoia with liquids kicked in.

  Woolwell 13:15 PM 23 Jul 12

As you probably know there is a difference between check in and boarding time. On line check ins make life much easier and give greater flexibility as you can turn up with your boarding pass. In some cases this can be on your mobile phone. You need to make sure that you have your baggage for the hold in on time, allow plenty of time to get through security (depending on time of day and airport) and get to the departure gate which can take some time too.

  KRONOS the First 13:23 PM 23 Jul 12

I fly = I flew. (Oh for an edit button.)

  Bing.alau 13:31 PM 23 Jul 12

I fly from Liverpool if at all possible and I normally check in on line. I then get there an hour prior to my flight and as I normally have just cabin luggage I go straight through security and customs etc., to the departure lounge and await the call. Taking heavy luggage can add another two hours to the check in system.

Coming back through Liverpool is also a doddle providing you have no heavy baggage. The staff are very helpful too.

  tullie 14:08 PM 23 Jul 12

Two hours short haul,three hours long haul

  birdface 14:27 PM 23 Jul 12

Never been off the ground before but I believe you can check in on the Internet before you head for the airport.Whether that means you can arrive at the airport a bit later than normal I know not.

Some airports if you are taking your car you can book into the Hotel for the night and then you don't have to pay for the car.

So whatever is the cheapest Hotel or taxi.

  canarieslover 15:01 PM 23 Jul 12

I guess, from what I recall is your location, Dartford, that you will be using Gatwick. This time of year you need to be there three hours before as so many people are going on holiday that the queues to get through all the checks and passport control are usually greater than the queue to your check-in desk. At least you won't have the crossing toll booths to add to your times. If it's available then check-in online and that will help speed up the first part of the process, but it doesn't have any effect on the rest. Try one of the Gatwick Flyer type of taxi but you normally will find them fully booked at this time of year. If it is Gatwick I would reckon travel time from Dartford to only be about 45 minutes that early in the morning, approximately 35 miles.

  birdface 15:22 PM 23 Jul 12


Must be close call between Gatwick And Stansted I suppose.

  bremner 15:49 PM 23 Jul 12

Online check in rarely makes getting to security any quicker unless you only have carry on bags.

If you have checked baggage you will queue at a desk as usual.

If you have been told three hours that normally means a long haul flight and a plane that carrys 250+ passengers so the queues can be pretty long.

  Aitchbee 15:52 PM 23 Jul 12

I have never been on a plane...but I would travel(by bus) to the airport on the night before, and try to relax or lie down for a few hours if possible.


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