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Know Everything About How Early Should You Arrive at the Airport?

by smith
How early should you arrive at the airport

How early should you arrive at the airport? This is a common question among travelers, particularly those who are new to air travel. This question is affected by a number of factors, including the size of the airport, the airline you are flying with, and the time of day you are traveling. Arrive at the airport several hours before your flight’s departure time. This gives you plenty of time to check in, go through security, and arrive at your gate. The rule is always subject to exceptions, of course. If you are flying during the holiday season or during a busy period, you should arrive even earlier. Continue reading to find out how early you should arrive at the airport!

How early should you arrive at the airport to catch a domestic flight?

Domestic flights, in general, allow for more flexibility in arrival times because there is less paperwork and formalities. You could also be departing from a smaller airport. Passing through security on a domestic flight usually takes less time than on an international flight. That is why arriving at an airport closer to the flight’s departure time would work. However, the TSA recommends arriving at the airport about two hours before your domestic flight.

How early should you arrive at the airport for an international flight?

It is generally advised to arrive at the airport at least three hours before your international flight. For some, this may seem like an eternity, but international flights require more formalities and paperwork. Passports, for example, will be manually checked, and luggage check-in will take longer. If you follow this airport arrival time guide, you are almost certain to arrive on time for your flight, regardless of the country you are in, the size of the airport, or other external factors that may cause delays. There will be more paperwork and formalities, so it will take longer. Suppose you’ve booked USA to Mumbai flights, you’ll have to leave a little earlier to guarantee that you’ll make your flight.

Factors to consider as you plan your arrival at the airport

Let’s discuss how early you should arrive at the airport for an international flight in various situations, as well as some factors that influence this time :-

In case you need to check in luggage

In case you need to check in luggage you should definitely reach 2 hours before for domestic and 3 hours before for international flights. Before you arrive at the airport, you never know what the airline check-in counter will look like. So, to ensure that you can check in your luggage and make your flight, arrive at the airport on time.

In case you don’t need to check in luggage

You only need to worry about going through airport security if you have already checked in online and do not need to check in a bag. You can arrive at the airport 60 to 90 minutes before your domestic flight and 90 minutes to 2 hours before your international flight in this case.

If you are flying with kids

Most things take much longer to complete when you have children. That is why it is preferable to add up to an hour so you have enough time to manage extra luggage and ensure your children or family travel safely. Furthermore, in order to take advantage of priority boarding with small children, you must arrive at the gate early. It means that travelers with young children should plan to arrive at the airport up to three hours before domestic flights and four hours before international flights.

If you have booked flight tickets with a layover

You might also miss a flight if you don’t allow enough time between layovers. Suppose, if you book cheap flights from USA to Hyderabad, the bag you checked in at your origin airport will be loaded onto your next flight for you. It means you won’t have to pick up your bag and will only have to go through airport security once more. In this case, you should arrive at the airport at least 1-2 hours before your flight to ensure you make it on time. However, if you need to collect your bag, you should allow 3 hours between layovers because you will need to check in again.

If you have both TSA Precheck and global entry

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry allow you to bypass security lines faster. It means you’ll be able to arrive at the airport a little later to catch your flight. However, regardless of which program you are a part of, it is recommended that you check your airport’s website ahead of time to ensure that they have lines dedicated to our program. So, even with these programs, you should still plan to arrive at the airport at least 60 to 90 minutes early.

Country You’re Flying From

When you should arrive at the airport for your flight is also determined by the country from which you are flying. If you are flying internationally from a busy and restricted country, you may want to arrive at the airport a little earlier. For example, if you’ve booked cheap flights from USA to Delhi, you should get to the airport a minimum of 3 to 4 hours before departure, even if you’re not checking in a bag.

Consider the flight time

If you plan to fly between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., expect a large crowd at the airport. You should arrive at the airport at least 2-3 hours before your domestic flight and 3-4 hours before your international flight. Airports are less congested in the early morning and late evening. So, if you have booked Red Eye Flights to India, you can get to the airport a little later to catch your flight. However, it is entirely dependent on the airport from which you are departing.

If you are flying in peak time of the year

If you intend to fly during peak travel seasons (Christmas/New Year’s, spring break, Thanksgiving, etc). For security reasons, you may need to arrive at the airport earlier. The airport is bustling with activity at this time of year, and security checkpoints and other formalities will take much longer than usual. As a result, it is best to be extra cautious and arrive at the airport up to three hours before domestic flights and four hours before international flights.

Why should you book flight tickets with a travel agency?

Organizing a trip by yourself can be challenging. Maybe once in a while, a solo trip can be handled, but organizing a trip for the whole family or a group of friends can be challenging to do on your own. In this case, you will need the best travel agency for booking cheap domestic and international flights. Travel agencies are helpful if you’re planning a very expensive or complicated trip, a fancy honeymoon, or a trip for a large group. Particularly when it comes to tours, expensive flights, and cruises, they have access to a variety of discounts and bulk purchasing options that solo consumers do not.

Conclusion

The time you arrive at the airport can make or break your trip. When in doubt about when to arrive at the airport, err on the side of caution. Keep the adventure and thrills for your destination, not the airport. Whether you are flying from a large or small airport, flying domestically or internationally, or flying during peak or low travel season, it is always better to arrive at the airport early than to miss your flight. Please keep in mind that it will take some time before you arrive at the departure hall and can relax. So, always try to leave your home 2-3 hours before the departure of domestic flights and 3-4 hours before the departure of international flights.

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