How long before arriving at the airport

As soon as possible to get to the airport and all you need to know to be on time and not miss your flight.

Sooner or later we all ask ourselves: how long before we have to go to the airport? And how long before you can check in your baggage? 

Questions that arise not only for those who take the plane for the first time, but also for those who are perhaps already familiar with the flights: the doubt may arise in relation to several factors such as the airline chosen, the need to check baggage, or the choice of a particular route. 

As a general rule you should be at the airport at least 2-3 hours before the departure time of the booked flight, but if you take into account some tips and advice you can better organize yourself and optimize the time according to your needs.

International flights as much as to arrive earlier at the airport: all the tips

International flights are all those considered short-haul flights, i.e. those with a duration of less than 3 hours.

First of all, a margin of advance must be provided to avoid any unforeseen event: traffic on the road, strikes of means of transport, etc.. 

Then we must consider the closure of the check in of the chosen airline and the time of check in: essential requirement for not losing the plane, therefore, is to be at the airport well before the scheduled closing time of the check in (this varies from company to company, from a minimum of about 25 minutes to a maximum of 40 minutes before the time of departure of the flight, but it is always good to check on the website of the company or when you check in online). Check-in times are generally fast, but can be considerably influenced by the type of flight, the company, and the length of the queue, of course.

How long before to check in your baggage

In case of baggage boarding should be considered then that the check-in desks for international flights open 2 hours before flight departure: in this case it would be advisable to be at the airport 2 hours before the time of departure of the flight, considering the fact that in addition to you there will be another 100-150 people ready to embark, and the “tail” factor should never be ignored.

As boring as it may seem to be to expect to arrive well in advance at the airport, it is always better than missing your flight, as they said, or living the moments before departure with stress. And to avoid boredom, you can always consider our advice on how to fool the time at the airport before departure.

How early should you show up at the airport for intercontinental flights?

Intercontinental flights are all those that last more than 3 hours, up to 20 hours of flight time, and that allow you to reach another continent.

In this case, the check in starts 3 hours before the departure of the flight, due to the visa checks and other procedures more demanding than in the case of an international flight, as well as the presence of many more passengers booked.

Always keep in mind, in any case, any queues at security gates, especially in the case of very crowded flights, because the queue factor could affect any delays to then access the gate … in any case our tips on how to speed up boarding at the airport could be useful!

How long before you are at the airport when checking in online

In many of our articles we explain in detail what is online check-in and how to do it from a PC or mobile company for company, as in the case of online check-in Alitalia, Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling, Air France, Wizz Air, Lufthansa (list updated).

Although at the beginning it was only required for passengers without checked baggage, today most airlines require it for everyone indifferently: it is generally true that if you do not have a baggage to check in at the airport 1 hour before departure could be enough (1 hour and a half for intercontinental flights), but it is also true that caution is often not enough, so we recommend the timing already indicated (2 hours before for an international flight, 3 for an intercontinental one).

What time to arrive at the airport: what else should be considered?

  • Distance from the airport: always assess the distance and route between hotel and home – airport, and any unforeseen events;
  • The time of departure of the flight: if the flight is scheduled in the early morning or late evening is more likely to be minimal traffic and viability will be smooth, while at peak times the traffic is a factor not to be underestimated. If you prefer means of transport, if the airport is well connected by subway and train will certainly be preferable to buses, but always remember to check, in the case of night flight, the times of availability of the races.
  • The largest airport is also the one where it is easiest to get lost: in fact, the size of the airport and a possible map must be evaluated before arriving there, or at least to pay close attention to the internal signs. Although some are certainly spectacular and futuristic, it would be a shame to miss a flight because of the size of the airport or the fallacious orientation.
  • Queues: People queuing up at security will certainly be more at certain times of the week (weekends) or year (high season and holidays), also taking a look at the concomitant departures you can see how many flights have been scheduled with your and then how many people are likely to crowd the line with you.

These and other general tips are explained in detail in a special article on how not to miss the plane, which you will certainly find interesting,

Late Flight: What time should I arrive at the airport?

Sometimes it is the case that the company notifies you in good time if there is a delay in the departure of a flight. It may seem strange to you, or exaggerated, but in that case you should still arrive on time at the airport respecting our advice, as suggested by the company itself, because the solutions that it could adopt to solve the problem can be the most varied, such as replacing the planned aircraft with another, reducing the time of delay.

In any case, remember that in the event of a delay of more than 3 hours you are entitled to compensation, regardless of the cost of the ticket, which can amount up to € 600: we at No Problem Flights will follow your practice (without any cost to you) allowing you to achieve the goal while saving time and effort.

Check your compensation now.

Now, thanks to all our suggestions, you will be able to calculate perfectly the times in which to arrive at the airport, organize yourself in the best way and miss your flight will be practically impossible. Have a good trip!

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