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  • How Early Should You Arrive at the Airport
  • Prepare Everything in Advance
  • Assess Road Conditions
  • Book Airport Transfer
  • Check-in Online
  • Avoid Checking Bags
  • Google "Checkin Cutoff"
  • Arrive on Time for Delayed Flights
  • Check-in Agents
  • Go Earlier if Travelling International

Running with your bags to get through security and catch your flight is not a desirable scenario.

There are more pleasant places to wait than the airport, but if you don’t want to miss your flight, you will have to put up with it. You may be asking yourself then, how early is early enough?

How Early Should You Arrive at the Airport

If you are taking a flight within your own country, The Transportation Security Administration recommends arriving at least 2 hours before the flight.

Two hours might seem like a lot, but with all the procedures you will have to go through and the lines of waiting travellers, it will pass in a breeze.

Here here are some tips that will help you manage to get to the airport on time.

Prepare Everything in Advance

Preparing the luggage in advance

You wouldn’t want to wake up and realize you forgot to prepare some documents or to pack something important.

Have a detailed list of everything that you need to prepare for the trip and make sure you’ve checked off each item on the list the day before the flight.

If you are driving to the airport, make sure you have enough gas to get there.

Assess Road Conditions

No matter if you’re travelling by car or with public transportation, check real-time road conditions through Google Maps or a similar app.

Avoid routes with heavy traffic or go out earlier if you can’t really avoid them.

Book Airport Transfer

Public transportation to the airport has one advantage: it’s free. Here the list of positive things ends.

Buses, trams, and subways are much slower than cars and depend on many factors. You can’t really be sure if you will arrive at the airport in the time you expect, since there might be many unforeseen consequences.

On the other hand, pre-booked airport taxis are a different story.

When you pre-book your transport you have one less thing to worry about and you can be sure that the driver will choose the fastest possible route, being aware of the road conditions at all times.

Check-in Online

Fortunately, you can check in online nowadays and it makes everything so much easier. This will spare you waiting at the check-in cutoff which means you won’t need to arrive as early.

After you check in online, have your boarding pass on your phone or print it out and have it somewhere you can easily reach.

Avoid Checking Bags

Checking bags at the airport

Packing light is a good tip for stress-free air travel and it will also save you tons of time from waiting in line to get your bags checked in.

Research some tips on how to pack light so that all your items fit in a bag or a small suitcase that can be stored in the overhead bins in the airplane.

Google “Checkin Cutoff”

If you still need to check in, keep in mind that there is a certain time limit between the check-in and the cutoff in which you are responsible to have checked in and be ready to go.

Check the time for the airline you are travelling with to understand how early should you arrive at the check-in.

The check-in system is programmed to close automatically after that time period, so that’s why it is so important to arrive early at the airport.

Arrive on Time for Delayed Flights

Even if your flight is delayed, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to postpone your arrival at the airport for later. Many times, whatever circumstances delayed the flight are resolved and the plane still arrives on time.

Imagine your flight is delayed and you want to skip the long waiting at the airport, so you stay at home and plan to arrive later at the airport. Then it turns out your plane will be arriving on time and now you’ve missed it.

It is better to wait at the airport and find some way to pass time there, instead of missing your plane.

Check-in Agents

If you miss the check-in cutoff, there is still some chance the check-in agents can still let you in. There should be room left on the flight and a good chance that you will get through security on time.

If those two conditions are present and you approach the agents with a positive attitude and a smile, there is a good chance they will act humanely and still check you in.

That is also very likely to happen if you frequently travel with that airline.

Go Earlier if Travelling International

If you are catching an international flight, always arrive at least 3 hours before the flight. This is required by the airlines and it’s reasonable, having in mind the additional procedures you will have to go through.

Usually, for international flights, the check-in cutoff time is much longer, but that doesn’t mean you have more time available to check in. There still will be a big queue you will need to wait in, so make sure you get in time.

About Diana Bridge

Diana BridgeDiana Bridge is a renowned travel blogger who loves to explore and share her experience. With a passion for adventure, travel and a keen eye for detail, she has authored articles and travel guides for Whether she's exploring exotic locales or uncovering hidden gems in familiar cities, Diana's insights and recommendations are always insightful and informative.