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Old 03-31-2018, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,661 posts, read 3,675,599 times
Reputation: 10620

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Depends on the airport. When I've flown internationally out of Fort Myers, which is a small international airport, two hours has been more than enough. When I flew out of Miami, three hours was plenty but it was so stressful between parking, waiting for the tram, getting through security and walking a million miles to our gate that I was happy to sit and relax for an hour before boarding.

Travel is stressful as it is, so why make it even more so just to save an hour's worth of your time? Bring a book or fire up the Hulu on your iPad and catch up on a show you don't usually have time for. If it's an airport you're unfamiliar with or a huge airport like Miami, LAX or Atlanta (ugh), definitely allow the full three hours.
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Lancashire, England
2,417 posts, read 4,109,832 times
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Better too early than too late.


Some international airports have displays of their history, some have art displays of one sort or another, to help kill the time.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQh3V828Si4
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Old 03-31-2018, 01:44 PM
 
Location: On the road
2,669 posts, read 1,981,688 times
Reputation: 2911
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Nah, no civilian international flights out of VPS. But AFAIK, the one hour rule for international bag check still applies when you're starting from the airline's outstation.
All flights recommend an hour early for bag check.

and the small regional airports don't really care whether bags are going international or not.


On the other hand, even with the 3 hour recommendation, I see people dashing in at the last minute, loaded with stuff they want to take along, and get very testy when the airline won't just make the plane wait for them.
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Old 03-31-2018, 05:15 PM
 
9 posts, read 4,498 times
Reputation: 17
LoL - I fly internationally all the time and aim for 90 minutes before departure. Depends on the airport, really.
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Old 03-31-2018, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
6,105 posts, read 1,834,249 times
Reputation: 8673
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I'm a road warrior. I pretty much never check bags. Why would I show up at an airport 3 hours before flight departure?
Because gate numbers are changed all the time, sometimes you'll even get a ticket with no gate number at all. Because international terminals are often much father than domestic ones with lines that are usually longer. Because international flights are sometimes delayed, which will make you miss your connecting flight, and you need to be aware of the information. Because there is almost always traffic on the ride leading up to the airport

Are you sure you're a road warrior? The time is to compensate for the things you cannot control.

I'm glad some of you guys can show up 90 minutes before an international flight. Clearly you don't live near a busy airport.
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
6,543 posts, read 7,812,790 times
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OP--You mentioned your flight is very early. My experience has been that fewer security lines are open early in the morning in many airports. That can create a need to arrive a bit earlier than normal as the lines will be longer.

I'd rather get to the airport a couple hours before the flight time. Park, take the shuttle, go through TSA and arrive at my gate a 1/2 hour early for boarding usually leaves about an hour for a drink, a restroom stop and maybe some food depending on the time of day.

For a recent flight we spent the previous night at a hotel near the airport because we didn't want to get up at 3:30 am to make it to the airport for a 6:30 flight. The only bad part was no pre-flight bloody mary. Bars can't serve until 6:00 in my state--just when boarding started.

Last edited by rrah; 03-31-2018 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,685 posts, read 16,112,809 times
Reputation: 7710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
Because gate numbers are changed all the time, sometimes you'll even get a ticket with no gate number at all.
That's what the airline smartphone app is for. My iPhone definitely makes things easier on travel days- love the push notifications for gate changes and reports that my bags have been loaded on the next plane.
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,522 posts, read 8,770,706 times
Reputation: 12217
My wife loves airports. I love to be early. This is a match made in heaven!
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Old 04-01-2018, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
6,105 posts, read 1,834,249 times
Reputation: 8673
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
That's what the airline smartphone app is for. My iPhone definitely makes things easier on travel days- love the push notifications for gate changes and reports that my bags have been loaded on the next plane.
Sweet, now if only you could use your domestic smartphone in foreign countries without racking up a small fortune in roaming charges or signing up for paid wifi.
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Old 04-02-2018, 05:57 AM
 
8,647 posts, read 19,095,050 times
Reputation: 11525
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherTouchOfWhimsy View Post
Depends on the airport. When I've flown internationally out of Fort Myers, which is a small international airport, two hours has been more than enough. When I flew out of Miami, three hours was plenty but it was so stressful between parking, waiting for the tram, getting through security and walking a million miles to our gate that I was happy to sit and relax for an hour before boarding.

Travel is stressful as it is, so why make it even more so just to save an hour's worth of your time? Bring a book or fire up the Hulu on your iPad and catch up on a show you don't usually have time for. If it's an airport you're unfamiliar with or a huge airport like Miami, LAX or Atlanta (ugh), definitely allow the full three hours.
Try flying out of Fort Lauderdale next time..easy to find, easy to park and easy to navigate. I threw Miami overboard after my first trip out of Lauderdale and now avoid Miami like the plague. Plus, I found tickets at FLL are cheaper.
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