How Early Should You Get to the Airport?

When should you go to the Airport to avoid long lines? Many passengers have wondered about this, particularly those not used to flying. How early you should arrive at the Airport depends on various variables, including the Airport’s size, the airline you’re traveling with, and the time of day you’re flying. It would help if you went to the Airport at least three hours before your trip. With this much time, you may relax and enjoy the Airport without worrying about missing your flight.

There will be certain cases that don’t fit the norm. You may want to go to the Airport sooner if you’re traveling during the holidays or another peak travel period. Read on to find out how long before your flight you should leave for the Airport.

If they have a domestic flight, how early should they be at the Airport?

Due to the reduced amount of red tape, domestic planes often have greater leeway regarding arrival times. In addition, you may be departing from a less major airport. Domestic flights often have shorter security lines than international flights, so coming to the Airport a few minutes before takeoff is OK. The TSA suggests passengers arrive at the Airport at least two hours before a domestic flight.

At what time should an international passenger arrive at the Airport?

International flights often require passengers to check in at the Airport three hours before departure. International flights usually take longer than domestic ones because of all the extra paperwork and red tape passengers must undergo. For instance, there will be a delay since they will examine passports manually, and checked-in bags will be by hand.

Whatever nation you’re in, whatever size airport you’re flying out of. Whatever external circumstances can cause delays, if you follow this advice for arrival time at the Airport, you will almost certainly make it for your flight.

Think About These Things Before You Fly-In

Let’s discuss how much time you should give yourself to go to the Airport before a journey across the pond and the elements that might alter this time –

For those who have both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Faster passage through airport security checkpoints and U.S. Customs and Border Protection queues is made possible via TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. You may now check in for your flight a bit later. No matter the program you’re a part of; however, you should check your Airport’s website in advance to ensure it has special queues for its members. You should still plan to be at the Airport 60–90 minutes before a domestic flight’s departure and 90–2 hours before an international flight’s departure, even if you’re using one of these apps.

If You Have Baggage That Requires Checking

If you have bags to check-in, it’s best to arrive at the Airport at least 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours early for international flights, as the airline recommends. The airline check-in desk might appear completely different from one Airport to the next. If you want to check your luggage and still make your flight, you should go to the Airport with plenty of time to spare.

When Traveling Without Baggage

If you don’t have any bags and have already checked in for your flight online, the only thing left to do is pass through airport security. Arrival at the Airport 60–90 minutes before a domestic flight and 90–2 hours before an international trip.

When Flying with Children

It’s best to allow yourself an extra hour. Even more so, if you have young children, you should arrive at the gate early to take advantage of priority boarding. Parents taking small children on a flight should go to the Airport at least three hours ahead of time for a domestic trip and four hours ahead of time for an international journey.

If your flight itinerary includes a stopover

Lack of enough time between layovers might cause you to miss your connecting flight. In a word, yes. Assuming you take the same ticket from point A to point B on two international flights, say from Atlanta to Hyderabad, with a stopover in Delhi, your checked bags will automatically. Your main concern will be passing through airport security once again without picking up your suitcase.

If you want to be sure you make your flight, you should go to the Airport at least a couple of hours before it leaves. In contrast, if you need to retrieve your checked baggage, you should schedule at least three hours between layovers.

The Home Country of the Passenger

When you should go to the Airport for your flight is also dependent on the nation you are leaving. If you’re leaving a busy country for an overseas trip, go to the Airport earlier. Even if you’re not checking luggage, you should be at the Airport three to four hours before your American Airlines flight from New York City, Dublin, Ireland, or Ghana to Mumbai.

Where You’re Departing From Airport

It may take a bit longer to check in, go through airport security, and locate your gate if you depart from a large, busy airport. The additional documentation and precautions required for overseas flights will also take longer. For example, to ensure that you make your trip from Chicago to Delhi, you should depart a bit earlier than usual.

Airline Suggested Departure Time

Whether you’re flying on American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, or any other premium or regional air carrier, they’ll all tell you to get to the Airport at least two hours before a domestic flight’s departure and three hours before an international flight’s departure.

For Flights Taken During Busy Seasons

Due to extra security, airports may demand travelers to check in early during holidays, spring break, Thanksgiving, etc. When airports are busy, expect to spend more time than usual in security lines and other processes. Go to the Airport three hours early for a domestic flight and four hours for an international flight.

Take Flight Time Into Account

To avoid missing your flight, go to the Airport at least two to three hours before your domestic flight and four hours before your international departure. If you have scheduled a red-eye flight, you can sleep in a little bit and still make it to the Airport in time to check in and board. However, this is entirely dependent on the Airport you depart from.

When a Child Is Traveling Alone

Some extra hoops to go through at the Airport if your kid is flying alone. There will be additional procedures and documentation to fill out beyond the standard check-in process. You must pay the airline’s service costs and get escort permission to accompany your child to the gate. It’s best to add half an hour to your schedule, depending on the day and the season.

You should verify your flight details, and here are some of the ways to do it

It doesn’t matter how early or late you go to the Airport; if your flight or canceled, it will throw off your whole day. Check your flight’s details and status many times before you depart and while you’re in transit. The easiest way to prepare for delays is to double-check your flight’s check-in and boarding schedules several times. And there are a plethora of options and methods for verifying this information –

To find out where your flight currently stands, visit the website-

It’s simple to check on your flight’s progress online. Find out all there is to know about your flight with the help of the handy ‘Flight Tracker feature. The airline’s website is also an excellent place to check the current status of your flight.

Be sure to double-check your plane ticket-

You may always double-check your actual flight ticket if you don’t want to (or don’t believe) your online travel search results. It will show the precise departure time on your access no matter what airline you travel with or what aircraft you take.

Get in touch with the Airport’s service center-

Anytime you want to check your flight details (such as boarding or departure times), you may dial the Airport’s information line. You should have your name, airline, and flight number ready, as well as any other information they may want so that you can find out about your flight as soon as possible.

Make an email notification request –

If you provided the airline with your email address when you purchased your tickets, they would keep you up to date on the status of your flight by email. When you make an online reservation, the airline will send a confirmation email with your check-in and departure times.

If you’re rushing to make your flight, what should you do?

It would help to realize that not every aircraft departs precisely on schedule. According to the sources, about a quarter of all flights are affected by delays or cancellations airline, weather, or security concerns. Therefore, don’t freak up even if time is running out. Keep Calm and Continue with the Steps Listed Below –

  • You should go ahead in the check-in queue and gently explain your situation to the airline agent there.
  • You may wait on the premium line and ask about your situation if no one is available.
  • If you’ve exhausted all other options, politely request permission to pass those in front of you. Even if it seems humiliating, it’s better than missing your flight.


You may set the tone for your whole vacation by how early you go to the Airport. If you’re not sure what time you need to be at the Airport, err on the side of arriving early. Don’t waste your airport time being adventurous. To avoid missing your flight, arriving at the Airport is always preferable, whether traveling domestically or internationally, during the busiest or quietest travel season, or from a significant or small airport.

Know that you will have to wait a while before you can kick back in the Airport’s departure hall. If you’re taking a local flight, leave at least 2 hours and half an hour before takeoff, and if you’re flying internationally, give yourself at least 3 to 4 hours.

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