A detailed guide on what the best time is to arrive at the airport before your flight

For most travellers, there is absolutely no joy in arriving at the airport hours before their flight and having to wait around for hours, but arriving late and missing your flight is worse. When deciding how early to arrive at the airport for a domestic flight, one should first consider airline policies, but also the time of day and the size of the airport size.

Many travellers continue to dispute the conventional wisdom regarding check-in times at the airport, and this is not a trivial, first-world issue, but rather a global phenomenon. Marriages have been broken up and vacations have been wrecked because many travellers still don’t know what the ideal time is to arrive at the airport before a flight.

What time should I arrive at the airport then?

The standard answer is that you should arrive at least 3 hours before departure for international flights and 2 hours before departure for domestic flights, but as with many other aspects of flying, things are always a little convoluted. The two-hour time frame is recommended so that passengers have enough time to find parking or be dropped off if they are using an airport transfer service, check-in their luggage and go through security to their gates.

According to experts, seasoned travellers may require less time, but the two hours allows individuals who do not travel as regularly to have a less stressful and more comfortable travel experience. In addition, during peak holiday seasons like Christmas or special events, some major airports like Heathrow for example can get extremely busy and may advise allocating even more time.

What do I need to do to ensure I arrive in time?

UK domestic flight check-in times fluctuate slightly between the different airlines. Many airlines do publish check-in details on their websites and this information is normally easy to acquire, although several of the world’s largest airlines do not post check-in times since they differ by nation. In these cases, you may need to either consult your travel agent or contact the airline and check your booking confirmation.

Fortunately, many airlines now provide the option of checking in online and if you decide on this option, you must either have your check-in confirmation on your mobile phone or have a printout of it on your person. By checking in online, you will save yourself a lot of time by avoiding the lines at the airport check-in. Also, keep in mind that there are a few airlines that demand boarding permits that are printed at home, to be in the format they require, so make sure before you leave for the airport.

Check the baggage allowance and limitations for the airline you intend to fly with. Each airline has its own set of permissions and limits, and if you violate them, you may be fined. If you bring forbidden things in your luggage, you may not only be delayed but you could also possibly be prosecuted.

In addition to the above, it is also important to choose the right airport transfer service as it plays an important role in your travel planning. A reliable airport transfer service will ensure that you arrive at the airport on time so that you will have enough time to check in your luggage and relax before your flight.

Driving to the airport with one’s own car is not a suitable option for most travellers because it incurs unwanted charges such as parking fees, and it is not always easy to find secure parking at the airport. You may also be unfamiliar with the route to the airport, and any traffic congestion or vehicle problems could cause you to miss your flight.

At Travelmasters we will ensure that you arrive at the airport on time, in the comfort of a chauffeured vehicle. Our drivers are professional and extremely competent, and they are also familiar with all the routes to the respective airports. Whether you are travelling alone or in a group, we will take care of all your airport transfer needs.