Get to the airport early

Old Aug 7th, 2021, 04:07 AM
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P_M
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Get to the airport early

I am presently sitting at AUS and the chaos is beyond belief. We arrived about 5:40am for an 8am domestic flight. We had checked in on line but it still took about 30 minutes to drop our bags at the Alaska Airlines counter, and Alaska Airlines wasn't nearly as busy as the others. We have TSA pre-check and that line took 30 minutes. The non pre-check lines must have taken well over an hour. If it's this busy before 6am, just imagine how bad it will be later in the day.

This is SO not typical of our airport and I've been hearing stories like this in the news about similar situations all over the US. So remember, if they tell you to get there 2 hours early for a domestic flight, that doesn't mean one hour early is OK. Times have changed.
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Old Aug 7th, 2021, 05:39 AM
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I sympathize with your airport woes. We experienced the same scenario when flying two weeks ago to a funeral.
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Old Aug 7th, 2021, 08:32 AM
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Domestic flights are very busy at the moment, my daugher flew from JFK a couple of days ago and said the lines were outside the terminal.
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Old Aug 7th, 2021, 01:08 PM
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I've seen the same phenomonon at my local airport for 1st of the day flights - long lines for those 6 or 7 departures. It is busy before 6am because there's a morning rush and the crowds all arrive at the same time. What usually happens here is the crowds thin out over the course of the day. I've even seen that if I arrived 45min later I'd get through at the same time.... but nobody wants to play chicken with the gate closing.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about taking those 6am or 7am flights. On the one hand they're almost guaranteed to be on time as the plane has been there overnight. On the otherhand I have to drag myself out of bed before oh-dark-thirty and it can ruin the rest of my day....

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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 10:34 AM
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J62 I am right there with you when it comes to early am flights.

I booked flights back in April for end of Aug. The flight times were ok as not too early. However my flights keep changing and I had to change it for another day as there is no way I would be able to make a 6am flight. I take a train to the airport and that would be cutting way too close not to mention all the anxiety of getting there.

I hope when I leave the lines aren’t too bad so I appreciate the warning.
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 01:50 PM
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P_M - as I've got older I have become more risk averse when it comes to the time i allow for check-in, or even for catching trains. In fact I find myself turning into my mother - I used to laugh at her when she wanted to get to the station 15 minutes early. But now i find myself thinking what does it matter if I have to hang around a bit longer, so long as I catch my flight or train?
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 07:49 PM
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Oh I hear this. Our October tix on Air France Naples-CDG-SFO were changed to 6 a.m., and I am trying to figure out WHEN we need to arrive at NAP--recalling arriving at Venice airport once an hour. before anything opened. And that's without Covid etc.
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 01:07 PM
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I had some June flights with a short layover at Anchorage so decided to finally enroll in TSA Precheck, and was able to get an appointment and confirmation just in time. I was glad when I got to LAX for my outbound flight. This was pre-Delta variant. Now there is no way I'd want to be waiting in a long slow-moving TSA line. I also don't plan on flying Southwest Airlines anytime soon....

I was in Texas right after spring break. Flew into Austin and it was not too bad. Departing Houston was still okay with a little delay dropping a bag at the Delta airlines counter but I could see huge lines of people waiting to pick up rental cars.

Last edited by mlgb; Aug 9th, 2021 at 01:10 PM.
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Old Aug 12th, 2021, 05:29 AM
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We experienced the same scenario while traveling from Australia to Pakistan.
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 06:20 AM
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I waited over one hour to go through security at SEATAC last week. Some folks in the line didn't make their flight and waited too long to see if they could skip the line to the front. Traffic to the airport was also heavy and caused some delays as well.

Consider getting three hours earlier to the airport nowadays. It certainly is less stressful than sweating bullets and running to the gate.
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 09:49 AM
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<<Consider getting three hours earlier to the airport nowadays. It certainly is less stressful than sweating bullets and running to the gate.>>

I literally did that once, Kleeblatt trying to get back from London to Cornwall on a twin prop from LGW. A colleague and I had been to court in London, and as the case finished early we had time for a trip to the Courtauld and then decided that rather than getting a cab to Victoria and getting the Gatwick express, we'd walk over the bridge to Waterloo and pick up a train there. How stupid was that? The worst point [of many low points] was when we sat for 10 mins at Redhlll station while they uncoupled the carriages so that one half could go off to goodness knows where, whilst we sat there watching Gatwick Expresses going past us. And then when we eventually got to within smelling distance of LGW they kept us outside the station while the Gatwick express was allowed in ahead of us.

When the door eventually opened we ran for the airport, waved at the check in desk as we went past, and then headed for security where things looked ok, especially when they opened a new gate for us, only to discover that the belt was broken! so we had to put our things back on the other belt and wait while they went through behind other people's bags. Thank goodness the Gate was no 12 and not 112. My colleague was desperate to get home as it was his son's birthday the next day so he just had to get home, but TBF when we got on the plane he saw the funny side and we laughed all the way home to the puzzlement of the other passengers.
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Old Aug 30th, 2021, 10:05 AM
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I intensely hate that time pressure ever since *running* literally across the airport with an airport agent to catch a flight back to SFO. We were drenched by the time we sat down. No way we would have made the connection without the escort, which we only had because we had tickets in First with miles.

Last Friday we flew from San Francisco to Denver and got there 2+ hours early, but very luckily short lines; I have CLEAR plus TSA-Pre but DH does not (long story about administrative screw-ups). I got through in under 3 minutes; DH took about 20. I had two free lounge passes so we were able to get breakfast and wait in a fairly low-density area.
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Old Aug 30th, 2021, 12:07 PM
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For the first time in nearly 2 years, one of us had to go to an airport today to take a flight. DD was flying from our local airport to Newcastle to go to a wedding of an old uni friend at Alnwick. We allowed extra time as it was "Bank Holiday Monday" here [ie a national holiday] and being a tourist area I was expecting a lot of traffic but not a bit of it - we arrive with about an hour in hand for her to check in and get the plane, which she said left bang on time and was very well organised. They even got free tea and biscuits!

It's a very small airport where the same people check you in, check you through security, serve you in the cafe/shop in departures, check you again at the gate and help you board. The only things they don't do is immigration and fly the plane! They even greeted me by name once as i walked towards check in - when I enquired how they'd known who I was, the check in officer said that there were only 4 people left on the list to check in - a man, 2 Chinese people, and me. Still, it was a nice personal touch.
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Old Aug 30th, 2021, 06:32 PM
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For last week's flight to NYC - first in almost two years - even I with a long history of cutting it close made sure we got to the airport just over two hours prior to scheduled departure. We checked bags and were through TSA Pre in less than 15 minutes. Thank goodness the lounge had reopened so we could relax, use the WiFi and nosh away before toddling out to the gate to pre-board..
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Old Aug 31st, 2021, 09:51 AM
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That's me now, Seamus. I don't mind any more if I have to sit around and have something to eat, surf the web, etc, etc,

My quickest ever was at O'Hare 3 years ago - about 30 seconds including security. Did I mind? not at all. What i did mind was that I was going home as I didn't want the trip to end but that's another story.
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