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At what time must I arrive at airport before intl flight?

At what time must I arrive at airport before intl flight?

Old Oct 17th, 2002, 06:13 AM
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At what time must I arrive at airport before intl flight?

Alitalia customer service just told me I must check in no less than 3 hours before my flight from the US to Italy. Is this really true, or are they just hoping some people will listen and get there early so there wont be a rush at the last minute?
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 06:16 AM
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2 hrs is fine
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 06:19 AM
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I just returned from Italy recently. I checked in three hours early and didn't regret it. Sure, you sit around for a while but at least you are checked in. What happens is so often they overbook a flight (which they did on my flight to Rome). They initially ask for volunteers. If they don't receive enough, they start to boot off the people that checked in the latest. It almost happened to a friend of mine that was flying to Germany a couple of days after I flew to Italy. She checked in almost two hours before. They had to put her on standby. Thankfully, she got on. I wouldn't risk it. Not on an international flight. Check in, kill time by eating a decent meal at the airport and enjoy your vacation!
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 06:26 AM
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I usually like arriving early, and not having the stress of a last minute traffic snarl making things tight. That said, I can't help but wonder if many airlines are using the "security excuse" to have people arrive earlier, wait in longer lines, while they save money by hiring fewer people to do the check ins.
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 07:23 AM
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I always check in very early. The long lines are avoided. Leaving from JFK almost all international flights leave beginning around 5-6PM. The rush begins around 4. I am always there around 3:30 that way I don't have to wait on the the lines that get very long vey fast.
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 07:29 AM
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The last two times I've flown to France I checked in about two and half hours before the flight and just made it with no time to spare. The extra security measures at my airport (Dulles) take a great deal longer than they used to. When I flew in September, they asked everyone to remove shoes - that alone caused about an extra half-hour wait.
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 07:33 AM
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I JUST FLEW ALITALIA LAST MONTH and learned (almost the hard way) that they have a different policy than other airlines.

Even if you have a seat assignment, they will give it away if the flight starts to fill up with other people who check in before you do. Therefore, even if you get to the airport 1.5 hours in advance (like my wife), you can find that your seat has been given away already. My wife had to go on the standby line and it was VERY stressful!! I had gotten there about 2.5 hours in advance so I was OK. I had to PLEAD with the gate agent not to separate us. You would think the agent who checked me in would have protected my companion's seat, but she didn't.

Follow Alitalia's advice and get there 3 hours early to be safe.
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 07:42 AM
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What really worries me is connecting flights in the US coming in from International. I have to come through Miami from Peru on the way to DFW. You have to gets your bags off and go through customs and then check your bags again and go BACK through security . .. in two hours. Seems impossible.
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