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How early should I arrive for a flight from Washington Dulles to Heathrow?

How early should I arrive for a flight from Washington Dulles to Heathrow?

Jul 28th, 2007, 07:09 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 70
How early should I arrive for a flight from Washington Dulles to Heathrow?

We're going on a 7 p.m. flight on British Airways. Their web site is silent on when we should arrive. We are a party of 5 and are determined to make it onto our flight and cannot tolerate being bumped.

Any advice?

Thanks!!!!
cindysphinx is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 07:45 AM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,154
Hi C,

I would be at the airport at least 3 hr before flight time.

ira is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 07:49 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
I agree with Ira; my experiences with Security at IAD have been mixed. Sometimes it takes what can seem like forever.

Do you already have assigned seats?
Dukey is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 07:53 AM
  #4  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,877
You can checkin online at www.ba.com. That will save you time at the airport as well.
J62 is online now  
Jul 28th, 2007, 12:37 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 570
I would arrive 3 hours before departure. Airlines make every effort to oversell their flights by as much as 15%. That being the case, it becomes a "first come, first serve" deal. If the flight is oversold, the last to arrive will get wait-listed until the last minute; then maybe booted. Arrive early!
mkdiebold is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 12:50 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 410
"Airlines make every effort to oversell their flights by as much as 15%"

Hogwash.

As mentioned above checkin online ahead of time and your seat is yours.
ipod_robbie is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 07:06 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 132
This is easy...common sense says you arrive at least 3 hours before departure. Would you rather wait on the highway, traffic back-ups etc, or at the departure lounge?
Pago is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 01:23 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 109
I agree with J62. Check in online and print out your boarding pass. This will save you so much time and all you have to do when you get the airport is drop your bags of at the counter. I did this on flight from Mexico City to London and is worked brilliantly. I felt sorry for the long line of people waiting at the BA check-in who hadn't checked in online.
lauralamb is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 04:28 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 44
I agree that 3 hours is when you should arrive and you should definitely check in online as soon as that airline allows it. I also recommend that you double check your carry-on for the security requirements as far as liquids etc. If you have a stopover in the states, be prepared with a toothbrush and a book - the delays and cancellations in the states this summer are abundant!
redhedgurrl is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 09:33 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,157
If you don't want to take chances... check-in online AND get to the airport 3 hours early.
suze is online now  
Aug 4th, 2007, 07:07 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 570
ipod_robbie: On October 2 of last year, my husband and I, and another couple arrived 2 hours early at CDG for our flight, which had been booked in May. Because we arrived via the TGV, and because our airline was Air France, we went directly to the counter. There was no opportunity to "go online" and check-in. I'm here to tell you that we were wait-listed. The flight was oversold by 15%. We did end up being allowed to board. Our friends were not. Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, I had an opportunity to talk with one of the pilots. He assured me that "every attempt is made by the airlines" to oversell each flight. Sometimes they are successful.

Your attitude of "hogwash" is arrogant and immature.
mkdiebold is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 10:29 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Yes - airlines always oversell flights if they can - to allow for the no-shows. somtimes they get it wrong and people are left behind.

To be safe:

Get seat selectiona and boarding passes in advance (not always enough, since if they change equipment you're all back to zero)

Arrive at the airport 3 hours in advance

You can sit in the lounge and nap - much better than anxiety stuck behind an accident in a rainstorm and hoping you get there in time
nytraveler is offline  

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