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Do you still have to get to airport 2 hours before flight time?

(15 Posts)
BertieBotts Mon 20-Aug-12 11:20:37

I have this idea that you do, but then I realised I'm basing this on flights before internet check in was invented.

Is it still best to allow 2 hours or does nobody do this any more?

Only for long haul I think. If its the kind where you do your own boarding pass its 45 minutes usually, but it'll say on the website.
Going anywhere nice?

Ryanair still say 2 hours, but if you've done online check in then an hour or so should be plenty enough time to go through security and straight to your gate.

Backinthebox Mon 20-Aug-12 11:51:27

Because everyone checks in online these days, all you have to do once you get to the airport is drop your bags off. They don't need so many check in staff any more (see above!) so you all stand in a long queue to drop your bags off. Lots of people try to avoid this by taking everything they own in their carry-on bag, which means that you then have to stand in a long line at security while all the bags are scanned.

The internet has not made it any less necessary to get to the airport early. I work at Heathrow, and it is still as mad as ever. The shopping is good, though.

I guess it depends on when you are travelling too. Summer holidays = long security queues (by people packing big bottles of shampoos in their hand luggage?)

BertieBotts Mon 20-Aug-12 21:51:01

Germany to see DP smile Hand luggage only as I'm only going for 4 days, plus it was cheaper. Then he's coming back here for a week. We're trying to sort out trains to and from the airport in Germany, which is fun because the website is rather flash-y and so doesn't all translate using google translate! I've told him to ask his colleagues for advice.

Hassled Mon 20-Aug-12 21:51:34

Easyjet baggage drop off is strangely faster than Ryanair baggage drop off, despite the fact they're doing the same thing. I can't work out what it is that takes the extra time with Ryanair.

So yes - expect long queues for the baggage, although they should move reasonably quickly, and expect long queues for security. Then bear in mind the sometimes lengthy walk to the gate. I'd go for 1.5 hours but then I panic at the prospect of being late for anything.

BertieBotts Mon 20-Aug-12 22:03:26

Flying with Flybe, so no Ryanair nightmares, I hope.

I'll probably allow 2 hours anyway just to be on the safe side. Can always adjust in future if I find it's a ridiculously long time.

CMOTDibbler Mon 20-Aug-12 22:07:33

Which airport ? Some you can pay a small amount to go fasttrack through security if the lines are long. Also depends on time of day - for a 6.30 flight at Birmingham, I can arrive at 5.45 no hassle. East Midlands (strangely full of oldies) needs longer

girlywhirly Tue 21-Aug-12 09:19:48

Sometimes boarding can be called early, where there is a delayed earlier plane (to another destination) and they can then use that runway slot. It pays in that sort of situation to be ready to get to the gate quickly, which you can't do if you drop your bags off late, take an age getting through security, they search you and possibly your hand luggage etc.

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 21-Aug-12 09:25:35

I would - our airport used to be quite quiet but now is very busy so it can often take 15 mins to get through security.

If you are flying with someone like Ryanair or Easyjet you still have to queue to drop off your luggage and the queues aren't split by destination so when we went to Pisa in July we ended up queueing for 40 minutes despite it being a 7.30am flight - glad I vetoed DH who wanted a bit more of a lie in.

Best not to be stressed before you leave - we actually now go a bit more than 2hrs in advance so we can relax and have a meal at the airport before we go

BertieBotts Tue 21-Aug-12 18:06:09

Flying from Birmingham at about 5pm I think. I've never flown by myself before! It's a bit daunting. Will be worth it though smile

CMOTDibbler Tue 21-Aug-12 18:22:17

Brum is very efficient - but that time of day I'd give yourself the time then have something to eat at Wetherspoons which is v good value.

exexpat Tue 21-Aug-12 18:33:17

Depends which airport - Heathrow in summer you need at least two hours to make it through security and walk miles to the gate. Regional airports usually better, specially if you are checking in online.

PatriciaHolm Tue 21-Aug-12 18:47:40

Crikey - for a short european hop with no luggage, an hour should be plenty! DH and I both do a fair amount of that type of flying for work (in economy so no fast track etc) and an hour is fine.

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