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twin2 twin2 is offline
 
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Arrival to airport
Old 06-05-2019, 08:34 AM
  #1

We will be leaving soon for our trip to Japan... I know I keep saying that... Delta says to arrive at least three hours in advance of departure time. My husband said we will get there three hours ahead. Is that usual? Should we get there sooner?


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Old 06-05-2019, 08:39 AM
  #2

Big airport? Like huge? What time of day is your flight? Can you look and see how many other flights are going out in the time range?

We have a smaller airport and have never needed 3 hours. But I left from Denver once on a busy day (which you don't know until you get there) and 2 hours was cutting it close.

So. Depends. . Too bad there isn't a better way to know.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:42 AM
  #3

International flights require more time than those within the US only...I would get there the recommended 3 hours or a bit more.
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Go early
Old 06-05-2019, 08:45 AM
  #4

Go ahead and get there 3 hours early if that is the recommendation. Better to be too early and have a little time to wait for your flight than to be cutting it close, and feel stressed out at the start of your vacation.
Have a wonderful time in Japan!
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:54 AM
  #5

I fly internationally at least a couple times a year. I always arrived at the airport two hours early with absolutely no problem, but when I flew at Christmas, they said they couldn't admit me because I didn't arrive three hours early and I should have known better. I don't know what was different. I had never had a problem with getting there only two hours early in the past.


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Long lines this time of year
Old 06-05-2019, 08:58 AM
  #6

We stood in line in Orlando for 2 hours one time. That cut it close for our flight. It wasn’t an international flight.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:10 AM
  #7

Philadelphia International Airport, not sure how the size compares to other airports. Our flight is at 10 a.m.
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Japan
Old 06-05-2019, 09:22 AM
  #8

Yes, at least 3 hours in advance of departure. How are you getting to the airport? Allow for traffic, parking etc. The longest time is going through security. Make sure you have your liquids in the little bottles and a clear ziplock bag at the top of your carry on. I wear socks so I don't have bare feet in the security line.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:36 AM
  #9

You didnt say exactly when you are leaving so under normal circumstances you should be fine with 3 hours. However if you are leaving on a Monday then thats when business travelers frequent the airports. If you leave near a holiday or when school gets out in your area then the airport could also be jammed with families. So...it all depends when you leave.
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time
Old 06-05-2019, 10:03 AM
  #10

Which airport are you flying out of? I fly internationally three or four times a year, and it really depends where you depart from. I would stick to the three hours.

When I fly from my city, I find that I don't have to be there earlier than 2 hours, but the last time I flew (April), I was glad to be there 3 hours in advance. American Airlines was in such a mess because of flight cancellations that the lines at the kiosks and at the counters were very long. Also when you fly internationally you usually have to stand in the line at the counter anyway, even if you checked in at the kiosk because they need to see your passport. Some airline kiosks allow you to scan your passport, but even then they often tell you to present to a counter.

If you have pre-check it makes it a little easier to get through TSA, but sometimes they close the pre-check lane and everyone has to go through the same security line. So here again it may take longer.

Occasionally I have to fly out of LAX and that can be a nightmare too. I play it safe and try to be there 3 hours in advance.


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3 hours
Old 06-05-2019, 10:34 AM
  #11

You do not always need the three hours but if you do and you go 2 hours early...oops. A friend who travels a lot always does the three hours. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:43 AM
  #12

When it comes to air travel I would much rather be siting at the gate early with my electronic entertainment than panicking about red tape and slow lines.

My airport has a full service spa and I often get there early enough for a massage.
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:20 PM
  #13

If you are flying Delta and Delta says three hours, then you should be there three hours ahead. You want your bags to make the plane.

Once we flew out of JFK with a group. The group took a bus from our town to the airport. Bus got lost. Then when I tried to use the kiosk to check in, it wouldn't recognize my passport. I had to go stand in a needs help line. My bag didn't make the plane. When I went to the counter at the destination, they said the plane was overweight and they had to leave some bags behind. It would arrive the next day on the daily flight to the destination.

You want your bag when you get off the plane. Do the three hours. Don't be me.
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We just flew out and into
Old 06-05-2019, 01:21 PM
  #14

Philly airport. We did not fly international. I would arrive early as suggested. If you are driving it will take you time to even park and take the transportation to the Delta terminal. Philly is huge. Remember to notice where you parked and the color of the lot. Depending on which gate you leave from, that can be a l-o-n-g walk!


We flew out of Eugene airport to come back. No need to get there too early. At 4am there were NO crowds!
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:26 PM
  #15

The airport near me (Denver) is always busy- doesn't matter when it is. I always do 3 hours just to be safe. Many times things move quickly even though it's crowded, but I did miss a flight once and I will never be that stupid again! I just bring my computer and hang out on here or watch something on Hulu/Netflix while waiting. TBH that's what I'd be doing if I spent extra time at home anyway, so what's the difference?

When I visit home, the airports I go to to get back here are never busy. I have seriously never seen more than 5 people in any line. I get to those 90 minutes early, which is still giving plenty of extra time considering it's never taken more than 10 minutes to get through everything at either one of them.

If you're not sure, I would definitely do the 3 hours, maybe even save an extra 30 minutes for potential traffic/parking if you're nervous about it. To me it makes sense to get there and find out you're way early rather than being anxious about potentially being late all day.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:21 PM
  #16

I recommend always following the written directions especially since you haven't flown much. Best wishes on this wonderful trip
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:06 PM
  #17

Philly is a major hub for International flights. I would arrive three hours early. My body will be in the airport at 7am.

I used to connect to Philly from London going to Arizona. It was not bad, but Crowded

Have a great trip.

Last edited by Chimneygrl; 06-06-2019 at 04:47 PM..
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:21 PM
  #18

Thanks everyone. We are being dropped off at the airport, so we will literally just walk into the building. That will make things so much easier.
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