kittykat23uk

Do you always allow 3 hours for international check in on flights?

60 posts in this topic

Twaffle,

The wife and I were in Adelaide for a weekend in October (well actually the Barossa Valley) for one of her company's work junkets. We were astounded that Adelaide's domestic terminal was so much better than Perth's international terminal!

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SafariChick, you're trip sounds about as arduous as mine. Normally I travel through Melbourne but this time I decided to go through Perth on the new Qatar route as the long leg is 11 hours instead of the 13 on the Melbourne Doha route. However, I didn't know that Perth Airport was so dismal so now I will be stuck there for hours, before the long flights begin.

 

We are lucky in that Emirates have started direct Adelaide - Dubai flights which would make good sense and make the trip a one stop journey. Sadly I have pledged my allegiance to the Qatar frequent flyers programme so that is that.

So you have to make two stops? How long are all the flights and how long are the stops? Last time, when we did our S. Africa trip, we used Emirates and flew SFO to Dubai which was about 15.5 hours, had a 9-hour layover (for which they gave us a hotel room that we only had time to use for a few hours but still worth it) then 8-hour flight to JNB. This is turning out to be a shorter layover (but no hotel room) and maybe 1.5 or 2 hours less of total flying time. And I got the ticket with FF miles on United, so that's the reason I'm doing it!

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Twaffle,

The wife and I were in Adelaide for a weekend in October (well actually the Barossa Valley) for one of her company's work junkets. We were astounded that Adelaide's domestic terminal was so much better than Perth's international terminal!

You aren't making me feel any better, just letting you know! :(

 

 

SafariChick, you're trip sounds about as arduous as mine. Normally I travel through Melbourne but this time I decided to go through Perth on the new Qatar route as the long leg is 11 hours instead of the 13 on the Melbourne Doha route. However, I didn't know that Perth Airport was so dismal so now I will be stuck there for hours, before the long flights begin.

 

We are lucky in that Emirates have started direct Adelaide - Dubai flights which would make good sense and make the trip a one stop journey. Sadly I have pledged my allegiance to the Qatar frequent flyers programme so that is that.

So you have to make two stops? How long are all the flights and how long are the stops? Last time, when we did our S. Africa trip, we used Emirates and flew SFO to Dubai which was about 15.5 hours, had a 9-hour layover (for which they gave us a hotel room that we only had time to use for a few hours but still worth it) then 8-hour flight to JNB. This is turning out to be a shorter layover (but no hotel room) and maybe 1.5 or 2 hours less of total flying time. And I got the ticket with FF miles on United, so that's the reason I'm doing it!

This trip is 3 hours to Perth, 6 or 7 hours layover, 11 1/2 to Doha, 2 hrs layover then 5 down to Nairobi. It ebbs and flows to Nairobi and when I was at boarding school flying out alone to Kenya it was via Perth, then Mauritius, overnight for a night and a day before flying on. We can still do the Mauritius run I think, but the flights get such bad reviews that I've never felt tempted. It was worse for my sister who used to have to go Perth, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Mauritius, Nairobi. We used to bunny hop all over the place, Columbo, Mumbai, Singapore, Middle East. With all the refugees settling here, the route is becoming more popular so flights are increasing.

 

I've never been tempted to go via Johannesburg, but many do.

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SafariChick, we missed our flight to Yellowstone in Dec and we were there 2 hours ahead of time for a domestic flight. Granted it was the Christmas rush, but it's taught me a lesson. Better to have many morning cups of lousy coffee at the gate than the alternative of a super stressed out day trying to cobble something together!

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yikes, that's true. It's actually not even morning - flight is at 5 pm - might have him get me there 2 hours & 45 mins ahead :)

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I'd think the larger the airport, the more time you need to give yourself just to be sure. Larger airports usually are associated with bigger cities, hence chances of more traffic etc etc., both at the airport and on the way to/from on the roads...

 

For example., Mumbai IMHO is one of the worst! I'd give myself much more time when flying out of Mumbai simply because the lines at immigration/security are LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

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I'd think the larger the airport, the more time you need to give yourself just to be sure. Larger airports usually are associated with bigger cities, hence chances of more traffic etc etc., both at the airport and on the way to/from on the roads...

 

For example., Mumbai IMHO is one of the worst! I'd give myself much more time when flying out of Mumbai simply because the lines at immigration/security are LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

Not always though. Hong Kong and Singapore (Changi) airports are both large, but fast, efficient and passenger friendly.

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Posted (edited)

SIngapore is SUPERB!!!

 

Very few airports are that efficient .... not been to HK.

 

Dubai on the other hand is chaotic, although I suppose quite efficient. For example., a week ago many flights from Europe to Dubai were delayed due to the snow/bad weather. They held our connecting flights to the sub-continent and rushed all the passengers off these delayed flights. Not bad at all!!!

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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I'd think the larger the airport, the more time you need to give yourself just to be sure. Larger airports usually are associated with bigger cities, hence chances of more traffic etc etc., both at the airport and on the way to/from on the roads...

 

For example., Mumbai IMHO is one of the worst! I'd give myself much more time when flying out of Mumbai simply because the lines at immigration/security are LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

 

Oh oh!! That's where I am flying to! :( But I believe I have a fairly long connection so I should be OK.

 

Sangeeta, Sorry to hear that, we also almost missed our connection, on our way back from Yellowstone in Chicago I think.

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Jo - couple of things for Mumbai airport, you might be aware of but in case....

 

1.) You will definitely have to clear immigration there, then customs and exit. Either before immigration or before customs you would need to go to the airline's desk and make sure you can get on a proper airport free coach transfer to the domestic terminal which is 6 km away from the international. I am not entirely sure if you have to collect baggage at the international airport and recheck in at domestic but they will announce that. Or Hari, anyone who has transited same day from Mumbai to another domestic city can verify.

 

2.) If you guys are planning to take a cab from international to domestic airport - which will be quite cheap ( not more than 4-5 USD payable in INR terms), only take it from the designated pre-paid taxi queue which has a counter on the left side of the exit (as you face exit, it should be on your left side). There will be lot of private cars/cabs/taxis and each will be shouting 'pre-paid taxi' but there really is just one official (pre-paid) counter for the real yellow and black taxis (well 2, but the other is outside the main exit).

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I'd think the larger the airport, the more time you need to give yourself just to be sure. Larger airports usually are associated with bigger cities, hence chances of more traffic etc etc., both at the airport and on the way to/from on the roads...

 

For example., Mumbai IMHO is one of the worst! I'd give myself much more time when flying out of Mumbai simply because the lines at immigration/security are LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

Not always though. Hong Kong and Singapore (Changi) airports are both large, but fast, efficient and passenger friendly.

 

HK is absolutely fantastic. This xmas break, I reached the airport and was stunned to see the crowd- reminiscent of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport for those who have been there. But it was just on the face of it- still took 10 minutes, post checking in to reach the gate.

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Jo - couple of things for Mumbai airport, you might be aware of but in case....

 

1.) You will definitely have to clear immigration there, then customs and exit. Either before immigration or before customs you would need to go to the airline's desk and make sure you can get on a proper airport free coach transfer to the domestic terminal which is 6 km away from the international. I am not entirely sure if you have to collect baggage at the international airport and recheck in at domestic but they will announce that. Or Hari, anyone who has transited same day from Mumbai to another domestic city can verify.

 

2.) If you guys are planning to take a cab from international to domestic airport - which will be quite cheap ( not more than 4-5 USD payable in INR terms), only take it from the designated pre-paid taxi queue which has a counter on the left side of the exit (as you face exit, it should be on your left side). There will be lot of private cars/cabs/taxis and each will be shouting 'pre-paid taxi' but there really is just one official (pre-paid) counter for the real yellow and black taxis (well 2, but the other is outside the main exit).

You def need to clear customs and collect your bags in Mumbai before you can go to domestic terminal. It is relatively easy to use the free shuttle between the international and domestic airports.... Just go to the information desk after you exit customs and they will route you to the shuttle. If there is too long a queue and you are tired, do as Anita says and get a taxi to the other side.

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I'd think the larger the airport, the more time you need to give yourself just to be sure. Larger airports usually are associated with bigger cities, hence chances of more traffic etc etc., both at the airport and on the way to/from on the roads...

 

For example., Mumbai IMHO is one of the worst! I'd give myself much more time when flying out of Mumbai simply because the lines at immigration/security are LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

Not always though. Hong Kong and Singapore (Changi) airports are both large, but fast, efficient and passenger friendly.

 

HK is absolutely fantastic. This xmas break, I reached the airport and was stunned to see the crowd- reminiscent of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport for those who have been there. But it was just on the face of it- still took 10 minutes, post checking in to reach the gate.

HK is one of my favourite airports... but not for shopping. Damn "duty free" is expensive in there!

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eh, more expensive than Oz? But its true...even a simple salmon in a supermarket is never priced to its underlying value here. How I wish for HK efficiency and US prices right now!

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Posted (edited)

JNB is also a very nice airport to go through these days, especially after all the renovations for the football world cup. You can easily spend a few hours there walking around.

 

Another bad airport IMHO is New York's La Guardia. I've always had issues there ....... delayed flights, very slow baggage arrival onto the belt, very long lines for a Yellow cab.

Edited by madaboutcheetah

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Thanks for the advice Anita and Hari!

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Anita,

I meant more expensive than non duty free outside the airport. In HK airport they should call it duty added or something ...

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True! I once was checking on a Steiner binocs being priced at around HKD8000. Thankfully I had no intention of buying binocs there and then, just passing time, but later checked the price online for the same model and it was something like USD 300(approx HKD2400)!!!

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Jo - couple of things for Mumbai airport, you might be aware of but in case....

 

1.) You will definitely have to clear immigration there, then customs and exit. Either before immigration or before customs you would need to go to the airline's desk and make sure you can get on a proper airport free coach transfer to the domestic terminal which is 6 km away from the international. I am not entirely sure if you have to collect baggage at the international airport and recheck in at domestic but they will announce that. Or Hari, anyone who has transited same day from Mumbai to another domestic city can verify.

 

2.) If you guys are planning to take a cab from international to domestic airport - which will be quite cheap ( not more than 4-5 USD payable in INR terms), only take it from the designated pre-paid taxi queue which has a counter on the left side of the exit (as you face exit, it should be on your left side). There will be lot of private cars/cabs/taxis and each will be shouting 'pre-paid taxi' but there really is just one official (pre-paid) counter for the real yellow and black taxis (well 2, but the other is outside the main exit).

I am flying home from Kochin via Mumbai with Jet Airways. Will I be able to check our luggage through to London HR do you

think? Pen

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Pen I have never done a transit in Mumbai.Hari will know much better but I think on the way out should be the same but can never say with our weird rules.

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Pen, yes you can if on jet thru to Lhr. However, it's a real hassle once you get to the international terminal. They need you to identify your luggage etc etc., not worth the hassle ..... Just clear your bags in Mumbai and go to international terminal for your international connection.

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Hi Hari, thanks for that I had no idea there would be all that hassle. We have about 7 hours between flights at Mumbai so plenty of time to recheck the bags. It was between this long time between the flights or leave Kochin at about 5am so decided to enjoy our last hours by the pool. Thanks so much for all your help re the trains and have a safe trip yourself. Pen

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No worries!!! Enjoy!

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Quick question. My return flight to heathrow out of mumbai is at 0700. Should I aim to get there the full 3 hours ahead or would 2 hour be sufficient. Bearing in mind will be staying locally at a hotel the night before?

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Jo, Air India I would say nothing less than 2.5 hours. A lot of middle east flights go through the early am and thats a busy route from Mumbai so expect crowd at check in, immigration and security. One tip for the security line which should be apparent to everyone there but never is - there is a separate ladies line. However at the start it is one line that forks into 2 later on-because everyone queues up together one after the other- I always see that and get myself in by unlatching the middle barricade and moving to the ladies line- usually there is a airport official there and he nods or tells me to go ahead.

 

Its my least favourite airport for a reason - I have never missed a flight but always got caught in traffic - either just below the new flyovers being built -which is really bad between 10 to 2 that I have experienced ( never gone later than that) , then a smaller security bottleneck just before Departure entrance which can be a bit of a pain - then in Mumbai one has to queue up to enter the building -through security and then its check in-immigration-security. There have been times I have breezed through but those have almost always been on priority check in.

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