kittykat23uk

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

60 posts in this topic

where are you staying?

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Thanks, Not sure where I am staying as yet, have left that for Jo to sort out. :)

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Outside of mid-day or super early evening, the Mumbai international terminal is AWFUL ........ definitely plan to arrive early. Although, atleast the terminal infrastructure is a little better after the recent renovations. They have outlets like, "Coffee bean and tea leaf" ......

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~ Yes!



I've never arrived less than 3 hours before any international flight in more than two decades.



Given the vagaries of security procedures, I prefer to have as much flexibility as possible.



I don't mind quietly resting at the gate. If a bottle of chilled lemon tea is available, I'm set.



Tomorrow I'll certainly arrive more than three hours prior to check-in.



Tom K.


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Ah, @@Tom Kellie you put me to shame. Once I arrived 45 mins before an Air Namibia flight from Gatwick. Although a rather dashing man did hold my hand as we ran through the airport, I would absolutely not advocate it, not least because, during the last minute kerfuffle, the seat map got confused and I was allocated a seat in the loo. And while I would have been fine with that, I was reliably informed that was not acceptable for the duration of LGW to WDH.

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~ @@ExtraordinaryAlex

 

True confessions time.

I never imagined this would appear in a public forum.

Decades ago, in the long since faded flower of my youth, I was in Europe for several weeks, gadding about as the young will do.

My return flight to New York City departed from Paris Charles de Gaulle.

That was long, long before anything like mobile phones existed and were in general use.

On the night prior to the flight, staying in an ultra-budget hotel in the 4th Arrondissement, i.e. le Marais, I failed to telephone the airline to reconfirm my flight.

Very BIG mistake.

The next day I trundled out to the airport, blithely supposing that I was more than on-time.

WRONG!

The flight had been rescheduled to 75 minutes prior to the originally scheduled departure.

Hence, I wasn't early, but was LATE!

The check-in counter staff politely but firmly told me that there was “no possibility” as the gate was closing with departure imminent.

Panic.

What to do.

Having no shame and dreading loss of employment, I did what any other feckless young traveller would do — I turned on the hysterics, ginning up as much visual drama as I could muster.

The check-in staff were caught off-guard. My anguished face and body language, my cries of impending doom proved too much for their refined sensibilities.

“Can you run, monsieur?”.

Mais oui!

With the harried and lovely check-in agent, I became what is known as a “runner”. As if filming a television advertisement, we ran through the airport, past the light security of that era, all the way to the gate.

With profuse thanks and “merci beaucoups” aplenty, I stumbled onto the aircraft and into my seat, on my way back across the Atlantic.

As that experience was a wake-up call I'd rather never repeat, I now arrive three hours or more early for all international flights.

Tom K.

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I have been travelling minimum 10 times a year for the past 15 years .... and I have never ever gotten to any airport anywhere in the world 3 hours in advance!!!!

 

I do my traffic research and always arrive anywhere between max 2 hours to 1 hour 15 mins before the flight departure. Normally I travel by train in a big city as that is most reliable.

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I always arrive early. The stress for me is the packing and then getting to the airport. Once I'm there...I can chill. Besides, people watching in airports is fantastic.

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@@Tom Kellie Paris CDG is an airport where I've also had to run. I thought I had things under control as I flew Lufthansa from Birmingham UK but the flight was delayed so my good margin of a couple of hours to transfer to an Air France international flight to Cotonou had vanished. I could only run when not in the transfer buses and I'd wasted my effort anyway as many more came running up after I arrived. Air France anyway did their own security checks on the apron so I could see that my bag with its precious cargo of board chalk and erasers had made it to the flight too.

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Posted (edited)

One of the big disadvantages of being a regular traveller is complacency! I guess if you travel often there's limit to how many hours of your life you want to spend hanging around in an airpot.

Not long ago I was attending a family wedding and promised my brother and his wife a lift to catch a plane at Heathrow back to their home in Germany. We were at my sister's house just off the M25 outside London. I kept asking if he was ready to leave and he kept saying no hurry.

Wrong.

As we headed to the motorway, just a mile or so away, we heard on the radio there had been a traffic accident. When we got to the junction you could see it was gridlocked. We headed across London instead. We arrived at the very same time the plane was due to take off.

He'd missed it.

To make matters worse he was travelling on a temporary passport because the regular one had been sent off to the Chinese Embassy to get a VISA for an upcoming business trip.

They had come to the UK on non flexible tickets from Frankfurt but there weren't any more flights that day. Given his temporary passport situation and the fact it was due to run out on that day he was advised to get back to Germany without delay. They had to book tickets to Munich, stay overnight, then find their way back to Frankfurt.

Cost them a small fortune that could have been avoided if we had allowed more than the minimum check in time.

 

As for me, I like getting to the airport early, having a beer and relaxing( no matter what the time of day) as it's part of my holiday.

Edited by Dave Williams

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