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

Flight Check-in Travel

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#21 Game Warden

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

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#22 ZaminOz

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:29 AM

Depends what time my departure is. If I am on a near midnight flight from Perth International (which I often am), I get there the full 3 hours ahead (but never more than 3 hours). Why? Well in Perth for a late night flight you will be lucky if more than 4 or 5 check in counters are open and lucky if more than 2 or 3 customs / immigration desks are operating so it could take you a good two or more hours to even get to the departure lounge... and that is without the frustration of getting through the increasingly invasive and over zealous security screening process.

... BUT ... never get there more than 3 hours before... because they will not open check in for your flight more than 3 hours before departure...

Perth is a sad embarrassment of an international airport.


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#23 twaffle

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:35 AM

ZO, I will be transiting Perth next Saturday and am dreading the 6 or 7 hour stop over.  Should have stuck to Melbourne.  :(


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#24 SafariChick

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:42 AM

I haven't done a ton of international flying in recent years so I'm honestly not sure how early to get to the airport any more.  I think I'm going to have my husband drop me off 2.5 hours early on the day I leave for Botswana, next Saturday, and I'll leave extra driving time even for that schedule.  My airline says the average processing time at SFO for international flights is 1.5 hours at peak times, and they want you at your gate 30 minutes before the flight at least. That gives me an extra half hour leeway even if it takes the 1.5 hours to check my bag and get through security. (Apparently the time I'll be arriving is in between what they consider peak times there as well, so maybe it won't take even 1.5 hours to check my bag and get through security). I hope 2.5 hours is enough. With 22 hours of flying time ahead of me plus a 6.5 hour layover at Heathrow, I don't want to get there any earlier than I need to so ... will report back how that goes!


Edited by SafariChick, 27 January 2013 - 06:44 AM.


#25 twaffle

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:12 AM

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.


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#26 ZaminOz

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:59 PM

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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#27 SafariChick

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

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!



#28 twaffle

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:06 AM

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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#29 Sangeeta

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:45 AM

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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#30 SafariChick

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:23 AM

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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#31 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:27 AM

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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#32 ZaminOz

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:49 AM

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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#33 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:55 AM

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, 28 January 2013 - 05:01 AM.

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#34 kittykat23uk

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

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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#35 Anita

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

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). 



#36 Anita

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

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. 



#37 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:01 PM

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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#38 ZaminOz

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

 

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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#39 Anita

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:50 PM

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!



#40 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

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, 29 January 2013 - 03:09 PM.

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