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How Early Should I Get to the Airport?

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7 min read

How Early Should I Get to the Airport?

We all have that one uncle who’s always rushing to get to a party, or thanksgiving dinner, or to the airport as early on as possible. It may seem annoying, but word of the wise is — it’s better to be an hour early than a minute late.
Getting to the airport in time is not just a matter of convenience, it is almost a protocol. And it helps you too. You’re traveling, probably long-distance. You need to stay calm and avoid any last-minute hassles, that’s what timeliness guarantees here.
We can put air travelers into two categories — those who reach the airport as early on as possible and those who rush through the terminal at the last minute. If you ask us, the former make the wiser choice.
But that still leaves us with the question: how early should I get to the airport?
Here, we’ll answer just that!

How Early Do I Have to Get to The Airport?

The general rule of them thumb is to be there at least 2 hours earlier for domestic flights. If you’re traveling overseas, you’d be on the safer side reaching there at least 3 hours earlier. This may not be a strict rule or something, but it sure is convenient.

Do I Really Need To Be at the Airport 2 Hours Early?

Yes, it’s best if you’re early.

You’ve got so much on your plate already, and you wouldn’t want to be rushing through stuff at the last minute.

Also, if you’re earlier, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’re on top of everything and will get to board without any issues. We also tend to be forgetful when in a rush.

Do you remember when Rachelle from FRIENDS packed up everything for her travel (last-minute) but forgot her passport (and she realized this only when they asked for it)? While funny on-screen, this is not the kind of humor you’d want in real life.

Is 2 Hours Enough Time for International Flight?

The thing with international flights is that they often begin boarding passengers earlier on because the planes are bigger. Also, you’ll have to go through additional checks which will take longer than it would for a domestic flight.

So, it’s best if you get there at least 3 hours earlier — less trouble for you and no last-minute rushes. Sweet, right?

Why Should You Be at the Airport 3 Hours Early For International Flights?

It’s best if you reach the airport at least 3 hours earlier for an international flight because:

  • There are additional check-in requirements
  • You’ll have to wait for passport verification
  • Getting your boarding pass will take longer than for a domestic flight
  • They start boarding the plane 15 to 30 minutes earlier
  • International airports are usually busier than smaller ones
How Early Should I Get to the Airport?

Factors to Consider When Scheduling Your Arrival at the Airport

While this “being 2-3 hours earlier” rule is generally a good practice, there are some other factors that you should keep in mind as well. One friendly advice: always be earlier, even if you don’t have to be.

You know how Michael Scott says: “the earlier worm gets the… worm…”

Just for laughs, folks!

So, here’s the deal: if you’re traveling via a larger, international airport, such as the Albuquerque International Airport, you should be there earlier. The bigger the airport, the busier it gets.

The timeframe window also depends on the time of the day or the year. You know how very early and very late flights (and those in the winters) are cheaper? Well, that’s for a reason. Because there are lesser travelers.

But if you’re traveling during the peak hours in the summer, you’d better be Flash!

If you’re all by yourself, things will be faster. You can speed it up even further if you don’t have to wait for them to check your bags (if you’re not carrying).

Willing to spend an extra buck (it’ll actually be more than a buck) for faster checkout?

Why not try the priority check-in?

Whatever the case, you’d be glad to make it to the airport earlier, you can take our word on that.

Book Your Airport Parking Space with Parkos

Worried about your ride when traveling solo? Well, worry no more, because Parkos is here to help you pick the best parking space and service options so you can board your flight hassle-free.

Need to rush to the Kansas International Airport and don’t know what to do about your car? Well, leave it at the terminal and our valet will take it from there! It’s that simple.

See for yourself how we can help you travel without having to worry about your ride!