Don’t arrive at the airport three hours before your summer holiday flight – you need to get there even EARLIER

Knowing when to arrive at the airport can be difficult as different airlines and airports offer different advice.

Normally, passengers are asked to check in two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight – but that may not be enough anymore.

Summer and school holidays can significantly increase airport crowds


Summer and school holidays can significantly increase airport crowdsCredit: Alamy

During the summer and school holidays, busier airports mean longer queues, which in turn means it will take longer to reach your departure gate.

That is why travel expert Stefanie Waldek recommends arriving even earlier than usual.

She believes it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to summer travel, and says she’s always more prepared than necessary.

She wrote inside Travel + Leisure: “Most airlines recommend being at the airport three hours before departure for international flights.

“Whether you’re traveling on a domestic flight or an international flight, it’s always best to make sure you don’t miss your flight.

“If you’re going over the bank holiday, school vacation or summer get to the airport even earlier than usual as there will likely be long lines everywhere.”

For those who like to get it fixed, there are those who believe that there are ways to reduce airport waiting time.

Nicky Kelvin, Director of The dots guyrevealed his top tips for a hassle-free airport experience.

First of all, the travel expert recommends: “It is important to regularly check the airport arrivals and departures boards online, as well as the airline’s website, because this is where you can find all the up-to-date information.”

Nicky also recommended paying for priority boarding whenever possible to reduce wait times.

He explained: “We recommend looking for priority security check options at airports, which are accessible at some airports for as little as £5 per person.”

“Airline status and flying in premium cabins can also potentially give you access to these lanes, helping passengers avoid queues and using lounges as a place to relax amid delays.”

Elsewhere, some people believe that taking the left security lane will get you through faster than turning right at the security gates.

According to a user on the online forum Quora, we subconsciously decide which side to line up on depending on our dominant hand.

The person wrote, “Because they’re mostly right-handed, people choose the right line, while the left is often less busy.”

In the meantime, this simple airport blunder could make you miss your flight.

And a simple plane ticket mistake could end up costing you money.

In summer, passengers should arrive at least three hours before their departure


In summer, passengers should arrive at least three hours before their departurePhoto credit: Getty

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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