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Crack of Dawn Return Flight - When Would You Leave?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by nubia11, Jun 29, 2012.

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  1. nubia11

    nubia11 Low-Roller

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    Well, we've managed to secure a last minute trip to Las Vegas. :woohoo: In order to pull it off, though, we had to book a return flight at 6 a.m. on a Monday morning. :eek:

    I've never left that early so I'm wondering how early we really need to head out to the airport in order to make our flight. We typically leave our hotel 2 hours before departure but, I'd like to push it to 1.5 hours for this trip as I am certain that 30 minutes of extra beauty sleep will make all of the differenct in the world.

    We are departing from the Flamingo and we plan to carry on luggage. What do you think, is 4:30 a.m. pushing it?
     
  2. savage810

    savage810 Low-Roller

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    I would do the same thing, 1.5 hour early. That is probably more than enough time, but I always like to give myself extra time with the airport.

    :beer:
     
  3. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    i never leave the hotel more than 1:15 before my flight and i check bags. don't know what you need 2 hours or even 1.5 hours for if you can check-in online and don't need to check any bags.
     
  4. nubia11

    nubia11 Low-Roller

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    We usually check bags. Almost never need 2 hours but I like the extra time to hedge against any surprises in the event that check in or security is a little crazier than usual.

    I actually think that this might be the first time I've ever carried on my luggage. I like shoes, lots and lots of shoes.

    As long as we don't have to wait for a cab, 1:15 actually sounds pretty reasonable given our travel circumstances this time around.
     
  5. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    This is all such a personal preference thing. I hate rushing and we usually get to the airport 2 hrs before the flight. No stress, maybe a drink or two before the flight. Might not apply in your case at 5 AM. :wink2:

    Check the convention schedule to make sure a big one didn't just end and that everybody is heading for the airport on a Monday morning.

    The airport was nuts on Tuesday morning, June 12th when apparently everyone who went to that rave thing at the Motor Speedway, decided to leave.

    Check in & clearing TSA took almost an hour. If I arrived 1.5 hrs ahead of flight time, I'd be freaking out, but that's me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
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  6. luvvp

    luvvp Tourist

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    Monday morning, may have alot of commuters. I've done an early flight a couple of times and you'd be surprised how many people are there.

    I guess it's not so bad when no need to check luggage.

    For checked luggage on SW, they have a list of airports where you must check-in at least 45 min early or it'll be marked late. No guarantee of receiving your bags at your final destination. Las Vegas is one of them.
     
  7. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

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    While I have not checked in at LAS at 6 in the morning, I have done so at PHX.

    My wife, daughter and I stayed in at PHX overnight since our flight on Hawaiian arrived at 12:00 midnight and we had a 6:10 am flight on Southwest to MKE via LAS.

    The ticket counters were closed and did not open until 4:00 am. When I walked downstairs at 4 am there was a LONG line. Got to the ticket counter at 4:45 am and through TSA around 5:15 am. Was fortunate to have enough time to stop and get something to eat before boarding the flight.

    I would imagine that LAS would be the same.
     
  8. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Your cab ride will be quick and short. No traffic.

    Not checking bags will do two things. Save your time in that line. And, if you are inside the 45 minute window for baggage check... does not matter.

    You will buzz right through.
     
  9. JWBlue

    JWBlue VIP Whale

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    When I fly, I always get to the airport at least 3 hours early. I like relaxing at the airport.

    Depending in the time of day, hit a restaurant or bar.

    At airports, I enjoy the architecture and atmosphere.
     
  10. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    you didn't say what airlines you were travelling on, or when. That might make a difference. I travelled on United in the morning before. For a 6 am flight the ticket counter wasn't even open until 4:45 or so.

    As others have mentioned, it might be busier travelling on a monday morning or the day after the conventions are ending so it all depends on what's going on at the time of your trip.

    If there isn't anything going on then getting to the airport by 5 for a 6 am flight might be all right but like vegas you know it's a gamble anyway.

    depends on your comfort level, many (like me) would rather just go early just in case, and relax at the airport waiting for the flight, others feel comfortable cutting it as close as possible.
     
  11. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    On Sunday at LAS, I would do 2 hours.... It is a busy return day for Vegas visitors, unlike most cities, where Monday and Friday are the busiest days.

    Any other day at LAS, 1:15 to 1:30 is fine.

    Nick:beer:
     
  12. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    Try to obtain your boarding pass the day before your flight - one less thing to do that morning. If United, an electronic boarding pass is all you need. If Southwest or Frontier, you may want to find a printer at a business office or internet kiosk. $2 for 10 more minutes of sleep? Excellent trade.

    Once you get in the cab, tell him you want to be dropped off closest to the escalators since you won't be checking in. Anyone have a suggestion on which airline sign is perched nearest an escalator?

    Just remember - there are eight more flights going from LAS - DEN that day. If you miss the first one (because you were detained) you will, eventually, get on another. With your luggage - it's carry-on! Don't sweat the later arrival @ the airport.
     
  13. oldarmy

    oldarmy Low-Roller

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    I dropped my daughter off for a early flight just like this she was 1 hour before flight and she missed it. Alot of folks in line and she got in wrong line etc. I would say 1.5 hours before flight.
     
  14. Steelers7

    Steelers7 Low-Roller

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    My last flight out of vegas was an early morning flight in may. I never never would have thought that many people would have been leaving that early in the morning. I honestly believe the only thing that kept me from missing my flight was that I only had a backpak to carry on and had my boarding pass. The lines were ridiculous to check in, to check bags inside at the counter, to check your bags at the curb, etc. Oh, and that was a monday morning around 6 am.
     
  15. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I pretty much leave the Hard Rock 2 hours before my flight, return the rental car, shuttle to McCarran and have always been fine for boarding Southwest. I do as Joe suggested, check the convention schedule and I'm also not a type to want to be rushed. I also take flights at noon or thereabouts, so not sure what the airport is like first thing in the morning. I'm guessing it's fairly busy for all the flights going back east... soooo... I think you'll be OK with the 1.5 hours.
     
  16. jpw711

    jpw711 VIP Whale

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    If I missed the airline your on, sorry. If you are flying allegiant, the ticket counter WILL be mobbed. Skycaps will be your best friend. I usually leave 2 hours early for the 6am flight.
     
  17. Shelbymae

    Shelbymae Low-Roller

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    I would be there 2 hours before...never know how busy it may be, I always like to sit and relax with some good coffee once I have cleared security and not be rushed. I just hate the waking up part and getting to the airport.
     
  18. luvlv

    luvlv Low-Roller

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    Had a 6 am flight on Allegiant time before last and we got to the airport 2 hours before departure. Had to wait for a wheelchair for my mom, the line at the counter was horrendous. Luckily we get to go through the handicapped, special needs security, otherwise we would have missed our flight. Just got to the gate when they started boarding.
     
  19. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    My last trip to LV was one of those on again off again deals. Finally I decided I needed to get away for a few days and had terrible flights and connections to make the cost managable. I returned on a friday morning on a 6:55 flight and I'm a firm believer in a 2 hour buffer before a flight. I was afraid of a bad bus connection or something so I even took a cab from the Gold Spike downtown to the airport. Waiting for the cab was the longest wait of the day. I told him to the airport via Paradise and we were there in notime....no traffic. I checked bags in curbside and headed for the gates. It was like the place hadn't opened yet! No people, no lines, net even going through security.

    The worst thing was that only a few places were open for anything more than bottled soda or coffee. I finally walked all the way to Burger King and saw a sign "Have a Whopper for breakfast" I was starved and so happy, so I walked up and he said, they don't start til 8AM!

    All that being said, I would still plan on being there 2 hours before your flight. I bring something to read, watch a DVD or explore. I have barely made my flight at our little Manchester NH airport a couple times. There are just so many variables, weather, conventions, dates, times, schedules, etc and you're mention that you would prefer to get there 1.5 hours rather than 2. I would still be there 2 hours prior to hour flight. Look at it this way, you may have to waste 30 minutes but if you miss your flight for one reason or another think of the time you will lose rebooking, waiting on standby, staying over etc. Better sure than sorry.

    Jimbo338
     
  20. luvstp

    luvstp High-Roller

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    If you have only carry on, print out your boarding pass the day before at your hotel. Then, ask your cab or limo driver to drop you off at level 0. This takes you to a separate set of escalators that puts you right at the security area and you miss the whole check-in situation. Best kept secret for those of us who never check a bag! 1.5 hours is plenty if you get dropped off at zero level.
     
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