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How bad is McCarran Airport early morning

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by gpenguins67, Mar 31, 2015.

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  1. gpenguins67

    gpenguins67 High-Roller

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    This is the first trip that I'm gonna have a return flight at McCarren at 5:30am. Does anyone have experience with McCarren that early. Do I need to get there especially early due to less staffing?

    I usually get to the airport about 2 hrs before my flight time.... I'm assuming that should be fine.
     
  2. runningonthehub

    runningonthehub Low-Roller

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    I always leave on an early morning flight and usually get to the airport at about 4am. The crowds are thin for check in and security. Check In Counter for Southwest does not open until 4 am and I guess other airline do the same. Check In and security are usually a breeze.
     
  3. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm Low-Roller

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    i usually leave early too...CET being a 7star member brings you to the airport 2 hours early. the first trips i was there at 4am and 5am. the tsa guy was so bored he done extra test like swabbing my hands for bomb making materials or something. I was the only one in the place. now I wait a lil bit longer and head to the airport around 7am-9am. last 3 trips they had some long lines for TSA checkpoints but it went quite fast and I still end up sitting around for an hour before boarding
     
  4. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Is that a 7 -Stars perk?! (LOL!)

    We have gotten comp limo via CET and always change the time they want to pick up. Getting to the airport 2 hours early is a bit crazy. YOU set the time, not them.

    As to early morning crowds... it of course can vary. When we were there in January, the airport was dead that morning. Then again, it was the first day of the Consumer Elect Show and everyone was heading INTO town, and not leaving.

    Getting a cab at 8am from the hotel was impossible with everyone heading to the show. We had a limo pre arranged, so no problem.
     
  5. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I'd bet 2 hours early would have you waiting at the gate for 90 minutes waiting to board. Unless you have to wait for the airport to open.
     
  6. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    I should say that on our last trip, we intentionally went two hours early. Reason? We have a AMEX Plat card and had late breakfast in their lounge. Like one last shot at vacation. Flew Delta then. Probably be SW next time, so not sure if we will switch concourses just for a few free drinks.
     
  7. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

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    I don't do early morning flights out of Vegas anymore--I'm too old to stay up all night, and the early wakeup call hangs over me the night before. So no earlier than 11 am these days.

    My first few trips, I did have early AM flights, on Delta and Allegiant. Delta was fine, lots of check-in machines, enough staff, etc. Allegiant was a zoo.
     
  8. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm Low-Roller

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    they have a limo ready and i always just went with the 2 hours early, now guarantee i change that up and go 1 hour early or something like that, they will have some holdup that will screw everything up or a mile long TSA line that causes me to miss my flight
     
  9. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I say it depends on your airline. If it's Allegiant, prepare for obscenely long lines and large crowds since most of their flights take off early morning.
     
  10. gpenguins67

    gpenguins67 High-Roller

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    Thanks for the replies. Its actually Southwest Airlines. I never take a flight home this early, but since I booked this trip so late, It was $150 price difference to take a later flight..... I am a little nervous about getting up that early..... so I might as well stay up all night and drink and gamble:wink2:
     
  11. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Yea, big difference depending on airline, how many flights, how many counter staff etc.

    I will say that compared to a few years ago, TSA always seem to be a breeze these days.
     
  12. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    One trick I've kind of caught on to is that when flying Soutwest out of C, don't go the way they try to steer you (to the left of the ticket counter) but go up the old way through the old C checkpoint by the D checkpoint and tram. The wait is usually very short and you can take the tram instead of walk to the far away gates.
     
  13. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    But, as I understand it, one TSA counter isn't open that early. I think it's for the SWA gate (C gate, I think).

    I'll find out on Wednesday when I come back on a 6:00AM flight.
     
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  14. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    As others have mentioned, most of the airlines don't open their counters until 4 am so best to be there right before 4 am if you want to get in first. Even then it wasn't that busy after 4 am but I guess it depends if there are a lot of flights leaving early.

    I did the overnight thing at the airport. I gambled and cruised around and got to the rental facility around 1:30 am, then took the shuttle and crashed at the SW area for a couple of hours before my 6 am flight.

    DMR has a good idea because they were funneling people to the C gate where you have to walk all the way to your gate. would have been easier to just take the tram but you have to know how to do that.
     
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