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time needed before flight departure?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by bigmoneyvic, Jun 10, 2012.

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  1. bigmoneyvic

    bigmoneyvic Tourist

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    Its been a few years since I flew out of McCarran. Just curious on how much time everyone is giving themselves prior to departure? I am staying south strip and flying on US Airways departing on a Wednesday at 230pm. Thanks and I have gotten a ton of tips from the board! Thanks
     
  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    I have my limo from MGM leave 1:15 before my flight. It's a 2 minute drive to the airport.
     
  3. nfcwestbest

    nfcwestbest Tourist

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    I usually leave the hotel two hours before the flight and end up at the gate waiting a hour and a half before the flight. So I agree with shifter u probably only need a hour and a qtr to a hour and a half before your flight. But you never know if you could get screwed up by a traffic jam or a long check in line.
     
  4. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    TSA is so inconsistent there. I would go with two hours just out of fear they will take too long.
     
  5. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    Airport

    I like to get to the airport early so I can check-in and give them my luggage and then go shopping and eat something before flying home.

    I then go through security and go to my gate. Most airlines have you go into the plane 20 to 30minutes early before departure.

    I fly on Southwest and I notice that if everybody has checked in... the plane will leave a few minutes early. Yea! Lucy
     
  6. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    Depends if it's a domestic or international flight.

    1.5 hours or 2.5 hours.
     
  7. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    For checked luggage, please note that many airlines (including US Airways) want the luggage in their hands 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure in Las Vegas, rather than the standard 30 minute cutoff. So leaving the hotel 75 minutes prior means either no checked bags, or a very small risk that the airport counter lineup might delay your luggage. A 15-minute drive and a 15-minute lineup on the same Wednesday is very uncommon in my limited experience, but it definitely can happen.

    Not sure why people check in for international flights so early, other than because they accept the airlines' recommendations. Checked luggage has to be there 60 minutes before (in theory), and the lineup might be a little bit longer than domestic. However, the result of missing cutoff can be much worse: you would (usually) spend another 24 hours in Vegas because your bags shouldn't fly without you, and potentially you'd be responsible for change fees for your airline ticket. Oh, and don't try to do 55 minutes prior as the airline may close the ticket counter if they have no further flights that day - now you're on the phone rebooking your flight. :cry:

    Anyone know how busy McCarran is @ 2:30 PM? Looks like getaway hour for the east coast hubs. US counter should be quiet - just PHL and a regional jet to PHX. CLT leaves @ 2:00; next flight @ 4:40.
     
  8. bigmoneyvic

    bigmoneyvic Tourist

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    Thanks for the input. I was thinking 2 hours but may cut it back to 1.5 hours.
     
  9. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I like to be at the airport 2 hours before the flight. It isn't always necessary but things can happen and the time you safe arriving late will seem trivial if a flight is missed for some reason. I usually leave afternoon or late afternoon and have not had any problems. Less time is needed very early (my last departure was at 7 am, and it is too busy there at 5am!). I like to be at my home airport 2 hours before flight as well, and a couple times I arrived 90 minutes before and it was a horror show, another time my bags got marked late luggage and they flew on the next plane! I'd stick to the 2 hour buffer and play the slots or enjoy some time in a restaurant.

    Jimbo338
     
  10. MMacys1

    MMacys1 Tourist

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    I give Myself 2 hours from hotel. Never know taxi might get a flat or tsa is long. You never know.
     
  11. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    Leave the hotel 2 hours before flight as well.
     
  12. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    To get through security. I have had to wait over an hour before now at various places around the world. I'm not bothered about checking in when the airline recommends, I'm bothered about missing an international flight. I can catch the next flight if I'm domestic, I might have to wait a few days for the next international one.
     
  13. worldtraveler661

    worldtraveler661 VIP Whale

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    I just flew out of Vegas last Sunday back to LA.

    Southwest has a few flights so I wasnt worried. But I still gave myself about 1.5hrs to check in and walk to the gate. I had plenty of time. Sat around for an hour.

    Sometimes you need that extra 1hr just in case certain things dont go right though. I'd give myself at least that or a bit more if its during a busy airport day like Friday or Sunday. You just want to allot for any delays you know.
     
  14. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    If I'm in Aruba with some variability in check-in staff, lack of online check-in (sometimes), U.S. pre-clearance AND security check, sure. If I'm anywhere except Canada and I'm flying to the U.S., strange things can happen trying to get cleared to fly to the U.S. Unfortunate but true.

    But flying out of the U.S. to an international destination, I have found almost nothing that slows me down versus a domestic U.S. flight. Caribbean, South America, Europe, East Asia destinations. The security post-9/11 appears to be the same (+- your checked luggage paired to you and your flight, which I take for granted these days.) There's more security flying to Reagan National than any international destination I can think of. This especially applies flying to my home country, which too many Americans treat as an International flight. It's really not - the only "annoyance" is the 60-minute check-in and checked baggage rule.

    But as we've both pointed out, missing an international flight (or the cutoffs prior to flight) has different consequences than missing a domestic flight. I don't see that requiring an additional hour of precaution, but everyone has their own risk (and stress!) tolerance.

    Now you mention waiting an hour at security. At every major airport in U.S. and Canada (and probably every smaller airport) I've been able to walk over to the airline counter, or flag down a customer relations assistant in the screening area, and indicate that the time remaining before my flight is short. I have always been allowed to be cleared as soon as possible. No one - not even the passengers you cut in front of - want you to miss your flight. I've also waited...probably 45 minutes for security is the longest, but I've waited 1:45 to get through Customs. Had to rush to connect to a flight...but only because I didn't ask for (or require) help. You can wait...you shouldn't have to wait in North America to the point where you'd miss a connection. Too many people are willing to assist to allow that to happen. Yes, even the fine TSA people :rolleyes2: can be helpful when pushed to be, so long as it doesn't jeopardize "security". Airline employees are a much better choice to obtain assistance from. Doesn't mean someone somewhere didn't get help when asked for, but generally speaking help is available when required.

    How's Her Majesty's customer service...when there's no job action? :faint:

    And yes, there is a difference between a Wednesday afternoon in Vegas, and a Sunday night. A big difference. And even with that, 90 minutes is still lots of time for WT (in June, granted). Still curious how an afternoon flight is for congestion/delays at the driveway, airline check-in, or TSA.
     
  15. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    I am glad that you haven't had too many delays, but I'm sure you can appreciate that your experiences won't be mirrored by everyone else.

    If I arrived late, or a connection was delayed I'd have no problem asking. If I turn up with enough time to wait an hour then I'm not going to ask for special treatment. It's just part of airport life really.
     
  16. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    I am unaware of anything that TSA or the airlines do for outbound international flights - either for themselves or for another party - that is significantly different from what they do for domestic travel. Luggage matching, that's about it. And it's not like VISIT stops/flags anyone exiting - just turn in the I-94 and off you go. But if you're aware of something, or have an anecdote to share trying to leave the U.S., please do tell.

    Agreed. So...getting back to the OP, if you end up delayed because of nasty traffic, or a ridiculous lineup to check luggage, and you are at high risk of missing your flight, your "Plan B" is to ask for some assistance in bypassing any further lineups, which very often works. Plan F is to miss your flight. :)

    Since many here are on vacation when approaching the airport, most may not want any stress or uncertainty to be the last memory of their trip. If so, don't cut it close! I've submitted to over 400 hours of airport time, prefer as little time there as possible, and don't mind a little calculated risk after a whole lot of risk at the tables. To each their own....
     
  17. mckevin32

    mckevin32 Low-Roller

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    I always leave the hotel 2 hours before my flight time, but that is also allowing for time to return the car and get a Cinnabon!
     
  18. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We always have the limo pick us up 2.25 hours before the flight. Gets us to airport about 2 hours ahead of flight time.

    Once through security, it gives us time for 1 or 2 drinks at the bar closest to our gate.

    We just find it more relaxing, less stressful, to be there early.

    As I mentioned in a different post, who knew on a Tuesday morning the airport would be packed. Arriving a hour, or hour and half ahead, I would have been stressing in the security line.
     
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  19. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    I apologise. I was talking about airports around the world, not just the US and thought you were too. My point is not that domestic / international is much different, but that in some places it's slooooow getting through security.
     
  20. azn2050

    azn2050 Tourist

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    Can someone suggest how much time it should take for a rental car? for a first timer using phone navigation? What is traffic like? Same as other cities with usual traffic hour around 4-6pm?
     
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