How Early Should I Get to The Airport?

How early should I get to the airport? This is one of the most common questions travelers ask themselves. While many people recommend arriving up to four hours prior to scheduled departure, others suggest arriving an hour before departure.


One thing is for certain, once you’ve decided how early to arrive at the airport for your trip, make sure that you’re going to arrive on time. Pick the right taxi service in Petaluma to help you arrive at the airport exactly when you want to.


Things That Can Slow Down Boarding


There’s a reason why air passengers are recommended to arrive hours before departure. There are several factors that can slow you down. Read on as we discuss several of the common factors.


International Flights


If you are taking an international flight, arrive earlier at the airport than you would if you were flying domestic. International air passengers are subject to more rigorous security checks including immigration and customs checks. Many passengers plan to check-in a bag or two, which can prolong the process.


These steps usually add an extra 15-20 minutes to the wait time. However, if there is an issue with your passport or you hit an unanticipated roadblock, you may risk missing your flight if you arrive too late.


Airport Security


Under normal circumstances, the airport security screening process takes around 20 minutes. The process can however get prolonged if you are carrying a prohibited item as you will be subject to additional screening. To avoid delays, make sure you follow TSA guidelines on what passengers can and can’t bring on a plane.


Time of Year


If you are traveling during the holiday season, expect larger than normal crowds. Increase in traffic means longer wait times. Arrive earlier than you normally would. To be on the safe side, get a travel protection plan.


Your Preferred Check-in Option


If you plan to check-in in-person, you will have to wait 20 minutes (in case of a domestic flight) or 30 minutes earlier than usual. If you plan to check in a bag, you will have to wait in a queue.


Exactly How Early Should You Get to the Airport?


Get to the airport two hours before a domestic flight and three hours prior to an international flight to ensure that you have plenty of time to check your luggage in and get through airport security. Arriving early will allow you to avoid anxiety in the event of an unexpected delay. Passengers carrying excess luggage and those traveling with a large group or kids should consider arriving even earlier.


J’s Taxi offers top-notch airport transfer services. We operate multiple airport taxis in Petaluma. Our drivers know Petaluma like the back of their hand. Your driver will take the shortest possible route to ensure you arrive on or before time. To book a taxi, call us at (707) 364-1544.