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But not early enough if your flight leaves at 7am.
I don't bother going to the airport at all, let alone go there early.
Anywhere else: fucking hours.
Short haul, bout an hour
but if I'm getting the train up to Luton airport then I wanna aim to be there 3 hours in advance (gives me extra leeway in case the trains are hideously delayed).
and still managed to grab a coffee in the departure lounge.
Most stress-free process ever. It was for work though so I wasn't too worried about missing my flight. I think that helps reduce the stress.
Do it every time, end up just sat there drinking shit lager for an hour and a half.
hour and a half is plenty, hour is a bit tight
if you don't and there's a tendency for there to be awful traffic on your way to the airport or you have to get unreliable public transport then WHAT IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT. i'd rather have a few boring hours in duty free.
How far you're flying (long haul takes longer to board)
Whether you've got check-in luggage (obv)
What airline you're going with (some have a speedy check-in process, others don't)
What airport you're going from (some are very quick to get you through security, others are rubbish)
Whether you're flying out or flying back (you might want to shop for biscuits for the office on the way back)
How easy it is to get to the airport (Fuck up time on the journey, basically).
I usually aim to get to the airport an hour before the stated gate opening time.
If it's one of the day's first or one of the last flights out, then it'll be a lot less busy. But then again, maybe the airport will have less staff on.
I like to give it two hours. I get... mildly displeased at people who leave it to the last minute.
about turning up at the advertised time rather than two hours early. The queue to board isn't going to move any faster if there's one extra person standing in it for that unnecessary 25 minutes rather than joining it at the end.
Would rather be waiting in the airport with a beer than sitting at home waiting to leave.
Hold luggage: ~60 minutes before departure.
Free access to lounge: 120-90 minutes before departure. NB only applies if it's not a work trip.
Return flight from skiing: however long the chalet fuckers decide.
Can't really understand why anybody would be arsed to get there more than an hour before unless they have a load of geese to check in or something.
What's wrong with geese?
I just thought they might be difficult to corral.
I always suffer from the fear that I'm going to miss the flight if I don't have at least 2 hours at the airport. Invariably I'm sitting around for 3 hours after check-in and security because of delays.
always edgy that i'm going to miss the plane if i'm only getting there 2 hours in advance. think this might be a bit unnecessary
But it's etched onto my brain with alarming permanence.
I have no issue with sitting in an airport departure lounge. If I'm with the wife - get a nice breakfast/whatever and chill out. If I'm with the boys - find where the Wetherspoons is and start getting fuelled. Easy.
I've tried to be a bit better. However you can never predict queues at large airports so generally if I'm flying from Luton or Stansted I'll always leave 2 hours (even if that involves leaving home at 2am); similarly from Gatwick and Heathrow. Can always get a beer if you've totally mis-judged it.
Smaller airports abroad; 1.5-1 hour is usually fine.
end up sitting there for three hours, just get anxious about security and queues and would rather be through with plenty of time
Don't even have a flight booked
i never left after my last flight landed
but I'm really really not and I usually out myself at some point.
Depressing on the way back.
I love going home, and the process of going home. Do like those first 20 minutes of being back in a UK airport.
usually the standard 2- 2.5 hours before a long haul. Last few trips I've dropped bags off and breezed through security in 15 mins which always makes me think I could have had another hour in bed :-/
Other times when I rock up 2 hours before and the bag drop-off and security queues are huge I think oooh good job I got here 2 hours before!
who were completely off their noggins
They were loud and obnoxious and were pissing everyone off. They were clearly drinking duty-free booze on the plane too.
Anyway, I can't tell you how satisfying it was to see both of them with their suitcases being ransacked by customs when they collected their luggage...
Only alcohol bought on the flight.
I'm not exactly going to start tanning a litre of Johnnie Walker Traveller's Club on the next flight I'm on or owt, was just intrigued about how that's actually policed...
you'll generally get away with it. On my last flight from Italy the guy sitting next to me got through half a bottle of Whisky without any issues. They'll certainly clamp down if you're starting to disturb others though.
but I've bought/ sold a few airports in my time and they're quite simple and uninteresting businesses. The reason they pretend you have to get there early, is because they like you to have your captive wallet airside asap- a fairly obvious one, don't you think?
When I used to smoke, my idea of hell was getting though security only to learn that my flight was delayed, so I would leave it until the very very very last minute. I don't smoke anymore, but that mentality has stayed with me, and epmier would hate travelling me (and yes, I've received a slow clap as the last person onto the flight once.)
Having said that, I don't mind layovers, as I actually quite like airport shops, and if there's a prunier restaurant I could happily spend an hour or two there eating/ drinking.
I recently got stuck in b'ham airport for 6 hours though and it was very upsetting because there were no decent restaurants (not helped by watching celtic getting spunked on by malmo, and slightly made up for by buying some nice shoes).
although fun to find out about some of the scary stuff that goes on all the time.
I hate traveling with anyone.
Once myself. When flying Ryanair (never again since), was one of the first 7 people to check in at Stanstead and went through security. Blindly sat in the departure lounge waiting for the screen to change to "go to gate" as departure time rapidly approached (had experience before of late gate changes, which are a problem at Stanstead if you've got the train thing already). Boards suddenly switched to "final call" so rushed to the gate. Ended up with myself and 6 other people (the others to check in earliest, obvs) standing at the gate looking at the plane for half an hour while they hunted to offload our baggage - Pilot had decided that missing his takeoff slot and delaying everyone was a better option than letting us on and making it.
Turned out that after the first few people had checked in, they'd told everyone to go straight to the gate, but didn't bother to think about those who'd already checked in. Twats. After a lot of arguing they finally accepted it wasn't actually our fault as we'd all done exactly what we were told, so arranged replacement flights, although I ended up about 36 hours late.
both times because I was trying to be cool and not join the queue at the gate early like all the plebs.
"Final call for flight number BA123. Will Mr Dave... er... SexyBumHyphen... *collapses in giggles*"
I left my passport in the taxi that had taken me to the airport, I realised quickly, but by the time I go through to the driver via his switchboard, he was out of the airport and on the motorway heading back into town. he came off at eth first exit and turned back, but he got to me just as check in had closed and yes I did the tearful begging, it didn't wash. the next flight was only 40 mins later and I nearly missed it too as I went out for a fag to calm myself, having paid through the nose for the new ticket.
I just did this again going on holiday in September, but with my mobile, not my passport. SEE, I am IMPROVING.
Oh how we laughed (cried.)
First time because I totally underestimated how long it would take to get a train from Florence to Pisa and had a last boozy lunch with the remaining girl in our group who was staying longer. Could still have made the flight but the bag drop was closed. In retrospect, should just have gone through security anyway and they'd probably have charged me a few quid to put it it in the hold.
More recently, I got to the airport slightly behind my normal schedule (25 minutes to go) then got stuck behind a large group who all had to get through security together. Which took about 15 minutes. And the flight left early.
The second one was at least partially enabled by me unexpectedly waking up in someone else's bed that morning and having to cycle home (one-handed while casually sniffing my other fingers) and pack before riding to the airport.
And I just remembered that I got fined 40 Euros on the train to Pisa for not stamping my ticket at the station before I left. Amazing!
To the second story. Possibly didn't need the fingers-sniffing detail though.
I had previously tried to drunkenly explain to the same woman that Arab Strap lyrics - specifically Islands - are better poetry than The Bible.
when you have to go on the M25 to get to Heathrow or Gatwick cant leave it down to the wire.
I dont mind reading my book in the airport and people watching anyway.
Never flown domestic but presume you've got a bit more time to play with?
I was going to Lisbon from Stansted last year. Very early flight, had booked a taxi from south London to Stansted at 5am. The taxi never turned up. Had to phone around at 5.30am trying to book a taxi (fortunately got one at a very reasonable price). It's stuff like that happening which means I'm very cautious about what time I get there.