When do I need to arrive at the airport for a flight? Print

Q: I’ve always been told to get to the airport two hours before my flight. I try to conform to that rule. However, lately I’ve noticed most other passengers showing up just an hour early or less. I’ve even seen people come running into line while others are actually boarding. Have the rules changed?

People with suitcases


A: No, the rules are the same, and they still make sense. You’re right that many people are arriving later and later these days, but it isn’t worth the risk. It’s still a time-consuming hassle to check bags, go through security, make your way to the departure gate and get your boarding pass. Why make it more worrisome by arriving late? Sometimes, those last-minute passengers are refused boarding. Try to get to the airport two hours early for domestic flights, and, because of the need for more paperwork, three hours before international flights.