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Arrive 90 minutes in advance for international flight despite a domestic first leg?

Arrive 90 minutes in advance for international flight despite a domestic first leg?

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Old May 30, 19, 5:43 pm
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Arrive 90 minutes in advance for international flight despite a domestic first leg?

I am flying out this Saturday from my local medium sized airport connecting through DFW then onward to PVG. I take the early morning flight to DFW 8-10 times a year so I am very familiar with it and know exactly how much in advance I need to arrive to get through security. Last year I arrived around 90 minutes prior to boarding for a flight connecting through DFW for Frankfurt and when checking in the agent told me that I was cutting it close because I needed to check in 90 minutes prior to boarding for international flights.

Is this correct if the initial segment is domestic? Do I really need to arrive 90 minutes prior for my first flight to DFW?
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Old May 30, 19, 5:50 pm
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If you are unable to do online / app check in, then yes you must check in at the airport at least 90 minutes before departure time if your trip includes an international destination.

Last edited by Uzzar; May 30, 19 at 5:51 pm Reason: spelling
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Old May 30, 19, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Da67 View Post
I am flying out this Saturday from my local medium sized airport connecting through DFW then onward to PVG. I take the early morning flight to DFW 8-10 times a year so I am very familiar with it and know exactly how much in advance I need to arrive to get through security. Last year I arrived around 90 minutes prior to boarding for a flight connecting through DFW for Frankfurt and when checking in the agent told me that I was cutting it close because I needed to check in 90 minutes prior to boarding for international flights.

Is this correct if the initial segment is domestic? Do I really need to arrive 90 minutes prior for my first flight to DFW?
No, you do not have to check in 90 mins prior, that agent was misinformed. Online/app check-in closes 90 mins prior to departure for int'l flights but you can still check-in at the airport up to 45/60 mins before for domestic/int'l.
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Old May 30, 19, 5:56 pm
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I stand corrected then, sorry for misinformation. Last month I was unable to do online check-in in a similar situation to OP, and was also told it had to be 90 minutes before boarding.

Last edited by Uzzar; May 30, 19 at 5:57 pm Reason: redundant
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Old May 30, 19, 6:41 pm
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When I haven't been able to check-in for international flights (starting at AUS), the phone agents advised that I should arrive at the airport 2 hours prior. I know that I didn't arrive that early when I flew AUS-DFW-NRT-SGN (Vietnam visa required for US citizens). I'd guess I was about 90 min prior and it worked out well.
On another tirp, I flew AUS-DFW-LHR-DEL and I did arrive rather early at AUS (again visa check required before check-in).

I guess it depends on your comfort level with getting to an airport agent to verify everything. Then of course that you have enough time for security and getting to the gate.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:13 pm
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The agent was wrong on both counts.

The international cutoff is 60, not 90 minutes. Also, if your first flight is domestic (even on an international itinerary) the domestic cutoff time is what’s relevant.
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Old May 30, 19, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Djokison View Post
The agent was wrong on both counts.

The international cutoff is 60, not 90 minutes. Also, if your first flight is domestic (even on an international itinerary) the domestic cutoff time is what’s relevant.
This. I have showed up at T46 for this exact situation and checked in and checked bags.

Unfortunately, despite a US Passport, Global Entry, TWIC and homeland security clearance, I'm apparently deemed threat enough to not be able to OLCI for international flights. So I have lots of practice on this. Also get "randomly selected" a lot.
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Old May 30, 19, 10:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Djokison View Post
The agent was wrong on both counts.

The international cutoff is 60, not 90 minutes. Also, if your first flight is domestic (even on an international itinerary) the domestic cutoff time is what’s relevant.
This is correct in my experience. Even on the Shuttle to an international flight the cutoff was 30 minutes to check a bag.
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Old May 30, 19, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Uzzar View Post
I stand corrected then, sorry for misinformation. Last month I was unable to do online check-in in a similar situation to OP, and was also told it had to be 90 minutes before boarding.
There's a big difference between 90 minutes before BOARDING and 90 minutes before SCHEDULED DEPARTURE TIME. Most rules are phrased in terms of the latter.
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Old May 31, 19, 6:30 am
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Slightly off topic. Sorry. I was not able to OLCI for an international flight only once. After several calls, I was finally told that I must use the United App to upload an image of my passport. Not sure why they lost the passport information I have in the system for years. After the app captured the passport image, I was able to complete the check in process.
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Old May 31, 19, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by Ilove2fly View Post
Slightly off topic. Sorry. I was not able to OLCI for an international flight only once. After several calls, I was finally told that I must use the United App to upload an image of my passport. Not sure why they lost the passport information I have in the system for years. After the app captured the passport image, I was able to complete the check in process.
Actually way OT because this is the AA board.
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Old Jun 1, 19, 6:31 am
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oops. That's what happens when you collect miles with multiple airlines.
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Old Jun 1, 19, 7:38 am
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Anecdote - take it for what it's worth: I cut it a little bit close on a BWI-MIA-MDE flight a few months ago. I got to the desk at about T-65, and the agent commented that I almost missed the baggage check in cutoff. I responded that I thought it was 45 minutes since this was the domestic leg. She told me that TSA requires 60 minutes for all flights that include an international leg, even when the first is domestic.
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Old Jun 1, 19, 7:39 am
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AA's own published rule is a check-in deadline of T-60 for international when departing from a domestic location. Anything else is guidance issued as a recommendation only. The agent was simply wrong.

That said, The deadline is the deadline for checking in, not arriving at the airport or standing in line to check-in. Thus, the recommendation makes general sense, especially for international flights where document problems sometimes take time.

Last edited by Often1; Jun 1, 19 at 8:20 am
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Old Jun 1, 19, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by coolcoil View Post
Anecdote - take it for what it's worth: I cut it a little bit close on a BWI-MIA-MDE flight a few months ago. I got to the desk at about T-65, and the agent commented that I almost missed the baggage check in cutoff. I responded that I thought it was 45 minutes since this was the domestic leg. She told me that TSA requires 60 minutes for all flights that include an international leg, even when the first is domestic.
Airline employees do enjoy making things up on the spot.
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