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MGA - How Early for International Departure

MGA - How Early for International Departure

Old Feb 2, 18, 11:48 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 8
MGA - How Early for International Departure

My apologies if this is covered elsewhere, but couldn't find anything recent... What time would you recommend I arrive at MGA for an international departure?

My flight back to the US is on a Thursday at 8:30 AM. The hotels / airport will say to arrive 3 hours early (5:30 AM), but I'd prefer not to wake up at 4:00 AM to leave the hotel at 5:00 AM to arrive at 5:30 AM if I could sleep in for another hour (or more).

We'll be staying in a small hotel near the Princess Hilton (about 25-30 minutes without traffic), but unsure if / when rush hour traffic becomes a concern.

If this is the type of airport where I truly do need to arrive three hours early, then that's fine, but traveling with young kids and getting them out the door at 5:00 AM to sit for multiple hours doesn't sound appealing!
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Old Feb 2, 18, 5:42 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: PTY
Programs: UA Gold, CM nada
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3 hours is extremely conservative. MGA is efficient, I've barely seen any lines at immigration or security. If it were me, traveling with family and valuing sleep, I'd aim for 1 1/2 hours. Alone with a carry-on, even less. Use google maps to see how the traffic is and their prediction of travel time for the date in question or whatever weekday morning.

Disclosure: I've only departed on CM in the afternoons, perhaps it's a madhouse in the mornings on a US carrier.
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YadiMolina is online now  
Old Feb 3, 18, 7:05 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
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I think MGA is busier in the early morning with three big flights to the US going out on AA, UA, and DL, than it is in the afternoon. You have to be checked in at the one-hour mark for a flight to the US. Ninety minutes or less is cutting it too close.
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SJOGuy is offline  
Old Feb 6, 18, 11:04 am
  #4  
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston, MA
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Thank you both for your input! I'll aim to arrive 2 hours in advance. Google Maps doesn't show a perceptible increase in traffic on weekdays until 7:00 AM, so I'll plan on a 6:00 AM departure from the hotel which will give me 2 hours without traffic and a half-hour grace period (double the actual drive time) to still arrive 1.5 hours before the flight.
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