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"Please plan to arrive at least 2 hours before departure..."

"Please plan to arrive at least 2 hours before departure..."

Old Jun 13, 18, 9:59 pm
  #31  
 
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I think it should not apply to sky priority / pre-check. Even in SEA where security lines got out of control in the last few months, it was never more than 30 minutes in priority or TSA pre-check lines.

I consider myself lucky, but I rarely arrive more than 1 hour before international and 45-50 minutes before domestic flight. I never missed a flight. I know that statistically I will miss a flight sometime in the future, but because it will be one out of 10s or 100s of flights, the extra delay and expense of one missed flight still well worth hours saved on other flights.

If I have time for the lounge, I take a note that I arrived too early.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 11:16 pm
  #32  
 
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To me it's a CYA thing. If someone arrives 1:15 before their flight and is checking bags and it happens to be a crazy day, and they get flagged for secondary, and they have an infant in arms, and they need to go to the bathroom they might miss their flight. Delta can always say "we told you to arrive 2 hours before."
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Old Jun 14, 18, 12:19 am
  #33  
 
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I received one of these emails 3 weeks ahead of an international flight. (And despite the fact that the first leg of my flight is domestic, I'm still supposed to arrive 3 hours early? Really?)

I was interested b/c it doesn't say if this applies to both PreCheck and regular TSA security lines. I also wondered about the graphic which makes it look like powders now go into the 3-1-1 bag.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 9:54 am
  #34  
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Time is better to have and not need, than to need and not have.


And there are more factors at play than at the airport. I nearly missed a flight once because of a 200 car train in Phoenix that blocked the road to the airport for 25 minutes as it rolled by at 5mph. Traffic, construction, trains, accidents that shut down lanes on the freeway, detours, late buses...never assume the journey to the airport will be smooth. Bank extra time, you may need to use it.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 10:42 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by aquamarinesteph View Post
I received one of these emails 3 weeks ahead of an international flight. (And despite the fact that the first leg of my flight is domestic, I'm still supposed to arrive 3 hours early? Really?)

I was interested b/c it doesn't say if this applies to both PreCheck and regular TSA security lines. I also wondered about the graphic which makes it look like powders now go into the 3-1-1 bag.
Same email - both 3 hours for international and 2 hours for domestic - and same reaction as I too start with a domestic positioning flight.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 10:55 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by dblumenhoff View Post
To me it's a CYA thing. If someone arrives 1:15 before their flight and is checking bags and it happens to be a crazy day, and they get flagged for secondary, and they have an infant in arms, and they need to go to the bathroom they might miss their flight.
Maybe. There's some utility for people who aren't familiar with the airport they're using, and who may be shocked by summer line lengths.

FlyerTalk has seen all sorts of problems with people getting to the airport in time to complete formalities, who then have the joy of going standby on the next (probably very full) flight:

- the taxi dropped me off at the wrong door

- the check in line was l o n g

- they wouldn't let me check a bag 28 minutes before scheduled departure

- they wouldn't let me board when I got to the gate 'about' 15 minutes before my flight


I know a guy - who would go on to become a senior Washington official - who bragged about always being last to board. 'If you're not last you have wasted time at the airport.' That's not the way I want to play it.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 12:51 pm
  #37  
 
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I got this e-mail too.

CLEAR is your friend.

I generally fly in the 6am push at DCA; pretty hard to get to the airport more than 45 minutes in advance when the first Metro train leaves only at 0500 from Huntington station. CLEAR makes it possible to comfortably make these early morning flights.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 2:21 pm
  #38  
 
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I got a notification for a trip this Monday regarding BNA. Said it was BNA's busiest travel day of the year as CMA Fest and Bonaroo were ending and to get there 2 hours before. Wouldn't even suggest that to the wife so got there 1 hour and absolutely ZERO people. I mean no one in the line at 2pm. Maybe I missed the rush
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Old Jun 14, 18, 9:03 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by SJC ORD LDR View Post
I got pulled aside for having an unopened bag of dry cat food in my bag. I was annoyed. Has the TSA gotten worse at being incompetent at its own job?
I've gotten sent to secondary over ten plastic jars of cat treats in my backpack before (The Squeaker loves, loves, loves the ones you get at Trader Joe's more than just about anything else on earth, and I stock up when I'm close to a TJ's). There's the fable about Mohammed and the sleeping cat on the sleeve of his robe, so maybe that's it?

I have literally never waited at the TSA checkpoint at VPS for more than five minutes- holiday season, departing the same time as a couple of Allegiant flights are headed out, whatever. It's a well-run small outstation where more than half the folks seem to have Pre. If there's a log jam, it's at the individual airline counter because there isn't typically a designated bag drop station and you always seem to get stuck behind someone who just had a trip to Brussels or Lima go IRROPS in a big way. I generally try for 1:15 before departure only if I'm checking a bag and an hour is just fine if I'm not.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 1:02 pm
  #40  
 
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I always plan to arrive 2.5-3 hours before a Domestic flight and 4 hours before an international flight just in case something goes awry.

I have Pre Check and that helps and also I plan early morning flights whenever possible.

With extra time I just veg out!
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:28 am
  #41  
 
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I don't fly Delta but with Pre-check, Global Entry (not applicable to how early you arrive at airport), and Global Services I still plan to arrive 2 hours before any flight. Especially if I am leaving to EWR during NYC rush hour the car ride time can vary immensely. Whether for work or leisure, the couple of times I have arrived at the airport late while sweating it out in a cab - it's just not worth it. I think every US airport is different but as those up thread have mentioned - it's better be early than late!
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:35 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
I know a guy - who would go on to become a senior Washington official - who bragged about always being last to board. 'If you're not last you have wasted time at the airport.' That's not the way I want to play it.
I always board last but boarding last and wasting time at the airport are two different concerns. You can get to the airport way too early and still board last.

The way I'd say it is "if you've never missed a flight you're wasting too much time in airports". More of a long-term outlook. I generally see it as a failure if I have enough time at my departure point to visit a skyclub, for example.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:37 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by SJC ORD LDR View Post
I got pulled aside for having an unopened bag of dry cat food in my bag. I was annoyed. Has the TSA gotten worse at being incompetent at its own job?
I won't argue that TSA is incompetent but I don't see how this anecdote adds any weight to that theory. things like cat food that are dry and very dense can look very similar to plastic explosives on the x-ray scanners.

the fact that you personally were inconvenienced for 10 seconds doesn't (necessarily) indicate a TSA failure.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 10:16 am
  #44  
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
I always board last but boarding last and wasting time at the airport are two different concerns. You can get to the airport way too early and still board last.

The way I'd say it is "if you've never missed a flight you're wasting too much time in airports". More of a long-term outlook. I generally see it as a failure if I have enough time at my departure point to visit a skyclub, for example.
This last point is kind of how I see it from my home airport. I have my routine timed well enough that ATL SkyClubs serve more as free coffee bars than anything else.

Aside from delays, if I have a need to find somewhere to sit in an ATL club, I've arrived at the airport way too early.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 2:45 pm
  #45  
 
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I was checking a bag at IAD maybe two months ago and the TA mentioned that TSA was not doing well staffing any of the checkpoints including PC (I hadn’t flown in a couple weeks at that point). The TA said she had as many as 18 PAX miss one flight, first flight of the day at that, and that I should plan accordingly. I could see this email blast as a way for the airlines to get the nonFFers to stop bringing weird stuff and streamline the security screening but then my sarcastic side would jump in and say TSA would find a way to obfuscate the process even more.

Personally, though I have before, I don’t carry apples because I’d eat them all as soon as I got on the plane.
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