When to arrive JFK T5 for 6:49am flight?

Old Aug 2, 19, 5:48 am
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When to arrive JFK T5 for 6:49am flight?

When should we arrive at JFK for a 6:49am flight to SFO? Mint and, with luck, TSA pre-check. No plans to check bags.

The website recommends 60 minutes before departure for JFK domestic, but airline recommended times don't always make sense.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 9:49 am
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Recently did JFK at 5:40am on a Monday with pre check and had to check my bag (bought some hot sauces but generally don't check bags) and honestly was still super quick, maybe 10min for everything and I arrived at 5am.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 11:14 am
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An hour should be enough. Even if you don’t get Pre-Check, you’ll have Even More Speed being in Mint. That said, boarding is 40-45 minutes before departure so if you want to enjoy more than one PDB you might want to show up a little earlier. I’d show up 60-75 minutes before departure (so for you, plan to arrive between 0534 and 0549).

-J.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 2:05 am
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One recent change making early flights out of T5 easier is the 'new' TWA hotel- it is literally a minute or two walk from the passageway to the Mint/Mosaic check-in. I've done this the last several times I had to be there early, and it was so nice to be able to sleep in a bit more. With mint and pre-check, my time from hotel room to gate was less than 30 minutes, but again, YMMV.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by GW McLintock View Post
An hour should be enough. Even if you donít get Pre-Check, youíll have Even More Speed being in Mint. That said, boarding is 40-45 minutes before departure so if you want to enjoy more than one PDB you might want to show up a little earlier. Iíd show up 60-75 minutes before departure (so for you, plan to arrive between 0534 and 0549).

-J.
I agree with the timing, but for a different reason. At that time of day you have a lot of pax showing up for flights to leisure/VFR destinations in large groups trying to carry on everything including the kitchen sink so that slows down security line (although EMS or Pre-Check) does speed that up.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
When should we arrive at JFK for a 6:49am flight to SFO? Mint and, with luck, TSA pre-check. No plans to check bags.

The website recommends 60 minutes before departure for JFK domestic, but airline recommended times don't always make sense.
I had a 6:20 AM flight to Vegas last week in Mint. I was checking a bag. There are only 2 Mint check-in positions only. Unfortunately, when I arrived at 4:45 AM, one position was occupied by a family of 6 with passport issues, and the other position was occupied by a woman who insisted she was Mosaic, but she had no proof and it was not on her reservation. She was arguing endlessly with the person behind the desk. What should have taken 5 minutes ended up taking me close to 30 minutes to get checked in. T5 is very busy at that hour! I have Pre-Check. There was a bit of a line but I was through in about 10 minutes.

Bottom line - an hour should be enough, but s*** happens, even at that early hour. I would give it an hour and a half at least just to be sure.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by MW147 View Post
I had a 6:20 AM flight to Vegas last week in Mint. I was checking a bag. There are only 2 Mint check-in positions only. Unfortunately, when I arrived at 4:45 AM, one position was occupied by a family of 6 with passport issues, and the other position was occupied by a woman who insisted she was Mosaic, but she had no proof and it was not on her reservation. She was arguing endlessly with the person behind the desk. What should have taken 5 minutes ended up taking me close to 30 minutes to get checked in. T5 is very busy at that hour! I have Pre-Check. There was a bit of a line but I was through in about 10 minutes.

Bottom line - an hour should be enough, but s*** happens, even at that early hour. I would give it an hour and a half at least just to be sure.
Is there a reason you went to a check in agent as opposed to just using the kiosk and self tagging/checking your bag?
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Old Aug 5, 19, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by kq747 View Post
Is there a reason you went to a check in agent as opposed to just using the kiosk and self tagging/checking your bag?
The line for the kiosks was even longer, the line for the agents "appeared" to be short but I got stuck behind 1 long party and 1 forever person.
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Old Aug 5, 19, 9:27 am
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As a NYer, I would always budget two hours at JFK, even if you theoretically should be able to get through everything much more quickly.

As MW147 notes above, you're always subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and outrageous fellow passengers.
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Old Aug 5, 19, 10:44 am
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Over the years, I've had good luck following the FT consensus on when to arrive at an airport, although I usually arrive a bit earlier. Having already checked in, gotten pre-check and not planning to check bags should help. I'd be happier about arriving early if B6 had a lounge.

Google maps is usually very reliable at estimating how long it takes to get to an airport, although for late afternoon flights out of JFK it often takes some more time than initially estimated. jfkairport.com estimates of security wait times have also been pretty accurate.

OTOH, as noted, there are the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and outrageous fellow passengers.
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Old Aug 5, 19, 1:47 pm
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90 minutes should be fine. check jfkairport.com for security wait times.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 5:48 am
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FWIW, lots of traffic near the terminal after essentially none on the road. We got there about 5:45, pre-check about 5 minutes (25 regular), a few minutes to gate and boarded about 6:10

Thanks!
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Old Aug 6, 19, 6:00 am
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Glad it all worked out. Looking forward to hearing your Mint review.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 7:11 pm
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Mint review:

Overall, a very nice experience. I would certainly fly them again.

Boarding was approximately as scheduled and painless

Service was excellent. The FAs were friendly and attentive.

The seat was good, but a bit too narrow (I am not a wide person).

The food was good airline food.
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Old Aug 9, 19, 2:08 pm
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I do a lot of 6-7 am flights out of JFK. The general rule in my opinion should be 1 hour prior to boarding and 90 min prior to departure at minimum. As an earlier poster stated, sometimes those Mint/Mosaic counters have wait times of 10 min and up. I personally prefer to have the card stock boarding pass that the agent prints versus the thin paper from the kiosk. Plus there is almost always traffic outside the terminal on account of all the Florida and Caribbean flights leaving at that hour too. Lots of inexperienced leisure travelers.

On another note, Even More Speed is great but you are still required to remove laptops and shoes. Pre-Check is almost always the fastest option at T5.

The good thing is the Pre-Check entrance is now on the same side as the Mint/Mosaic check-in so you no longer need to walk across the terminal to get to security.
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