What time do you need to get to the airport?

There’s nothing I enjoy more when I’m traveling than arriving at my door a good two hours before I board, buying my overpriced water and a bad cup of coffee, and listening to everyone around me as I pretend to read my book and wait for boarding to begin. This state of calm – sitting at the gate for an hour, or two, or sometimes three – is only facilitated by the fact that I leave for the airport absurdly early.

When I recently traveled to London to attend Wimbledon, my airline app told me, “Summer travel is in full swing and as a result you may experience longer wait times for Getting to the airport and going through security. We recommend arriving at the airport at least 3 hours before your scheduled departure time.

Naturally, I arrived four hours early.

On the way back, they again gave me an alert: Heathrow was experiencing a shortage of staff, so I had to arrive four hours early. (Reader, of course I did.) Airports around the world are facing summer travel chaos, due to staffing issues and increased travel demand.

According to TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein, TSA agents screened 2,454,781 people at airport security checkpoints on Friday, June 24, the highest checkpoint volume since February 11, 2020. . She tweeted, “Get to the airport early, it’s crowded!” Lisa, you don’t have to tell me twice.

With summer travel in full swing, everyone is looking forward to go somewhere – it’s more important than ever to allow plenty of time to check your bags, get through the long security lines, and then buy your snack and magazine before you board.

Every now and then I see a tweet pop up on my feed about a couple where one is the “airport early” person and the other is the “let’s get there as late as possible” person. The joke is that the two balance each other out – except I’m here to say: the anxiety of the person who wants to arrive early has to outweigh the annoyance of the person who doesn’t. Getting around the airport is no longer as simple as it used to be and our habits have to adapt.

There is a Onion article from 2012 that I often think of, titled “Dad suggests arriving at the airport 14 hours early”. We are getting closer and closer to this reality, as is the case for many Onion securities.

Airlines used to recommend two hours for domestic travel and three hours for international travel, but let’s go: three hours for a domestic flight and four hours for an international flight in the United States, especially during a holiday weekend. Between Thursday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 5 are the busiest days for travel this year, according to officials at Oakland International Airport. And according to AAA, “48 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home” over the July 4 holiday weekend.

“Allow extra time to get in and out of airports – and book early. Flights are filling up,” Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith said recently. Smith added: “We’re seeing a lot of pent-up demand for leisure travel, people who haven’t been able to fly for two years.”

At some airports, however, travelers are advised to not arrive early. (I wouldn’t listen.) “It’s great that passengers arrive well in advance of their flights, but it’s important to arrive as close to the advised times as possible, and not earlier,” the chief operating officer said. from Sydney Airport, Greg Hay. Nine News“Some domestic airlines don’t open baggage check-in until two hours before and if you arrive at the airport too early, you may have an extra wait.”

Yet I would always choose extra waiting over the stress of not getting to my destination. As Captain Raymond Holt, played by Andre Braughner, said in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “I better hurry if I want to be at the airport six hours before my flight.”

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