Why Do You Have To Be At The Airport 3 Hours Early For International Flights?

Each airline has specific rules and regulations. Airlines clearly state that you must enter the airport at least 90 minutes to four hours before departure. There are two types of passengers globally, one type arriving at the right time on the airline.

There are other types of people who like to take risks and take exciting adventures like missing a flight. Many airlines rule that passengers must arrive at the airport three hours before departure on international flights. However, some airports do not recommend that you arrive at the airport very early.

Now the question is, why do you have to be at the airport 3 hours early for international flights? The answer is not clear-cut because it involves many factors.

You can know all the details of an international flight through this article.

Why Do You Have To Be At The Airport 3 Hours Early For International Flights?

Why do you have to be at the airport 3 hours early for international flights

Each airline has specific restrictions, so be sure to check the airline you are traveling with. The airline considers two reasons for recommending how early you need to get to the airport before any flight.

  • It takes time to get on a plane from the counter with a check-in bag.
  • It takes a passenger to get from the counter to the gate.

Since airlines have many passengers who want to check their massive data set, time is based.

You need enough time to go from the counter to the gate. There is much more to walk through security. Usually, it takes you enough time to get on the plane.

But now, the security is much faster than before, and the bag check is speedy. The three-hour rule applies to most airlines. When they opened the bags regularly for searching, they could not scan passports electronically. However, the airlines have a technology system, so it does not require much time.

Save Some Time

The perfect time to arrive at the airport is two hours before the scheduled departure time on international flights. It usually depends on what the airlines offer. Some airlines have a rule that you must arrive at the airport 90 minutes before the flight’s departure.

Airlines recommend depending on the time it takes to get from the counter to the gate with the checked bag. However, it takes just as long as it takes to get to the passenger gate.

At most airports, the minimum time counted is 45 minutes before departure. Therefore, it takes a minimum of time to pick up your checked bag at the gate. Those who have traveled with a checked bag must have the idea that the check-in desk takes a maximum of 45 minutes. Moreover, you will not be allowed with the checked bag.

Add at least 30 minutes to stand in line at the counter. You need to count a maximum of 120 minutes. Keep in mind, however, that airlines may change this time depending on the airport and destination. So you must check the latest check-in from the website of the airline you are traveling with

If You Do Not Have A Checked Bag, Save Some More Time

If you don’t have a check-bag, you can go straight through security. If you do not have a checked bag, you can save time at your airport and avoid baggage claims. For this, you can save 30 minutes and get to the airport in around 90 minutes.

That is not a voluntary time, but it is recommended by major airlines. If you do not have any luggage, you do not need to check at the check-in counter, and you can skip it. And you can collect tickets directly from the kiosk.

Also, some destinations with strict visa or security controls recommend arriving at the airport 2 hours before departure.

How Early To Get To The Airport For International Travel?

Most airlines recommend passengers arrive at the airport two to four hours before departure.

When checking in at an international airport, plan 30 minutes.

Mental Safeness

Mental Safeness

Do you always feel like you need to be on the go and never have enough time? Well, it’s time to change that mindset! Here are some tips on how to make your airport experience as safe and stress-free as possible:

  1. Arrive 3 hours early – This will give you plenty of time to check in, get through security, and grab some food or drinks before your flight. Not only will this save you time, but it will also keep you from being rushed – which can lead to mistakes and accidents.
  2. Make a plan – When you’re flying out of the country, make sure to have a plan for what you’ll do if something goes wrong. Have a list of phone numbers for emergency services, directions to your hotel or family members, and anything else you might need. This way, if something does happen, you’ll be prepared and won’t have to worry about anything unexpected.
  3. Bring a phone charger and battery pack – If there’s one thing that can really put a damper on your trip, it’s not having your phone or batteries with you. Always remember to bring a charger with enough power to last the length of your trip, as well as some extra batteries in case yours run out halfway through.
  4. Be safe when traveling – No matter what precautions you take, accidents will happen. But by following these simple tips, you’ll ensure that any accidents are minor and won’t cause too much damage or anxiety. Enjoy your trip!

Printing Tickets At The Kiosk (+5 Minutes)

Like domestic flights, it takes about 5 minutes to print your ticket to a kiosk on international flights. However, keep in mind that not all airports have kiosks, especially foreign airports. For this, you have to stand in line to check your baggage and print the boarding pass.

Checking Bag (+20 Minutes)

In the checking bag, you have to wait with patience as it can be lengthy. Although there are fewer passengers due to the coronavirus, waiting less than 20 minutes and persuading fate

Immigration, Passport Control (+20 Minutes)

There is immigration at some airports during outbound flights. So you have to wait a long time when you face immigration. That’s why you should check if your airport is using prerequisites. If so, spend a lot of time negotiating these security steps.

Going Through Airport Security (+20 Minutes)

Everything is a bit harsh and intense when you travel internationally. You need to spend a minimum of 20 minutes on airport security. Because there are more people there, so you have to wait longer.

Moreover, you may not have the luxury of enjoying the benefits of your TSA pre-check. TSA pre-check is only accepted on domestic flights. That is of no use to you when traveling on international flights.

Walking To The Gate (+20 Minutes)

International airport terminals have occasional traffic. It is because you have to reach the airport by bus or train just like the domestic airlines. And so there are doubts about whether you can reach the airport at the right time. So you have to make time for it.

Airline Boarding Policies (+20 Minutes)

The airlines have specific rules and regulations for international travel. So you must be sure when your airport boarding will be closed. And decide to travel to the airport on that basis. You must arrive at the airport before the actual departure time of the flight.

However, be aware that many international airports close other gates before closing the actual aircraft gate. And you may miss your flight due to your delay, and you will have nothing to do.

Bottom line

On international flights, you need to be more time-conscious than on domestic flights. International flights are expensive, so missing them will be financially detrimental to you.

Airlines suggest their arrival time based on the security protocol of each airline. Many airlines recommend arriving at the airport three hours before departure. Again, some airlines recommend arriving at the airport 90 minutes before departure.

So before your international travel, you must check the website of the airline. I hope now you know about why do you have to be at the airport 3 hours early for international flights.


How Early Should I Be At The Airport in 2022?

It is always a good idea to plan your travel well in advance, and that includes airport arrivals! By following these simple guidelines, you will ensure that you are at the airport two hours prior to your domestic flight and three hours prior to your international flight. This will help to avoid any delays or traffic congestion. Additionally, be sure to arrive at the airport early to get a good seat, as flights tend to fill up quickly. Be sure to pack your passport, boarding pass, and any other required documents in a safe place, just in case!

How Early Should I Get to the Airport for a Domestic Flight?

If you are flying domestically, it is important to arrive at the airport two hours prior to your flight. This will allow time to check in and get settled in your seat. Additionally, if there are any last-minute changes to your flight, it will be easier to make these changes if you are already at the airport. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your airline or travel agent.

How Early Should I Be at the Airport to Check in?

It can be difficult to know exactly what time to arrive at the airport, as the TSA security lines can get very long (and expensive) early in the morning. As a general rule of thumb, you should arrive two hours prior to your domestic flight and three hours prior to your international flight. This will give you plenty of time to check-in, get through security, and get to your gate on time.

Can I Arrive Later at the Airport if My Flight Is Delayed?

If you are flying with a U.S. based airline, your check-in time is 3 p.m. EST. If you’re flying with a foreign airline, your check-in time is typically several hours before your flight’s scheduled departure time. If you are checking in early, remember to arrive no later than 2 p.m. to avoid long lines and potential delays.

If you are traveling with a carry-on bag, be sure to check it in at the counter as well. All carry-on bags must be weighed and tagged before they are placed in the hold, which helps to ensure that they do not get lost in the shuffle during the airport chaos.

Finally, if you are traveling with a pet, please be aware that most airlines do not allow animals in the passenger cabin. You will need to travel with your pet in your checked luggage.

How Long Does the Airline Wait for Late Passengers?

The airline usually waits for passengers to board the plane and then prints their boarding passes. If you’re late, you may not be able to get on the plane right away – airlines prefer that late passengers spend a few minutes in the airport lobby before being rerouted to the gate.

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