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.

How Do The Three-Hour Rules Come About 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.

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.

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