Don't miss out! Join the thousands of people who subscribe to our once-daily email with all the best travel news. Some links on this page may pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them
I’ve started to realize that I may be arriving to the airport WAY earlier than I need to. I’m not sure I’m as bad as the guy in this Onion article, who suggests arriving 14 hours early, but I feel like maybe I’m getting there! And while each time maybe only “wastes” 30 or 60 minutes, as I fly more, those hours are starting to turn into days!
Heading to #ResellingDO
I have tickets to attend the ResellingDO in Baltimore. I do try to minimize my nights away from family, so I booked a 5:50 a.m. flight to head to Baltimore. 5:50 a.m. didn’t SEEM that early, till I started calculating when I’d need to wake up. Thinking backwards from my 5:50 flight
- Flight leaves at 5:50
- Boarding starts at 5:20
- Figure 20 minutes buffer time puts us at 5:00
- 30 minutes to park, get the shuttle to the terminal and go through security
- 60 minutes to drive to Dayton puts us at 3:30
- 30 minutes to wake up, shower and get ready puts us at a alarm clock time of 3 a.m.!!!
This was bad enough, but we’re also in the middle of March Madness and of course, the tournament decided to put my Cincinnati Bearcats in literally the 32nd out of 32 start times – tipoff Friday night at 10:30 p.m. I HAD to stay up and watched the game, which ended about 12:30 a.m. Naturally, UC proceeded to lose in one of the most heartbreaking ways possible (Don’t worry – I’m used to it)
How early is TOO early?
I feel like I can’t really help it – I’m a planner by nature and I always think about what COULD go wrong. Maybe it’s from having 6 kids, where when you go somewhere, someone always seems to need a diaper change, is missing their shoes, or needs to spend some time in timeout before we can get out the door. So whenever I try to get somewhere, I am always wanting to plan extra buffer time in case something goes wrong. Actually, on this morning’s flight, I did “waste” 10 minutes by missing my exit off the Interstate due to a combination of construction and not paying attention, but I still made it to the gate by 4:40 a.m. (70 minutes before the flight time), giving me plenty of time to actually WRITE this post 🙂
Still, I think it was Gary from View from the Wing who mentioned something along the lines of “If you’re not missing flights, you’re spending too much time at the airport”. I thought that was an interesting way to look at it. I can say that I have never missed a flight, though my sister did end up missing one by not getting to the airport early enough (SEE: “Dan, I think I’m going to miss my flight!”)
So, readers, what do you do? How much time do you leave yourself before your flight? Does it change based on how “important” the flight is?