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How early should you get to the airport?

• Dec 5, 2017 at 5:00 PM

The old adage for getting to the airport in time has been at least an hour before your flight. Or is that an hour and a half?

OK, what is the correct time?

Hannah Golden, for a post on the elitedaily.com website, has her opinion.

“You've booked your plane tickets for the holidays and now comes the second hurdle: making your flight,” she begins. “When should you get to the airport before your flight? It's a question that never fails to come up around the holidays, and we've got some answers to make sure you're home for Christmas dinner.

Golden says you should arrive at least two hours early.

“You've probably heard the old rule of thumb to arrive two hours before your flight, and it's no different during the holidays,” she wrote. “In general, Alaska Air says to arrive at least two full hours before your flight's scheduled departure time, and three hours for international flights. Other airlines and airports might have differing guidelines.

“Whether you're relying on the advice of your airline or the airport, be aware of their reasoning behind it,” she continues. “USA Today points out that airlines often don't want passengers milling around their boarding areas hours ahead of time, while airports and the Transportation Security Administration generally want passengers there early to ensure their employees have enough time for getting passengers through the screening process without a hitch.”

Of course, it depends on the airport, too, Golden notes. Wouldn’t you think an hour is plenty of time for Muskegon, even Grand Rapids or Lansing?

“If your airport is a behemoth like LAX or SFO, it might be wise to budget a bit more time,” she says. “Save yourself some stress by figuring out where to go once you're there (especially the terminal). Having to schlep your luggage around to make it to the right place can be exhausting and a big waste of time.”

When are the peak travel days? Read the complete blog post: “When To Get To The Airport Before A Flight So You Don't Miss Christmas Dinner.”

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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