Show Up At The Airport 2.5 Hours In Advance – More If Checking Bags?

News and notes from around the interweb:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Oh yeah, let’s offer financing on airline tix and upgrades … why didn’t I think of this? The people who are drowning in debt and have no money should be able to take trips, yes? It’s their right to travel and not being able to pay for a tix should be no barrier to them exercising their rights.

  2. Judy Judy Judy!
    Why are you worried about total strangers financial decisions!!??
    Do I detect a bit of bias against the
    Touch your face!

  3. Showing up at the airport 2.5 hours in advance might mean the difference between getting a seat on your flight. Or your bags being up in the air and still sitting at the airport wishing upon a star for the next flight, because the previously airplane was too jam packed with people who paid for tickets in advance before you.

  4. Financing / payment plans were a big part of the airline business in the 1960s – take a look at some old timetables online

  5. Greg – flight financing is back because everything old is new again – from the good old sky high inflation of the Carter 70s to the barely there crop of wannabe 60s astronuts.

  6. Showing up at the airport a couple hours early sounds like perfectly normal advice to me. Of course the airport is going to err on the side of more time not less.

  7. My home airport, the tiny VPS, was so overcrowded and understaffed this summer that’s two hours was suggested if you had Pre and priority check-in. If you were flying Allegiant and didn’t have Pre, 4 hours was a minimum if you wanted to make a flight. The TSA backup would get so bad that the general security line would stretch long outside into the passenger drop off zone and in the Florida summer, you’d get people passing out from the heat while in line. Allegiant gets their own concourse in 2022 which will fix a lot of the indoor overcrowding but not the understaffing

  8. The 2.5 hour time might have been related to the Formula 1 race weekend, which had a very large group of pax wanting to leave right after the race.

    Recently I’ve seen very long PreCheck lines early morning (6-ish), evidently caused by lack of enough TSA staff to open both lanes.

    It may seem to Allegiant and Frontier pax that they have to go to a different airport, but it’s actually just a different terminal at the same airport.

  9. Logan Airport is turning into a 2.5 hours in advance. Saturday 8 AM and who would have expected a 48 minute bag drop for B6, then a TSAPre line that snaked around the inside and went out the front door. I chose traditional security and made it through in minutes. We’ve been conditioned to pay for Pre but TSA isn’t staffed for that and B6 makes sure dozens of flights leave at the same time. Pre-pandemic things were rough for several hours a day but now Logan Airport is nothing short of horrific. If every bag drop station is covered and TSA has someone at every station it’s not a labor issue anymore, its greed trying to maximize revenue by pushing the gate use to the limit. And this is without any weather delays… Ugh. Flying just isn’t fun anymore.

  10. I have found that if the Pre line is closed or long and you go through the regular line, you often still get Pre benefits – they’ll hand you a card indicating you’re a Pre and you’ll get guided to the Pre scanning station anyway or not have to remove your shoes, etc. You just hand the card back on the other side of the magnetometer. So do whatever gets you through security fastest. At least if you have Pre, you have a choice.

  11. AUS is severely understaffed across the board recently, so I buy it.

    I live approx equidistant to the two airports, and I used to probably pick AUS 60/40, but lately it’s been 90/10 SAT and will probably stay that way until AUS calms down, and that doesn’t look to be anytime soon.

Comments are closed.