Everyone seems to have a slightly different idea on what’s a reasonable time to arrive at the airport. The most anxious among us will plan to arrive at the airport up to 4 hours ahead of boarding time, while the most relaxed think they can usually get away with being an hour early. The truth is, it all depends on the airport, and on the time of your flight. So how early should you really arrive for your flight? Let’s find out!
How much distance do you have to travel to the airport?
One of the main considerations when deciding how much time you need to get to the airport is how much time you need. When you’re aiming to get to the airport 3 hours early, you also leave yourself a nice margin in case transport doesn’t work quite as planned. A Southend Airport taxi will usually take you from London to the airport in a relatively short time, but some services are more reliable than others. Equally, getting public transport or a shuttle bus is not always a sure way to arrive on time. So the more reliable your transport is, the less time you need to leave yourself to catch your flight.
What time is your flight?
You may not think about it, but the time of your flight will impact how quickly you can get through check-in and security. Every airport has slightly different peak times, but school holidays and weekends tend to be the busiest. With a quick search, you can find out what the peak times of your local airport are—and leave yourself a bit more time if your flight is scheduled around those hours!
How are you traveling?
How early you should arrive for your flight will also depend a lot on how you are traveling. Let’s say you’re going to Southend Airport to catch a plane to Dublin. It’s a short journey and you’re going there for the weekend with a carry-on bag. There won’t be any suitcases to check in, you can probably pass through security relatively quickly. You may need to plan just over an hour ahead, especially if you are not traveling at a peak time. Now, if you’re going to the Canary Islands with a suitcase full for two weeks, it may be safer to plan around 3 hours, especially if it’s a large flight.
A good rule of thumb
Planning to arrive 2 hours early for your flight is a good rule of thumb. It ensures that you have time to pass through security, even if it is slow or overcrowded, and that you can fix any issues that may arise with checking in your luggage.
Planning how early you should arrive for your flight is not an exact science, and it will depend a lot on different factors. Make sure to consider how long it will take you to get to the airport, what time your flight is, and whether you have any luggage to check-in. In any case, finding a good Southend airport taxi is one of the surest ways to avoid delays in transport—and get to the airport just when you intend to!