How early should you get to the airport

It’s always exciting flying for the first time, you get to see the world from a bird’s eye perspective, high above the clouds.

But the romanticism stops once you get to airport security and you are hit with the realization that flying in the sky is not as amazing as you imagined – mostly due to bureaucracy.

How to avoid last-minute boarding i.e. when should you get to the airport

Generally, it depends on the circumstances and time of year you are travelling – during summer when most people are already on vacations or working somewhere else, travel can be quite light.

But during the holiday season in December it can be quite the nightmare – as a general rule it’s recommended for you to arrive at 60 minutes before the departure of your flight.

With online check-in you don’t really have to wait in line for your luggage, so you can arrive 60 minutes before the official departure of your flight. However, this time really depends on a couple of factors like the aforementioned time of year, but you should also take into account the following.

1. How busy is the airport

Some airports are busy all year round, the long queues, the waiting time at security, the overall volume of people and the ease with which you can go from point A to point B changes.

There are international airports like the one in Beijing which sees more than 2 million passengers every 2 days, meaning you will be one amongst millions the day you travel – take into account that as well.

If you want to be truly prepared, check out our guide on how to deal with the busiest airports in the world.

2. Consider the size of the airport and your gate number

In this case, the size of the airport matters and so does the location of the gate at which you will be boarding – sometimes the distance can literally be miles so consider that as well. Using a travel app like the one we at Colibra have created will allow you to follow real-time developments about your flight both before and during flight.

So, if there is a gate change and you need to walk another 2 miles the other direction, you will know instantly and will be able to react on time, rather than miss an important flight.

Our app allows you the convenience of having all of your traveller’s information like the boarding passes history as well as current boarding documents – no need for pen and papers.

3. Consider if you are checking-in

The factor which determines how early you should get to the airport is if you are checking-in any luggage and what sort and size it is. There are some airlines and destinations which do not allow certain objects either in your carry-on or check-in baggage and would require you to remove them. Check out our guide on what you can and can’t take on a plane.

In cases where your luggage is oversized, you will be charged extra or have to accommodate the airport staff and separate it into a more manageable weight and size.

What if the flight is delayed? Use Colibra and travel worry-free

The reason this app was created was mainly out of need – we’ve been through the nightmare of flight delay compensation requests and battles with airline companies and don’t want others to suffer the same faith.

So, we created a community of travellers who share our idea of justice and have made it possible to get flight delay compensation without even contacting the company in question.

Our app does it all for you – you install it for free and enjoy hassle-free compensation every time a flight is delayed – 100% guarantee.