Flying to a meeting? Going on vacation? With today's flight regulations, it is important to take the right steps that will help you get to the airport early and avoid unnecessary flights that could make you miss your flight.
1. To check in luggage or not
Prior to going to the airport, go on your airline website or call their customer number to find out how much luggage you are allowed. Also, check how much luggage is allowed with you, as a carry on, so you can sort what goes where. If you are leaving for a short duration, try to travel light. Checking in luggage can be a lengthy process and if you can bring carry-ons only, you will avoid lots of line ups.
2. Check-in online
Online check-in is a great way to save time. You can check in as early as 24 hours prior to your departure time. Second, it allows you to pick your seat as early as 24 hours before your flight. Remember that the earlier you check in, the best chance you will get to pick a good seat (nobody liked to sit in the middle!). This also ensures you have a seat. Because of no show passengers, airlines tend to overbook their flights, in the likelihood that not everyone will show up. Rarely, everyone will show up on time. In those rare cases, the flight becomes overfilled, and the last people to check in will then have to wait for the next flight. Checking-in online will also save you some time at the airport. With your board on hand, as soon as you get to the airport, you can walk directly to your gate. However, if you are flying international, there is the possibility you still need to go through regular check in.
3. Arrive early
Leave and arrive early, this is a rule of thumb to catch your flight on time. It is recommended to arrive at least 1 hour early for domestic flights, and 3 hours early for international flights. This amount of time will ensure you have sufficient time to check in (if you have not already done it online!) And to pass through security check.
Only containers with liquids of more than 100mL or 3.4 ounces are allowed in carry-ons and have to be put into a small clear bag. Bigger containers, such as wine bottles or sunscreen bottles) have to go in the checked-in luggage, otherwise they will be discarded.
5. Sharp objects
Sharp objects are not allowed in carry-on luggage. If you are bringing any sharp objects (Swiss Army knife, razors), you need to put them in your checked-in luggage.
6. Weather conditions
Is it raining? Snowing? Are the roads icy? Make sure to look at the weather forecast and to have a look outside the winder to look for bad driving conditions. If the weather is bad, make sure to leave even earlier than you usually would, as you may need to drive more slowly for safety.
7. Peak times
If your flight is a peak times (9AM or 5PM), leave earlier. First, there are chances you get slowed down by traffic. Second, due to a higher number of travelers at those times, checking-in and security checks take longer.
If you follow those rules, you will ensure to make it on time for your flight. And remember to fly light! Bon Voyage!