Check in Cut off times on International flights

10 replies


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 May 2013

Total posts 446

I was speaking to the Cathay check in agent in BNE, he mentioned that, the latest cut off time for international check in is 30mins. I have always thought it was 60mins. What is your experience please?


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 20 Oct 2016

Total posts 3

45 mins

Chris C.

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,116

If you tell people it's 30 minutes, some people will arrive 31 minutes before their flight and complain that they're too late for check-in. If you tell people it's 60 minutes, when they arrive literally one hour before their flight, there's still half an hour to complete check-in if the 'real' cut-off time is 30 minutes. ;)


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 May 2013

Total posts 446

I agree with you Chris. I just wanted to know my rights/rules that's all.

I do not expect to go to an international flight 30mins ahead just for the sake of it.
Last time, i was on the airpark bus in BNE getting to the terminal with 65mins left for departure and i got a call from the check in agent saying they only had 5 mins before check in closes.
Interestingly, the next flight, i asked the check in agent casually about this and he said 30mins!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 412

Are airlines now responsible for setting this time limit?

I always understood that the setting of MCT's (Minimum Connect / Check Times) were a function of IATA? Perhaps, that has changed?

30 mins for check-in on an international flight, where 'security', immigration and baggage scanning has to be done seems unrealistically low, IMHO.


Air Canada - Aeroplan

Member since 28 Feb 2015

Total posts 10

Air Canada is 60 minutes (45 minutes domestic). The gate closes 15 mins before departure time. One might well be able to check in after that (though probably not check a bag); however, at least on international flights, any vacant business class seats (including those belonging to people who haven't yet checked in) will be given away to upgrade requests exactly 60 mins before departure time.


Member since 03 Mar 2012

Total posts 5

MCT is Minimum Connection Time and has no relation to actual check-in cut-off as it assumes the passenger will have already been checked in, either by automated through check or by the transfer desk. Each airline has a different time. 60 minutes should be taken as the minimum for international check-in and 30 minutes the absolute minimum for domestic check-in. For international security and passport control make a dash to the gate necessary if you do check-in 60 minutes before. For domestic 30 minutes is needed to get the bag x-rayed and loaded. At least you only have security to contend with. I worked at numerous airports during my 28-year airline career and I have to say Canberra is by far the worst for late check-ins.

anthony watts

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Mar 2015

Total posts 15

Flights into the US seem to be "pick the number you were last told and double it". YYC to DFW, 6:30 am dep. We were initially told we had to check in and bag drop 2 HOURS before dep. Eventually we got this down to 1 hour when we proved One World Emerald status and a Nexus card. But still...


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 13 Jan 2015

Total posts 80

SQ is 60 i believe. One time at LHR what is normally a 50min drive ended up taking 3 hours and I just made it with 5 mins to spare. I always aim to arrive 3hrs before the flight for international just incase something like that happens. Also if i forget something it gives me time to do something about it.



Member since 02 Nov 2012

Total posts 8

In NZ I believe it is generally 45 mins. I work to 60 mins to give a bit of flex and it's been ok so far!


Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 16 Oct 2017

Total posts 285

In NZ I believe it is generally 45 mins. I work to 60 mins to give a bit of flex and it's been ok so far!

Check-in now seems to be app or web-based for most of us. That closes down at the deadline time. Same for kiosks.

Air NZ (at least in NZ) is a bit flexible for its Koru and Gold flyers, and those booked in J, who miss the digital deadline. 90 mins is the Air NZ stated time for international. I'd stick to that in AKL, which can get very crowded.
Jetstar (so I'm told) refuses check-in once their deadline has passed, even if you're already in a check-in queue or even if you've checked in and haven't made it to bag drop before the whistle blows.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Check in Cut off times on International flights

Attach Files