We need to check in early just because we have to queue up?

10 replies


Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 17 Nov 2014

Total posts 78

Last week I had this debate with my girlfriend regarding whether we should arrive at the airport early for check in.

My girlfriend's point is that we have to be at the airport early because there will be queues at the airport and we will miss the flight if we get there late.
However, my question is, are we just be there early to queue up for the sake of queuing up?
Especially for us, who we are premium travelers, we will only go to the airport early just because we have lounge access. If you don't have lounge access, why bother getting there early and waste $$$ on food at the airport?
Moreover, even if we get to the airport late, there's always Priority check in that we don't have to wait for it. And if your flight is closing soon, you will simply be paged to priority counter and given express pass that you will be able to enjoy priority screening anyway.
So why bother coming early to the airport for your flight unless you have lounge access?
Thank you.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 May 2013

Total posts 407

Almost everyone in this page would be a business traveller. For a traveller who travels infrequently, arriving 2-3hrs earlier would help them navigate the "airport" setup with adequate time near the boarding gate. I do not think many people go to airport to spend money on food.

As a business traveller, i only go to the airport 60mins before check in closes, get to the lounge if time permits for a coffee or any other decent drink (or food if i want to sleep straight after take off). There are few lounges (QF F Lounges or CX F lounges) where i would consider going earlier to "enjoy" the lounge, otherwise most other lounges are overcrowded nowadays.
I think your girlfriend is right (now and for the rest of your life). Pick your battles, i say , happy friday ;-)

Red Cee

Member since 15 Feb 2018

Total posts 151

An airport will tell you to arrive early in case there are long queues at both check in and security. For those who don’t have lounge access, they are hoping you will spend and browse the airport retailers, helping to promote the retail experience.


Member since 30 Aug 2013

Total posts 148

Airlines request passengers check-in 3 hours before their flight because it is more convenient for them to have everyone checked in earlier for the flight, rather than later. If check-in closed 45 minutes before departure and everyone arrived 60 minutes before they would not have everyone checked in in time.

My parents will arrive at least 3 hours before departure 'because you have to'. They then sit around the airport, bored, for hours. There are still big queues 3 hours before check-in because so many people obediently follow this requirement to be there so early.
I breeze in 60-90 minutes before departure to find an almost empty check-in area because most people checked in hours before hand.
Seeing passengers queued in the economy check-in line before check-in even opens is something I don't think I will ever understand. I do know many infrequent travellers arrive so early because 'they don't want to be stressed'.


Member since 24 Dec 2013

Total posts 152

The benefit of arriving early is peace of mind. Cutting it too close and you run the risk of missing your flight because of unforeseen circumstances. The consequence of missing a flight is far greater for most people than the inconvenience of being too early and waiting around.



Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 726

I agree with arriving early, and that if you have a lounge pass then sitting and relaxing after dealing with the various bureaucratic steps is a good thing before a long flight. The other advantage is that it provides a buffer if something goes wrong e.g you forgot something or in my case last month the flight was cancelled and so they squeezed me onto an earlier flight rather than a later flight that may have missed the international connection.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Jul 2016

Total posts 9

It also leaves a buffer if you realise at checkin at Heathrow that you left your passport in the hotel safe...

BTW The Headrow Express is a wonderful, if expensive, thing...

Nick Sydney 2

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 22 Jul 2015

Total posts 83

In these days of self service, the only reason to get there early is to make use of the lounges. Online check and multiple bag drop stations means less queuing. Personally it's a case of minimal time sat around in Sydney at the QF lounge the better. Now when in the UK or the US I do leave plenty of time or enjoy the lounges but also a precaution. London, LAX or JFK traffic and commute to the airports can be long.


Member since 06 Dec 2017

Total posts 23

not necessarily it helps to be early to get formalities out of the way before the flights.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Dec 2017

Total posts 32

A few weeks ago my booked taxi did a no show and that late run for the airport and all the stress involved was awful! It confirmed that my usual approach of arriving nice and early and settling in to the lounge for a coffee/drink then strolling onto the flight is the way to go.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jan 2017

Total posts 44

arrive early, have a shower and jump onto a long flight is my pick.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on We need to check in early just because we have to queue up?

Attach Files