Planning a Trip to the Airport? Here Are Some Tips

April 16, 2019 3:39 pm Published by

You’ve seen it in the movies—either that one person or an entire family running like mad through a busy airport to the departure gate printed on their ticket, or the most anxious-looking person in the world pacing around in the boarding area hours earlier than necessary before their flight is scheduled to takeoff.

With a little bit of planning and clearer insight, this hopefully won’t be you. You do need to leave enough time to ensure proper check-in and to get through airport security, that’s for sure, but there is such a thing as being a little too prepared.

Frequent flyers have a routine down. But travelers who fly less often might have no clue how early you should arrive at the airport, let alone how to navigate a busy terminal. Don’t panic, though—our airport transportation service in Tacoma, WA has put together some tips to help you plan your trips to the airport.

Domestic flights

Check the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) website to find out how early you should get to the airport to catch a domestic flight and it will say to get there at least two hours before departure. While you won’t need the whole two hours to board the plane, this allows plenty of time for parking, walking or taking the shuttle, checking in and getting through security. Those with TSA PreCheck should plan on arriving about 1.5 hours early. Furthermore, you’ll want to factor in additional time depending on the airport and the time of year, particularly if you’re traveling during major holidays.

International flights

How early does the TSA suggest you get to the airport for international flights? Three hours before your plane leaves. Don’t ignore this, especially when it comes to return flights to the United States, because there are likely customs pre-screening and agriculture checks to deal with. This could mean double checkpoints with long lines, no matter the time of day or year or the airport. Realistically, security and customs agents are not going to be sympathetic to your failure to leave early enough for the airport. The TSA also recommends printing out your return boarding pass in the event that the country you are leaving does not offer online check-in or mobile boarding pass options.

Peak hours at most airports

Folks flying during peak hours (between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.) or on weekends or going through a busy airport should really give themselves some extra time on top of the recommended two hours for domestic flights and three hours for international flights. It’s better to be waiting in the terminal a little longer than still be going through security when you flight starts boarding.

So how can you avoid the stress that comes with needing to get to the airport on time? One option is to reserve a ride through a reputable airport transportation service in Tacoma, WA ahead of time. Here at Around the Sound/TransPro, we offer airport and terminal drop-off and pickup, airport transport for larger groups and airport rides in wheelchair accessible vehicles. Call us today for more information!

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