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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
All Knowledge is Contained in Fandom - or at least on Live Journal

If anyone here has done short-distance domestic US flights - how long before a flight do they recommend you check in?

Edited to add: thanks! I knew I could count on you guys. So, if I were to go to, say, Connexions next spring, it seems it would be wiser to train than to fly. Is good to have information.


Before September 11th, the standard was one hour. More recently, because of increased security, it's an hour and a half to two hours.

Probably about an hour and a half.

Seriously...you can get checked in (bags included) *and* get to your gate in about thirty minutes if all goes well - especially if you have an e-ticket - but it almost never "all goes well." Besides, all our local airports (yours and mine) have huge lines most of the time, so yes...an hour and a half makes sense.

btw...thirty minutes is usually the cut-off at which point they *won't* check you in any more.

Same Here

Like everyone else, I'd suggest about an hour and a half. That way, you can check in and go through security without having to rush. Depending on the airport, they are strict on the "nobody within 30 mins of the flight." E-tickets will get you in and out quicker, but security always seems to be where I lose time.

The times I've flown recently, you had to be on the plane about 20-25 minutes before the flight actually takes off, and at the airport no later than an hour and a half before flight.

If you have e-tickets, curbside check in, etc it's somewhat quicker.

Curbside check in. I remember that. It was most convenient.

We haven't had curbside checkin in NYC for, oh, about two years now.


Honestly, it depends on the airport and the time of day.

I'ce flown out of LaGuardia and JFK since sept 11 giving myself only an hour once I GOT to the airport. However I'd suggest that if you're going during peek hours an hour might not be enough, then again it might be too much.

If you're taking a regular commuter flight, small airplane like an MD-80, leave a little time since you can't bring the types of carryons you're used to. However, if its a slighly larger plane, my personal suggestion is make it all carry on. The regulations say you can bring one suitcase and one purse or backpack. They're pretty flexible if its not a packed flight.

The problem is, I need two pieces of luggage minimum - I have to bring a weekend's worth of food with me. I'd have to rent a car to get to the kosher areas of Baltimore.

kosher food in baltimore....

Or you could just ask really nicely and the kosher fairy (me) could pick you up and take you there, or just meet you in Baltimore with a weekend's worth of food (yes, we keep a strictly kosher house). I'm betting Harold and Becky could also help accommodate. Given that my husband works in Baltimore, it wouldn't exactly be difficult to get kosher food to you.

Re: kosher food in baltimore....

Normally, I'd jump on that offer - and, honestly, I probably still will. Thank you!!

Except. It's the weekend before Pesach. *Just* before Pesach. As in, Sunday night is Bedikat Chometz.

And so I expect you to be *really* busy that day. Or on your way to someone else's for Shabbat or the yom tov. I'm going to have to be super organized and clean before going to the con, and it's only possible because I'm not making the seders. We're going to my inlaws.

So, I'm not going to count on anyone being available.

Re: kosher food in baltimore....

Hey, it could be just the way to get rid of my chametz. ;)

We've got a *teeney* bit of time to figure it out. But I'm sure I can work something out for you that weekend. I'd say that there's no way I won't be available, except that this past year, I had surgery on Purim and therefore was very behind getting ready for Pesach. (fortunately, we spent the first four days of Pesach with friends)

Truly, though, the offer is there and if, when the time gets closer, it still seems feasible, you are more than welcome to take me up on it. Besides, I'd like to meet you someday. :)

When I went to Vermont they said an hour and a half. If you're going to ConneXions you might want to consider the bus. The hotel is also a bus station.

I'd be worried about traffic then. Given my time constraints, I wouldn't want to take a chance.

What is the hotel?

It's the Baltimore Travel Plaza. The hotel is a Best Western.

The con space is awesome. We have the whole floor to ourselves. The dealers' room is enormous.

Don't worry

This is Zev.

Yes, they say to come 2 hours early or some such, but if you have only carry-ons, don't bother. I have done quite a lot of flying out of LGA recently, and I generally aim to show up 40 minutes before the flight, so as to leave myself 10-15 minute for emergencies. If your airline allows you to print your boarding pass from home, do so, just in case you get there less than 30 minutes before the flight, and the machines at the airport won't let you check in.

If you can't check in online, not to worry, just make sure to get to the airport 30 minutes before flying, and use the machines. I have never had to wait more than about 30 seconds for one of the check-in machines. And I don't recall the last time the security line at LGA was longer than 10 minutes.

Ideally, you should get to the gate 20 minutes before departure, but if the security line is longer than expected, don't worry, the real deadline is 10 minutes before departure. That's when (assuming they're running on time) they close the door, and once they've done that they generally won't open it for you, and you've missed the plane, even if you can see it right there through the window.

As for carrying on instead of checking: you've seen what I take to a con. That includes food for the weekend as well as my stash-of-games. I have a roll-aboard, the biggest size that fits the airline regs, and a shoulder bag. Sometimes plus a Landau's shopping bag. Not a problem.

Note: with some of the smaller regional planes, you can't actually take the roll-aboard on board, but you can gate-check it. The point is that you don't have to check it in advance, so you don't have to budget time for that. And at most airports you get your gate-checked luggage back when you get off the plane, without having to go down to the carousel and wait.

Still, for Baltimore I'd train it, because you don't really save significant time, and the train is less likely to be delayed by weather than is the plane. And the train is also likely to be slightly cheaper. And much more comfortable. I'd rather spend 3 hours on a train than 1 hour on a CRJ (http://www.atlanticcoast.com/ACA_Story/Facts/canadair.html), let alone, ghodforbid, a J41 (http://www.atlanticcoast.com/ACA_Story/Facts/jetstream41.html).