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  1. #1
    ilovetivo's Avatar
    ilovetivo is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    DH, me and Zoey - at Ohare and Ft. Lauderdale airports. DD will be in her Roudabout w/ the GoGo Kidz wheels attached. Thanks!

    Eta: American Airlines - Ohare on 12/16, back from FT L on 12/25
    DD 7 - outgrew dairy allergy 6/13/11 - She had FPIES http://bit.ly/WhatIsFPIES

  2. #2
    MegND95 Guest

    Default RE: How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    We've flown out of O'Hare with three kids and try to pad the schedule to arrive at least two hours prior to departure. That usually leaves more than enough time. This year we are flying out on 23 December and will arrive about 2.5 hours or more ahead.


  3. #3
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    Default RE: How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    I concur. I've got lots of family flying in (as they do every year) and the one time they thought they'd only show up an hour and a half early during the holiday travel season they completely missed their flight!! Sometimes it's waiting to check in, but most of the time it's after that...when you go upstairs to your gate and have to go through security...that's where the biggest lines form, and they don't "care" that you're going to miss your flight. And, with babe & seat in tow, you might get selected for that *oh-so-helpful* random screening and get delayed further.

    Bon Voyage and Good luck!

    Larissa

  4. #4
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    Default RE: How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    For domestic flights, DH and I barely make it on time most the time (I know, so bad). For international, the nice people at airline-that-shall-not-be-named put us in opposite parts of the plane all the time, so we do get there 2 hrs early...I think it's one hour for domestics...

    Sorry for the potential hijack, but can you tell me how you like your gogo kidz thingie?? I am thinking of getting it...Thanks so much and happy travels!

  5. #5
    wagner36 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    I would just plan to get to check-in at O'Hare just over an hour ahead of time, unless you're flying on an unusually busy day. I always forget to add in extra time if we're parking and taking the train in from remote parking - that takes a little bit longer than I expect every single time if we have a stroller because the elevators at O'Hare are kind of a PITA. It takes much longer to do the elevator thing than the escalator thing. We/I fly all of the time with Charlie, and it really isn't bad at all!

    Good luck mama! It'll be fine!


  6. #6
    kelly ann is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    Something to think about if you are parking there...

    We flew out of O'Hare last month and had to park in the lot. We went to the terminal first and did curbside check-in before we parked. That way we didn't have to lug out luggage and second car seat on the mini-train.

    Also, check in at home before you go to the airport.

    I only arrive about an hour before the flight, but I have checked in at home and I go through the employee security line. I would recommend the 2-hours at O'Hare given the large crowds this time of year. In Florida, you may be able to get there a little closer to departure time.

  7. #7
    MegND95 Guest

    Default RE: How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    I will have to try this! Last time we flew on Spirit Air, and they did not offer curb side check in. But we're flying United this time, so I'll give your tip a shot.

  8. #8
    ilovetivo's Avatar
    ilovetivo is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    >Also, check in at home before you go to the airport.
    >
    >I only arrive about an hour before the flight, but I have
    >checked in at home and I go through the employee security
    >line.
    >

    how do you do this? we're actually being dropped off by my mom
    ETA: American Airlines

    ETA:
    AA Travel Information FAQs - Flight Check-In


    Q: What is Flight Check-In?
    A: Flight Check-In is a service that enables American Airlines, American Eagle and American Connection® customers to check in for a flight from home, the office or anywhere there is an Internet connection. Additionally, if your itinerary includes a connection to a carrier with which we have an e-ticketing and online check-in agreement (check here for current airlines) you may check in for your flights with these carriers as well.

    Simply visit www.aa.com. Then, in the upper right corner of the home page within the Reservations box, select the Flight Check-In tab and follow the simple instructions.

    Flight Check-In enables you to avoid check-in lines at the airport by printing your boarding pass from home and heading directly to security and the gate when you arrive at the airport. Flight Check-In is available for travel within the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Please note that boarding passes for carriers other than American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection may not be issued depending on our agreement with the carrier involved. You may still use Flight Check-In for these carriers, but you will need to obtain a boarding pass directly from that carrier.

    Q: Who can use Flight Check-In?
    A: Flight Check-In is available to customers who are traveling on an American Airlines, American Eagle or AmericanConnection® electronic ticket. You may also use Flight Check-In, if your itinerary includes a connection to a carrier with which we have an e-ticketing and online check-in agreement (check here for current airlines). This electronic ticket is not limited to AA.com purchases; it also includes purchases made through an online agency or any travel agency.

    You cannot use Flight Check-In if you have been issued a paper ticket.

    Q: When can I check in for my return flight?
    A: AA.com allows you to check in for your return flight, once your outbound flight arrives and you are within 24 hours of your flight.

    Q: Will I be able to check in for both my outbound and returning flights, if I return in less than 24 hours?
    A: No.

    Q: Why am I required to provide infant information for Flight Check-In?
    A: American Airlines collects this information to have an accurate record of all passengers onboard the aircraft.

    Q: I received boarding pass for another airline when I checked in on AA.com. Will the other carrier accept it or do I still need to check in on that carrier?
    A: The other carrier will accept the boarding pass - you do not need to check in with the other airline. Simply use this boarding pass and photo identification to clear security.

    Please note that all other transactions, including changing your seat if desired, will need to be conducted with the other carrier.

    Q: Can I use Flight Check-in for a flight on other carriers than American Airlines?
    A: Yes. If you are checking in for flights on American Airlines, American Eagle AmericanConnection®, or a carrier with which we have an electronic ticketing agreement, using a domestic electronic ticket (including electronic tickets issued by travel agencies or other online sources) you may use Flight Check-In.
    DD 7 - outgrew dairy allergy 6/13/11 - She had FPIES http://bit.ly/WhatIsFPIES

  9. #9
    kelly ann is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    What airline are you flying? I know United and American offer online check-in. And then you can check bags in at the curb if necessary (maybe a $2 charge per bag).

    As for employee security, I work at the headquarters for an airline (not actually at the airport). Therefore, my ID gets me through employee security - a huge timesaver, but not worth the low airline pay :(

  10. #10
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How early do we need to be at the airport before flights now?

    Also keep in mind that if you hit a peak business travel time (Sunday evening, Monday early morning, Friday evening), you should allow some extra time at O'Hare. But my recent experience with O'Hare is that security is moving fairly smoothly - the only airport where I've stood in line a long time lately has been Indianapolis. Wear shoes that slip on and off easily to speed things up (we always take ours off rather than risk setting off the metal detector) and have DH empty his pockets into a ziploc that you put in your purse or the diaper bag well before you get to the x-ray machine.

    Use curbside check-in if you have bags to check since those lines tend to be shorter; if you do not have bags to check, check in online at home (depends on the airline, though). I don't think that checking in at home saves much time if you are checking bags curbside at the airport. Just don't go inside and leave DH alone with the bags to check curbside - they will also want to see you with your ID before issuing the boarding pass.

    Keep in mind, too, that some airlines (like United) fly out of a couple of different terminals, so you may have to walk more than you expect, unless you call the airline ahead of time to get a gate assignment.

    For me traveling alone, 1 hour is plenty of lead time. With DS in tow, I shoot for an hour and a half so that we have time to grab some food before boarding, or he can burn off a little steam. But I know O'Hare pretty darn well so don't waste much time moving through the airport there. If you don't go there often, 1.5-2 hours is probably reasonable in most conditions to give you time to get through security and figure out where you are going.
    Single mom to

    DS ("twice exceptional") - September 2002
    DS - February 2006
    DD - July 2009
    DD - July 2009

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