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3 hours b4 a flight---really?

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Do you really need to show up 3 hours ahead of time at the airport for a 6AM American Airlines flight?

Would 2 hrs be enough? Have any of you actually needed the 3 hours to get through the lines?

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The airline is covering it's butt. You are free to take it very seriously or do as you choose. Nobody on this board can tell you for sure if you will make your flight if you decide 2 hours is enough. It's your decision how important or unimportant getting on the flight is. Just because someone posts what THEIR  experience was on a previous flight, as they say, is no guarantee of future performance.  But you knew that...you're just looking for affirmation here...and you'll probably find it.

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Be aware that if you don't check your luggage one hour before the flight American may refuse it.  This happened to a friend of ours.

Flying sucks big time these days.

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It would be hard to find a business with lousier attitudes and customer service than airlines these days.

 

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I usually show up two hours before my international flights but at times it is really busy. 

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Yes i showed up three hours before. it was Volaris, lines were very long, just made with 18 minutes before the flight , last one to get on plane

no problem with other airlines

I Love to come 3 hours early relax and have a meal in the  lounges.

prepare for the worst

 

on return flight line was 5 minutes long, yes i was too early 3 hours, extra time in lounge

 

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Volaris, Interjet and Aeromexico can have 6-8 flights scheduled to leave. in a one hour period. Each plane can carry over 100 people so it’s possible to find close to 1,000 people in line. American on the other hand only has  one A319 at any one time so the line will be shorter. Adjust your arrival time accordingly.

There is a web site that lists all the GDL departures which can come in handy when planning how early to arrive.

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That is rush hour at the airport.  Packed and busy.  YES it can take just that long.  

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Our problem has been that the customs window wasn’t open and had a long line.  We waited two hours for customs and the at the AA window an hour before the flight.  Everyone was in the same boat.  The Mexican customs staff are unprofessional jerks.

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The wait at the immigration line was 30 minutes when my wife went this morning at 4AM.  American won't let you check your bag until you have the FNM in hand.  That's how our friend got screwed up and had to take a later flight.  She stood in the FNM line for over an hour and finally got to the baggage line 50 minutes before the flight left.  They wouldn't let her carry it on either even though it was carry on size.  They were real jerks about it.

 

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Keep in mind that, to fly out of the country, you will first need to go to the immigration window. Sometimes there may be a dozen or more people ahead of you. It helps to have a copy of the form in hand, already filled out, when you show up. If you haven't filled the form in advance, make sure you have your own pen. They won't provide one and other people may or may not be willing to share. Once you get a pen, you'll have to fumble with the forms and your documents in line or even step out of line and lose your place. I usually ask for extra forms when I go to the window so I have them for future flights.

Also keep in mind that if you show up at the airline baggage check-in less than 1 hour in advance, the airline staff may have left already. This happened to me with US airlines a couple of different times at Guad airport. I was screwed and had to take a cab home and fly the next day. Take it from me, you certainly don't want to get tied up in the immigration line and end up with no one at the check-in desk when you finally get there, 55 minutes before your flight leaves.

Also remember that you still have to get through security before you go to your gate. There may be a big line and you can count on it that your gate will always be in the the most distant part of the airport. If you cut it too fine, the airline may give your seat away to a standby. This also has happened to me.Too bad, so sad, next!

It's a drag to have to get to the airport 3 hours before a flight that leaves  early in the morning, but it's even more of a drag to miss your flight and have to go later or even the next day. Bring a book or your iPad, and get a cup of coffee. Happy flying!

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