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How soon to get to the airport


Zeb
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How certain do you want to be that there can be no problems? How much fear do you have of possibly missing the flight? That will go a long way determining how early you should get there. Good luck.

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Used to fly every 6-8 weeks, but haven't flown since early March.  

For international flights we aimed at 2 hours prior to departure time.  We have encountered traffic issues due to accidents, cows in the road, etc. Often there is a long line at Migración.  Some airlines do not always have sufficient staff to handle multiple departure flights scheduled within minutes of each other resulting in extended wait times.  Have encountered long lines thru security checkpoint (usually at holidays and weekends).  Some of our flights include a rather extended walk through the airport to the gate.  Many of our flights require boarding a bus to the plane and that's done a bit ahead of the "boarding time" shown on our tickets.  

There is free internet at GDL, so if you have time to kill you can amuse yourself with that, or grab a snack, browse some shops.  All our flights to US involved a connecting flight and missing the GDL leg would result in delays of up to a day.  That was a great motivator for allowing extra time.

 

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It will depend on the time of day you depart, the day of the week,  and the airline. For example if you are flying United they are checking in only 1 flight at a time, if Volaris they might be checking in 3 or 4 flights at the same time.

You can check here to see the scheduled departures of all flights 

https://www.airport-guadalajara.com/departures.php

Also the number of departures will affect the entrance security line.  Last flight early on a weekday in late October the  line moved very quickly. 

If you have your FMM departure form filled out that will save time for the  exit stamp in immigration

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1 hour ago, Mostlylost said:

If you have your FMM departure form filled out that will save time for the  exit stamp in immigration

We always have ours filled out (have a stack of blanks as I always take them when offered).  But that does not speed up the line in front of me!  I have noticed that many of the Mexican-Americans flying under US passports, pay their fines there for 'lost' FMMs.  That really holds things up as the agent usually has to go get change for them, calculate fines, often for large family groups flying together.  

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42 minutes ago, Bisbee Gal said:

We always have ours filled out (have a stack of blanks as I always take them when offered).  But that does not speed up the line in front of me!  I have noticed that many of the Mexican-Americans flying under US passports, pay their fines there for 'lost' FMMs.  That really holds things up as the agent usually has to go get change for them, calculate fines, often for large family groups flying together.  

Most go the front of the line when their form is ready. That is normally the custom in Mexico at govt offices. You don't need to wait behind people in line to ask for a form.

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3 hours ago, Mostlylost said:

Most go the front of the line when their form is ready. That is normally the custom in Mexico at govt offices. You don't need to wait behind people in line to ask for a form.

People who are completing the card will usely step to the side and are encouraged to do so by the official

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16 hours ago, Mostlylost said:

Most go the front of the line when their form is ready. That is normally the custom in Mexico at govt offices. You don't need to wait behind people in line to ask for a form.

What I said was, there are often people in line who are paying fees.  These transactions take a lot of time as the lone agent has to calculate the fees for each family member, then each family member pays, needs change from the agent, who often has to leave the booth to go get the change.  There is no way to get in front of them with my form.  

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We flew to Oaxaca last week.  Even though we had boarding passes, we had to stand in line for oven an hour to check some luggage.  That was AeroMexico.  Coming back on Volaris, almost as bad.  

Between the security checks and the covid business, it seems the dismal experience of flying these days has gotten even more dismal.  Yes you better show up two hours early.  We don't plan on flying anywhere any time soon.  Next time will drive to Oaxaca, taking two days with an overnight stop in Puebla.

 

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I have been within 30 minutes of departure time many times and told the Volaris agent outside the check baggage desks my flight is at so and so time. They always took me to the next available desk where most people waiting in line flights were 1 to 2 hours from then.

I always took the intercity bus from San Luis Potosi to Guadalajara that arrived in Tonala about an hour and a half before my 8:30 morning flight to Mexicali. This was many years ago before they had flights leaving from SLP and had many screens with the destination and flight numbers and departure time and many different lines for your flight you would use. I used to go 6 or 7 times a year back then when Volaris was just starting out.

If you are running late tell them and they will make sure you get ahead of the others who are not running late is what I am trying to say. It worked in Barcelona 1 1/2 years ago when we screwed up not realizing what the hell we were doing. They even escorted us to the gate to make sure it wasn't closed a bit early.

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yes I flew to Chiapas a couple of weeks ago and I ended up being late because of all the requirement and they put me in front of the line bypassed all the security and health requirements and put me on the plane. That was vivaaerobus.

The plane was packed going and coming back and flying is a pain .. always was but it is not getting any better.

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24 minutes ago, TelsZ4 said:

Isn’t the official time 3 hours before for an international flight... ?   If I was taking the flight I would be there 3 hours or more before.. There always seems to be a long line at the check in desk...

Depends on airline.  Pre-pandemic we flew United and American every 6 to 8 weeks and they never required 3 hours.  United only requires 1 hour per their website (and that means at their desk, checking in, after you visit Migración).  We always plan to be there 2 hours before flight time.  We have encountered traffic issues a few times that made us glad we built in that extra hour.  If we miss our GDL leg to the US, where we almost always have a connecting flight, it can cause us a full day's delay in getting to our final destination.  

From United Airlines site,

Quote

 

Minimum required times for check-in and checking baggage

For most flights, travelers will need to abide by the following guidelines:

For most United- and United Express-operated flights within the U.S., travelers without checked baggage must check in at least 30 minutes before departure. See exceptions

For most United- and United Express-operated flights within the U.S., travelers with checked baggage must check in at least 45 minutes before departure. See exceptions

For most United- and United Express-operated international flights, travelers must check in at least 60 minutes before departure, regardless of whether or not they are checking baggage.

 

 

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