This Christmas, UK travel hubs are expected to be busy as festive travelers make their way to loved ones – and different airlines recommend arriving at the airport at different times to ensure an easy take-off.
While airports that were overcrowded and overburdened in the spring and summer appear to be in much better form now, the winter break will be a litmus test to see if they’ve been restored to pre-pandemic levels of efficiency.
Heathrow projected last month that the airport’s businesses still needed to hire and train up to 25,000 personnel.
Check with the airport you’re traveling out of for specific guidance, as well as the individual airlines listed below.
EasyJet check-in opens 30 days before the flight and closes two hours before departure.
The cheap airline’s website includes a list of countries and the amount of time you should spend at the airport before flying there.
Most destinations recommend arriving two or three hours ahead.
“All timings are dependent on your flight’s scheduled departure time,” according to the website.
“Unless we advise you otherwise, these times apply even if your flight is delayed, as we always try our best to compensate for any delays.”
Check-in desks at Jet2 typically open at least two hours and thirty minutes before scheduled departure times and close 40 minutes before.
According to the firm, you should always double-check the check-in hours at whatever airport you’re flying from.
Jet2 offers Twilight Check-in at select UK airports, which means you can drop your bags off at the airport the evening before your trip if it is scheduled before noon.
“Give yourself additional time to go through the airport, especially if you’re traveling during peak times like school holidays,” BA advises.
The airline’s check-in window opens 24 hours before departure.
Customers are urged to proceed straight through security after dropping off their bags, since this can take longer than usual at peak times.
According to BA, recommended airport arrival times vary per airport, but security at London Heathrow Terminal 5 closes 35 minutes before your flight’s planned departure time, so you must be through by then.
Check-in is accessible 30 days prior to the scheduled departure time if you booked a seat during your booking, or 48 hours prior if you did not.
Baggage drop-off typically shuts 40 minutes before scheduled departure time, though this varies per airport; details can be found on Wizz Air’s website.
Wizz Air charges for in-person check-in at all airports except five, including Moscow and Agadir, where online check-in is not available.
Customers are advised to check in their luggage as early as possible, with the bag drop station open two hours before the planned flight departure time.
The desk “strictly” closes 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
“If you miss this deadline, your booking may be cancelled without reimbursement and you may be denied boarding,” Ryanair advises.
“It’s critical that you be at your boarding gate at least 30 minutes before your flight’s departure time.”
“Boarding is closed 20 minutes prior to departure.” Please arrive at the boarding gate with your valid travel passport and boarding card.”