Friday 31 March 2023

Why do you have to be at airport 3 hours before?

Estimating the perfect time to leave for the airport can be quite challenging

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31 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Two hours for a domestic flight and three hours before for an international flight, is the recommendation. In Costa Rica, so rigid are these guidelines, neither the airline nor airport authorities allow boarding if the passenger arrives less than 60 minutes before scheduled takeoff.

So, why do you need to arrive early for international flights?

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One of the reasons is because of the extra steps required before reaching the boarding area, such as having to go through immigration and visa/passport control and security screenings before being allowed to enter the departures area of the terminal.

You have also to take into consideration peak times. At the San Jose international airport, the early morning hours is the time of day when most travelers are taking the plane.

Airports also want you to take advantage of their incredibly expensive shopping and dining facilities, which you can’t do if you’re rushing to the gate.

Estimating the perfect time to leave for the airport can be quite challenging. It’s hard to tell how long the check-in line will be or how long it will take you to go through airport security.

Check-in time and departure time are different. The departure time is the time when a plane leaves the gate, while the check-in time is the time when the airline’s doors open to greet passengers and check their baggage.

Can you arrive later at the airport if your flight is delayed?

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Delays and cancellations statuses aren’t always precise and are likely to evolve without being updated online in real-time. Also, some airlines will require you to check in at the initially required time despite the delay.

No one wants the airport experience to be longer than the flight, but you should not arrive too late either.

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Airlines set out conditions for travel when selling you passage, setting out the rules of the agreement, which include refusing you boarding if you arrive too late, denying compensation, and even giving the place to another traveler. It’s all in the fine print.

Last word, before setting out to leave for the airport, ensure that you have all your travel documents, such as your passport and if your travel requires it, visas and any health certificates such as covid-19 vaccination, and yellow fever (fiebre amarilla) if your return is from an endemic country.

And, before leaving your transport vehicle, make sure that all of the above is in your possession and not left behind in the vehicle.

On the passport, the recommendation is it have at least six months validity and is in perfect condition, that is no torn covers or pages.





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