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How early

So how early should my co-worker arrive at Ottawa airport for Puerta Plata flight? She goes Sky service at 6 am…I can hardly wait to give her the answers…she does not believe me :stuck_out_tongue: when I say she will be up very, very early!!!

You need to be at the Airport 3 hours prior to flight for any International flights…That would mean 3am for her…

She’ll be up early for sure, but well worth it. Should be at the airport 3 hours prior to departure. Don’t know how long a drive they have to the airport, but work backwards from 3:00 am for travel time, shower, getting ready, checking last minute things, etc. I’d say just stay up or go to bed really early (like we do) and get at least 5-6 hours sleep.

She may as well not even go to bed & just sleep the whole way there:)

We just got back from Punta Cana and our flight from Ottawa left at 6:00 a.m.

We arrived at the airport at approx. 3:15 a.m. You will be surprised at how quickly the time flies - people watching is so much fun. Plus, there is a Tim Horton’s that is open 24 hours on the 3rd level.

Ottawa is a small airport and we fly out of there often within Canada. If she has someone else she is sitting with and would like to sit together and don’t have seats pre booked then 3 hours is a good idea. If she has her seats already pre booked then the 2 hr would be OK. All that being said, when we fly out of Toronto and alway’s pre book our seats, we are there 3 hrs in advance.

2 hours is fine

this line is not true from experience! we were on a flight that was over booked and the ppl with pre booked seats weren’t guaranteed them it went by when you checked your bags. you should have seen the fire works that morning. so check with your airline and confirm. but don’t always believe that neither
good luck enjoy your trip :slight_smile:

I have mucho difficulty believing that a charter fight would be overbooked. Just can’t happen. They can only sell a number of tickets equal to the # of seats on the plane. Perhaps what happened in your case was that the airline switched planes at the very last minute, resulting in less seats than people.

In my case, leaving from Edmonton, we’re there 2 hours beforehand, and that’s with seats pre-booked.

If I remember correctly, the security checkpoint only opens at 4:30 AM in Ottawa. The people who have done as asked and arrived 3 hours prior to a 6:00 AM departure (yours is not the only flight leaving at 6:00 AM, BTW) will have started to line up there at about 3:15.

If your friend arrives at 4:00 AM, she will be confronted by a long line-up at the Skyservice counter to check-in, followed by a huge back-up at the security checkpoint.

You’re not doing your friend any service by advising them to arrive only 2 hours early. The airlines say 3 hours for a reason, and I always respect that. I don’t need the stress to start off my vacation.

Just my $RD2…


Hey Tom,
Yes, you’re right. You think arriving 3 hours early is a bit insane, but, yes, you get to the airport 3 hours early and there is already a very long line up!!! I don’t recall there being an issue with the security not being open though. Well see February 21…
So, rule of thumb, if they tell you to be at the airport 3 hours early…it’s for a reason.

Hey just think about where you’re heading to! Isn’t that worth getting there early for? I can barely sleep the night before so getting there 3 hours before flight time is a given. I’m so excited to start my holiday that I do it with pleasure and a big smile on my face (after getting through security, which means my heavy bags are on!)

I defn have a hard time sleeping…and we usually stay in a hotel the night before our flight…seems silly to pay for the hotel and try to sleep till 2am…get up, clean up, check out, get the shuttle to be at the airport for 3am for a 6am flight…

But…I don’t know if staying up all night would be better?? Is some sleep(3-4 hours) better than no sleep?? Thoughts?

Getting some sleep is always better than getting no sleep - no matter the situation. Even if you can’t sleep, to lie down, eyes closed and relax your muscles. The rest will also do you some good.

We are flying out of Toronto, so must cross the country first. Since that would make a very long travel time from home to the DR (estimated time our home to our resort = 11.5 hours). Due to the 5 hour layover in Toronto between flights, that made for a 16.5 hr travelling day. We opted to take an earlier flight to Toronto, stay in a hotel near Pearson and get a good night’s sleep (or rest ;)), have a shower and a decent breakfast and still have plenty of time to get to the airport well ahead of our flight to DR.

There have been times when I have travelled without sleep - but the downside is the time needed to recuperate afterward. I do not want to spend the first 24 hours of my holiday sleeping!! :-/

Each to his/her own, though. Safe travels!
Storm :sunglasses:

We always have a 6AM flight…so we stay at a hotel the night before. Go to bed around 6PM with the help of a little sleeping pill. HUbby and I always argue about the 2-3 hour arrival time so we go with 2 1/2 hours. Don’t have any issues with that.

I would be there 4 hours ahead of time if they told me to. The time does go by quickly. I HATE standing in line so would rather be the first in line and walk around the airport to make the time pass.

Yeah, I can’t sleep much either because of the excitement!! I always allow for about 3 1/2 hrs to get to the airport…just to make sure! lol I’m in Newfoundland and for last year’s trip to Cuba, we had to fly out of Deer Lake which is a 1 1/2 hr drive east from our town so that meant a leave from home at 4 am to get there and a good thing we did…we ran into some serious snow on the road and at times…white-out condidtions! We arrived at the airport and got in line behind about 15 people at the time. Shortly after, there were about 100 or so people in line so it’s good to get there early to get in line early! BTW, our flight was at 8 am so " I " made sure we were on the road early…I’m the trip planner apparently! lol

2 years ago when we flew out of Halifax for the DR on Air Canada Vacations, we had an early flight so had to leave my Aunt’s house about an hour beforehand to get there. Upon arrival at the airport and looking into the windows of the airport, I seen this huge line up of ppl and said, ‘Holy Cow’…how early do these people get there! Thankfully though, we were with ACV and that line up was for a Skyservice charter flight to somewhere south as well. Our line was only about 20 ppl ahead of us…but got longer after we got in line! Again, I always get there a little extra early! On that trip, I believe I only got about 4 hrs. sleep in a 3 day period with work and travel and too excited to sleep on the way there! I did manage a nap on the plane though and was rested and excited when we arrived…got my seccond wind! Needless to say though that, that night once we did crash in our room, I crashed…good night’s sleep and good to go to the beach the next day!


2.5 hours has been lots of time for us in the past - worst ;D thing about Ottawa is that the Tim Hortons after security will not be open at that time of the morning. If I remember correctly from last year; it opened only at about 6:00am.

Best thing is that it is a small airport; even if there is a lineup, how many people are we talking about at that time of the morning? Not many in our experience.

I think the best thing is to be there at whatever time will cause you the least amount of stress.

Our problem is that we live 3 hours from the airport. Most travel companies in our area book flights to the DR at night (6:30 pm)…but I always manage to find an airline leaving Canada in the morning. I don’t consider arriving at my hotel in DR at 11:30 pm a full day but unfortunately the vacation company does. But here is the problem, in order to make my 9:30 am flight I must be at the airport at 6:30 am so that means I have to leave my house at 3:30 am and that means I have to be up at 2:30 am to shower and get ready to leave so by the time I arrive in DR I am so tired…the only other alternative is to leave the day before and spend 140.00 on a hotel…at this time I envy the people who live 20 mins from the airport… on the other hand things could be worse, at least I get to go on an AWESOME vacation…cheers

islandgal where are you from?
We live 4 hours from the TO airport. We also have 6 am flight, so we go down the night before, and have a “restfull”… lol… evening at the hotel. We consider that as part of our holiday. Always arrive back in Toronto early enough to drive back home.

We always say we’ll go about 2.5 hrs ahead of time but neither of us can sleep and we always get there as the checkin counter is opening, 3hrs before the flight.

[quote=@zachsmom]2.5 hours has been lots of time for us in the past - worst ;D thing about Ottawa is that the Tim Hortons after security will not be open at that time of the morning. If I remember correctly from last year; it opened only at about 6:00am.

Happened to me last Feb too, even though they are supposed to open at 5AM according to the website.
I figured it was due to the massive snow storm we had the day/night before that was delaying staff.