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How early

My sister and I had this argument on my first trip. I said to go for the 3hrs ahead and she said that the check-in in Halifax wouldnt even be open then, as it wasnt for her first time. Well it snowed that night so we went early and got there 3hrs early. The counter was open and the place was packed!Since then I make sure to arrive early, Im usually so excited that the time just flies by. I usually sleep for a bit before our 1.5hr drive to the airport and then catch a few zzzs on the plane.I will agree with one of the posts above that the worst part is that the Tim Hortons in the departures area doesnt open until a few minutes before boarding:)

Smileyp_Im
I am from the South Shore of Nova Scotia and even though I love living in a rural coastal area it sucks when it comes to traveling. When we have to book a hotel room before our flight we also consider this part of the vacation but the dent in the pocket book is still hurts. :frowning:

We have a long drive to our departure airport too. But we also have to consider parking. So we drive in the day before, book a hotel which offers 2 week “free” parking and shuttle service to the airport. So our hotel really doesn’t cost much as we would have to pay for parking regardless. Look for deals like this. Then we can grab the shuttle at 3 am for a 6 am departure.

Air Transat is somewhat conflicted on the issue

From their site, I found the following

“For trouble-free boarding, make sure to arrive at Air Transat check-in with sufficient time to check your baggage and to have all required ID in hand in compliance with security measures.”

“All passengers are asked to check in at least 3 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure of their flight.”

“Due to enhanced security measures at all airports, and in order to leave on time and respect our schedule, we close our check-in counters 45 minutes before departure.* Passengers arriving late for check-in may be denied boarding.”

The first is non-specific, the second is specific but is not expressed as a rule and doesn’t indicate what are the consequences of not arriving that early.

The 3rd is ultimately the real rule.

I think Ill get there 1.5 hours before - when the lines from all the 3 hourers has died down :slight_smile:

mudman, the lines will not die down 1.5 hours before the flight, they are usually worse, it is not just your flight that is checking in Air Transat has one line up for all its flights. You could be in that line a very long time and not have enought time to clear security etc which results in non boarding…when they say 3 hours they say it for a reason…just my 2 cents

true.

I guess perhaps what might be different than normal travel (ie for business trips for which I would never get to an airport earlier than 2 hours regardless of destination) is that vacation flights go out closer to each other?

I think Ill pinch my 6 year old once in line - sometimes tears from a tired child gets you expedited service

Mudman, you are right about domestic flights and check in. Just last week I was traveling from Toronto to Ottawa, had a flight scheduled @ 6:00pm. Arrived early at the airport, checked in and decided to try to get on an earlier flight. Got on one that was departing in 40 minutes - and even had a bag to check. Not that I’d recommend such a short time, but sometimes it works out, and I was glad to get home a bit early. No lines anywhere - check in or security.

[quote=@mudman]Air Transat is somewhat conflicted on the issue

From their site, I found the following

"For trouble-free boarding, make sure to arrive at Air Transat check-in with sufficient time to check your baggage and to have all required ID in hand in compliance with security measures."

"All passengers are asked to check in at least 3 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure of their flight."

"Due to enhanced security measures at all airports, and in order to leave on time and respect our schedule, we close our check-in counters 45 minutes before departure.* Passengers arriving late for check-in may be denied boarding."

The first is non-specific, the second is specific but is not expressed as a rule and doesn’t indicate what are the consequences of not arriving that early.

The 3rd is ultimately the real rule.

I think Ill get there 1.5 hours before - when the lines from all the 3 hourers has died down :-)[/quote]

Mudman…if we were married you wouldn’t have to worry about being there 1.5 hours early because I would have KILLED you for even having a thought like that …LOL

First …like someone said the chances of lines dying down are slim to none. Secondly MOST of the times the flights are overbooked…last to check in are ususally the ones denied boarding REGARDLESS if you have preassigned seats.
Thirdly if you pinched the kid to make her scream the people in line would BEAN you for having a bratty kid and complain to the airlines so much they would deny your boarding completely for not being able to control your child.

SO I wouldn’t recommend those tatics :wink:

Hi everyone! Just wanted to share our crazy-but-oh-so-worth-it travel schedule!

We are from PEI and our flight to Punta Cana leaves at 6am - from Halifax! So we need to be there 3 hours before our flight, at 3am… We’ve decided (well, really I being the driver, have decided…!! :slight_smile: ) that we will leave our fair island at midnight to get to the airport on time - forgoing the night at the airport hotel (which would be a waste of money for us as we are always to excited to sleep anyway!!).

We don’t care if or when the lines ‘die down’ because standing in line for 2 hours with our fellow travellers is all part of the holiday!! We start our vacation the minute our bags are in the vehicle and we pull out of the driveway! Of course, there is always the weather to consider but we will adjust our travels for that once we are closer to departure date. Some things we just can’t plan ahead for!

We are also coming back late at night - landing at 3am. We chose this package specifically because although the timing wreaks havoc with our sleep patterns, it gave us one full day extra on the beautiful beaches of Punta Cana, and isn’t that what it’s all about?!!

On our return, we will hop into our vehicle (which will be safely stored at a secured, lit facility at Park’n’Fly at Halifax airport for $45-50 for the week - and they will shuttle you to and from the airport) and travel home to PEI. (go to Park’n’Fly.com to see if there are any discounts at your Canadian gateway.)

As someone said earlier, yes the Tim’s inside the Halifax airport doesn’t open until 6am… however there is one on the road to the airport that is open 24 hours, so stock up! (or it’s great for when we get home :slight_smile: )… and if you need a boost, throw a couple of Red Bulls into your carry-on, sleep at the airport, sleep on the plane, whatever - you’re on vacation - sleep when you get there!!

If there are any other travellers out there going to Punta Cana on Sunwing out of Halifax at 6am on Feb. 21, 2009, let me know and we will see you (bleary eyed…!!) at the airport!

Happy Travels!

WE have booked club class for the trip down on a 6am flight. I understand that with Air Transat this gives us a seperate check in booth. Thought 2 hours should be okay?

Checking in isn’t the problem, each carrier has plenty of wickets open…getting past the security check is what takes the time…some people still don’t understand the liquid thing and cause a big fuss when security takes their water bottles away or their $80 bottle of perfume in their carry on away…it all depends on the day and time of day. Some days an hour is enough time…other days you feel like 2 or 2.5 hours is pushing it…better safe then sorry