How Early Can You Check In For a Flight?

Check In Queue
Check In Queue

It’s possible to say that the day of your trip can become a stressful experience: make sure you’ve packed everything and have your ID or passport ready. Your baggage doesn’t exceed what you can carry, and you follow the rules regarding beverages in your carry-on.

Many travelers prefer to arrive earlier to put their minds at relaxed, so it’s one less thing to worry about. If this is the case, you may wonder when you can check in on the flight.

In general, airlines allow passengers to check in online 24 hours before the scheduled departure time and one hour before the last minute.

Suppose you are checking in at the airport counter and carrying baggage that you need to check. In that case, you’ll be able to typically check-in between 3 and 4 hours before your flight. You can reduce the time to 3 hours if you fly domestically.

What is the earliest time you can check in for a flight?

Typically, to ensure you are checked in and take your bags to your airport, you must check in 45 minutes prior to the time of departure when flying domestically and for 60 minutes if you are flying internationally.

The time you can check in for your flight will depend on whether you’re traveling internationally or domestically and whether you have to check in luggage or not.

It’s a given that it’s always better to ensure you check in and pass through security earlier than registering at the last minute and fretting about not making it to your flight.

Airlines Check In Times (Online)

Here is a list of check In times sorted by airline:

  • Alaska Airlines

If you’re checking in online via Alaska Airlines, you can make it anytime between 1 and 24 hours before your flight.

  • JetBlue

If you can do this online, you will be able to check in on your JetBlue travel up to 24 hours in advance of departure

  • United

United permits you to check within 24 hours before your departure time

  • American Airlines

Based on American Airlines, you can make it online or through their app 24 hours before departure or up to 45 mins before the departure (90 on an international flight).

  • Southwest

Southwest states that passengers can make an online reservation at any time before the time of departure.

  • Spirit

For Spirit Airlines, online check in starts 24 hours before departure and closes one hour before departure

  • Delta

Delta permits passengers to sign in online up to 24 hours before departure.

  • Frontier

Frontier says you can check in up to 24 hours before your flight (and up to 60 minutes before departure).

  • Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines online check in is open 24 hours in advance of the departure of your flight.

How Early Can You Go Through Airport Security For a Flight?

Although it can differ in the country and on an airport-to-airport basis, in the event that you’re flying only with a carry-on bag, registered online for check-in up to at least 24 hours prior to departure and have your ticket for boarding, you’ll be able to go through security at the airport earlier.

If you checked your baggage, you should be able to pass through security at the airport approximately 3 hours before your flight.

This is due to the fact that airport and baggage counters are only open for 3-4 hours before departure, which means it’s impossible to get through security at airports without having checked your luggage.

What is the earliest time you can enter an Airport Before a Flight?

While it may differ from airport to airport, it is generally possible to enter an airport within 24 hours before your flight.

But some airports don’t have a person checking in at the gate, meaning you can enter anytime, even if you’re not flying.

Do You Really Have to arrive at the Airport 2 or 3 hours Before the time?

It is a good idea to anticipate long lines and ensure there aren’t any delays when you check in (with bags checked or not), as well as having to go through security at the airport.

Although it is recommended to arrive at the airport two or 3 hours prior to the flight time, this isn’t required.

Arriving at the airport two hours before your scheduled domestic departure and 3 hours before departure for international flights will assure you that there will be no stress and you’ll be able to make your flight.

Domestic Vs. International Flights Check In Time

Whether you’re traveling internationally or domestically, Online check-in is typically available up until 24 hours before your flight.

For domestic flights, you are able to check in 3 hours in advance of the departure time.

If you are taking an international flight or wish to check your bags, you should check in between 3 and 4 hours before the departure time.

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