Home Ask the Editor Q&A: How early should I get to the airport? and other pressing airport questions.

Q&A: How early should I get to the airport? and other pressing airport questions.

Your FAQ's about travelling through the airport answered

by The Travel Magazine
New research from Bounce has now revealed the UK’s most searched airport-related questions. We answer them here.

How early should I get to the airport?   

From covid regulations to delayed flights, it is perhaps no surprise that travellers have been generous with the time they allow themselves at the airport over the last couple of years. Most airlines will have their own guidelines for how early to arrive at the airport, including check-in desk opening times, so it’s important to check these before you fly. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is advised that you arrive 2 hours before a short-haul flight and 3 hours before a long-haul.
Airports do advise travellers to not arrive before this as check-in and security may not be open, which can cause congestion as seen across UK airports in the summer of 2022. 

How to check in at the airport?  

Although you can check in for your flight at the airport, many people now choose to opt for online check-in which can be completed up to 48 hours before your flight from the comfort of your own home.
Most airlines will email you when check-in becomes available, but you can likewise check in by visiting your airline’s web page. Whilst checking in online you will be able to choose your seats, if you have not already, and also print your boarding pass. Alternatively, many airlines will allow you to download your boarding pass to your phone so no paper is required. 
If you choose to check in at the airport, look out for the correct check-in desk on the departure board. Simply head to the desk with your passport and any required documents ready.
For those with luggage, you will be directed to the bag drop area. Some airports will also have self-check-in desks which are easy to use if you wish to do so. Airline staff will still be on hand though if you need help.

How much liquid can I bring on a plane? 

There are many restricted items that you need to consider when packing your hand and holding luggage, but the items that possibly cause the most confusion are liquids.
If you are checking bags it is wise to keep liquids in your hold luggage, as there are no liquid limits here. 
If you choose to bring liquids on board in your hand luggage, you must pack them into a single 20cm x 20cm resealable plastic bag – one will be handed to you just before you go through security – and containers must hold no more than 100ml. The complete content of the liquid in the bag must not add up to more than 1 litre. 
Some items that are considered liquids are: shaving foam, mascara, hairspray, spray deodorants, toothpaste, and gels, including hair and shower gel.
The only exemptions in which you can take more than a 100ml container of liquid are for essential medical purposes, special dietary requirements, or items containing baby food or baby milk. 
Study source: https://usebounce.com/

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