Airline passengers advised on how many hours early you need to arrive at airports - as flight cancelled across UK

Missed flights and long queues are causing chaos at UK airports

Published

Chaos has erupted at airports across the UK with long queues and flight cancellations becoming the norm in recent weeks.

Holidaymakers have faced worryingly long queues for check in, amid continuing staff shortages post pandemic.

Airport bosses have warned travellers not to arrive to the airport too early, as the excess in people in the terminal could place extra pressure on stress levels of both staff and travellers.

People queuing at Manchester Airport, as Tui has announced a "small number" of flight cancellations.
People queuing at Manchester Airport, as Tui has announced a "small number" of flight cancellations.

Travellers have been left questioning what the appropriate timing would be to arrive for flights. UK and Ireland's airlines have released statements advising travellers on the best time to arrive for their journeys.

EasyJet

In a statement, easyJet says it: "directly advises customers in advance of what time to arrive for their flight" via email, in the days leading up to their journey.

The opening times of bag drops vary from airport to airport, but it usually will be two to three hours before departure.

If travelling with hand-luggage only, easyJet customers are advised to check in online between 30 days and two hours before departure. Printing your boarding pass at home will speed up the check in procedure. In person check-in is still available and will shut around 40 minutes before scheduled departure.

EasyJet's main hub, Gatwick airport have advised customers to allow "at least two hours before your flight to allow plenty of extra time to check-in and pass through security".

Passengers queue for flights at Heathrow Airport.
Passengers queue for flights at Heathrow Airport.

British Airways

Similar to easyJet, online check in is the speediest way to transit through the airport. Passengers are advised to print out their boarding cards from 24 hours before flying.

British Airways's main hub is based at London Heathrow. The airport advises travellers to arrive at least three hours before their flight time.

BA's social media team have advised travellers to arrive three hours for long haul flights and two for short haul flights. This is due to differences in bag drop times for short-haul flights.

Check in times vary across BA airports, but travellers can assume it will be 60 minutes before a long-haul journey and 45 minutes before a short-haul flight to be cautious.

British Airways is advising travellers to arrive between two to three hours before their departure time.
British Airways is advising travellers to arrive between two to three hours before their departure time.

Ryanair

Budget airline Ryanair's bag drop opens two hours before scheduled departure time, and closes 40 minutes before it.

In an email to customers, ahead of the jubilee and half-term weekend, the airline has advised customers: "Please arrive at the airport three hours prior to the departure of your Ryanair flight as we are experiencing security delays at the airport. Please note that our boarding gates close 30 minutes prior to the departure of your flight".

TUI

Tui has issued direct advice to its customers via its website: "At UK airports, Bag Drop desks open two to three hours before your departure time. If you’re taking a long haul flight, we recommend you drop off your bags three hours before your flight leaves".

It advises customers to drop of any checked bags, usually 45 minutes before departure, but an hour before latest is advised.

If you're booked to fly before 12pm for Birmingham Airport, Gatwick North Terminal or Manchester Terminal 2, you can check in any luggage the afternoon or evening before.

Jet2

Similarly to other UK airlines, Jet2's check-in usually opens two and a half hours prior to scheduled departure time and closes 40 minutes before it.

Travellers who will be carrying hand luggage on board, can check in online up to 28 days before departure and latest up to five hours before departure.

The airline which has scheduled flights from ten UK airports, is advising customers to check with their chosen airports specific advice prior to departing.

Customers can utilise a day-early drop-off service title Twilight, which is present at eight UK airports including Stansted and Manchester. Customers are welcomed to drop their luggage between 3pm and 8pm the day before.