Traveling to any destination either local or international requires prior preparation. One key area of air travel preparation is knowledge of the check-in times corresponding to your flight departure. Major travel and weather alerts are the first thing you should look at before leaving for the airport. This will ensure that you do not get stranded if your flight gets delayed.
For flights within the U.S including Hawaii, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, check in times should be 90 minutes for those with baggage and 60 minutes for those without baggage. Times for flights departing from Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin islands to the U.S is two hours before departure.
International flights to any destination require no less than two hours check in time before departure. Specific destinations like France, Haiti and India require passengers to arrive and register more than three hours prior to their flight. This allows the passenger to complete all the necessary international travel requirements comfortably before the flight.
Travelers with reserved seats are required to check-in or risk having their seats canceled. It is recommended that travelers go to the airline counter or use a kiosk at least a half hour before departure. This will help avoid the risk of their seats being canceled because of late arrival.
Passengers carrying baggage should be familiar with the baggage check in requirements of the airlines they are traveling with. They should drop off their baggage for no later than the time specified by the airline.
All passengers should be ready for boarding the plane 20 minutes before departure. This means that individual and baggage submittal should be completed at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time for those traveling within the U.S, Hawaii, the Virgin islands and Puerto Rico.
Passengers traveling to the U.S from other countries are required to check-in with their baggage 60 minutes before departure. Flyers connecting on flights via the U.S must first go through customs and claim their bags at the baggage carousel before boarding connecting flights. Passengers connecting to other countries must confirm the country's immigration requirements and procedures to find out of baggage needs to be rechecked on arrival to the said country.
Passengers are required to have in their possession a boarding pass and an identification document like a passport, identification card or driver’s license. One should have a priority verification card if lacking a boarding pass.
Passengers accompanied by minors, the elderly etc. are required to have with them air carrier authorization forms to present at the security checkpoints. Documents showing age of minors may be required by the airline. Unaccompanied minors attract special rates that differ among airlines. The adult should find out all the requirements for child passengers and meet them before the scheduled flight.
Travelers flying with minors or intending for minors to travel alone should call the airline to find out what is required before the date of the flight.