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Airport check-in

Hi all, I just have a quick question, what is an o.k amount of time to wait around the check-in area of an airport?

I know its a strange question but I ask because next week I am going away with friends and I am flying out the same day as my parents but their flight is 4 hours before. So I was thinking of just waiting round until I have to check-in so I don't have to pay for a hotel room for the night, as it is an early flight, or a taxi. I didn't know if that is o.k or if it is classed as suspicious behaviour and I will be hassled by security.

Any help would be appreciated couldn't really find an answer after a very brief google search, thank you


  • Im sure you will be ok waiting around for as long as you want. Their will be coffee shops/restaurants before you check in that you can sit in and wait. You will probably just end up spending a fortune in them.
  • Most airports have shops and cafes that you can hang around in, with some airlines you can also check in really early/check in online and just go through to the departure lounge. Done it a few times accidentally or due to unforeseen exemplary travel conditions (no traffic). Unless you plan on doing something shady you'll be fine.
  • You get 45 mins free internet access too.
    But, should you want to search for such a thing, there are URL's that allow you free internet for as long as you need.
  • Most have pubs pre check in get on iy

  • Tom Hanks lived in one for months. You'll be fine.
  • Cheers the responses, I thought it would be o.k just wanted to double check
  • You dont say what airport.

    Most are ok, a few can be bstards - notice that Heathrow/Gatwick have those fixed arms that mean you cant stretch out.But generally they dont worry too much - i once had to prove i had a flight leaving in the morning at Amsterdam.
  • I forgot to say its Gatwick north terminal
  • vffvff
    edited June 2014
    People have flight transfers that last hours. As long as you are not harrasing anyone or doing anything annoying then there shouldn't be a problem. The only thing you have to cope with is how to fill your time.
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  • Should be fine the PUB will be open ! :O)
  • edited June 2014
    You can wait as long as you want. It's only your boredom, that's the problem.
  • Whenever I fly from Heathrow (Long Haul from T3) I always get to the Airport super early four hours in advance to avoid traffic / transport problems

    Prior to checking in I always go over to T4 (Heathrow Express is free between terminals) where there is a Wetherspoons for some dinner / breakfast and a drink before going through check-in / security an hour later.

    Done the same for the last four trips from there now and its become a bit of tradition
  • When I flew out from Gatwick a couple of months ago there were people who looked like they were bedding down for the night in some more comfortable chairs.

    That was in the south terminal departure area, on the second floor where the restaurants are.
    Easy to get across to the north terminal from there on the shuttle train thing that runs between the two.
  • If you get bored you can ride the shuttle train to the South terminal and check out the shops there. Then wander down the walkway to the Hilton Hotel and sit in their lobby for a while before meandering back to the North Terminal.
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Roland Out!