Travel Tip of the Day: Show Up Extra Early to the Gate

Gate 81 in Newark, pre-boarding

Show Up Extra Early to the Gate
I don’t know if this is a new trend or what, but lately, I’ve noticed airlines starting the boarding process earlier than what’s printed on the boarding pass. It’s great to get planes out early but it’s not fun if you have elite status or have paid for pre-boarding so you get the coveted overhead bin space and then you miss the early boarding. I’ve had this happen multiple times recently on American Airlines and again last week on British Airways.

Last week in London, I thought I was hearing things when there was a PA announcement making the final boarding call for BA342 to Nice. It was 15 minutes before boarding was supposed to even commence! Half the plane’s passengers including me and my wife started running through Heathrow’s corridor just in time to catch a bus to the plane.

Has this happened to you?

FYI: The gate above is #81 at Newark Liberty, which our editor flew out of to Newcastle, England, this summer.



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About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

2 Comments on "Travel Tip of the Day: Show Up Extra Early to the Gate"

  1. May be airline or alliance specific, I fly Delta weekly and they pretty consistently start boarding 5-10 mins after printed boarding time depending on the aircraft. Larger int’l aircraft tends to be right on time and the app alerts you as soon as boarding starts for all flights.

  2. I thought I was the only one that noticed this. I have experienced this on United. A few times, everyone has boarded, and we’re sitting on the plane for a good ten minutes before they close the door and push back. On one flight, I think they closed the door before the departure time. I wonder if people are not only losing out on overhead bin space but missing flights altogether? I am assuming this must be a push to get everyone settled earlier than normal to allow for more on-time departures?

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