View Full Version : Getting to Airport at 0420 hrs- Really????

04-27-2012, 07:51 PM
So, the flight leaves at 0724, and they say to get there three hours ahead. Seriously?????

So, for anyone with actual experience, when do we really need to be there?

04-27-2012, 08:00 PM
ifyou get there at 4:45 you will be in the middle of the line... 4:30 would be better.... even ifthey don't open till 5am....

and don't forget bug spray or wipes the mossies are ravenous at the airport especially at dawn.....

04-27-2012, 08:05 PM
Thanks. DEET in hand, we will be there.....

04-27-2012, 09:21 PM
Here is what works for us for the 7:00 a.m. United departure: Leave condo (near Bari Reef) at 4:00 a.m. for the airport. Park rental truck in the designated return area (we used Total). Schlep bags to check-in area and wait for them to open. The sign usually says 5:00 a.m. opening but sometimes they open early and sometimes they open late--remember, you are still on island time. Check in at United counter, check luggage, and get boarding passes. One person then stays outside security (chairs are available) with any carryon luggage while the other person walks to the truck rental area and takes care of the necessary paperwork. The other person in the chairs will have plenty to occupy their time with watching other people arrive and stand in the very loooooooonnnnnngggg line by now:p. After tending to the rental truck paperwork, rejoin your partner who is now grinning ear-to-ear because you did not have to stand in that long line. Pass through security and enter the secure area inside (air conditioned--yeah!). It will probably be around 5:45 a.m. by now (believe it or not) which gives you a few minutes to use the restroom to wipe off the bug spray (hate the smell but hate the alternative more) and maybe even grab a snack! Have a safe trip home!

04-27-2012, 09:31 PM
Thanks Lori. Sounds pretty smooth. Still, it is gonna suck!

04-28-2012, 12:45 PM
We got there about 5:30am (on the 21st) and probably were in the last 1/3 of the people checking in. The sign now says the desk is open 4:00-6:00am - FWIW. The checkin went smoother than with Continental.

But, while we were checking in - the security line was long. Probably because of the 2 United flights.

The boarding was chaos. They announced it and said one gate. Everybody got in line. then, they changed the gate and the people at the end of the line cheered. No boarding by groups.

By the time we got in the plane - they were requiring people to check their carryons if they didn't fit under a seat. United has a little to learn about international flights, or at least Bonaire flights.

So, beside being early, bring your patience.


04-28-2012, 07:16 PM
Well, we made it home. Even after leaving an hour late from Bonaire. We got there at 4:30, were first in line, and were glad when we saw teh one and only security line and the less-than-energetic pace at which the screeners moved.

I'm composing a final trip report narrative that will cover the shake-down for baggage money at check-in. I think the folks there are trying to get a racket going! They told us that "Starting today, United is making us collect baggage fees for all checked bags", even though the United website (checked the night before departure) assured us the first bags are still free due to when we bought the tickets. We refused to pay. They said the United representative would be there at five AM and would address it with us. None showed up. We boarded and did not pay. From talking with others on the flight, some paid and some didn't. Those who refused got let on board anyway. Hmmm.