Everybody seems to have a different routine when it comes to hanging around at the airport. Some run to the bar for a few drinks, others head off to the shops to spend some cash. We all have to end up at the boarding gate, so how early do you like to get there?

Frequent flyers certainly can’t agree on what is best. Some like to arrive well before the flight boards, while others like to sail on down and squeak in last without having to wait at all.

Should You Get To The Boarding Gate Early Or Late?

If you ask the airport operator, they would say to cut it as fine as possible. They have a vested interest in keeping you shopping, eating and spending in the terminal for as long as they can.

The airlines have a different perspective, as they want you to be ready to board the plane as soon as they open the gate. Waiting around for stragglers could cause a flight delay and nobody wants that.

There is a disparaging name given to those who hang around the boarding gate before flight, which is “gate lice”. They stand there, not moving away, hotly anticipating boarding commencing. I don’t see any problem with that, though some others do.

Arriving just before boarding commences is probably your best bet. There is no point waiting at the gate for any longer than you have to as there is nothing whatsoever to do there. Getting there before boarding also means you won’t miss your flight, which is quite important really.

Overall Thoughts

My own plan of action is to note the boarding time listed on my boarding pass and I plan to be at the gate a couple of minutes before that. Naturally I also keep an eye on the flight information screens, because if there is a delay, I’ll continue doing what I’m doing instead of going to a gate which is not going to open for a while.

What say you? Do you prefer to get there nice and early, grab a seat and look at your phone for an hour before boarding? Or are you one who likes to live on the edge, cutting it as fine as possible and arriving at the last minute? Which is best in your experience? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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