How early do I need to arrive at the airport before my trip?

We hear this question a lot at Witte. The standard recommendation is two hours before for domestic and three hours for international. Keep in mind that this is the standard amount of time. In some cases, it needs to be adjusted. This does not mean, leave home two hours before. You should be at the counter, ready to checkin for your flight. The amount of time it will take varies a great deal. Airport size, time of flight, whether you are being dropped off or need to park, and other conditions can affect the amount of time you will need.

I recently stayed at a hotel, on the grounds of the Charles de Gaulle Airport, the night before my flight home. I had an early morning flight. I was traveling alone. I allowed three hours before my flight to be at the airport. This airport is so large and the distances were so great between check-in, security, and my gate that I barely made it to the gate before boarding. I was really hurrying, too. Always error on the side of more time. You can nap, read, or just people-watch at the airport. I recommend knitting. I also recommend looking at a map of the airport terminal ahead of time, if you are not familiar with it. This information is on most airport websites.

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has made many upgrades. One of the biggest is that now, all the security funnels through one area. It is not possible to know how many flights are leaving in the same timeframe as yours, so don’t plan on being able to just whisk through the line. There may not be an issue with you or your group, but with a traveler ahead of you. Being patient can go a long way.

Getting to the gate too late can be very frustrating. Gates get crowded, so there may be no place to sit. Travel is fun. Travel is rewarding. You want to have the whole experience be as pleasant as possible. You cannot control every part of a situation, so take control of those you can. Get to the airport early.

Using your travel professional to book your flights will help as well. She can inform you what gate or terminal you need to be at – and also make sure that you have enough time between connecting flights.

2012 Netherlands Waterway Cruise – Transportation

Our flights were on Delta Air Lines. Check in at GR Gerald R. Ford went smoothly with the assistance of Annette. Service on the flights to and from Amsterdam was cheerful and friendly. Airline food needs no description. Each seat had its own screen with a good variety of entertainment available. The headsets were difficult to use. Mike gave up and took a nap. On the return, airport check-in at Schiphol went smoothly but customs and security lines in Detroit were very long. We parked in the new covered lot at Gerald R. Ford at a cost of $72 for the week.

The Salvinia is a relatively small ship accommodating 120 passengers, plus the crew. The ship size allows it to travel the canals and smaller waterways and visit the interesting villages along the way. Cabins are small, but arranged so that everything you need is close at hand and comfortable. Bouquets of tulips greeted guests when they arrived in their cabins and in the lobby and lounge. The ship has a small library, a variety of board games, an exercise bike, a whirlpool and sauna and a very pleasant lounge and sun deck (which unfortunately did not get much use due to the cold and rain). The food on board ship is good and plentiful. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style and provided plenty of choices. Dinner is served family style and although not gourmet, was always tasty. Everyone seemed to enjoy the ship, the service, staff and food.

Motorcoaches were excellent, clean and quite new. The larger one that we were on several times had a bit of trouble negotiating a few of the narrow roads with tight turns that Ellen chose, but each time the driver managed it somehow to the cheers of his passengers. The drivers were excellent, polite and friendly—along with being extremely good at maneuvering the buses.