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How to Get to the Airport on Time

Catching a flight is tricky. Leave too early and you’ll sit at the gate for hours; leave too late and you might miss your plane.


  • Step 1: Confirm departure time Confirm your departure time the morning of (or the night before) your flight, either by calling your airline or checking online.
  • Step 2: Check security waiting times Visit the Transportation Security Administration’s website at for security waiting times at all the major airports.
  • TIP: Sign up for updates from your airline’s website, which will call or email you alerts if there are any changes in your itinerary
  • Step 3: Listen to traffic report Listen to the radio traffic report for accidents and construction projects that might slow you down. Budget your time accordingly.
  • Step 4: Find parking location If you’re leaving your car at the airport, visit the airport’s website to find out exactly where long- and short-term parking is located. Also, map the best route online.
  • TIP: Research the best way to get from the parking lot to the main terminal.
  • Step 5: Confirm pick-up If you’re getting a ride with a service or even a friend, confirm when and where the driver is picking you up. If you’re taking the bus, double-check the schedule.
  • Step 6: Leave time to catch cab If you’re taking a cab, leave plenty of time to catch one—especially in the rain!
  • Step 7: Confirm gate & check-in terminal If you’re headed to a big airport, call on your way in to confirm that your departure gate and check-in terminal hasn’t changed.
  • Step 8: Have ticket & I.D. out When you arrive, have your ticket and I.D. out. It will help get you through check-in faster.
  • FACT: Atlanta is the world's busiest passenger airport, with an average of 83,606,583 travelers coming and going every year.

You Will Need

  • A computer or phone
  • A car
  • car service
  • or bus schedule
  • And a radio

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