I'm really anxious about air travel. Not the flying part but the airport stuff like security and boarding.

I booked a flight leaving at 07:00am on a Saturday in mid-October from Zürich (ZRH).

What time do I need to get to the airport to check-in, get through security and all that jazz?

I'll be travelling with onboard luggage only, and have a place to crash near(ish) to the airport. Flight company is Swiss (if that makes any difference)

  • 1
    Thanks for the editing. I'm ESL and writing from a phone.
    – haurane
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:43
  • My best is 26 minutes. Leaving train until departure of flight (not start boarding). Still had 10+ minutes to spare at the gate. :-P This is not a recommendation, though!
    – pfnuesel
    Oct 30, 2019 at 15:52

2 Answers 2


Take a look at this list of Swiss Airlines check in times: https://www.swiss.com/us/EN/prepare/check-in/checkin-times

If you only have carry on you can check in online and/or get an electronic boarding pass on your phone, you can walk directly to security without having to stop at the counter. Personally, I would be fine with 60 minutes, but if you want to play it safe and stress free, 2 hours would be more than enough for any circumstances.

  • 1
    Thanks a lot. I'll mark it as answered if there is no (for want of a better word) better answer. Also is this "rule" of yours applicable to any airport? (I'll be flying to Madrid btw). Last time I flew was 10 years ago with my parents.
    – haurane
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:28
  • I fly SWISS a lot and always check in online. I then aim for being at the airport about an hour before the boarding time mentioned on the boarding pass. I usually make it from train platform to airside in about 20 minutes, including dropping of a bag. Sep 5, 2019 at 20:22
  • I never had problems with 45 minutes and with checked baggage, but I didn't recommend it (and now I try never to do it again), but it worked for me all the times. So in case of problems (train traffic), you have some hope. 7am is often peak hour on working days, so not on Saturdays, but you will have many first time travellers, so slower security checks. But ZRH is a modern commercial airport, so they try hard not to make you wait on security (they want you to shop inside). Sep 6, 2019 at 8:00

Since I live in Switzerland I often fly from Zurich. For Inter-Europe flight, I go there about two hours before departure. For longer flights), I take about two and a half hours. Depends on the trains. Most longer flights(outside Schengen+UK I think) are at a Terminal where you need to take a short train/subway. Those take about 15 minutes longer to get to the gate.

With those times I have so far always waited at least one hour at the gate before I could board.

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