I find myself yearning to spend the last few minutes of my time in the country to be with the people I love.

Given that I'm already in the airport up to the point where non passengers are allowed, how much time should I give myself to go through the processes?

I understand that this might be a question that is very dependent on the airport, but I hope anyone can shed some light.

I notice that if the flight is 9pm, they request the passenger to be at the boarding gate on 8:40pm. How far can I push this?

It would be nice to discuss both cases with and without check in luggage. I'm also not looking for an exact answer like 1 hour. I'm looking for a comprehensive answer like "enough time to go past all checks to arrive 10 minutes before flight departure".

  • 1
    Do you have to check luggage? That might alter the answer significantly. Also as you said it depends a lot on the airport, some have a great distance between the security control and the gates and some others don't, etc
    – S -
    Sep 6, 2015 at 12:37
  • @Adolfo I edited my answer to add those cases in, and also an example of what I am expecting from the answer.
    – Zaenille
    Sep 6, 2015 at 12:39
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    I don't think checked luggage is relevant in the context "Given that I'm already in the airport up to the point where non passengers are allowed". Non-passengers can be with you when you check in your luggage. Sep 6, 2015 at 12:49
  • Checked luggage is very relevant. In the event that a passenger who has checked luggages fails to arrive at the gate, the airline is obliged to remove that passenger's luggage from the plane. Locating a specific piece of luggage is time consuming and costly to the airline and so they will take extra measures to locate the missing passenger before closing the gate. This has saved me on more than one occasion. I have even had the gate staff telephone me to determine my precise location in the airport before deciding whether or not to close the gate.
    – PassKit
    Sep 7, 2015 at 0:56

1 Answer 1


The airline can refuse transportation if you are not at the gate at the boarding time printed onto your boarding pass. They will close the gate after the announced boarding time when there no more passengers waiting next to the gate to be boarded (whatever event comes later). Sometimes they may decide to wait for connecting passengers coming with delayed inbound flights. But that's their choice!

Note that for a 9 o'clock flight, 8:40 is already very late. Boarding times of 45 minutes are quite common and 8:40 leaves only 20 minutes, which is already very tight, as there are ground handling procedures to be performed after everyone is seated. On international flights (and large planes), boarding often starts 60 minutes before departure. So since the boarding time is already tight for your flight, I wouldn't risk being late late for your flight.

The time to go through security and to your gate varies from 5 minutes to more than one hour, depending on the airport, the time of the day, and whether you will be invited to a secondary security check. So we can't give a good answer here.

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