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According to this question, 7 hours is enough to see something in the city starting from Lisbon airport. Now, I know that the gate closes 30 minutes before the flight and need time to go through security but there is no check-in, no luggage and no immigration check.

How much time ahead of the flight must I be at the airport? This is not specified by the airline as far as I can see, only the time ahead to check-in for my previous flight.

  • Practically, I managed to do it with just a few minutes to spare by reaching the airport 50 minutes before departure. That seemed like the minimum and luckily my gate was fairly close. – Itai Mar 17 '17 at 14:27
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The Lisbon Airport web site recommends that, even if you have checked in online or have your boarding pass, you should return to the airport no less than 90 minutes before your onward flight (although, with the size and layout of the facility, 75 minutes should be adequate).

It even suggests a visit to the city center during a long layover, and offers to hold on to any baggage.

How far in advance do I need to check-in?

The recommended check-in time varies depending on the flight. In order to avoid delays and make the most of your pre-boarding time, please respect your airline's minimum check-in time. That way, you also avoid the risk of arriving after check-in closes:

At the Airport's check-in desk:

- Schengen flights: 90 minutes

Schengen regulations have removed controls at the internal borders of signatory states: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland.

- Non-Schengen flights (Europe): 120 minutes

- Flights to Third Countries (Intercontinental): 180 minutes

For most airlines, check-in can be made online 48 hours prior to boarding – check the recommended check-in time with your airline in advance.

Flights to the United States and Switzerland - 24 hours

Remember that, after checking-in, you will have to go through X-ray screening and, when travelling to non-Schengen destinations, you must also go through passport control. Therefore, avoid delays and plan your arrival at the airport in advance.

  • Now that I actually did it. I can attest that you need a lot less, I arrived 50 minutes before my flight, fully intending to get there 90 minutes but I was on two trams that stopped working... and so rushed to get to the airport. Even though, I arrived 50 minutes before the flight, I still had 10 minutes to spare. Security is fast and there was nothing else to do but walk to the gate. – Itai Mar 16 '17 at 20:42
  • @Itai perfect; add that as a note to your questions; very valuable. – Giorgio Mar 16 '17 at 20:46
  • When reading this answer, it appears that when flying to the US or Switzerland you should be at the airport 24 hours in advance. That's wrong, obviously. The 24 hours is the earliest possible check-in, not latest. – Vidar S. Ramdal Apr 6 '17 at 12:28

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