Partner wants to get to MEL 4 hours early for a J flight to Bangkok (TG466). Overkill?

mika_duffer

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Jan 8, 2022
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My girlfriend flies out of MEL tomorrow on TG466 at 1000hrs
She’s going business
She wants me to drive her to the airport so she arrives 4 hours early because she’s heard all about these delays with security etc. Am I correct in saying this is overkill? Anyone travelled recently and got a good time of arrival to enjoy a bit of comfortable lounge time?
Cheers!
Duff Jr
 
Unless it's changed recently, if you have baggage to check, you couldn't check-in at MEL international until 3 hours before a flight (A380s were 4 hours).
 
I was at MEL airport last Friday at around the same time and it was deserted.
 
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She wants me to drive her to the airport so she arrives 4 hours early
Excellent
1) no traffic
2) She gets to check in without dramas
3) you get the place to yourself earlier
40 you get brownie points

winner winner chicken dinner.

My understanding is that T2 checkin areas are open from about 4 am?. Whether TG checkin will be open at 6am is another question.
 
My son is at MEL now for EK 407 and I just texted him. Check-in was 20 minutes. Passport control / security was empty, straight through.
 
She wants me to drive her to the airport so she arrives 4 hours early

I'm with her. :)

Even in the halcyon days of travel when it supposedly went without a hitch I would've been there that early.
I worry about the journey there, what could happen etc. I always breathe a huge sigh of relief no matter how early I arrive.

It sounds like a mixed relationship; you're the just in time person, she's the get there early and enjoy the relief.

Besides: asking here isn't going to change her mind. You'll be driving her there early and she'll be happy.

Nothing else matters. :cool:
✈️
 
Even in the halcyon days of travel when it supposedly went without a hitch I would've been there that early.

So you were happy to just hang around for an hour before check-in at MEL INT (with bags) was even possible?

I've arrived a few times at 3 hours 15 mins before and even Qantas F could not check me (with bags to check) in due to the MEL INT restrictions.
 
I'd plan to have her at the door at -3hrs.
No waiting for check in to open.
Why arrive any earlier?

p.s. are you going to come home and see your mother and me this weekend???
 
We caught the TG466 four weeks ago. Pretty much empty at the international check in desks, save for a line at Jetstar, and one other airline had a few people too. Thai checkin was empty, took us three minutes.

We got there two hours prior, the SQ flight had already checked in, as well as the NZ flight. Security had four lanes open, max two people at the conveyors.

The SQ lounge would be my choice, but that will be full until they call the flight. The NZ lounge was empty by the time we got there, but the food and beverage offerings were minimal.
 
Thanks very much everyone. She’s happy to aim to be there 3 hours prior! Comfortable amount of time in the lounge, enough sleep for me and enough brownie points!
 
Thanks very much everyone. She’s happy to aim to be there 3 hours prior! Comfortable amount of time in the lounge, enough sleep for me and enough brownie points!
Note the boarding pass will say ‘Air new zealand lounge’ and the SQ desk will initially direct you there, but also welcome you in in you want to use SQ’s offering. The main reason for the Air NZ lounge direction is that the SQ lounge will close, leaving about an hour before boarding… but that’s when you can head over. The food was better in the SQ lounge IMO, plus they had table-side barista coffee. And better sparkling.
 
My girlfriend flies out of MEL tomorrow on TG466 at 1000hrs
She’s going business
She wants me to drive her to the airport so she arrives 4 hours early because she’s heard all about these delays with security etc. Am I correct in saying this is overkill? Anyone travelled recently and got a good time of arrival to enjoy a bit of comfortable lounge time?
Cheers!
Duff Jr


Personally with international trips I much prefer to get there early in case something happens on the way there as the consequences of missing an international flight connection out of Australia (or any other long haul route) are severe. Unlike say a domestic flight etc where one can usually say just get a later flight without too much drama.


CASE A:

Enroute to MEL from our SE suburb home. Note long before we reach the tunnel, a truck incident happens in the tunnel and it was closed. Instant traffic jam, not just on the tunnel approach, but then also on all alternatives around it. It took one hour longer to arrive at MEL.

CASE B:

We were only off to Indonesia on flights booked on the Jetstar Launch Sale. From memory I think it was $1 for StarClass Tickets. At that price I could not resist booking my wife and three daughters.

Even though it was Jetstar, the Jetstar flight was out of SYD, with a connecting QF flight from MEL-SYD all included within the $1 Sale Price.

Off to airport. We allow adequate time to get there, park at the longterm carpark and check in. All good right up until we reach the check-in counter. Wife goes to get our passports out of her handbag, and out comes hers and our three daughters. Mine, not there. Her handbag gets completely emptied and my passport was still not there.

Wife then recalls how enroute in the car that she opened her handbag to check that she had all passports and they were there. Penny then drops that in doing so that she must have dropped mine when doing so :(

Your passport is the one item that one cannot travel without!


So there we all are. Our connecting flight to SYD was soon to board. We agree with agent that wife and daughter will still go to SYD on it, while I will go to retrieve the passport which we hoped was still in the car, to return with it and then get onto the next flight to SYD which the agent transferred myself to do.

But time was then TIGHT, very tight.

We had parked in the longterm car[park. So off I go. Of course the bus back I miss as I see it as I reach outside. I have forgotten what the schedule was back there, but every 10 or 20 minutes. So I could not wait...so I have to run back to the longterm carpark. Luckily we had parked on the end near the terminal. and not way down the far end.


Panting I reach the car, and in a frantic search quickly find my passport under the front passenger seat. Relief! But still so little time.....but there was no bus in sight within the carpark (the route is that it enters at the far end and finishes near where I was parked).....so off back to the QF Terminal I run .

Agent was waiting for me. I get my boarding pass and onto the flight. It lands in SYD slightly late. As most would know in SYD the international terminal is reached by bus from the domestic terminal. So more running as I run to where the bus goes and time is now very, very late.

Catch bus and get to International terminal in SYD..get through the sections there and reach the Jetst check-in desk. No one there except for my wife and 3 daughters and the check-in staff. I get checked in, but wife advised that contract check-in staff had wanted to close it 30 minutes ago and go home despite knowing that I was enroute from MEL (I had called her so she knew I was on the QF flight) and that my wife was in tears after having had a huge ongoing argument with the staff on this.

They check myself in with much glaring.

We move on the gate, but on arriving there discover that they had given my StarClass ticket away, and so we now only had 4 StarClass Seats and one in economy. grrrr. We had to accept this or not fly.


Not being happy with that I contacted Jetstar on our return. Initially ignored. I then wrote a letter to Joyce, the CEO and eventually got a reply, and apology and a $500 flight credit.

CASE C:

Flying out of MEL. We had the night before pre-booked a taxi, which a practice we always did for flights if we to travel by taxi. Time comes, and no Taxi! Call up, taxi not coming, no apology and a 40 minute wait to get a replacement. Rang other companies and all had similar or longer wait times.


CONCLUSION

I always plan to arrive early for any international flight.

PS. I also now always carry the passports ;)
 
@mika_duffer did your girlfriend make it to the airport and more importantly did you get your brownie points.
Arrived at the airport at 06:55. Seamless drop off. Still yet to find out whether the brownie points have been credited! Although, which may need to be a new post. She had a horrible experience with Thai Business! Second leg Oman Air blew it out of the water supposedly
 
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