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When should I arrive at Edinburgh Airport for my flight?

Last updated Apr 13, 2023

The age-old question! And we can try to help you but, essentially, it all comes down to how you like to travel.

Some people prefer to be there a few hours before so they can get through security and enjoy a pre-flight refreshment, maybe browse duty-free too, while others like to arrive, go through security and straight to the gate.

There are a few things to consider however - not least your airline's check-in desk opening time.

Things to think about...

One of the first things to think about is how you are getting to the airport.

Are you being dropped-off? Are you parking here? Maybe getting the bus or tram?

Your transport mode will have an impact on your journey time here so plan ahead, check with your provider for any route or network issues and allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport

Next –if you haven’t checked-in online (we recommend you do so if you can) or have luggage that needs to go into the hold then think about when check-in desk opens for your flight.

Check out your check-in desk opening times

Different airlines open their check-in desks at different times, so it's always best to double check this before the day of your flight.

While Air Canada and Delta open their desks up to four hours before flight times, easyjet and Ryanair do so at least two hours before departure.

Desks and times can vary, and are subject to change by the airline, but you can check out our guide here.


We know that sounds silly but there’s no point being here at 0400 if your check-in desk opens at 0600 as it only means a longer wait for you and others. Do factor in some additional time but there’s probably no need to be here hours before you have to be!

After check-in it’s time to head to security and we know that’s one of the areas where people become a wee bit flustered, especially if it’s the first time going through for a while.

It’s a really important bit of the whole journey as we need to make sure passengers and staff are safe so the checks we carry out are absolutely crucial – but we can help you prepare for security, which in turn means you help us keep queues to a minimum!

A lot of the rules have been in place for a long time but just remind yourself of them before you get here so you are ready.

Our guide to airport security

We've put together five top tips to help you navigate airport security like a pro.

There are several things you can do to ensure a smooth journey through security, from following the 100ml liquids rule, to ensuring all large electricals are removed from your hand luggage and placed in a tray.

Follow these tips and you'll be relaxing in departures in no time - more here.

And last but not least – thank you for your patience and understanding, and for being kind to our staff who are all working incredibly hard!

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