The Top 10 most searched airport-related questions

A busy airport terminal.
Photo Credit: Skitterphoto via Pexels

LONDON – A recent research study has revealed the UK’s most searched airport-related questions, with 126,000 Brits asking when to arrive at the airport. 

The study by Bounce collected and analysed Google search data from the last 12 months to reveal the most searched airport-related questions in the UK. 

Here is a list of what they discovered to be the most frequently searched questions, and expert responses to the top queries.

Top 10 Most Searched Airport Questions

How early should I get to the airport? (126,200 annual searches) 

From Covid regulations to delayed flights, it is perhaps no surprise that travellers have been generous with the time they allow themselves at the airport over the last couple of years.

Most airlines will have their own guidelines for how early to arrive at the airport, including check-in desk opening times, so it’s important to check these before you fly.

However, as a general rule of thumb, it is advised that you arrive 2 hours before a short-haul flight and 3 hours before a long-haul.

Airports do advise travellers to not arrive before this as check-in and security may not be open, which can cause congestion as seen across UK airports in the summer of 2022. 

How to check in at the airport? (41,100 annual searches)

Although you can check in for your flight at the airport, many people now choose to opt for online check-in which can be completed up to 48 hours before your flight from the comfort of your own home.

Most airlines will email you when check-in becomes available, but you can likewise check in by visiting your airline’s web page. Whilst checking in online you will be able to choose your seats, if you have not already, and also print your boarding pass.

Alternatively, many airlines will allow you to download your boarding pass to your phone so no paper is required. 

If you opt to check in at the airport, look out for the correct check-in desk on the departure board. Simply head to the desk with your passport and any required documents ready. For those with luggage, you will be directed to the bag drop area.

Some airports will also have self-check-in desks which are easy to use if you wish to do so. Airline staff will still be on hand though if you need help.

How much liquid can I bring on a plane? (34,200 annual searches)

There are many restricted items that you need to consider when packing your hand and holding luggage, but the items that possibly cause the most confusion are liquids.

If you are checking bags and don’t require to have any liquids onboard the plane, it is wise to keep liquids in your hold luggage, as there are no liquid limits here. 

However, if you choose to bring liquids on board in your hand luggage, you must pack them into a single 20cm x 20cm resealable plastic bag, and containers must hold no more than 100ml. The complete content of the liquid in the bag must not add up to more than 1 litre. 

Some items that are considered liquids are: shaving foam, hairspray, spray deodorants, toothpaste, and gels, including hair and shower gel.

The only exemptions in which you can take more than a 100ml container of liquid are for essential medical purposes, special dietary requirements, or items containing baby food or baby milk. 

Editorial note: The answer to the question “How much liquid can I bring on a plane?” may likely change for the UK in the near future.

The UK liquid restriction limitation rule which has been in place across all airports in the United Kingdom since 2006, may be set to change as new scanner technology is implemented in airports in 2024.

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