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Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

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Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

We're flying out of sky harbor on a Tues at 7am, international flight, with a car rental drop off.

It's non-peak hours, but I think the car rental shuttles run less frequently at that time as well.

Trying to value our sleep, what time should we look to arrive at the car rental drop off? Is 5am enough time, or should we be earlier than that?

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

Once you drop the car, it's a 5 minute ride to the terminals. You shouldn't have to wait more than 5 minutes for a shuttle. Allow whatever time you need for check in and security. Be advised that early morning check in lines can be long and time consuming.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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2. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

Also be aware that international flights depart from the gates at the far east end of Terminal 4. There is a moving walkway, but it is still quite a hike. You should make allowances.

NoCal
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3. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

if you are staying at an airport hotel, you might consider returning the night before, getting back to your hotel and taking the hotel shuttle to the airport if they have one. Check to see if they have one first.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

We like to be at the a/p 3 hours before our international flight.

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5. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

I get why they ask you to be at the airport 3 hours early for international flights when you have to go through customs pre-flight. But if we're going to be doing customs when we land, then I've never understood why the need for the extra hour in arriving at the airport.

Anyways thanks for the advice everyone, we'll probably bump up our rental car drop off time by 15 minutes or so.

Uden, The...
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6. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

You have a pojnt there. Just to make sure I guess but I agree 3 hours is a long time.

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7. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

Just in case anyone comes around with a similar question - we arrived at the car rental return at 5am, with no one in front of us. We also got lucky and didn't have to wait long for a shuttle, though some people had been waiting for 10-20 minutes I think.

The airport was fairly empty when we arrived at 5:20am, and we quickly dropped off our bags, and made it through security in less than 15 minutes.

I am sure at some point the airport begins to fill up (probably around 6 or 6 30), but on this Tuesday we definitely didnt need to arrive any earlier than 5am for a 7 am departure, and probably could have slept an extra half hour.

Uden, The...
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8. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

Thanks for the feedback! Appreciated.

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

Now, we live in Phoenix, but fly out very often for international flights, usually connecting out of SFO, but also LAX, DEN, ORD and IAD. We always arrive at the airport 2.5 hours before our flight. As we fly UA, we cannot check baggage for international, curbside at Terminal 2.

On a Tuesday, early, Terminal 2 is not usually THAT busy, BUT the Terminal 4 can certainly be. Which airline are you flying?

Still, for international, I would allow the full 2.5 hours, and just grab a light breakfast, if things flow very smoothly. We will "chill" in the United Club, with a few cups of coffee, and wife will check in with her office, before we head out - nice, quiet and relaxing, if we have a few extra minutes. Terminals 3 & 4 have various clubs too, so it will depend on your airline, your FF affiliations, any club memberships, and maybe even which credit cards you carry.

Fly safely.

Uden, The...
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10. Re: Sky Harbor - How early to drop off car?

The OP already is back Bill.