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Early morning departure from BUD

We will be spending a well in Budapest, arriving by train and leaving by air on a Friday.
Our Air France flight departs at 6:30. The airport website says to arrive 3 hours early. It's this absolutely required? Would 2 hours be sufficient?

Posted by
12135 posts

I am on that flight 2 or 3 times a year. I have a taxi pick me up in central Pest at 3:30. Check-in at BUD isn't the most efficient or organized event; compounded by the counter not opening till about 4:30 and there being several flights at about the same time.

Posted by
2147 posts

What James says has been exactly my experience twice now and probably again when I leave in May--if you get there super early you just wait for the check in window to open.

Posted by
40 posts

Thank you both. It was my understanding that the counters wouldn't be open, so why stand around?

Anything we need to know regarding security? We should be able to use the "express" lane, based on my airline status. Will that make a difference?

Posted by
12135 posts

Budapest, express lane? That's hilarious!!

If you show up too late and the crowd has already formed because of the closed counter and the counter location not having been yet posted, it can be a bit chaotic.

Posted by
2147 posts

My first trip I arrived around 4:15 and was first in check in line; when they opened at 5 there were perhaps 50 people behind me. Security is very fast, then off to find breakfast. Second trip I arrived around 4 and it was a milling crowd of confusion so I expect that again, would rather be waiting at the airport than cutting time too short.

Posted by
12135 posts

More often than not it's a bit chaotic so it's best to be in the front of the chaos and not the back. But I have never heard of anyone missing a flight because of the mess. We go early in part to have time for a leisurely breakfast before the flight.

Posted by
717 posts

Please don't allow your exit from Budapest via their airport to tarnish your memory of such a vibrant city. To put it bluntly, the Budapest airport is a dump.

Posted by
12135 posts

The new terminal in the Budapest airport and the renovations to the old one are beautiful. http://bbj.hu/images2/201604/14597633742791aX9lP1rFYU3b_L.jpg The problem is too many flights leaving at about the same time and a failure of the airlines to control their checkin process in an efficient manner. Actually no worse than most European airports which are chaos as compared to most US airports. That's one thing we do well. Once I checked in, security is efficient and polite and the rest is better than any other airport further south or east and at least as good as anything in the west.

Posted by
717 posts

James has offered a link to an image of a newer terminal (or, perhaps a refreshed older terminal) at the Budapest airport. Nice. However, on April 2nd of this year, my Lufthansa flight from Munich deplaned me into a Budapest airport terminal that looked nothing like the photo James posted. I have confidence James is correct - but I stand by my assessment of the Budapest airport terminal I visited.

Posted by
12135 posts

To be fair, the check in counters look like this: http://www.xpatloop.com/controls/thimage.aspx?img=/12/8b261734-383f-4393-ad13-106c0e805dac.jpg&d=a&w=600

Then you move on to that big room in the other photo.

The passport control, baggage claim and customs are pretty functional and nondescript. After picking up your bags its a walk of a couple hundred feet through the arrivals hall and out the door to the Fotaxi Kiosk. http://welovebudapest.com/image/airporttransport9.exact726w.jpg?v=3 Tell them where you are going, they give you a print out to show the driver that shows the maximum you can be charged. Walk to the taxi where there is usually an attendant to help you with bags and getting in the car. 30 minutes and about $25 later you are in the heart of Budapest.

Posted by
6554 posts

I long ago realized that those 6:00 a.m. flights (from Rome) are for the birds. You end up flying to another European gateway airport where you sit until around noon--or later. It's bad enough having to fly 10 hours home without having to get up 10 hours before leaving the continent--and essentially missing the previous night's sleep.
My flight out of Budapest is at noon this week.

Posted by
12135 posts

For me the connection on that 6am flight is 1.5 hours in Frankfurt, then 2 hours in Atlanta. Nothing else really works well for me. It's the end point that drives the schedule and I don't live in a big market area.

Posted by
12135 posts

For me the connection on that 6am flight is 1.5 hours in Frankfurt, then 2 hours in Atlanta. Nothing else really works well for me. It's the end point that drives the schedule and I don't live in a big market area. I envy you.

Posted by
87 posts

I have a similar situation in that our flight is at 6:30 am this coming Sunday (leaving Budapest for home) , but we are staying in an apartment, so cannot ask the hotel to schedule a taxi. So I'm wondering if there is a reliable taxi service online that we can schedule ahead ourselves?? Any help would be very appreciated!!

Thanks,
Tracy

Posted by
87 posts

I have a similar situation in that our flight is at 6:30 am this coming Sunday (leaving Budapest for home) , but we are staying in an apartment, so cannot ask the hotel to schedule a taxi. So I'm wondering if there is a reliable taxi service online that we can schedule ahead ourselves?? Any help would be very appreciated!!

Thanks,
Tracy

Posted by
12155 posts

"We go early in part to have time for a leisurely breakfast before the flight." So would I. That's the way to do it.

Posted by
2147 posts

Tracy--I just arrived home today from Budapest, had a 6:30 am flight and I just call City Taxi, this is my 3rd trip to Budapest and they always provide quick service. I stayed near the Liberty Bridge and called at 3:55, they arrived at 4 and I was at the airport by 4:30--you can also schedule a time. +36 1 211 1111. They have operators who speak English, and the cabs accept cash or credit card.

I have to comment on the "leisurely breakfast": there are several places to get lattes, muffins, etc and I certainly chose the wrong one (it's at the back end, with a self-serve pizza place next to it) as it was staffed by the most phlegmatic woman I have ever seen, just her and no one to help make the coffees though there were about 25 people in line. Sort of like going to the post office and they just work at a snail's pace, no sense of urgency or efficiency at all. I had just enough time to drink my latte as I scurried to board, had to eat my muffin later.

Posted by
87 posts

Thank you Christa (and James who has also answered me). So sad to be leaving in a few days....appreciate all the good info!

Tracy