We have a flight home from Edinburgh and we're thinking about spending our last night in Stirling rather than in Edinburgh (or in some hotel close to the airport). Our flight out would be on a Tuesday morning, just before noon. Google maps puts the travel time at +/- 45 mins on a workday morning. I've never flown through Edinburgh airport, so I have no idea how crowded or easy it is. We will have a rental car to drop off and our flight is heading to the US if that makes any difference. Is that a workable plan? Any personal experience staying in Sterling and flying out the next day?
I departed from Edinburgh airport in late 2019. Having only one terminal it was very easy to navigate. Standard check in times are recommended (i.e. three hours for international departures, less for other itineraries) leaving you with plenty of time to roam. A map of the facility is available at edinburghairport.com. Since I used a train to arrive at the airport I am not able to answer additional parts of your inquiry. Enjoy your travels.
So, I stayed at the Champany Inn in Linlithgow for my last night. It was a lovely place to stay. I had a rental car to drop off and I have to say that I nearly miscalculated. The traffic headed into Edinburgh was bad. I was getting very nervous. It was supposed to be a quick hop 10-15 minutes to the airport and it was at least double that. I think it was closer to 45 minutes. VERY stressful. Google maps gives you 40 minutes. I would at least double that time unless you are a stress junky. It is like any big city--rush hour traffic can really mess you up.
I did a very nice last dinner at Champany and I happened to be there on Linlithgow Marches Day. It was great!
Never been there but I would consider dropping the car the night before and staying at a hotel that has shuttle service to the airport
Looking at google maps shows 40-45 minutes 'now', which is 3AM there. NO way I would trust the 45 minute estimate for a workday morning.
Stirling to EDi is ~30 miles. I would allow no less 2 hrs to get there and get the car fueled and turned in, to be at the terminal 3 hrs pre-flight
I used to commute a similar distance to Edinburgh, on the M8 rather than the M9. An hour was the normal but could get to two hours easily. Outside rush hour it can be sub 45 minutes. Staying at Linlithgow would cut the time substantially. Having to get to the airport to come home in rush hour is something I have done, and would not recommend.
I have also stayed in Edinburgh for my last night in Scotland and never had any woes in those particular instances. I think that is because Edinburgh doesn't have many people doing a reverse commute. When I live in Chicago, it didn't matter which direction I was going--in to the city or out of the city--at rush hour it was ruthless. Here in NYC I can get from upper Manhattan to either JFK or Laguardia 30-45 minutes, but I was leave at least an hour for transit.