It is the norm to be at the ariport at least one hour before departure or even 2 hours before for international flights. You shoud only expect to receive information of depature at your corresponding gate once you have checked in. Some big airports with much traffic tend to be packed on high tourism season, so arriving earlier can be a wise thing if you hate queuing. All airports have an info-box where you can can receive information in different languages. During high season in the last years, airports' workers unions have made strikes, bringing the sytem to collapse. You must remember you are entitled for compensations and/or accommodation if your flight is cancelled.
Starting in 2005
A new European policy aims particularly at fighting abuses by companies that use the technique of overbooking, which frequently means that certain passengers will not be able to board the flight. Before refusing a passenger access to boarding for overbooking, the transporters must ask for volunteers to give up their reservations in exchange for certain compensations. They cannot refuse boarding if the number of volunteers is insufficient.
In the case of refusal, the reparation will rise to 250 euros for flights with a distance less than 1,500 kilometres, to 400 euros for those between 1,500 to 3,500 kilometres, and to 600 euros for long hauls. Until now, compensation was set at 75 or 150 euros for flight less than 3,500 kilometres, and at 150 or 300 euros for longer flights, according to whether the waiting period was less or greater than two hours. In addition passengers victims to overbooking can benefit from a rerouting to their point of departure or a reimbursement of their ticket if delay is greater than five hours.
In the case of a flight cancellation for commercial reasons, travellers will have the same rights as in the case of refusal to board unless they have been notified at least two weeks in advance, or placed on a flight departing in the same time frame, or if the company is not directly responsible.
Companies must ensure compensations (such as a free meal and telephone calls, or a hotel room, depending on the hour) to passengers who are victims to delays of over two hours. In the case of a delay greater than five hours, they must reimburse the ticket within two days upon demand of the passenger.