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Travel time from Houston to McAllen

Houston to McAllen airports and flights

How long does it really take to fly from Houston to McAllen? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach McAllen, you need to include time at the airports. Eventually, you'll be able to customize this itinerary to select other nearby airports and choose your preferred airline.

Thursday, 11:35 am:  start in Houston
drive for about 45 minutes
most airlines recommend you get to the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight, so arrive by 1:15 pm at the latest

12:20 pm:  George Bush Intercontinental/Houston (IAH)
if you need to check luggage, make sure you do it at least 30-60 minutes before departure, or in this case, by 1:45 pm

12:50 pm:  get your boarding pass and go through TSA security
allow enough time for long security lines during busy travel seasons or holidays, and prepare for the wait time

1:50 pm:  arrive at the gate
once you're ready to board, you can get something to eat in the airport or just relax near the gate

2:20 pm:  prepare for boarding
check your boarding pass for your group number or listen to the gate agent as they announce boarding, some airlines require you to be in the boarding area 10-15 minutes before departure or risk losing your seat

2:35 pm:  board United Air Lines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

2:45 pm:  this is your scheduled departure time
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 1 minute

2:46 pm:  so this is your actual departure time
it takes the plane an average of 15 minutes to taxi to the runway

3:01 pm:  wheels up! take-off from IAH
fly for about 52 minutes in the air

3:53 pm (local time):  McAllen Miller International (MFE)
McAllen is the same time as Houston
taxi on the runway for an average of 4 minutes to the gate

3:57 pm (local time):  arrive at the gate at MFE
deboard the plane, and claim any baggage
if you're renting a car, check if you need to take a shuttle to car rental agency, otherwise you can ride in a cab, limo, or Uber for about 6 minutes to your destination

4:03 pm (local time):  arrive in McAllen

Total travel time: 4 hours

Flying non-stop from Houston to McAllen

How far is McAllen from Houston? Here's the quick answer if you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line.

Flight distance: 301 miles or 485 km

Flight time: 48 minutes

Compare this to a whole day of commercial travel with the airports and waiting in line for security, which ends up taking a total of 4 hours, 28 minutes.

Flying private is roughly 4.4x faster, and saves you about 3.5 hours in your total travel time.

Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.

This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. The flight itinerary at the top of the page takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.

Best day of the week to fly to McAllen

Looking at flights on United Air Lines Inc. from IAH to MFE, here's a breakdown of the number of flights available each day:

  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday

Based on these statistical results, we chose Thursday for the flight itinerary above.

Alternate flights from Houston to McAllen

The most common route is IAH to MFE, so that's what we used in the sample itinerary. However, you may want to explore travel alternatives, you could try one of these routes:

  1. HOU to HRL
    William P Hobby to Valley International
  2. IAH to MFE
    George Bush Intercontinental/Houston to McAllen Miller International
  3. IAH to HRL
    George Bush Intercontinental/Houston to Valley International

Airlines that fly to McAllen

We picked United Air Lines Inc. for your main flight, but there are other airlines that you should check if you're looking for the cheapest flight, or you need a different schedule. Check the websites of these airlines:

  1. United Air Lines Inc. (UA)
  2. ExpressJet Airlines Inc. (EV)
  3. SkyWest Airlines Inc. (OO)

Plan a trip to McAllen

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to McAllen, Texas. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in McAllen. Click the button below to explore McAllen in detail.

What about the return flight?

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line. But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse flight itinerary to fly from McAllen to Houston, or go to the main page to calculate other flight times.

You can also compare the travel time if you were to drive instead. Get the full itinerary for a Houston to McAllen road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from Houston to McAllen?

If you happen to know Houston, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about Houston!

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At a Glance
without making any stops
flight distance is 301 miles
flight time of 48 minutes
76 Houston travel answers
2 McAllen travel answers


McAllen Airports
  1. McAllen-Miller International Airport
  2. General Lucio Blanco International Airport
  3. Valley International Airport

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