How much time should we allow to get to the airport, for a 2pm weekday flight?
It's only about a 30 min drive w/o traffic. I imagine on a weekday at 2 there shouldn't be much unless there's a back up due to an accident. So I'd figure based on your comfort level with how early you want to get to the airport before your flight. Do you have a car to drop off? That would probably take about 30 mins to return and take the shuttle to the terminal.
11:30 should get you there by 12:00. Return car, 12:30. That's 90 mins before the flight if all goes right.
Traffic coming from South County is so unpredictable I'd allow 45 minutes at least.
Yes, we have a car to drop off.....& since we aren't familiar with the area & will need to check out by 11, maybe that would be good to leave early & eat lunch at the airport before the flight.
I always err on the side of giving myself more time. I'm a chicken that way and have never missed a flight. Eating once you check in at the airport is a good idea.
Which car company? Almost all of the car rental companies are on-site and only about a 5 minute walk from the return area to the terminal. If you want to eat there is an El Torito right across the street from the airport if you want to eat prior to dropping the car. There is some decent food in the airport as well.