Begin Your Holiday With an Airport Experience You’ll be Thankful For

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL—Creating a top-notch Thanksgiving holiday meal requires a bit of planning and forethought – and so does a smooth trip to visit friends and relatives in distant cities.
 
“Thanksgiving week is a busy travel time at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, so it’s important to plan ahead,” said Jeff Hamiel, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission.  “Give yourself plenty of time to make the experience festive, not frustrating.”
 
Hamiel said that, while holiday travel is expected to increase only slightly at MSP’s Terminal 1-Lindbergh this year, there are likely to be nearly 20 percent more travelers at Terminal 2-Humphrey than there were last Thanksgiving, due largely to expanded operations by Spirit and Sun Country Airlines.
 
“Holiday travel can be hectic, not only because of the volume of travelers but also because many holiday travelers have less experience with airport check-in and security processes than seasoned business travelers do. Lines are often longer and move a little slower than at other times of year,” Hamiel said. “Make sure you arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to your flight to get checked in, screened and to your gate on time.”
 
There are a number of facts travelers should keep in mind to make the most of their MSP experience:
  1. The new MSP Navigators program provides volunteers who can help travelers efficiently move through airline check-in and security processes at MSP. If you have questions when you arrive, look for a MSP Navigator in a bright green vest who can answer your questions and guide you to the quickest security checkpoint line.

  2. The Transportation Security Administration has expanded its Pre-Check expedited screening program at MSP. Now, even if you aren’t a frequent traveler, you might be selected to participate in the program on a flight-by-flight basis. Check your boarding pass for a TSA Pre-Check insignia. If it is there, you can use a Pre-Check lane at security Checkpoints 4 and 6 at Terminal 1 and at Checkpoint 1 at Terminal 2. Pre-Check participants can usually keep on their shoes, belt and light jacket. They can also leave their laptop and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids, gels and aerosols in their carry-on bag, speeding their screening process. For more information about current screening regulations, visit www.tsa.gov.

  3. Terminal 2-Humphrey now has two security checkpoints: an expanded Checkpoint 2 just across the skyway from the Purple Parking Ramp and a new Checkpoint 1 across the skyway from the Orange Parking Ramp and light rail station. The checkpoints are located on either side of the Ticketing Lobby, one level up from Ticketing.
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  5. Live music will be available throughout the holiday week. For a schedule of music performances, visit www.airportfoundation.org.

  6. Prefer the visual arts? The MSP Employee Art Show will be featured in the gallery on Terminal 1’s Concourse C. Stop by and vote in person for your favorite pieces or check them out and vote on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mspairport

  7. You can get your Thanksgiving appetite in shape with a traditional meal at a number of MSP restaurants:
  • Stop by Ike’s Food and Cocktails in the Terminal 1 mall and Concourse F for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner featuring hand-carved, sage-roasted turkey on toasted multi-grain bread bathed in rich home-style gravy and served with garlic mashed potatoes, sage stuffing and a side of cranberry sauce.
  • Drop in at Axel’s Bonfire on Wednesday, Nov. 27 or Thursday, Nov. 28 for a special holiday meal with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cranberries.
  • In a hurry? On Nov. 28, the Cibo Food Hall buffet on Concourse G will offer turkey and traditional trimmings priced by the pound.
  • Or you can enjoy dinner with local friends and family before you fly at MSP’s pre-security restaurant, Hot Dish, in the Terminal 1 Ticketing Lobby. On Nov. 28, Hot Dish is serving up everything you’d expect from a Thanksgiving meal and more: succulent turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted corn, cranberries and pumpkin pie.
  1. Looking for something less traditional? Type what you are hungry for into any of the expanded number of interactive directories in Terminal 1’s mall and Concourse C to find out where you can please your particular palate – or check out the wide selection of specialty stores where you can find a unique gift to give thanks to your loved ones.
 
There will be ample parking capacity at both MSP terminals due to the reduction in business travel Thanksgiving week. If you are looking for a great deal on airport parking, you can save $6 a day by using Value Parking at Terminal 2, a skyway’s walk from Terminal 2 and a quick, free light rail ride from Terminal 1.
 
For more information, visit www.mspairport.com or download the FlySmartTM app on your mobile device.
 
About the Metropolitan Airports Commission
A public corporation of the state of Minnesota, the Metropolitan Airports Commission owns and operates Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) and six general aviation airports in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. MSP generates more than $10 billion in annual economic output for metro-area residents, businesses and communities.