Dec 15, 2021

With December’s holiday season only days away, passenger traffic at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) will see an uptick as people seek out flights to reunite with family and friends.

If you’re planning to pass through MSP this season, we have a handful of tips to keep your visit efficient and on a smooth track.


MSP is offering discounted prebooked holiday parking rates at Terminal 1. Travelers can save $7 per day by prebooking online and parking between December 21 and Jan. 2. Prebooked parking guarantees a spot for customers and gives them a touchless experience by using a QR code from their online parking confirmation to enter and exit the parking ramps.

Pick-ups and drop-offs:

When you’re driving into MSP's Terminal 1, remember that you can go up or go down when you’re dropping off or picking someone up.

  • If you’re dropping off at Terminal 1 during a busy time of the day, consider using the arrivals level when dropping off, or the departures level when picking someone up.
  • For arriving passengers, if you need a spot to stage your vehicle for an airport pickup, try the cell phone lot on Post Road, found just south of Terminal 1 off of Hwy. 5. Then have your flyer text or call when they are near a door at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.
  • For pick-ups, you can also park in a ramp and then go inside a terminal to meet your party, which at Terminal 1 allows you to pull off the inbound roadway farther away from the terminal.

In the terminals:

  • Plan to arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights, giving you time to park, check bags, move through the security screening process, find your gate and relax prior to departure.
  • MSP Airport’s  Travel Confidently program continues to provide enhanced cleaning and safety protocols throughout the terminals.
  • Passengers are required to always wear a face mask in the terminal buildings and onboard aircraft.
  • Look to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for tips on how to make your security screening experience as quick and easy as possible. It’s also important to know what you can pack in your bags and what you can bring on an aircraft before heading to the airport. Information about what is allowed and what is not allowed can be found at this webpage.
  • Also, if you’re bringing gifts plan to wrap them at your destination in case they need to be inspected when passing through airport security.

On the way to your gate:

MSP offers a wide range of food and beverage options. You can find up-to-date information on our restaurant and retail offerings at this webpage, including hours and locations.

  • Passengers can also order food and drinks inside Terminal 1 using the MSP ASAP website - an online ordering portal. The website allows passengers to order pickup or delivery directly to their gate from multiple MSP restaurants.
  • Another way to stay contactless is to use the QR codes posted outside restaurants, many of which provide their menus through that technology.
  • After hours at MSP, QR codes placed on the exterior of businesses that have closed will direct you to nearby businesses that remain open.
  • If you’re looking for last-minute gifts, our retailers offer many unique items. From Prince memorabilia to fragrances, or bespoke shirts to gadgets, there’s something for everyone at MSP including many local items guaranteed to dazzle at any destination.

The Airport Foundation MSP is once again providing some holiday cheer this year through a series of special performances featuring music and dance. For specific performance locations and times, and to learn more about the Arts@MSP program, visit its Facebook page.

Don’t Forget Santa!

Santa is taking time out of his busy schedule to make a few appearances at MSP this season. He will be taking photos with guests and handing out goodies near the holiday tree on Concourse C at the following times:

  • Dec. 15, noon – 4 p.m.
  • Dec. 16, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Dec. 20, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Dec. 22, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For this visit, Santa will also have some elves on hand to make balloon art for visitors.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be in fine shape for a memorable getaway and a happy New Year.