As March approaches, Upper Midwest travelers start to seek sunny locales, and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is ready to see them off in style.
Last year saw record passenger numbers for the spring beak period at MSP, and it appears another record is on tap in 2020, with the heaviest peaks anticipated to occur on Fridays and Saturday mornings.
Additional passenger assistants will be available to direct travelers in the ticketing areas and to assist with non-screening-related activities at security checkpoints, enabling Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff to focus on screening travelers.
If you’re among those traveling in March, ensure a good start to your vacation by following these tips:
- Book your parking ahead of time. With record numbers of people parking, ramps could fill to capacity. You can ensure access to parking at MSP and save money by pre-booking parking at MSP’s website, www.mspairport.com.
- Know which terminal your airline uses before you head to the airport. Condor, Icelandair, jetBlue, Southwest and Sun Country are located at Terminal 2. All others provide service from Terminal 1.
- Arrive at the airport at least two hours ahead of time for domestic departures, three hours ahead for international destinations. Giving yourself plenty of time is a great way to reduce stress.
- Consider all your security checkpoint options. In addition to Terminal 1’s two largest checkpoints in the ticketing lobby, people with only carry-on items can also use two others: Checkpoint 10 (which recently expanded to two security lanes) is located on the skyway level between the Red and Blue parking ramps and open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.; and the checkpoint at the InterContinental Hotel MSP Airport is open to all travelers with only carry-on items, whether or not they are hotel guests, from 4:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily
During periods of peak demand at Terminal 2, the TSA sometimes opens Checkpoint 2 in addition to Checkpoint 1. The number of security lanes at Checkpoint 2 is doubling, to four from two, prior to the busy March travel period.
- Dropping off or picking up a friend? Consider using the east upper level roadway at Terminal 1, which is often less busy than the roadway directly in front of the terminal. Get there by driving up the ramp to Terminal 1’s departures level and staying left. Travelers are only a brief skyway’s walk from the terminal entrance.
- Flying Delta? There are multiple sites to check bags. In addition to the Terminal 1 ticket lobby location, Delta offers bag check services on Level T (two levels below ticketing) as well as both skycap and traditional bag check services on the east upper level roadway. Delta’s east-side traditional bag-check desk is located inside doors six and seven, and its skycap service is near door eight.
- Pack with security screening in mind. Remember to pack liquids and gels, laptops and other items that need to be removed from your carry-on bags for screening in easily accessed places so you can speed your screening process.
- Need assistance with the screening process? People with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances that require additional assistance during the security screening process can email TSA Cares at TSA-ContactCenter@tsa.dhs.gov or call 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to traveling.
Once you’ve completed the check-in and security screening process, check out MSP’s awarding winning restaurants and shops, or explore art exhibits and live performances throughout both terminals.
Your vacation starts at MSP. Make the most of it!