Mar 2, 2021

Spring break starts now – plan ahead for your adventure

Fueled by spring break travel, March is expected to be the busiest month at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic one year ago.

Booking forecasts for March show MSP could see a few days peaking at more than 28,000 passengers going through its checkpoints, well over the current pandemic peak of nearly 22,000 checkpoint passengers in a day set in late December.

For comparison, pre-pandemic, busy spring break travel days often saw 35,000 to 45,000 people passing through the airport’s security checkpoints.

As more take to the skies in the coming weeks, travelers should build in more time to get to the airport and to their gate. Travelers should arrive at the airport at least two hours in advance of a domestic flight and three hours prior to an international flight. However, passengers should confirm the recommended airport arrival time with their airline.

Parking as part of your plan

MSP offers prebooked parking that not only guarantees a spot for customers but also gives them a touchless experience by using a QR code provided by the online parking confirmation to enter and exit the ramp. A spring break promotion will offer a daily discount to parkers in Terminal 1 for extended stays between March 5–26.

If you haven’t flown in a while and are wondering what the airport experience is like in the COVID-19 era, you can find resources to help you plan your visit here. MSP has enacted a comprehensive safety program – you’ll find details online about our Travel Confidently program and answers to other Frequently Asked Questions.

Last fall MSP expanded its services for travelers with disabilities, joining the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program. Travelers can now self-identify as someone with a hidden disability and obtain a lanyard to wear, signifying that they may require additional assistance.

Hidden disabilities can include low vision, hearing loss, autism, anxiety disorders, epilepsy, learning disabilities and others. The lanyards are available at the airport’s Travelers Assistance booths pre-security at both terminals.

Baggage-check, security checkpoint and dining tips

Delta Air Lines will open its east curb check-in counters beginning March 10. Hours for those counters are daily between 6 a.m. and 12 noon. Delta’s Tram Level ticket counters will also be open at various times.

Also, on the skyway connector between Concourses C and G, the Skyway Security Checkpoint is available to travelers who have no bags to check and have their boarding pass in-hand. The security checkpoint is open seven days a week from 5:30 a.m. until 12 noon.

For the latest TSA security and travel guidance, visit the TSA’s travel page.

MSP continues to offer travelers a variety of dining options, from grab-and-go items to sit-down service that’s safely socially distanced. Passengers can opt for more touchless transactions by ordering their meals inside Terminal 1 through the MSP ASAP portal. This contactless online order portal uses a single site,, where passengers can order food for pickup or delivery from multiple MSP venues.

Many MSP restaurants have also employed QR codes for their menus, along with many concession venues accepting more app pay services to promote additional contactless transactions.

Art installations

In the ticketing lobby and baggage claim level of Terminal 1, passengers will enjoy “The Aurora,” a 29-foot-high glass and metal sculpture designed by artist Jen Lewin. The Aurora is a recent, interactive art piece at MSP, suspended through a new oval opening in the floor between the lobby and the baggage claim level.

Also in Terminal 1, in the Thomson Reuters Concourse C Art Gallery, visitors can enjoy “MSP Creates: Airport Community Art Show,” which opened late in 2020. The exhibit runs through June 4 and features work from 96 artists including paintings, photography, drawings, sculptures and other art forms.

Finally, check out the new video and film offerings at the see18 short film space located near Gate C18.