As Upper Midwest travelers dig out from record amounts of snow and seek out sunny destinations, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is gearing up for increased passenger volumes. Spring break-related travel is starting to pick up at MSP, with higher-than-average volumes expected this week and the week of March 17.
Several days throughout the month will see increased numbers of travelers. “The spring break rush is an exciting time at MSP, and we’re working with our partners in the airport community to help make travelers’ airport experience seamless and enjoyable,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates the airport. “Additional staff will be on hand in ticketing areas and at the security checkpoints to direct travelers and speed processing.”
For travelers who don’t fly often, below are a few tips and reminders:
- Many families are expected to travel over the next several weeks. To help speed security screening, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows children 12 and under to leave their shoes, light jackets and headwear on.
- All passengers must remove personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bag and place them in a bin for inspection.
- Please arrive at the airport two hours prior to a domestic flight’s departure and two-and-a-half hours prior for international flights.
- Spring break travelers often have oversized and odd-sized checked baggage. Passengers traveling with skis, snowboards, golf clubs or any other large or specialized item, should add up to a half hour extra to account for the checked baggage screening process.
If you’re unsure about anything having to do with security screening, the TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all.
- Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA mobile app, myTSA, or visit this web page.
- Travelers can also contact the TSA via Twitter at @AskTSA” if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag. Just snap a picture or send a question and get real-time assistance weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST and weekends and holidays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST.
If you plan to park at the airport, you’ll find all the information you need on the airport’s parking web page, including parking availability.
New for you at MSP
As MSP continues to enhance its food and retail offerings, travelers will notice a number of new dining options at Terminal 1. Parents with children may want to seek out fast and familiar restaurants. A new food court opened recently on Concourse F featuring Wendy’s, Panda Express and Chick-fil-A in addition to People’s Organic.
Many MSP restaurants have children’s menus, including the new Blue Door Pub on Concourse A and Stone Arch on the Airport Mall, where a new Starbucks coffee shop is now open.
Travelers can visit the “Eat, Shop, Relax” section of MSP’s website to learn about other dining opportunities.
MSP is also happy to introduce travelers to two new dining apps that will bring convenience to your trip.
The AtYourGate app allows users to place an order from a participating airport restaurant and have it delivered right to their gate or other listed locations.
The Grab app saves users time by allowing them to pre-order/pre-pay for food from participating restaurants, walk up to the location, and walk away with their order without standing in line.