Nov 22, 2019
holiday 2019

Tips for holiday season travel at MSP

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is getting ready for the holidays and an expected increase in passenger numbers.

People planning to travel through MSP Airport, or who are picking up or dropping off passengers at Terminal 1, in the coming weeks – particularly the weekend before Christmas and the weekend after – will want to keep the following in mind:

Arrive Early: Travelers should arrive at the airport two hours ahead of their domestic flight’s departure and three hours ahead for international flights. People traveling with children or seniors, or those who have additional pieces of luggage to check, may want to add time to that recommendation to ensure an unhurried experience. 

Pre-book your parking: There is typically ample parking at MSP during holiday travel periods, due to business travelers staying home for the holidays. But for more peace of mind, consider using MSP’s NEW Pre-Booked parking service, to ensure a space is available when you arrive. Learn more at

Use the Quick Ride Ramp for Door-to-Door Service:  Whether you pre-book or not, MSP’s Quick Ride Ramp is a great option for people who have a lot of luggage or who don’t want, or can’t, walk very far. Even better, the daily rate is only $15, compared with a daily rate of $26 for parking in the ramps adjacent to Terminal 1.

Use the Skyway Security Checkpoint: The Skyway Security Checkpoint is located in the middle of the skyway between Concourses C and G. Take the elevators located between the Red and Blue Parking ramps to level two (2) . The checkpoint is open Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., serving passengers with carry-on baggage only.

Think Opposite: For those picking up or dropping off friends and family members at Terminal , consider dropping off departing travelers on the arrivals (baggage claim) level and picking up arriving travelers on the departures (ticketing) level. Just be sure to communicate your whereabouts to arriving passengers so they can find you on the departures level.

upper east jpeg

Think Opposite for Check-in: A new check-in location for Delta Air Lines (see map above) is located  off Terminal 1's upper, east road, located opposite the terminal's main departure doors. As you drive toward the terminal on the inbound roadway, look for signs that will direct you to an early left turn. This is also an option for pick-ups and drop-offs. Delta’s skycap curbside check-in service is also now available here.

Prepare for Security Screening: When in line for security screening, be sure to have your ID and printed or digital boarding pass ready to show the document checker. For standard passengers (those without TSA Pre-Check or CLEAR) at the security screening lane, remember to remove personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone from your carry-on bag and place them into a bin with nothing placed on or under them for X-ray screening. Empty your pockets and remove your shoes and jackets. Children 12 and under can leave their shoes, light jackets and head wear on as they pass through security unless otherwise directed by TSA staff. Also, be sure to collect all of your belongings before leaving the area.

Also, remember that at Terminal 1, standard passengers and those with TSA Pre-Check can use either the North or South Security Checkpoint.

Use this handy checklist from the Transportation Security Administration to help smooth your screening process.

Stay the Night: …at the Intercontinental MSP Airport Hotel, that is. If you have an early-morning departure (or really any time), consider starting your trip early and book a room for the prior night. Before heading off to visit relatives, why not treat yourself to a spa treatment or two, a gourmet dining experience, and a luxurious night’s sleep? You can even leave your vehicle in the hotel’s parking ramp for up to seven nights without cost and take a shuttle to the airport for check-in. 


New for the Holidays

Once inside Terminal 1, visitors will find a new food court + bar on the Airport Mall, featuring Shake Shack, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Firehouse Subs and other great eateries. MSP has added dozens of new restaurants in recent years. Enjoy exploring the variety.

The Arts@MSP program has also lined up a full schedule of entertainment for its “Winter Wander Land Music and Dance Series.” Plan your arrival appropriately, and you too can catch the holiday spirit.

Also, new this year, is a large, 14-foot tall illuminated ornament that people can walk-through, providing a perfect selfie opportunity. You can’t miss it in Terminal 1 on the mall, between Starbucks and the Open Book Store.

For more information about MSP, visit the airport’s website.