Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is preparing for a sustained boost of passenger traffic over the next few months with the Memorial Day holiday weekend kicking off for what could be the busiest summer travel season since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) predicts U.S. travel demand could match or, at times, surpass 2019 volumes this summer.
“We have seen steady passenger growth throughout the spring – including an all-time record number of passengers at Terminal 2 in March,” said Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) CEO Brian Ryks. “We are ready and eager to welcome more passengers back to MSP this summer as more people return to air travel for leisure, business or personal reasons.”
As MSP readies for the increase in passengers this summer, travelers can expect to enjoy new terminal improvements, more destinations and flight options—including new and returning international options, and an expanding list of new or re-opened restaurants and retail venues.
Expanded G Concourse
The MAC, which operates MSP, recently completed a 50,000-square-foot expansion of the far end of the G Concourse, where it intersects with the Terminal 1 Skybridge to the C Concourse. This transformational project added modern terminal features, including a wider corridor, a light-filled rotunda, beautiful terrazzo flooring, more spacious gate seating, a new suite of restrooms, as well as several new restaurants and retail options. The new space will also be infused with 500 square feet of new art display space including 16 new cases for rotating temporary exhibitions.
Delta Air Lines adopted its newest branding into gates G17-G22, which were expanded by 60%. The gate areas feature all new power-connected seating, darker carpeting, and new vibrant white gate counters.
More Destinations and Flight Options
Passengers have more destinations to choose from this summer after airlines added 11 new domestic and international routes to its schedules for late spring and summer of 2022. The new flights include Air Canada’s new service to Montreal beginning June 1 and Sun Country’s first-ever service to Canada, with a new route between MSP and Vancouver beginning June 15. This summer also marks the return of Condor’s service to Frankfurt beginning June 1. In April, Delta restarted its daily service to London Heathrow (LHR) after a two-year hiatus.
In June, airlines are expected to operate 198 routes, up from 185 one year ago.
More Restaurants and Retail Options
There are more places to eat, drink and shop for this summer at MSP as the concessions program continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The 110 concession venues now open marks a 37% increase over one year ago and an 89% recovery rate for the entire program compared to pre-pandemic operating levels. And there’s new places to explore, too.
In the recently expanded area in the G Concourse near gates G17 to G22, a new Cibo Market has opened. Nearby, a new Starbucks location will open in early June.
Additional restaurants and other venues are scheduled to open later in the summer.
Travelers can avoid queue lines or wait times by ordering ahead from many MSP venues.
MSP offers prebooked parking that not only guarantees a spot for customers, but also gives them a touchless experience by using a QR code from their online parking confirmation to enter and exit the ramp. Travelers can save $7 a day on the daily drive-up parking rate at Terminal 1 from May 27-30 when they prebook online.
For those who haven’t traveled recently, the TSA has the latest security and travel guidance online, including information on what can be packed in carry-on and checked baggage before arriving at the airport.
And with more travelers expected this summer at MSP and many other U.S. airports, travelers should plan ahead to allow plenty of time to get to the airport, park (if needed), check bags, complete security screening, and get to the gate. Passengers should contact their airline for the latest recommended airport arrival times.