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Home Travel Flying out of MSP Airport for spring break? Here are tips for travelers

Flying out of MSP Airport for spring break? Here are tips for travelers

by Staff

The spring break travel season will brings big crowds to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, but navigating the crush doesn’t have to be a blood pressure-raising experience. Here are a few ways to get your trip off to a calmer start while getting to your flight on time.


That trip to a warmer climate might be delayed — but hopefully not canceled — as a pair of snowstorms could impact operations at the airport. Travelers should check with their airlines to keep up with their flight status. Same goes for those picking up arriving travelers.


Expect congestion on roads leading to the terminals. At Terminal 1, consider dropping off passengers on the east side/parking ramp side of the road that runs in front of the main terminal. It’s often less crowded than the road immediately adjacent to the terminal. Passengers can use a skyway to access the ticketing lobby.

When picking up arriving passengers, help reduce congestion at curbside pickup zones by waiting in the airport’s cell phone lots on nearby Post Road. There are 140 spaces allowing drivers to wait until travelers have their bags and are ready for pickup.


On Thursday morning, the ramps connected to Terminal 1 were 80% full and Terminal 2 was 72% full, per the airport’s website.

Reservations are required to use the airport’s Quick Ride Ramp, an on-site value-priced lot with a shuttle taking passengers to the terminal.

Transit options

Metro Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority serve the MSP Airport with service most hours of the day. Uber and Lyft, taxis and airport shuttles operate out of Level 1 of Silver Ramp, directly across from Terminal 1.

Entering security lines

Just as airlines celebrate early arrivals, passengers should follow their lead. The number of travelers passing through TSA checkpoints is up 10% in March compared to last year. The airport expects to screen 48,000 people both Thursday and Friday . The busiest day will be April 4, airport officials said.

For the shortest waits, check electronic message boards on both ends of Terminal 1 lobby, which display how long it will take to pass through the North or South checkpoints. Travelers can use either checkpoint, but the North checkpoint with more lanes often has shorter waits. The airport also lists wait times on its website.

In Terminal 2, passengers can skip the line and reserve a time to pass through security. There is no charge to use the airport’s Reserve MSP program. Appointments are available from 3:45 to 8 a.m. and from noon to 4 p.m. daily, but availability is limited.

While in line

Screening can be seamless and quicker if passengers follow instructions. That includes having an ID ready for the TSA agent. Be prepared to remove electronic devices larger than a cell phone from carry-on bags. Place liquids, gels and aerosols 3.4 ounces of smaller in a plastic bag. Place larger containers in checked baggage or they will be confiscated. See the rules here.

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