Europe is hottest ticket for summer travel this year from MSP Airport

Europe is hottest ticket for summer travel this year from MSP Airport

May 23, 2024

Record-setting passenger volumes predicted nationally

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is preparing for a surge in passengers this summer, with growing numbers headed to Europe as airlines build up capacity to multiple transatlantic destinations from MSP.

Dublin is back on the map this year with returning service from Aer Lingus and a new route from Delta Air Lines added in the last month. Lufthansa will make its MSP debut on June 4 with daily service to Frankfurt, also served seasonally by Condor. Delta, Air France, KLM and Icelandair continue to provide direct flights to other European destinations including London, Amsterdam, Paris and Iceland.

“It’s definitely the summer of Europe,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP. “Capacity to Europe from MSP is at an all-time high, with 28% more seats than a year ago and 14% more than the previous high set in 2019.”

Whether flying overseas or within the United States, summer travel is expected to be hot. U.S. airlines and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are predicting record-setting passenger volumes nationally between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Locally, MSP’s 19 airlines will peak at 474 average daily departures this summer, the highest level in five years and 9% more than a year ago during the same period. On domestic flights from MSP, seat capacity is up 10% over last summer.  Check the latest destinations from MSP.

With higher passenger volumes this summer, passengers are reminded to arrive two hours ahead of domestic flights and three hours ahead of international flights. MSP coordinates with airlines and the TSA on staffing in the airport ticketing lobbies to direct passengers to the appropriate lines and help with wayfinding and other questions. Travelers in Terminal 1 should compare wait times displayed at both ends of the ticket lobby. Passengers can access all gates from either checkpoint, but the North Checkpoint often has shorter wait times.

Terminal 2 passengers can reserve a spot in the security line for free through MSP Reserve. Appointments are available 3:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Availability is limited. 

Roadways will be congested at peak times this summer due to a high volume of travelers and road construction.  To reduce traffic at curbside pick-up areas, drivers are encouraged to use MSP’s cell phone lots on Post Road. These are free waiting areas for drivers who are encouraged to stay parked until their arriving party contacts them by phone to pick them up at either terminal.     

Airport parking will be in high demand throughout the summer. Travelers are encouraged to prebook their parking online to guarantee a spot and capture the lowest daily rates. Bookings must be made at least 12 hours prior to your scheduled arrival time. The earlier you book, the more you can save.

To ensure a smoother security experience, the TSA is emphasizing that passengers know ahead of time what items they can bring through checkpoints. Check TSA’s “What Can I Bring?” tool to know what is prohibited. Liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes are allowed in carry-on bags as long as each item is 3.4 ounces or less and placed in a quart-sized bag.