MSP Airport Set to Close Out 2022 with Final Holiday Travel Push

MSP Airport Set to Close Out 2022 with Final Holiday Travel Push

December 20, 2022

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) will see another upswing in passenger traffic in the final days of 2022 that stretches before Christmas and just after the New Year.   

The busiest days at MSP before Christmas will be Thursday, Dec. 22, and Friday, Dec. 23, with more than 33,000 passengers going through TSA checkpoints. Monday, Dec. 26, is projected to be even busier with nearly 36,000 passengers expected to clear TSA checkpoints. Higher than normal passenger volumes are also expected after New Year’s Day, especially Jan. 3. However, a forecast for winter storms across the Midwest and other parts of the country could impact passenger activity and operations this week.

“We’ve seen encouraging travel growth throughout 2022, especially through the most recent Thanksgiving travel period. We expect that trend to continue through these final holidays of the season,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which operates MSP. “There will be very high demand over the next two weeks in our terminals, parking ramps, and on our roadways, so we encourage travelers to take steps in advance to be prepared, especially with severe weather predicted in the coming days for MSP and elsewhere.”

MSP will have additional staff in the ticketing lobbies to direct passengers to appropriate lines and help with wayfinding and other questions. Passengers should plan to arrive two hours ahead of domestic flights and three hours ahead of international flights but should confirm specific airport arrival times with their airlines.

During the holidays, airport parking will be in high demand. Travelers can prebook online and save at least $2 over drive-up rates. Prebooked parkers can also save an additional $7 a day on daily parking at Terminal 1 ramps from Wed., Dec. 21, to Tuesday, Jan. 3. MSP’s Quick Ride Ramp at Terminal 1 will reopen Jan. 1, offering an additional 1,300 spaces for the value rate of $19 per day, or less when prebooked online.  

Airport visitors should expect periods of delay on airport roadways during the holidays. If the inbound roadway at Terminal 1 gets congested, drivers can go up or down to the terminal’s arrivals or departures levels to pick up or drop off passengers. Drivers are encouraged to use MSP’s free cell phone lot on Post Road to wait until arriving passengers have retrieved their bags before heading to the terminal pick-up zones. 

The TSA recommends against wrapping gifts until travelers have arrived at their destination. Check here for other security checkpoint tips.  

Once inside, travelers at MSP will have the most shopping and dining options in nearly three years. Travelers are encouraged to skip the lines by ordering ahead and picking up your items at several Terminal 1 venues. Mobile ordering is also available at numerous locations in Terminal 2.

Year-to-date through October, MSP’s 26,223,640 total passengers is a 28% increase over the same 10 months of 2021. Total passenger activity to date is 79% of 2019 levels through October this year. In December, airlines are operating 199 routes, just one shy of the 2022 peak logged this past July and August.