Summer travel heating up at MSP Airport

Summer travel heating up at MSP Airport

July 01, 2024

July and August are busiest months for departures and seat capacity in 2024

Summer travel is heating up at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) with July forecast to be the busiest month of the year for daily airline departures.

Average daily departures peak this month at 473, an increase from 464 in June, the second busiest month this year. MSP’s 19 airlines have scheduled 462 daily departures for August, which would make it the third-busiest month of 2024.

Departing seats for July and August are 11% greater than 2023, a forecast that should surpass the record level set in 2019. A major factor behind that increase is the surge in European flights this summer. The total number of departing seats to Europe over the next two months has increased 27% compared to 2023, and 10% compared to 2019.

“The addition of flights from Aer Lingus and Delta Air Lines to Dublin, as well as the launch of year-round Lufthansa service in early June, has really expanded travel options this summer to Europe and beyond,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP. “Terminal 2 is seeing record-breaking passenger traffic in recent months fueled by Sun Country, which added more than a dozen international and domestic destinations so far this year giving Minnesotans even more travel and vacation choices.”.”

MSP airlines are serving 163 nonstop destinations in 2024, the most in five years. The top five domestic destinations for nonstop departing seats this summer from MSP are Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta and Los Angeles.  

Summer travel tips at MSP

Scheduled Terminal 1 roadway maintenance may cause delays at times on the departure and arrival levels. Please allow extra time when dropping off or picking up passengers. 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 can remain parked until their arriving party contacts them by phone to pick them up at either terminal.    

Travelers can 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.

With higher passenger volumes predicted throughout the summer, passengers are reminded to arrive two hours ahead of domestic flights and three hours ahead of international flights. 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 daily from 3:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Availability is limited. 

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. For a more comprehensive list, check the TSA’s “What Can I Bring?” tool to know what is prohibited.