Travel Tips for Thanksgiving; Entertainment, Parking Discounts, and In-Terminal Food Delivery

Travel Tips for Thanksgiving; Entertainment, Parking Discounts, and In-Terminal Food Delivery

November 19, 2021

Media Release

November 19, 2021

Contact: Danny Messinger;; 612-467-0894

Demand To Increase at MSP for Thanksgiving Holiday Travel

Family Entertainment, Parking Discounts, In-Terminal Food Delivery Offered for Travelers

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL –Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is readying for a significant spike in passengers as the annual Thanksgiving holiday travel period approaches. National travel experts expect more than 4.2 million Americans will travel by air over the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday.

According to MSP’s latest airline bookings information, Wednesday, November 24 is predicted to be the busiest day of the holiday travel period with nearly 32,000 passengers anticipated to be screened at MSP’s security checkpoints. The start of Thanksgiving holiday travel, Friday, November 19, is expected to see more than 28,500 passengers pass through security checkpoints at MSP. The typical close of peak holiday travel will be Sunday, November 28, when more than 30,000 passengers are expected through MSP’s security checkpoints, marking the second-busiest day of the period.

Some check-in hours are expected to match pre-pandemic levels across multiple days. The airport is also anticipating an uptick in connecting travelers, who clear security at other facilities before traveling through MSP. MSP’s latest numbers represent a near doubling over 2020 Thanksgiving holiday peaks, when the highest single-day security throughput was 15,383 passengers.

This year’s bookings mark an approximate 70% recovery compared to pre-pandemic numbers. The health and safety of travelers, visitors and airport employees remains the focus of the airport’s Travel Confidently MSP program, which includes robust cleaning throughout the airport, access to contactless hand sanitizer dispensers and more than 200 protective barriers at major passenger interaction points.

“We continue to see a gradual return to pre-pandemic airline booking rates across the industry,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which operates MSP. “As the number of travelers has increased, so have the number of concessions and other amenities to serve them. MSP, the airlines and other airports have invested heavily in making the journey safer for travelers so they can focus on enjoying getting together with friends, family and others.”

With an increase in travelers anticipated in the airport’s terminals, travelers should review current federal air travel regulations, which require all individuals to wear face coverings inside terminals and aboard aircraft through January 2022. Passengers with questions about testing requirements and flight restrictions should contact their airline directly for guidance. The Metropolitan Airports Commission advises travelers to arrive at the airport at least two hours in advance of a domestic departure or three hours prior to an international departure. However, passengers should confirm the recommended airport arrival time with their airlines.

There are more choices to fly this year over the Thanksgiving holiday than a year ago. Airlines are operating 179 routes in November (167 domestic and 12 international) with 381 average daily departures. That compares to approximately 152 routes and an average of 300 daily departures in 2020. Beginning November 19, several live music performances are scheduled through the Arts@MSP program, including blues, rock and pop artists as well as a live holiday ballet performance. Times and locations can be found online.

Passengers can also order food and drinks inside Terminal 1 using the MSP ASAP website. This contactless online order portal uses a single site,, where passengers can order pickup or delivery directly to their gate from multiple MSP venues.

MSP is offering discounted prebooked holiday parking rates at Terminal 1. Travelers can save $7 per day by prebooking online and parking between November 22 and 28. Prebooked parking guarantees a spot for customers and gives them a touchless experience by using a QR code from their online parking confirmation to enter and exit the structure.

About The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) owns and operates one of the nation’s largest airport systems, including Minneapolis-St Paul International (MSP) and six general aviation airports. The MAC’s airports connect the region to the world and showcase Minnesota’s extraordinary culture to millions of passengers from around the globe who arrive or depart through MAC airports each year. Though a public corporation of the state of Minnesota, the organization is not funded by income or property taxes. Instead, the MAC’s operations are funded by rents and fees generated by users of its airports. For more information, visit