MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL-- With travel demand increasing, officials at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) anticipate 5 to 7 percent more people will travel through MSP this Thanksgiving than did for the holiday in 2009.
"Passenger levels at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport have begun to rebound in recent months, which could result in the busiest Thanksgiving travel demand at the airport since 2007," said Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP. "Allow plenty of time to check in, get through security and to your gate."
Travelers will notice a number of changes at the airport since last Thanksgiving:
--Security Checkpoints 2 and 6 in Terminal 1-Lindbergh have been widened, providing a net increase of four screening lanes.
--The Transportation Security Administration's "expert traveler" security lane has moved to the expanded Checkpoint 6.
--The TSA has equipped a number of MSP checkpoints with new advanced imaging technology. Before being screened with that technology, travelers must empty their pockets of all non-metal as well as metal items.
--New LCD monitors provide flight and bag claim information for all the airlines serving the terminal.
--Through an agreement between the Airport Foundation MSP and McNally Smith College of Music, students will join professional musicians in providing live musical entertainment through the end of December.
--More than 150 art pieces will be on display at Terminal 1-Lindbergh Concourse C as part of the first MSP Employee Art Exhibit, co-sponsored by the National Arts Foundation and the MSP Arts and Culture Committee.
--A costumed character will read to children at the Red Balloon Bookshop near Gate C12 on Nov. 23 and 24 on the hour and half-hour between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Other new MSP amenities:
--Surdyk's Flights, a full-service café, bar and bottled wine shop, provides a perfect opportunity for travelers to pick up a bottle of fine wine to take to their destination for Thanksgiving dinner.
--La Brea Bakery Café offers hot soups, fresh salads and sandwiches made with artisan breads.
--A new BlackBerry store carries a wide range of BlackBerry Smartphones and accessories as well as phone service plans from Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile.
There is usually ample parking capacity at both terminals during the holidays. However, cost-conscious travelers can save $4 per day by parking in the MSP Value Parking ramp at Terminal 2-Humphrey. The ramp is directly adjacent to light rail, which people can ride free between MSP terminals.
For more information about airport amenities, including menus for full-service restaurants, visit www.mspairport.com.