Plan to Spend More Time in Line at MSP If You’re Flying in March
While overall air travel was WAY down in 2020, there are signs that March could be the busiest since the pandemic started at Minnesota's biggest airport.
We'd heard earlier this year that the pandemic had a massive effect on air travel at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in 2020 with traffic down 60 percent from 2019. However, there are some positive signs that things are coming back to life this month at MSP.
March is usually a very busy month for MSP. A year ago, my wife and I were heading out for a quick trip to New Orleans in late February of 2020. (We were there for Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday and came back to Minnesota just days before the pandemic hit last year.) While we were in the TSA line at MSP, though, I remember an agent saying that if we were traveling again in March to plan ahead for much busier security lines, thanks to all the Spring Break travelers. (Sadly, of course, that didn't happen last year when everything shut down.)
But now this March, things are once again looking busier. According to a news release from MSP, the airport is preparing for more than 28,000 passengers to head through its checkpoints for several days this month. That's well over the current pandemic peak of just under 22,000 passengers a day, which was set in late December, the release noted.
MSP says that in anticipation of that increase, Delta airlines has added more check-in capacity at Terminal 1 and is also extending its curbside check-in hours, as well. While the increase is a step in the right direction, MSP notes that those projected figures are still about 34% below the pre-pandemic figures of 35,000 to 45,000 passengers set in March of 2019.
However, even though traffic is still down compared to 2019, with the expected increase this month, MSP recommends that you plan for extra time to get to through security checkpoint and get to your gate in time. If you're heading out on Spring Break or flying anywhere this March, MSP says you should arrive at the airport at least two hours before a domestic flight, or two-and-a-half hours before an international flight, the release said.
Now, if you're looking to take a Spring Break trip this year but you DON'T want to fly, maybe getting out and hitting the road will scratch that travel itch for you. And there are some really cool places to go, both here in Minnesota and across the country. Keep scrolling to check out the 50 Must-Drive Roads in Every State to get started!