More Americans are ready to take flight for vacation this year as summer travel kicks off Memorial Day weekend.
Based on national travel forecasts, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is prepared for a strong start to the summer travel season. According to AAA, nearly 3.4 million American travelers are expected to fly for Memorial Day weekend, up 11% over 2022.
Airlines will operate 224 routes from MSP by July, eclipsing the previous all-time high of 213 routes in 2019. To meet demand, airlines are flying larger aircraft on many of their routes compared to previous years, with scheduled seats on those flights up 15% compared to 2022.
The summer of 2023 will also feature a new airline at MSP and more international service. WestJet, Canada’s second-largest airline, will launch its first flights June 2, with non-stop service to Edmonton. It will add service to Saskatoon on June 19.
Save Time by Scheduling Your Next Trip Through Security at Terminal 2 with MSP Reserve Powered by CLEAR
Passengers traveling from Terminal 2 can take advantage of a pilot program this summer that will allow them to reserve a time to transit through security. The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which operates MSP, has partnered with CLEAR, the secure identity company, and Copenhagen Optimization for the new program called MSP Reserve Powered by CLEAR. The program is now open for reservations on flights beginning May 31 and is the latest evolution in the Travel Confidently MSP program to improve the passenger experience.
“The service enhances the travel experience by giving passengers more certainty at one of the busiest congestion points in the airport journey,” said Scott Skramstad, the MAC’s director of terminal and landside operations. “Reserving a time to transit through the security checkpoint is simple and free, and we expect it will streamline and expedite the screening process for passengers.”
Passengers can book appointments online as early as one week before a flight at www.mspairport.com/msp-reserve. Reservations require travelers to enter flight details and the number of people in the traveling party to view available times. At the airport, travelers will access a security checkpoint lane designated for MSP Reserve passengers. After scanning a confirmation QR code with staff, travelers can enter the separate security lane. MSP Reserve is a free service available to all passengers traveling from MSP Terminal 2. It is separate from CLEAR’s opt-in airport membership, which is available to MSP passengers traveling from Terminal 1.
"Travel this summer is expected to break every record, but with MSP Reserve powered by CLEAR, passengers will enjoy peace of mind knowing they can reserve their dedicated spot in the security line,” said Kasra Moshkani, CLEAR’s EVP of operations and Kasper Hounsgaard, Co-CEO and founder of Copenhagen Optimization. “We’re thrilled to partner with MSP to help reduce long wait times and offer travelers a predictable way through the airport.”
Experience More Restaurants and Innovative Vending Options
More than 20 concession venues have debuted or reopened at MSP since the 2022 summer travel season. Travelers can enjoy several new restaurants in the newly expanded Concourse G near gates G17-G22, including the Mill City Tavern, Poppy’s Bagels, Custom Burger and Crisp & Green. Sebastian Joe’s recently opened in Concourse E, and a new Caribou Coffee has opened in the Terminal 1 Bag Claim.
MSP also continues to introduce innovative vending offerings for passengers to grab a quick bite or fun travel items 24 hours a day. New Yo-Kai express machines will soon dispense hot ramen dishes at two locations in the Terminal 1 mall and gate G17. A new LEGO vending machine near gate C9 offers a variety of play brick products.
Prebook Parking and Save
Airport parking will be in high demand this summer. Travelers can prebook online to guarantee a spot and save off daily drive-up rates. Those flying over Memorial Day weekend can save up to $7 a day when they prebook online.
Travelers should plan ahead to allow plenty of time to get to the airport, park, check bags, complete security screening and get to the gate. Passengers should generally arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international departures. Airlines may offer more specific arrival recommendations.
For the latest security and travel guidance, visit the TSA website for information on security screening, identification, special procedures and TSA PreCheck.