Monday, Nov. 22, 2010 – With the airline industry showing signs of bouncing back from the sluggish economy, Denver International Airport (DIA) is expecting a busy holiday travel week this Thanksgiving. DIA is the fifth-busiest airport in the country and taking advantage of time-saving services offered by the hub and its airlines is more important than ever during this season.
“We saw several weeks last summer when more than one million passengers traveled through Denver,” said Dan Melfi, DIA holiday spokesperson. “While Thanksgiving may not be the busiest travel week of the year, it’s no secret that the holidays are hectic. Add to that the possibility of adverse weather, and we can’t overemphasize the importance of planning ahead and allowing plenty of time to navigate the airport at this time of year.”
To prepare passengers for the festive crowds and heightened activity at the airport, DIA offers a number of tips to help reduce the stress that comes with making a turkey day pilgrimage – to Grandmother’s house or anywhere else in the world.
Before leaving the house:
- Check with your airline to confirm that your flight is on time.
- Check in online if possible.
- Get flight status information, road conditions, parking lot availability, security wait times, airport maps, ground transportation and more at www.flydenver.com.
There’s an app for that:
- DIA recommends passengers download the free GoHow Airport travel app for the Blackberry and iPhone. It’s the only travel app that features content downloaded directly from www.flydenver.com.
Checking in at the airport:
- If you didn’t check in online before leaving home, save time with self-service check-in kiosks near airline counters.
- Even if you checked in online or at a kiosk, passengers checking bags still need to go to a ticket counter to hand off luggage to the airline.
- Know your airline’s checked bag policies and fees in advance and avoid unpleasant surprises.
Driving to and parking at the airport:
- For real-time parking information on the road, watch for electronic signs along inbound Peña Boulevard or call 303-DIA-PARK.
- The $10-per-day Economy Lots next to the Jeppesen Terminal garages usually fill up first, followed by the $6-per-day Pikes Peak and Mt. Elbert shuttle lots. Allow an extra 30 minutes if you’re using shuttle lots, and remember that the terminal garages are rarely full during the holidays.
- The Mt. Elbert parking lot offers the new QuickPark service, allowing parkers to avoid pulling a ticket by simply swiping the same credit card upon entering and leaving the lot.
Avoid hassles at security checkpoints:
- Travelers are allowed to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item (purse, laptop, etc.) through security. Put medications and other required items in your carry-on bag.
- The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) restrictions on taking liquids and gels through security remain in place. For more information on security screening and smart packing tips, visit www.TSA.gov.
- Leave holiday gifts unwrapped; TSA may open wrapped packages to check the contents.
Picking up loved ones at the airport:
- Check with your friend or family member’s airline, or visit www.flydenver.com, to confirm that the flight is on time before leaving for the airport.
- Curbside parking at Jeppesen Terminal is prohibited and the 45-minute waiting area on inbound Peña Boulevard is generally full. Avoid a holiday headache, and the congestion on the passenger arrival level, by using the inexpensive East and West Terminal Garages for just $2-per-hour. With nearly 15,000 parking spaces, this area provides convenient access to the terminal and is generally wide open during the holiday travel season.
- Parking or stopping along any airport roadway is illegal and dangerous, and violators are subject to towing and a fine.
Services inside the airport:
- DIA’s Hospitality Ambassadors - easy to spot in their iconic cowboy hats - and Guest Services staff are available throughout the terminal and concourses to provide directions and information.
- Passengers without internet access can use these helpful airport telephone numbers:
303-DIA-PARK (342-7275) Select “option one” for information on parking
availability in DIA lots
303-DIA-TIPS (342-8477) Information on security-screening wait times
303-342-4059 Information on DIA ground transportation
303-342-2000 DIA Guest Services
1-800-AIR-2-DEN DIA Guest Services for out-of-town travelers
Denver International Airport is the 10th-busiest airport in the world, and the fifth-busiest airport in the United States. With 50 million passengers traveling through the airport each year, DIA is one of the busiest airline hubs in the world’s largest aviation market. DIA is the primary economic engine of the state of Colorado, generating more than $22 billion for the region annually. For more information, visit www.flydenver.com