MSP News March 2015

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Quick Ride Ramp at Terminal 1 popular with frequent travelers, families

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Hard to miss on the road, these cherry red, 14-passenger shuttles pick travelers up right at their parking spot and then provide a quick, comfortable ride to and from Terminal 1.

Meet the newest addition to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s (MSP) parking options - the Quick Ride Ramp at Terminal 1. Located between Terminal 1 and Post Road, off Minnesota Highway 5, the ramp’s 1,400 public parking spaces have quickly become popular with both frequent travelers and families who love the personalized free shuttle service coupled with its low cost.

“The Quick Ride Ramp is priced $8 a day cheaper than the other Terminal 1 ramps – just $14 per day,” notes Arlie Johnson, assistant director landside MSP operations for the Metropolitan Airports Commission.  

The additional spaces come at an opportune time, as the spring break travel season hits its peak.

“During the airport’s busy seasons, the ramps adjacent to Terminal 1 can often fill on Tuesdays and Wednesdays,” says Johnson. “The Quick Ride Ramp provides customers with yet another convenient option to improve their experience between home or work and their plane,” says Johnson.

The ramp services Terminal 1 (not Terminal 2) and offers a convenient credit card-only payment system so parkers can exit in seconds.

Up-to-the-minute space availability for the Quick Ride Ramp can be found on the airport’s SurePark feature.

View a location map and get more details at

MAC Board approves Graves Hospitality to develop hotel at MSP

Rendering provided by Graves Hospitality


At its March 16 meeting, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) board gave its approval to enter into negotiations with Graves Hospitality Corporation to develop and manage Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s (MSP) first full-service hotel. 

Benjamin Graves, CEO and President of the Minneapolis-based hotel development and management company, says they are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide MSP Airport’s customers and the Twin Cities with a new, luxury boutique hotel experience.

In keeping with the MAC’s mission, Graves says they will “create and manage an exceptional guest experience within a visually captivating setting that exemplifies and celebrates local history, arts, culture, and ambiance.” The hotel brand is yet to be determined.

The 300-room hotel will be built adjacent to the outbound roadway and the U.S. Post Office at Terminal 1-Lindbergh. The hotel will be easily accessible to both travelers and non-travelers, with travelers accessing the terminal via a new skyway and security checkpoint.

Part of the airport’s long term plan, the decision came as a result of a Request for Proposals issued in November 2015, for which the MAC received three proposals. Two of the three made it to the interview stage with interviews conducted by a panel of six reviewers.

The intention is for construction to begin late 2016 and be completed in time for Super Bowl LII, to be played in Minneapolis in February 2018.

Sun Country announces two new seasonal, nonstop routes to sunny southern locales

sun country airlines logo

In March, Sun Country Airlines, based in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, announced it was adding seasonal service to two new destinations from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP):  Savannah/Hilton Head Airport in Georgia and Gulfport/Biloxi Airport in Mississippi. These nonstop flights begin August 27 and go through Dec. 13 and Nov. 22 respectively.

Sun Country says flights to both destinations will depart MSP on Thursdays and return Sundays, “…perfect for a fun-filled long weekend of golf, gaming, or just enjoying the charms of these two wonderful areas.”

Sun Country, a stalwart in Minnesota’s aviation history, has operated at Minneapolis-St. Paul International for more than 30 years – first as a charter airline then becoming a scheduled carrier in 1999. In 2014, Sun Country bolstered its operation at MSP and carried nine percent more passengers than it did in 2013.

For information about Sun Country, visit

Highway 5 bridge near MSP Airport undergoing repairs. Expect delays.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has announced it will begin work April 13 on a two-year reconstruction project of Highway 5 over the Mississippi River between the city of St. Paul and Fort Snelling, located just north and east of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

The first year of construction will take place April through Sept. 2015. During that time, the Highway 5 bridge will be reduced to one lane in both directions.

Travelers headed to MSP Airport from St. Paul who need to cross that bridge can expect some delays and should build extra time into their schedules to arrive on time for their flights.

For more information about the project, suggested detour routes, and to sign up for email updates, visit MnDOT’s project Web site at

Passenger numbers continue to climb in 2015

Last month we reported passenger levels at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) grew by 3.7 percent in 2014, while the number of takeoffs and landings dropped by 4.34 percent.

Numbers from January and February 2015 show this trend continuing. January saw a 1.39 percent increase in passengers and a 4.7 percent decrease in operations. February saw a 3.18 percent increase in passengers and a 3.58 percent decrease in operations. Overall MSP has experienced a 2.7 percent increase in passengers over the same period last year and a 4.16 percent decrease in operations.

“It’s always good news when passenger numbers rise,” says Dennis Probst, executive vice president of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “It suggests economic health and helps ensure we can maintain and grow air service for the people and businesses of Minnesota.”  

MSP hit its high point in 2005 when more than 37 million passengers passed through the airport’s two terminals.

“We have a way to go before we exceed our overall peak passenger level, but airlines and travelers at Terminal 2 in particular are already feeling the squeeze,” said Probst. “We moved Spirit Airlines to Terminal 1 in January to ease Terminal 2 congestion and will begin construction on a three-gate there this summer. We will also remodel the ticketing lobby at Terminal 1-Lindbergh beginning this year to accommodate the increase in travelers and provide a more comfortable, efficient space for passenger screening.”

Passenger and operations statistics can be found in the About MSP section on the MSP Airport Web site at Each month’s reports are typically available by the 20th of the following month.