MSP Newsletter, July 2017

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Food Truck Alley opens at MSP

Food Truck Alley recently opened at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), providing travelers with tasty cuisine from three local eateries.

The new dining concept on Concourse E includes refurbished food trucks and an Airstream trailer serving up dishes from Red Cow, Salty Tart and Holy Land – all three well-known to Twin Cities residents who seek out great food.

“This has been an exciting development project for us, and we are eager to wow our customers,” said Andrea Hachem, the CEO of Midfield Concession Enterprises, which operates Food Truck Alley.

Click on the image to watch a video on how Food Truck Alley arrived at MSP.

The new dining options have already drawn big crowds at this once-upon-a-time food court, which is also decorated with a pergola, string lights and a faux starry-sky ceiling, giving diners the full food truck treatment.

“Food trucks create an experience. You’re able to transcend the busy airport and enjoy amazing food in a fabulous setting,” said Liz Grzechowiak, assistant director of concessions and business development for the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

Click the image to view a 360-degree photo of the bar area at Food Truck Alley.

Red Cow serves its famous burgers in unique combinations, along with sandwiches, appetizers and a full breakfast menu. Red Cow is also operating a full-service bar with fine wine, craft cocktails and local brews.

At Salty Tart, travelers will find hand-made pastries, fresh salads and sandwiches.

Holy Land is a deli with a Mediterranean-inspired menu. Flavorful gyros, falafel, kabobs, samosas and combination plates are among the choices.

“These three brands couldn’t be more diverse,” said Grzechowiak. “People are excited.”

The idea for the food truck concept was developed by the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s Concessions and Business Development team, working closely with Midfield Concession Enterprises. The new concept is located near gate E4 in Terminal 1-Lindbergh.

Food Truck Alley is only the latest addition to MSP, as the airport has opened 35 new shops and 15 new restaurants in the past 12 months.

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New MSP website makes its debut with new features

MSP Airport’s website may look completely different since the last time you visited, but it still contains all of the information you count on – plus a few new nifty features.

The new website was redesigned with an emphasis on customer service and utilizes the latest technology to help travelers easily find what they’re looking for. Its new look debuted in late June.

“Technology and user experience research have come a long way since we developed the last version of MSP’s website,” said Patrick Hogan, MAC public affairs and marketing director. “The new site reflects those innovations and leverages them to provide our travelers with expert customer service.”

A screenshot of a page on the new MSP website.

Along with new functionality, the content of the website has been reorganized so that information can be located faster and with fewer clicks. Extensive research was conducted through user surveys and thorough analysis of the current site’s analytics to determine the best way to organize the site’s pages, giving users a more seamless experience.

“In addition to a deep-dive into analytics, we structured the new site around questions that we’re asked often in MSP’s Information and Paging Office, and our social media channels,” said Amanda Greene Guentzel, MAC public affairs and marketing manager, who led the project. “We wanted our customers to be able to find information quickly and easily.”

The new home page includes highly-sought information such as security wait times, parking availability and airline listings by terminal, as well as a prominent search bar for tracking flights.

“MSP's new website leverages cloud technology, true content federation, and incorporates modern user experience practices and elements,” said Eduardo Valencia, the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s chief information officer. “Additionally, the new content management system enables responsive design, meaning the site will reformat to accommodate any size device.”

New sorting and filtering functions are also available. A tool was developed to help customers select a parking option based on location, price and parking duration. Visitors can also easily filter dining and shopping options by location and category.

And if customers just want to talk with a real person, they can use the site’s new live chat feature, which will allow them to have an online conversation with an MSP Airport Information and Paging Office staff member.

Please be sure to update your bookmarks or other saved links. You will need to reset those manually. Additionally, links provided by Google will also be affected for four to six weeks until the search engine indexes the new site. 

New exit plaza set to open; hotel construction on track

Improvements at Terminal 1-Lindbergh continue with the upcoming opening of the new parking exit plaza, currently scheduled for the early morning hours of Sunday, July 30.

The 18-lane exit plaza is paved and the exit road that will tie it to the outbound roadway is almost complete as well. When it first opens, work will still be underway on the outbound roadway, but two lanes of traffic will be in service.

The new exit plaza's opening allows for the old exit plaza to be removed, making way for a new 5,000-space parking ramp. Roadways leading to the new exit plaza have been reconfigured as well to provide space for the new ramp.

The new exit plaza is near the top of this photo. Drivers take a right after the pay stations and loop back to the new outbound road. The new parking ramp will be on the site of the existing exit plaza, just below the bottom of the photo.
A closer view of the new exit plaza's 18 lanes.


The exit plaza opens as the hotel construction (pictured below) continues at a steady clip. Airport visitors will be able to access the InterContinental using the airport entrance roadway or Northwest Drive. 

The framing for the roof of the new 291-room hotel is now visible, wall board is starting to go up and mechanical and utility components are being roughed in as well.

The InterContinental is set to open in the summer of 2018.

The new skyway, shown at center left, will connect the InterContinental Hotel to Concourse A.

MSP recognized for efficiency by ATRS



Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) received an Award of Excellence recently from the Air Transport Research Society (ATRS).

The award recognized the airport's efficiency, focusing on productivity and operating efficiency, unit-cost competitiveness and comparisons of airport charges.

MSP was named the 2017 top North American Airport for efficiency excellence in the 25 million to 40 million-passengers-per-year category. MSP accommodated 37.5 million passengers last year, up 2.6 percent from 2015.

The methodology for the ATRS award takes into account labor and other non-capital costs, and other factors such as aircraft movements, passenger numbers and other revenue sources.

The ATRS is an industry group that was formed in 1995 as part of the World Conference on Transport Research Society. The ATRS exchanges research ideas and results, and enhances research capability for multi-national and multi-disciplinary issues on air transportation.

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