MSP Newsletter, March 2018

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Spring break arrives, and departs, at MSP; zoo animals on hand


Winter still reigns in the Upper Midwest, but travelers in shorts are already a common sight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) as spring break traffic picks up.

If you’re traveling to some place sunny in coming weeks, it’s best to plan ahead to make your departure seamless.

Check the airport’s parking web page to see how full each ramp is at the moment.

If you’re picking up or dropping off a friend or family member at Terminal 1-Lindbergh, remember that you can do so on either the baggage claim/arrivals level or the ticketing/departures level. Sometimes one level has only light traffic when the other is very busy, so keep your options open.

Also, renovation work at Terminal 1 is leading to some changes, including the closure of the south skyway from the Gold parking ramp and short detours on the tram level.

You can find construction alerts at this website.



Here are a few other important tips to help ensure a seamless airport experience:

·   Before packing, visit the Transportation Security Administration’s website or mobile app – myTSA -- to get information on items you can have in your carry-on bag and checked luggage.

·     Prepare liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and paste for packing that complies with the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Liquid containers larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) are not allowed in carry-on luggage.

·     Before heading to the airport, make sure you know whether your airline flies out of Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.

·      Arrive at the airport two hours ahead of your flight’s scheduled departure.

Once inside security, you will find a number of new restaurants and shops that have opened at MSP in the last two years – in addition to old favorites. Several new restaurants have local ties, including RepublicLake Wine Kitchen+BarLoloSmack ShackTwins Grill and Food Truck Alley

More information about all the new dining options at MSP is available here.

Also, travelers should note that the Minnesota Zoo will bring its Zoomobile to MSP on March 23 and 30 to help us celebrate spring break. Travelers will be able to visit with some of the zoo’s friendliest creatures on those days. 

Follow the airport's social media accounts at Facebook and Twitter to get the latest zoo animal information on those dates. 

Sun Country Airlines launches Austin service


Sun Country Airlines is launching seasonal service in June with flights to Austin, Texas that continue on to Cancun.

The nonstop flights to Austin will start on June 15 and run through Aug. 13, 2018, operating three times a week on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Sun Country first offered Austin service last year, when service ran twice a week from August through December.

“Austin has been a great addition to our growing route network,” said Jude Bricker, president and CEO of Sun Country Airlines. “We look forward to giving our passengers the opportunity to experience Austin’s vibrant culture throughout the summer months.” 


Sun Country also announced this week that it’s expanding its service to Santa Rosa/Sonoma County in California’s wine country from once per week to twice per week.

Scheduled flights on Mondays and Fridays will begin on June 29 and run through Aug. 27, with plans to continue the service in the fall with a different schedule.

More information about the flights is available at

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Twice as nice -- MSP again named best North American airport

Airports Council International (ACI) this month named Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) the Best Airport in North America in its size category in 2017.

Each year, ACI ranks the world’s airports by region and size category based on results of customer surveys. MSP earned the highest score among North American airports serving 25 to 40 million passengers a year in both 2016 and 2017.

“Objective measurement and benchmarking are critical in driving performance in any business, especially in such a competitive and dynamic one as an airport,” said Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World, in announcing the 2017 winners. “These winning airports have dedicated themselves to delivering a stellar customer experience.”

ACI has the only global program to survey passengers at the airport on their day of travel. The program enables airports to benchmark against peer airports as well as against their own past performance. 


Through ACI’s Airport Service Quality surveys, some 600,000 travelers in 84 countries were asked to rate the airport in which they were surveyed based on 34 key performance indicators. Survey questions cover everything from airport access to check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants.

“This is the second consecutive year Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has been named Best Airport in North America in its size category based on traveler feedback, and we couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Brian Ryks, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates Minneapolis-St. Paul International. “Our vision is ‘providing your best airport experience,’ and receipt of this coveted award validates our efforts and those of our partners in the MSP Airport community. Employees from a wide swath of the MSP Airport community – the Metropolitan Airports Commission, airlines, airline contractors, concessionaires, federal security and aviation agencies, the Airport Foundation MSP, and many other organizations – made this top ranking possible, and I want to thank them for their continued commitment to service excellence.”

MSP frequently wins awards for its food and retail concessions, management, engineering and construction, customer choice and environmental stewardship. Delta Air Lines’ second largest hub, the airport is served by 15 airlines, with a 16th, JetBlue, beginning service at MSP in May. 

Airlines at MSP offer service to 160 destinations. In 2017, a record 38 million people flew through MSP. The airport generates an estimated $15.9 billion a year for the Twin Cities’ economy and supports nearly 87,000 area jobs. 

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