Headed to MSP this holiday season? Here’s what you don’t know

Just as the holiday season can make or break a retailer, all eyes are on airports at this time of year.

While the people who manage U.S. airports expect to see TV footage of long lines at security this week, they work year-round to perfect airport processes that can help them avoid travelers’ soundbites that include descriptors such as “chaotic” and “hellish.”

Uncontrollable weather disasters aside, most airports do a very good job of running their business efficiently. Here’s what the folks at Minneapolis-St. Paul International say you can do to help move everyone along as well as possible between now and spring break:

  • If you’re flying from Terminal 2 (the Humphrey terminal), don’t take a sleepy atmosphere for granted. Traffic there is expected to be up almost 20 percent over last Thanksgiving because of service expansions from Spirit and Sun Country. Make sure you allow plenty of time to make your plane. Also know that there are now two security checkpoints there, across the skyway from the Purple Parking Ramp and a new Checkpoint 1 across the skyway from the Orange Parking Ramp and light rail station.
  • Look for a green vest if you have questions. They people wearing them are part of the new MSP Navigators program, volunteers who can help you get where you’re going.
  • Try out Pre-Check: The Transportation Security Administration has expanded its Pre-Check screening program, so you might be selected to participate in the program even if you’re not a frequent traveler. If your boarding pass has a TSA Pre-Check insignia, you can use a Pre-Check lane at Checkpoints 4 and 6 at Terminal 1 (the Lindbergh Terminal) and Checkpoint 1 at Terminal 2 (Humphrey). Pre-Check participants can usually keep on their shoes, belt and light jacket. They also can leave their laptop and their liquids, gels and aerosols in their carry-on bag. You can get more information at www.tsa.gov.
Get travel news daily at www.sctimes.com/travel, on Twitter @LisaSSchwarz and at www.facebook.com/sctimeslisa. Send your questions to lschwarz@stcloudtimes.com.
Lisa Schwarz

About Lisa Schwarz

By day, I'm a St. Cloud Times editor guiding coverage of politics, government, public safety and business beats. By night, I'm leading the cubicle jailbreak as the Times Traveler. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LisaSSchwarz and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sctimeslisa
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