MSP Airport expecting spring break to be busiest period since pandemic began

Passenger numbers will still be about a third lower than a year ago, though.
Author:
Publish date:
unnamed (1)

Officials at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are expecting the biggest rush of travelers through its doors since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission says it's anticipating March to be its busiest month in the year since COVID started, with bookings showing a significant uptick in spring break travelers.

Its forecasts show it could peak over a period of a few days where more than 28,000 people pass through its checkpoints, with the previous pandemic-time record being almost 22,000 in late December.

This would still represent a drop on a year ago, when 35,000-45,000 would pass through during spring break, but it nonetheless it marks a sign of growing confidence in travel as COVID cases decline, and vaccination rates rise.

There will be 338 flights leaving MSP each day on average in March, which is 21 more than the daily average in December, the previous pandemic-time peak, but again about a third lower than a year ago.

With that in mind, MSP is asking travelers to arrive 2 hours in advance of a domestic flight and 2.5 hours ahead of an international flight, while being sure to adhere to COVID safety guidelines regarding face masks and social distancing.

Buying or selling? Find a realtor using the Bring Me The News directory

"While there will be far fewer spring break travelers this year than there were pre-pandemic, the airport will be busy, particularly at peak hours in the early and mid-morning and mid-afternoon,” said Brian Ryks, the CEO of MAC.  

"We’ve invested heavily in making the air travel journey safer for those who need or choose to travel. We strongly encourage travelers to support our health safety efforts by wearing their required face coverings, washing their hands regularly, using hand sanitizer, and abiding by social distancing recommendations, especially in check-in and security lines."

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has also announced it's stepped up its procedures ahead of the spring break rush, which includes tech upgrades across airport checkpoints that reduce physical contact, an effort to add staff to deal with surging passenger volumes, and getting workers who regularly engage with the public vaccinated.

Next Up

Nurse Rachel Zanmiller, who's battling cancer.

After post-birth cancer diagnosis, MN nurse's family asking for help

Rachel Zanmiller has been battling leukemia since giving birth last month.

jennifer carnahan

After intense campaign, Jennifer Carnahan reelected MN GOP chair

This will be her third term leading Minnesota Republicans.

police lights

Meth, handgun and $34K in cash seized in drugs raid

Two people were arrested and two children were placed with family service.

Screen Shot 2021-04-11 at 7.44.24 AM

Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' cold open was about Derek Chauvin trial

It featured four cast members playing anchors of a fictional Minnesota TV news channel.

Eype1UCW8AcXU8j

St. Cloud State blanked by UMass in national championship game

Minnesota had three teams in the Frozen Four but didn't claim the national title.

BLM mural in West St. Paul.

Minnesotan's fight to save his BLM mural gets international coverage

West St. Paul told Ryan Weyandt the art violates city code.

Alex Rodriguez

Reports: Alex Rodriguez part of group finalizing deal to buy Wolves, Lynx

The former MLB will become part-owner of the Wolves and Lynx.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Accumulating snow expected in parts of Minnesota on Monday

Far northwestern Minnesota stands the best chance for higher snow totals.

Screen Shot 2021-04-10 at 1.53.51 PM

Police looking for 'person of interest' in connection to woman's killing

The public is advised to avoid approaching him and to call 911.

covid, vaccine

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, April 10

Cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise in Minnesota.

Gabe Kalscheur

Gabe Kalscheur announces he's transferring to Iowa State

The former Gopher guard entered the transfer portal last month.

Walz

Asked about restrictions, Walz says Minnesota is in a 'hold pattern'

Meanwhile, the governor of Michigan is urging people to stay home to slow the spread.

Related

Tips for avoiding a travel nightmare at MSP Airport this Christmas

We're about to enter the busiest travel stretch of the year.

Delta

Passenger numbers fell 62% at MSP Airport in 2020

The Twin Cities airport was slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MSP Airport

Facial recognition now used for border screenings at MSP Airport

Passengers have the option to use the technology when arriving at MSP.

unnamed (1)

Record passenger numbers at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in 2019

The airport has passed 39 million passengers for the first time.

Chaos at MSP Airport as security change leads to long waits

Remodeling on Terminal 1 starts today, prompting huge delays for passengers.

Deal struck to re-open security checkpoint at MSP Airport hotel

The organization that runs MSP Airport has agreed to temporarily pay for the checkpoint to stay open.