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Denver International Airport Expecting a Busy Travel Period for Spring Break


DENVER – March 15, 2023 – It’s time to spring break out that suitcase! Warmer weather, spring skiing and school breaks are expected to bring an increase of passenger traffic through the airport. Denver International Airport (DEN) is sharing some useful tips for travelers. Passengers are encouraged to arrive inside the airport at least two hours in advance of their boarding time to ensure they have plenty of time to check baggage, travel through security and arrive at their gate as there is the potential for longer lines, especially during peak times.

Strong outbound travel from Denver as well as demand from inbound travelers taking advantage of the final weeks of ski season makes for a particularly busy time at DEN. Between March 16 and March 25, the airport is expecting more than 600,000 passengers to travel through TSA checkpoints. The busiest days of travel, when there could be more than 70,000 passengers per day passing through security, are expected to be Thursday, March 16 through Monday, March 20.

Here are some travel tips for passengers traveling through DEN over spring break:


Passengers are strongly encouraged to use the primary checkpoints for TSA PreCheck and standard screening as outlined below.

South Security Checkpoint: Open 24/7 as the primary checkpoint for standard screening (see TSA PreCheck hours below)

  • Standard Screening: This checkpoint is dedicated to standard screening travelers
  • TSA PreCheck: There are a limited number of TSA PreCheck lanes open from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. PreCheck passengers traveling after 8 p.m. will receive an expedited screening through the standard lanes at this checkpoint.
  • CLEAR Customers: A CLEAR lane is available at this checkpoint for standard screening. CLEAR customers with TSA PreCheck may use this lane, but are strongly encouraged to utilize the lane on the North Security Checkpoint for a more efficient experience

North Security Checkpoint: Primary checkpoint for TSA PreCheck passengers: Open 4 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.

  • TSA PreCheck: This checkpoint is primarily for TSA PreCheck passengers
  • CLEAR Customers: A CLEAR lane is available on the east side of this checkpoint for travelers who are CLEAR customers with TSA PreCheck
  • Premium/Premier Traveler Lane: This lane is available on the west side of this checkpoint
  • Standard Screening: There are a limited number of standard screening lanes, but we encourage standard passengers to use the South Security Checkpoint or the Bridge Security Checkpoint

A-Bridge Security Checkpoint: Open from approximately 4:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

  • Standard Screening: This checkpoint is dedicated to standard screening travelers. TSA PreCheck is not available at this checkpoint

Based on their nationwide scheduling systems, many airlines at DEN have scheduled flights to depart in smaller windows of time. This could lead to longer TSA wait times, primarily between 8-9 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. For real-time security wait times to and to help select the best checkpoint, passengers can check

Passengers may sign up for expedited screening programs available at DEN checkpoints. Learn more about TSA PreCheck here and CLEAR here.

Navigating the Terminal:

Construction walls are up in the Great Hall to accommodate construction of the second new security checkpoint on Level 6 on the northeast side of the terminal. The interior corridor on the east side overlooking the North Security Checkpoint is completely closed. A pathway to and from the Bridge Security Checkpoint and the north end of the terminal is available on the east side of the terminal.

These closures will remain in place until the new checkpoint is complete in 2024. During this time, all security checkpoints will remain open.

Remote Bag Check:

Passengers have two ways to drop off their luggage and get their boarding pass before entering the airport. DEN’s free bag drop service is available on 75th Ave. near the Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot and at the transit center near the RTD A-Line.

The service saves passengers a trip to the check-in counter in the terminal and it eliminates the hassle of carrying luggage through the terminal. Bag drop is a free service offered by DEN and is available daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for domestic flights on United, Southwest, Delta, American, Alaska and Spirit. Flights to international destinations are not eligible for the bag-check service.

Passengers using bag drop must be checked in and have dropped off their bags at least 90 minutes before their flight. Airline bag fees are paid at the bag drop kiosk. Passengers with lap infants must visit the ticket counter for the child’s boarding pass, per airline regulations. Learn more about Bag Check here.


All DEN on-site parking lots are open except valet parking in both garages. The Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot is a great cost-effective parking option at only $8 a day.

On April 3, DEN will close a large portion of the East Economy Lot in order to conduct necessary improvements and repairs. Approximately 2,000 spaces on the northern portion of the East Economy Lot will remain open. When the East Economy Lot reaches capacity, passengers may still utilize the East Garage, West Garage, West Economy, Pikes Peak and 61st & Peña station.

DEN has a total of 36 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations available on level 1 of the parking garages. There is no charge to use the stations, however, the standard garage parking rates apply. Learn more and see station locations here.

Learn more about all of DEN’s parking options and see real-time parking availability at

Shopping and Dining:

DEN offers a wide variety of shopping and dining options for travelers to enjoy while they wait for their flight. Check out the offerings here.

Before You Leave for the Airport:

Picking up Passengers:

  • Check with your friend or family member’s airline, or visit, to confirm that the flight is on time before leaving for the airport
  • The return-to-terminal is now located on Jackson Gap, so it’s best to wait for your friends and family at Final Approach, the airport’s cell phone waiting lot, until they are ready to be picked up. Final Approach is located approximately three miles west of Jeppesen Terminal. It can be easily accessed via eastbound Peña Boulevard to 75th Avenue and northbound Gun Club Road; westbound Peña Boulevard to Wenatchee Street; or from East 78th Avenue. Signs are posted along all access routes

Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $33 billion for the region annually. For more information visit, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.


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Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!