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Denver International Airport Prepares for Labor Day Travel

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DENVER – Sept. 1, 2021 – As air travel continues to rebound, Denver International Airport (DEN) is anticipating over one million travelers to pass through the airport, a stark difference from last year when air travel volume was at its lowest in recent history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach the holiday weekend, here’s what travelers can expect:

Passenger Traffic

From Sept. 2 through Sept. 7, 2021, 1.1 million passengers are forecasted to travel through DEN, more than double the approximately 525,000 total passengers at DEN during the same period in 2020. The busiest day in the upcoming Labor Day holiday traffic is expected to be Monday, Sept. 6, when over 211,000 passengers are estimated to travel through DEN. Thursday, Sept. 2 and Friday, Sept. 3 are also expected to be busy with more than 200,000 passengers forecasted through the airport each day.

In 2019, nearly 1.2 million passengers traveled through DEN during the same timeframe, only 5% higher than this year’s forecast for the holiday period.

Security Checkpoints

  • Due to Phase 2 work on the Great Hall Project, the North Security Checkpoint will be reduced from 12 lanes to eight lanes and TSA Pre✓™ and CLEAR services will remain available but will be relocated to the east
  • Passengers are encouraged to use the A-Bridge Security Checkpoint as it is often not as busy – especially for those flying internationally on foreign-flag carriers or on American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue and some United flights. The benefit of this is passengers can walk to their gate and skip the train to concourses.

Bag Drop Service

DEN is excited to announce the return of our free bag drop service at the Transit Center starting today, Sept. 1. The service allows passengers to print their boarding passes and check their bags before even going into the Terminal. Bag drop is a free service offered by DEN and is available for domestic flights on United, Delta, American, and Spirit airlines. Southwest passengers will be able to use the service starting Sept. 5. Passengers using bag drop must check in and drop 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 go to the ticket counter inside the airport for the child’s boarding pass, per airline regulations. The service is available daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located on Level 1 of Westin Denver International Airport, just steps from the A-line commuter rail from downtown Denver.

DEN Ambassadors

Passengers will notice another difference at DEN this year vs. last, volunteers are back – including the CATS (Canine Airport Therapy Squad)! Find DEN Ambassadors and CATS throughout DEN in their purple plaid vests ready to help passengers navigate the airport. There will also be additional DEN employees in purple shirts throughout the terminal available to assist passengers.

Eats Delivered

Eats Delivered, powered by AtYourGate, delivers fresh and delicious food or travel supplies to passengers throughout the airport. The service is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and orders are delivered in approximately 30 minutes or less. Users can choose from participating shops and restaurants for meals or travel conveniences. Learn more about Eats Delivered by clicking here.

Park on the Plaza

The plaza – located between the Westin and the terminal – has transformed into a park that gives travelers and community members a refreshing, unexpected airport experience. The park includes gardens featuring native Colorado trees, plants and lounge seating. The park is open until Oct. 3. Learn more by visiting flydenver.com/events.

Face Masks

Face masks are still federally required to be worn at DEN. Signs and overhead announcements remind passengers to wear their masks correctly and to keep their distance from one another when possible. Masks can be purchased at most concessions throughout the airport and at two vending machines located in the terminal.

Parking

Due to staffing challenges, the DEN’s Pikes Peak and Mt. Elbert shuttle lots remain closed along with valet parking in both garages. All other DEN public parking including the east and west economy lots, the east and west garages, short term parking and the 61st and Peña lot are open. There are also several off-airport shuttle lots available.

Terminal Construction

Construction walls are still up in the middle of the terminal on Level 5 and 6, so passengers must use the baggage claim corridor on level 5 to traverse from north to south. Passengers can access our interactive map online by scanning QR codes posted at check-in and throughout the terminal to help navigate around construction.

Before You Leave for the Airport

  • Please plan accordingly and allow for extra time at the airport. A good rule of thumb is to be inside the airport at least two hours prior to flight departure time. This should allow for plenty of time to navigate flight check-in, security lines and travel to your gate.
  • Before you leave the house, check with your airline to confirm that your flight is on time and check-in online if possible.
  • To save time, check the location of your airline prior to arriving at the airport to ensure you are dropped off at the correct location.
  • Check parking availability at www.flydenver.com.

Picking up Passengers

  • Check with your friend or family member’s airline or visit www.flydenver.com, to confirm that the flight is on time before heading to the airport.
  • The return to terminal loop has moved to 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. Please do not park along Peña Boulevard.

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. For more information visit www.FlyDenver.com, 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!