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‘Tis the Season for Travel at Denver International Airport

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DENVER – Dec. 18, 2023 –Denver International Airport (DEN) is prepared for a busy end-of-year holiday travel period. From today, Dec. 18 to Tuesday, Dec. 26, more than 608k passengers are forecasted to travel through DEN TSA checkpoints. This is an eight percent increase over the same period last year. DEN estimates the busiest days will be Dec. 22 and Dec. 26.

­For those traveling this holiday, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to get through security and navigate the airport before your flight. Passengers should arrive to the airport at least two hours before their scheduled boarding time and be prepared for longer lines.

DEN will showcase piano performances in the arrivals area of the Great Hall today through Dec. 23 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Look for holiday carolers roaming the concourses today through Dec. 23 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and for other holiday musical performances in the Great Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 18, 21, and 22.

Here are a few tips for a smooth traveling experience this holiday season:

 TSA

South Security Checkpoint: Primary checkpoint for standard screening, open 24/7

  • Standard Screening: This checkpoint is dedicated to standard screening travelers.
  • TSA PreCheck: There are four TSA PreCheck lanes open from 4 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. located on the backside of the checkpoint (near Baggage Claim 7). PreCheck passengers traveling after 6 p.m. may also use North Security until 7:45 p.m. or they can receive expedited screening after 8 p.m. 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 MUST use the lane provided for CLEAR on the North Security Checkpoint.

 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. CLEAR customers without TSA PreCheck must use South Security
  • 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: Standard passengers only, 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.
  • DEN RESERVE can also be found at this checkpoint (details below).

 For real-time security wait times and to help select the best checkpoint, passengers can check FlyDenver.com.

Passengers may sign up for expedited screening programs available at DEN checkpoints. Learn more about TSA PreCheck and CLEAR. Additionally, DEN RESERVE is a free service that allows all passengers to reserve a dedicated time slot through DEN’s Bridge TSA Security Checkpoint for their party – giving them a more predictable and seamless travel experience. For more information about DEN Reserve and to make a reservation as early as three days before a flight, visit Flydenver.com/DENreserve.

TSA also offers tips to those traveling this Christmas. As this is the time of year that passengers travel with gifts and food, TSA recommends packing gifts in gift bags or boxes instead of wrapping them in the case that an alarm is triggered, and the gift would need to be unwrapped. For food, solid items such as a fruitcake can be transported in a carry-on bag. However, liquids should be packed in a checked bag.

 Parking

All DEN on-site parking lots are open. The resurfacing work in the East Economy Lot was completed last month and the 2,400 spaces that were closed earlier this year have been reopened.

The Pikes Peak and Longs Peak shuttle lots offer cost-effective parking at only $8 a day. Please be aware, the Pikes Peak shuttle lot will close on Friday, Dec. 22 at 2 a.m. at which time, the Longs Peak shuttle lot will open. Drivers needing to pick up their cars from Pikes Peak will still be able to do so.

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.

 Transit

Parking lots at DEN tend to fill up quickly during the holidays. Consider taking the RTD A-line into DEN. View the A-line schedule here.

 DEN Travel Assist

DEN Travel Assist brought to you by SkySquad is a new program designed to help travelers navigate DEN efficiently and with ease. Starting at just $99, DEN Travel Assist offers a simple online platform to book airport assistance.

Travelers needing extra assistance can visit FlyDenver.com/DENTravelAssist to make a reservation.

DEN Travel Assist assistants can help with unloading luggage, bags, car seats and more. They will also meet a traveler at their gate upon arrival and escort them to baggage claim or help them reach their next mode of transportation to their destination beyond DEN.

 Before You Leave for the Airport

Picking up Passengers

  • Check 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.
  • It’s recommended that those picking up friends and family wait for their call 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.

 Shopping and Dining

Getting to the airport early means extra time to enjoy DEN’s many shopping and dining options! Check out the offerings here.

 DEN Customer Service

While traveling through DEN, look out for one of over 100 DEN Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS) teams throughout our terminal and concourses. The DEN CATS program is made up of four-legged volunteers who delight travelers with a friendly wag or furry cuddle. You’ll encounter them throughout the airport, sporting their distinctive violet plaid “Pet Me” vests. Hug, pet, and take pictures with DEN’s affectionate comfort crew!

Have a question about traveling through DEN? Passengers can reach out to DEN’s customer service team by calling 720-730-IFLY (720-730-4359). Text us your questions at 720-902-9351. Passengers can also click the “Chat” button on FlyDenver.com to connect with one of our DEN Live Agents via chat between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. daily.


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!