Flying out of MSP
September 10, 2015 8:40 PM   Subscribe

Looking for information about flying out of Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in November. I will be flying out on Delta from terminal 1 on a Monday evening. Specific questions inside.

Specifically would like to know:

(1) How is the traffic around the airport on a Monday evening around 6:30pm? I would be leaving from Bloomington. Google Maps says it's a 9.4 mile drive and "typically 14 minutes." How long should I expect the drive to take in the real world?

(2) Will I have any trouble getting a taxi or Uber at 6:30pm to take me to the airport?

(3) How are the security lines at the airport? Should I expect to wait more than 10-20 minutes to get through security?

posted by ootsocsid to Travel & Transportation around Minneapolis, MN (12 answers total)
1) Even if you took side streets most of the way, not more than 15 mins.

2) Uber might be sparse. Call ahead if you need a taxi (you won't be able to hail one).

3) MSP security is very unpredictable in my experience if you don't have special status. Plan on at least 45 mins just in case. If you aren't checking bags, the skyway checkpoint could be a faster option for you (take a peek at the airport map first)
posted by jason and the garlic knots at 9:10 PM on September 10, 2015

MSP is a well-run but busy airport. I'd budget more than 20 mins for security in any major U.S. airport.
posted by kalapierson at 10:09 PM on September 10, 2015

1. 6:30 is still early enough that you might catch a little evening traffic. I'd budget an extra fifteen minutes or so.

2. I frequently take cabs to MSP. As long as I've prearranged my pick-up/drop off time, I've never had a problem. In fact, cabbies who know my flight time are often more concerned about my airport arrival time than I am.

3. Security wait times can really vary. That being said, I think allowing twenty minutes on a Monday evening should give you plenty of cushion.

4. Have a wonderful trip!
posted by WaspEnterprises at 1:24 AM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've always found that MSP has security lines longer than I'm used to, although I tend to fly through there at times more peak than you're doing. If you can mangage more like 30-45 minutes, I would.
posted by anne_severson at 3:12 AM on September 11, 2015

Lyft is another option on getting there. I have always been able to get A Lyft driver. If you are not checking in luggage then either online check in or kiosk based method reduces your time greatly. Choose the furthest security gate to your left when you enter the terminal doors and, of course, be ready to remove shoes, belt, etc. to expedite security check through.

Plan the usual time of an hour for trip to airport and security.
posted by jadepearl at 4:15 AM on September 11, 2015

Per the security issues, you probably still have time to get approved for TSA Pre-Check if you start the process now. That lets you go through a fast security line. I can't vouch for it at MSP in particular, but I use it quite successfully at DCA, where TSA can be a real bitch in the early morning.
posted by mccxxiii at 4:22 AM on September 11, 2015

Please note that MSP is in the process of redoing their security lines, and they have closed many of the "secret" checkpoints.

It took me almost a full hour to get through security (at the leftmost terminal 1 checkpoint) for my Delta flight yesterday mid-morning. This is far longer than I normally budget for, and I overheard at least 4 people who missed their flights while waiting in line. Hopefully things will be better as the holidays approach, but I wouldn't count on it.
posted by kickingthecrap at 5:47 AM on September 11, 2015

I live in Richfield (which is close to Bloomington) & never have any trouble getting Ubers to the airport. I don't think you'll have a problem there at all.

Traffic might still be a bit congested around 6:30 - there often seems to be no rhyme or reason to Minneapolis traffic. I'd give yourself 30 minutes for the trip just to be safe, though I don't think you'll need more than 20.

Security lines are fairly typical for a busy airport. I'd budget the usual hour to give yourself plenty of time.
posted by Zosia Blue at 9:01 AM on September 11, 2015

MSP has always had long lines, but they often moved pretty quickly. (I last flew in & out in July.) If they're not so fast now, well, Delta dominates the facility and doesn't really care about service. *shrug* My usual airport is Providence, RI, which is much smaller than MSP, but really moves you through the big fan of checkpoints.

If you are just one person, then can you check your bags with a Skycap on the curb?

And for Minnesotans: is it still a good idea to go way down on the left side of the Check-in Concourse for a gate with less traffic than others?
posted by wenestvedt at 10:35 AM on September 11, 2015

You should budget at least 20 minutes in line. I would budget half and hour, just in case. Also, the airport is rather spread out. They have moving walkways to help with this but you will need to budget a healthy allowance of time to walk from your entry point to your gate.
posted by Foam Pants at 4:32 PM on September 12, 2015

Wenesvedt, I used the far left as usual about 3 weeks ago and it proceeded OK BUT it seemed that it was slower than previous. So the restructuring of the airport lines is proceeding as mentioned upthread. Life is much easier with electronic check-in and carry on luggage.
posted by jadepearl at 11:21 AM on September 15, 2015

Just an update in case anyone is searching for travel advice--the security checkpoints at MSP are still a complete cluster. It's getting embarrassing.
posted by kickingthecrap at 9:17 PM on February 23, 2016

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