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Spring break travelers making tracks to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Winter escapes are in full swing for the next two weeks with the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reporting spring-break travel is picking up. Photo illustration

MINNEAPOLIS -- As Upper Midwest travelers dig out from record amounts of snow and seek out sunny destinations, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reported it is gearing up for increased passenger volumes.

Spring break-related travel is starting to pick up at the airport, with higher-than-average volumes expected this week and the week of March 17. Several days throughout the month will see increased numbers of travelers.

“The spring break rush is an exciting time at MSP, and we’re working with our partners in the airport community to help make travelers’ airport experience seamless and enjoyable,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates the airport. “Additional staff will be on hand in ticketing areas and at the security checkpoints to direct travelers and speed processing.”

Security screening reminders

For travelers who don’t fly often, below are a few reminders about security screening from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport:

Many families are expected to travel over the next several weeks.

  • To help speed security screening, the Transportation Security Administration allows children 12 and younger to leave their shoes, light jackets and headwear on.
  • All passengers must remove personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bag and place them in a bin for inspection.
  • To ensure passengers have plenty of time to complete the screening process and get to their gate, please arrive at the airport two hours prior to a domestic flight’s departure and 2 1/2 hours prior for international flights.
  • Spring break travelers often have oversized and odd-sized checked baggage. Passengers traveling with skis, snowboards, golf clubs or any other large or specialized item, should add up to a half-hour extra to account for the checked baggage screening process.

Unsure about items related to screening?

The TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all.

Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA mobile app, myTSA, or visit https://bit.ly/2nGQMtf for more information on everything from antlers and ammunition to alcohol and much more.

Travelers may also contact the TSA via Twitter at @AskTSA” if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag. Just snap a picture or send a question and get real-time assistance weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Search “Navigate MSP” in the Android or Apple app stores, and download the mobile app to get information to help prepare for time at the airport. Those parking at the airport will find more information at http://www.mspairport.com/parking along with parking availability.

New at MSP

As the airport continues to enhance its food and retail offerings, travelers will notice a number of new dining options at Terminal 1, officials reported in a spring break travel update.

Parents with children may want to seek out fast and familiar restaurants. A new food court opened recently on Concourse F featuring Wendy’s, Panda Express and Chick-fil-A in addition to People’s Organic.

Many airport restaurants have children’s menus, including the new Blue Door Pub on Concourse A and Stone Arch on the Airport Mall, where a new Starbucks coffee shop is now open.

Travelers can visit the “Eat, Shop, Relax” section of MSP’s website to learn about other dining opportunities. The airport is also introducing travelers to two new dining apps aimed at bringing convenience to trips. The AtYourGate app allows users to place an order from a participating airport restaurant and have it delivered right to their gate or other listed locations. The Grab app saves users time by allowing them to pre-order/pre-pay for food from participating restaurants, walk up to the location, and walk away with their order without standing in line. Both apps are available for Apple and Android devices.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission owns and operates an airport system that includes Minneapolis-St Paul International and six general aviation airports. One of the nation’s largest airport systems, the MAC generates more than $16.7 billion annually for the local economy and supports more than 90,000 jobs in the region. For more information, visit www.metroairports.org.

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