Second cell phone waiting lot open at MSP airport to accommodate Thanksgiving travel

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A second cell phone waiting lot has opened at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in anticipation of the Thanksgiving travel period this week, which is expected to be the busiest in the past four years.

According to the airport’s latest airline booking information, Wednesday will be the busiest departure day with nearly 37,000 passengers expected with another 34,000 expected on Sunday, Nov. 26.  The second lot more than triples the number of spaces where motorists can wait before picking up arriving passengers.

The new East Cell Phone Waiting Lot is on the south side of Post Road, about a quarter-mile from the original 40-vehicle waiting area. (Courtesy of the Metropolitan Airports Commission)

The new East Cell Phone Waiting Lot is located on the south side of Post Road and has 100 parking spaces. It’s less than a quarter mile from the original West Cell Phone Waiting Lot on Post Road, which has 40 parking spaces. Post Road is between Terminals 1 and 2.

“This is another way to enhance the customer experience, meeting the growing demand for free, safe and convenient spaces for drivers to wait before picking up passengers,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “The lots help reduce traffic congestion near the terminals because they eliminate the need for drivers to circle the airport before their party arrives at the pick-up zones.”

The airport offered the following tips for travelers during peak periods:

Terminal 1 passengers can check wait times at the two checkpoint wait time boards when they enter the ticketing area. Passengers can access all gates from either checkpoint. The North Checkpoint often has shorter wait times.

Terminal 2 passengers can reserve a spot in the security line for free through MSP Reserve. Appointments are available 3:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 12 to 4 p.m. daily. Only a number of reservations are available.

Travelers are also encouraged to pre-book (at least 12 hours beforehand) their parking online to guarantee a spot and capture the lowest daily rates.

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