MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Minnesota Super Bowl exodus is underway, and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is expecting its busiest day ever, with Super Bowl visitors streaming out of the Twin Cities on Monday after a full week of festivities.
By the 5 a.m. hour, there was already a one-mile backup out of the MSP Airport access road and significant backups in security lines, but things started to calm down a bit during the 8 a.m. hour. Between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., TSA screened more than 17,000 passengers at MSP.
SUPER BOWL PROGRAMS AND AIRPORT SECURITY: TSA placed signs in the security area at MSP telling travelers to treat their Super Bowl game programs like a laptop -- have them out and placed in a bin by itself to go through security. TSA says the program will set off security.
SLEEPING MATS AVAILABLE: Additional TSA teams, including both staff and K9s, were sent to Minnesota to help deal with the Super Bowl traffic. MSP Airport is also making 800 sleeping mats available to those planning on sleeping overnight before early flights Monday morning.
Staying at the airport tonight? We’ll have 800 sleeping mats available. Find them in Terminal 1 near Gate C14, Dunkin’ Donuts in the airport mall, and on the Ticketing Level Mezzanine. In Terminal 2 mats will be near Gates H3 and H11, and Bag Claim D. #SuperBowl52— MSP Airport (@mspairport) February 5, 2018
ARRIVE 3 HOURS EARLY: In light of the increased traffic, officials are urging travelers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight, with the busiest times happening around 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
BUSY BY THE NUMBERS: The airport's busiest day on record was last summer, with around 45,000 visitors passing through security during a 24-hour period. Monday, however, is set to dwarf that number, with an estimated 60-70,000 people boarding flights out of the Twin Cities.
MORE VOLUNTEERS: Beyond the additional security teams, the airport is also enlisting the help of several dozen local volunteers who will assist visitors in finding their ticketing lines and gates in order to help things run smoothly.