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Detroit Metropolitan Airport Continues to See Growth this Holiday Season

News Releases
Nov 16 2023

DETROIT (November 16, 2023) – Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) expects to welcome more than four million travelers this holiday season, an increase of 10 percent compared to last year. The table below provides an overview of the estimated passenger traffic through Jan. 2, 2024.




ThanksgivingNov. 17 – Nov. 26, 2023Over 850,000 passengers
Christmas & New Year’sDec. 15, 2023 – Jan. 2, 2024Approx. 1.5 million passengers
Holiday SeasonNov. 17, 2023 – Jan. 2, 2024Over 4 million passengers

“For the third year, we’re seeing steady growth in passenger traffic during the holidays and we’re prepared,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton. “Our entire team at DTW is working hard to reduce the stress of travel and remind our customers why we’re an award-winning airport.”

Recently, the Airport Authority expanded its DTW Destination Pass program by adding self-service kiosks. Non-ticketed visitors can now apply for a pass and, if approved, enjoy same-day access to the Evans and McNamara terminals. They can greet family and friends at their gate, spend more time with departing loved ones, and even explore the airport’s popular restaurants and stores. Information about the DTW Destination Pass is available at

In December, customers can enjoy local musicians performing holiday favorites live in the McNamara Terminal. Also, a couple of visits from Santa Claus are planned for the Evans Terminal.

New flights are coming to DTW this holiday season, and in 2024. Turkish Airlines launched nonstop flights to Istanbul on Nov. 15. Aeromexico will offer direct flights to Queretaro in January and Guadalajara in March. WestJet will offer a new daily nonstop flight to Vancouver in April. Delta will resume flights to Sacramento and Anchorage in the summer of 2024.

Here are a few more tips to help prepare for a trip to DTW during the holidays:

  • Arrive early! Everything is easier when you’re not rushing. During the holidays, the airport welcomes a higher percentage of infrequent travelers who may need extra time. It is important to arrive early to avoid the stress of rushing to your flight. The airport recommends arriving two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Allowing extra time will enable you to park, check baggage, proceed through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening and reach your departure gate.
  • Active loading & unloading at the terminal curb fronts will be strictly enforced.   
    • Never leave your vehicle on the arrivals or departures curb unattended.  Unattended vehicles will be ticketed and towed. 
    • The curb fronts at both terminals are reserved for active loading and unloading only and can become extremely congested during peak times. Airport Police will be doing their best to move motorists along to prevent traffic backups. Take advantage of the airport’s short-term parking at both terminals – $4 for 30 minutes or less, and $6 for up to an hour.
    • Pre-arrange a meeting location with the traveler you are picking up. In addition to short term parking lots, two complimentary cell phone lots are available at the north and south ends of the airport. Please visit the following link for a map:
  • Don’t wrap gifts before traveling. Packages that are wrapped may need to be opened by TSA, causing disappointment and delays at the screening checkpoints.
  • Check your bags for prohibited items BEFORE arriving at the airport. Attempting to proceed through TSA screening with prohibited items in your bag will delay the screening process for you and other passengers. To find out what is considered a prohibited item, visit, and remember prohibited items are more than just weapons. All liquids and gels over 3.4 ounces are prohibited in carry-on baggage.
  • Arrange for assistance in advance. The Airport Authority and its partners are committed to providing a welcoming and convenient travel experience for all passengers. Travelers who may require additional assistance should advise their airline or TSA ahead of time. More information can be found at or by calling TSA Cares: 855-787-2227.
  • Expedited screening programs are available. The Airport Authority encourages travelers concerned about the possibility of longer TSA or Customs screening lines to sign up for a trusted traveler program offered by TSA or U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The company, CLEAR, also has a program that saves travelers time. See the links below for more information: 

Finally, on behalf of the Airport Authority family, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed more than 28 million passengers in 2022. As one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs, DTW offers service from 17 scheduled passenger airlines. Michigan’s largest airport offers approximately 800 flights per day to and from more than 125 nonstop destinations on three continents. With two award-winning passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport earned Airports Council International’s 2020 and 2022 Airport Service Quality Award for Best Airport by Size and Region (25 to 40 million passengers per year in North America). DTW also ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction among Mega Airports in the J.D. Power 2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study and scored highest among the following study factors: Security Check, Food/Beverage and Retail Services, and Terminal Facilities. DTW is operated by the Wayne County Airport Authority, which also operates nearby Willow Run Airport – an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility. The Airport Authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive tax dollars to support airport operations. Visit for more information.

MEDIA LINE: (734) 247-7379