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Detroit Metropolitan Airport welcomes holiday travelers

News Releases
Nov 19 2018

DETROIT (Nov. 19, 2018) – Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) will welcome nearly 900,000 travelers this holiday season, a 2 percent increase from last year. During the Thanksgiving travel period (Wednesday – Sunday), more than 5,000 additional passengers are expected this year compared to 2017. Nearly 12,000 more travelers are expected during the Christmas and New Year’s travel period (12.23.18 – 1.3.19). To better prepare customers for their upcoming trips, DTW has updates and holiday travel tips to share.

Many new flights have been added to international and domestic destinations since last holiday season. WOW Air now offers low fares to several popular European destinations, including Iceland, Amsterdam, Paris, London and more. Aeromexico has added service to Leon and Queretaro, Mexico. Frontier began seasonal service to Austin, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina. Also, Delta began service to San Jose, California this month, with Sacramento and Honolulu coming soon. Spirit will begin nonstop service to Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Florida in December, followed by Austin in February.

“It has been an exciting year at DTW,” said Wayne County Airport Authority Interim CEO Chad Newton. “In 2018, we have consistently set records with the number of origin and destination passengers at DTW. These are travelers who are either visiting or residing in the Detroit area. We hope to see this trend continue as several new routes are set to begin in 2019.”

In addition to air service, DTW is offering new amenities to customers. Nine nursing rooms recently opened, just in time for the holidays. Eight are located in the McNamara and North terminals. The ninth room is for employees in the Berry Administration Building. The nursing rooms provide mothers a private place to care for their child. Each room is equipped with a comfortable chair, a sink, counter, electrical outlets and other amenities. To ensure privacy, mothers who wish to utilize a nursing room will need to use their cell phone to call for an access code prior to entering the room.

The sights and sounds of the season will once again be returning to DTW. The decorations are up in the terminals and the McNamara Terminal’s light and sound tunnel will begin playing holiday music on Dec. 3. The playlist includes hits from Mannheim Steamroller and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the TV special. Motown music will remain in the rotation to delight travelers as well.

Throughout the month of December, local musicians will perform holiday tunes in both terminals, including the Cass Tech Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Classic Winds Quintet, Madrigal Chorale and the St. Francis of Assisi Hand Bell Choir. The airport’s Holiday Music Program is an opportunity to showcase the region’s talent during a busy travel period.

As always, Airport Ambassador Volunteers will be stationed throughout both terminals to assist passengers who need help. Each of the nearly 80 Ambassadors can answer questions and assist with flight status, baggage claim, gate locations, parking, ground transportation and lost & found.

The following travel tips could also be useful for anyone heading to the airport over the holidays.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport

Tips for Holiday Travelers

  • 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:

  • Know your airline and/or terminal before arriving at the airport. Detroit Metro Airport has two terminals: the McNamara Terminal and the North Terminal. Delta Air Lines, Aeromexico and Air France operate from the McNamara Terminal along with their SkyTeam alliance and code share partners. All other airlines, including charters, operate from the North Terminal. For airline contact information visit:

  • 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. As a general rule of thumb, 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.

  • 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, healthy and happy holiday season.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed nearly 35 million passengers in 2017 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs.   With service from 14 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers more than 1,100 flights per day to and from more than 140 non-stop destinations on four 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.  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.


For additional information, members of the media may contact:

Erica Donerson – [email protected] or Lisa Gass – [email protected]

Media Line – (734) 247-7379

MEDIA LINE: (734) 247-7379