DETROIT — Despite the surge in COVID-19 cases, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) is expecting a busy holiday season.
The airport is expecting 3.5 million travelers, more than double the number of passengers from last year, but approximately 15 percent less than in 2019.
“We’re cautiously optimistic about the travel forecast this holiday season,” Chad Newton, Wayne County Airport Authority CEO, said. “Only time will tell if this increase in passenger traffic is a sign our economy and our industry are rebounding. Regardless, our Detroit Metropolitan Airport team will continue working hard to deliver an excellent customer experience, while prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in our terminals.”
Earlier this year, DTW received the Airports Council International (ACI) 2020 Airport Service Quality Award for Best Airport by Size and Region (25 to 40 million passengers per year in North America). This customer service award is one of the highest honors in the aviation industry.
The airport also recently earned the ACI Airport Health Accreditation, which demonstrates that the staff is taking steps aligned with industry best practices to reduce health risks. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport has increased its cleaning in high touchpoint areas and stationed customer service agents and volunteers throughout the airport to remind everyone to wear a face covering.
Dispensers with free face coverings are available to those who do not have one.
Regardless, our Detroit Metropolitan Airport team will continue working hard to deliver an excellent customer experience, while prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in our terminals. — Chad Newton, Wayne County Airport Authority CEO
When traveling this holiday season, travelers can apply for the DTW Destination Pass that allows non-ticketed visitors to enter the post-security side of the McNamara and North terminals. Travelers who wish to greet family and friends at their gate or wait with them until their flight departs can apply for a pass the day before the planned visit at www.metroairport.com/about-dtw/dtw-destination-pass.
The airport also suggests travelers arrive early to avoid the stress of rushing to their flights. The airport recommends arriving two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight to allow extra time to park, check baggage, proceed through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening and reach the departure gate.
The airport also said that active loading and unloading at the terminal curb fronts will be strictly enforced and they suggest never leaving vehicles on the arrivals and departures curb unattended as they may be ticketed and towed.
To help mitigate congestion at the curb fronts, the airport is suggesting travelers take advantage of the short term parking at both terminals that cost $4 for 30 minutes or less and $6 for up to an hour.
The airport also recommends pre-arranging a meeting location by using www.metroairport.com/terminals/maps/campus-map to help for a quicker loading and unloading process.
The TSA suggests travelers not wrapping gifts before traveling as they may need to be opened by TSA agents and cause delays at the screening checkpoints. They also suggest checking bags for prohibited items before arriving at the airport. A list of prohibited items can be found at www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips.
Travelers who may require additional assistance can alert the TSA and their airline ahead of time by calling TSA Cares at 855-787-2227 or visiting www.metroairport.com/accessibility.aspx.
The airport authority also encourages travelers to sign up for a trusted traveler program offered by the TSA or U.S. Customs and Border Protection. These resources can be found at the TSA’s website, the CBP’s website or the website of the biometric security company CLEAR.