The Denver International Airport (DIA) opened in 1995, and served 53.4 million passengers in 2014. The airport is located 24 miles northeast of downtown Denver, which causes locals to joke that the airport is actually in Kansas. DIA replaced Denver's Stapleton International Airport, which is now home to the Stapleton neighborhood. In 2014, the airport was ranked as the 5th-busiest airport in the U.S.
"DIA is a jewel in the nation’s aviation system, serving as the front door to our entire region for tens of millions of people every year," said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock in a statement on the airport's 20th anniversary on Feb. 28, 2015. “With 32 months of consecutive months of growing international traffic, bolstered by new nonstop flights to Tokyo, Panama City and other major destinations, DIA is a gateway to the world -- with abundant potential for the future."
The airport has three concourses (A, B, and C), which are all connected by train to the terminal. United Airlines and its subsidiary of United Express take up the majority of gates for Concourse B, leaving other airlines to fly in and out of A and C. All international flights depart from Concourse A.
Denver International Airport serves as a hub for both United Airlines and Frontier Airlines. A total of 16 airlines fly in and out of Denver.
- Air Canada
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- Great Lakes Aviation
- JetBlue Airways
- Southwest Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- United Airlines
- US Airways
Taxis, ride-sharing services, rental cars, buses and shuttles depart from DIA to Denver and surrounding areas. Light rail service to the airport is slated to start in 2016. Taxis cost a minimum of $55 from the airport to downtown Denver. Many travelers rent cars when visiting Denver due to the city's somewhat-limited public transportation.
Denver International Airport offers economy and garage parking for both the East and West terminals. Rates for 2015 are $24 per day for garage parking and $13 per day for economy parking. The airport also offers shuttle parking in its Mt. Elbert and Pikes Peaks lots for $8 per day. Private companies such as USAirport Parking also offer parking near the airport.
Although most airport food costs twice as much and tastes half as good, there are several edible options at Denver International Airport. In 2014, the Denver airport was ranked in the top 10 for airport food by Thrillist.
- Pour La France!: The French bistro offers hearty breakfasts at their sit-down restaurant in Concourse B, as well as tasty to-go breakfast croissants.
- Red Rocks Bar & BBQ: The restaurant/bar in the Terminal takes BBQ to a Mile-High level with heaping sandwiches and local brews such as Fat Tire.
- Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: The confectionery in Concourse B offers plenty of chocolate goodness to carry with you on-board.
- Root Down, a local favorite in Denver, offers organic fare on Concourse C.
Denver International Airport offers souvenir shopping for Western wear at shops such as Spirit of the Red Horse and Way Out West. Travelers can also pick up necessities such as lotion at the Body Shop or paperbacks at Hudson Booksellers.
Security lines at Denver International Airport can be lengthy during peak travel times. Officials recommend arriving at least two hours prior to your flight to allow enough time to get through screening. All passengers must go through screening administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA.)
Denver International Airport provides the following services:
- ATMs: The Public Service Credit Union administers more than a dozen ATMs in DIA. The ATMs charge a fee for members outside the network.
- Internet Access: DIA offers wireless Internet access free of charge in the terminal and all concourses. The network ID is "DEN Airport Free WiFi." Another option is "Boingo Hotspot" for free or premium Internet access.
- Post Office: A full-service post office is located on level 6 of the terminal.
Nina Snyder is the author of "Good Day, Broncos," a children's e-book, and "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book. Visit her website at ninasnyder.com.