Brace Yourselves: DIA Will Be A 2.5-Million-Person Mess Around The Holidays

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Passengers wait to pass through security at Denver International Airport Monday evening Nov. 25 2019. DIA was bracing for both record-setting November snow and the traditional Thanksgiving week crowds.

More than 2.5 million people are expected to pass through Denver International Airport for the holidays.

That's 200,000 (hopefully not too grumpy) people each day — enough to fill 2.6 Mile High Stadiums. That's a lot of people, but it's not as many as the airport typically gets during the height of summer vacation season, said Emily Williams, a spokesperson for DIA.

Williams said Monday, Dec. 23, is the busiest travel day before Christmas. The following Sunday will also be very busy.

Some tips:

  • Arrive 2 hours before your flight. Duh.
  • Use the remote bag checks: 75th Avenue or at the Transit Center
  • Check parking and security wait times at before you leave.
  • Check with your airline for delays. Just because it's not snowing here doesn't mean it's not snowing elsewhere.

DIA set another new passenger record in October. More than 6 million people passed through that month — a 6.5 percent increase over October 2018.

"We're on track to see record-breaking traffic throughout 2019," Williams said. "Every month, we've experienced record-breaking traffic."

So far, passenger traffic this holiday season is up 4 percent.

That might add to your travel headache this year. But if you need a break — and you really for some reason love the ambiance of an airport filled to the gills — Williams said you can always ice skate on the plaza. Even if the airfare is ridiculously expensive, at least the skating is free.