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How To Navigate Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the country in terms of total land area and it's home to the longest public runway in the United States. It's also the sixth busiest airport in the country in terms of passenger traffic with more than 53 million passengers a year. It was built in 1994 and has been voted the best airport in North America by Business Traveler Magazine for six years in a row. Time Magazine voted Denver International Airport "America's Best Run Airport" in 2002.
Denver International Airport
8500 Pena Blvd
Denver, CO 80249
(303) 342-2000
www.flydenver.comClearly, DIA is a massive airport that is always busy and can see millions of passengers at any time during the year. With so much traffic, navigating such a busy airport can be difficult for even the most seasoned traveler. However, Denver International Airport can be very easy to get through, as long as you give yourself plenty of time and understand that you'll be waiting in a few lines. As you plan your next trip through this busy airport, here are a few tips to help make your trip headache-free.
Levels At DIAOne of the more confusing things about Denver International Airport are the six different levels or floors and how each is used. Level six is the top one and it's dedicated to passenger drop-offs. As you move down a level, each one is dedicated to something different. Level five is the baggage claim level, while level four is for passenger pick-up. It's a good idea, if you have someone picking you up, to remind them that level four is the level for pickup, and to be sure everyone is on the same page. Then you won't have one of those frustrating situations where your ride keeps circling the airport and is unable to find you.

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(credit: CBS)

Riding The TrainDenver International Airport is huge. So huge, in fact, that there is an underground train that runs from each of the three concourses to the main terminal and back again. The train is about a five minute ride from one end to the other, and it moves pretty quickly. It's also large enough that you should be able to find a space to stand comfortably with your baggage without feeling too crowded. If you need to sit, or if you're uncomfortable standing on a moving train, be sure to enter the very back of the train and you'll find a large area for sitting while the train is in motion.
SecuritySecurity can be difficult at every airport, and at Denver International Airport, which is one of the busiest in the country, it can take time. Just be patient and be sure to arrive with plenty of time to navigate the security lines. As with all airport security lines, it will move a little faster if you're prepared when you get to the front of the line. Empty your pockets, don't bring liquids through the check point, remove your coat and shoes and make sure your laptop or computer is in its own bin. There are usually three different screening lines to choose from as well, so the long lines can move pretty quickly, especially if everyone is prepared. There are two security areas in the main terminal and a third at the entrance to the A concourse.

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Baggage ClaimDespite some of the rumors about the baggage claim system that date back to when Denver International Airport first opened, the baggage claim system here is actually very efficient. You'll have a pretty good distance to travel from the time you get off your plane to when you arrive at baggage claim, but with the train and the moving sidewalks, you'll barely notice it. Baggage claim is on level five of the main terminal and you'll see that there are different carousels for each airline. Simply check the television monitors to find out which carousel your luggage will be arriving on and you should have no trouble getting your bags.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at
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