Fun and Games at DIA

By Julie Byerlein

I’ve been through Denver International Airport hundreds of times, and it’s without a doubt the best airport to travel through. During a holiday season of full flights and weather delays, if you have to be stuck, I can’t think of any other airport where I would rather be. What follows are the top 10 things I love about DIA.

I travel for business, a lot, and the trip starts when I park:

1) Josie:
There’s plenty of onsite long-term lots and some good drivers. If you are lucky you’ll get on Josie’s shuttle bus. She runs it with great pride and is really helpful; she explains the dropoff and access points well. I captured a pic of her in a Santa hat in mid December.

2) The Peeps:
I’ve gotten to know some of the gate agents—special shout out to Clark at United—and the great skycap team at Frontier; cold mornings yet warm attitudes. The Red Carpet Club, the Level 6 United check-in staff and the flight attendants I’ve gotten to know personally are all great.

3) Security:
Some of what I like is functional; there’s fast security (even with a large crowd), with plenty of space and tables to unpack your stuff, unload your laptop, shoes, and cosmetics. The security at DIA is so speedy that I often see gaps in the xray queue. I’ve written letters to the TSA to offer congrats on such an efficient operation – other airports should copy some of Denver’s best practices. Denver also benefits from another 20 feet after the screening machine to avoid a bottleneck situation. Oh, and don’t forget to admire those cute new TSA outfits.

4) Best unexpected art:
The building was built with art in mind; the commissioned works were integrated into the original floor plans, so it really fits nicely. The murals, sculptures, installations, and fossils in the floors all work together and in unexpected ways. I discover something new on each trip and am grateful for that. In fact, there is a beautiful new mini catalog (about 5” square) available at the concourse help desk that is, it can serve as a guide on your next DEN journey. I took a picture of the help desk signing it!

There are also temporary art shows to fill your time on the way to your plane. For instance, “Colorado: See the New West Like a Local” is up through January of 2009 on the bridge to Concourse A. This exhibit is accessible while you wait to pick up folks, since it is before security.

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diving in denver

by Jeffrey Haber
Doctor, Diver, Sometime Santa

I moved to Denver from New York looking for a change of scenery. Little did I know that this would involve swimming with fish – sharks and barracudas – while dressed in a Santa suit.

I have always been fascinated by the stories of other people and the narratives that make up their worlds. In my work as a clinical psychologist spending time engaged in these stories with other people is how I spend my professional life. I consider it an honor to be a guest in the world of my clients.

With my nonworking time I am a guest in another world. It is also a privilege to be a scuba diver entering the underwater world inhabited by a remarkable variety of critters large and small. I volunteer at the Downtown Aquarium on Fridays and have the opportunity to feed the fish, scrub the rock, siphon the gravel and do a show for the guests.

In the underwater world we are truly visitors and remarkably clumsy compared to the wildlife we see. I am an avid traveler and have taken scuba diving trips all over the world. When people ask “where do you go to dive in Denver” divers answer “the airport”. But I have a chance to dive in the city at the aquarium. I am a lucky man.