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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