What To Expect When Flying In And Out Of The Denver Airport

The Denver International Airport is Colorado’s sole airport for worldwide flights. Referred to as D.I.A, the airport serves thousands of daily passengers. It is easily accessible from all directions and is only a 35 minute drive.

Flights Arriving and Departing

Both national and international flights arrive and depart D.I.A. These flights also include direct, connecting, and nonstop flights that travel to Latin and Central America, Asia, Europe, and North America. Presently, nonstop flights out of Denver are provided to more than 195 domestic locations. Plus, it serves 26 locations in more than 10 countries.

The Jeppesen Terminal

With over 1 million sq ft, D.I.A’s Jeppesen Terminal can easily go from calm and quiet to chaotic in a matter of moments. With its unique roof, the terminal pays homage to the local Native American heritage and Rocky Mountains. Jeppesen services include ticketing, transportation services, TSA, arrivals, shops galore, and dining.

  • Gate A Concourse – The Gate A concourse is accessible only if you walk or by train, which is underground. There is also an individual checkpoint for TSA so if you do not want to wait in the other lines, you can head directly over without waiting.
  • Gate B Concourse – The Gate B concourse is only accessible by the train. You cannot miss it after clearing through security. Gate B also provides better meal choices for those who have the extra time. If this is you, then feel free to grab a bite to eat before your flight.
  • Gate C Concourse – The Gate C concourse is also only accessible by train. With the short ride, you are sure to catch your flight.

Airport Size

The D.I.A measures more than 54 miles squared. It is one of the busiest in the U.S with millions of passengers coming and going throughout the year. Its runway is also among the longest at just over 3 miles long. With Denver International being a busy airport, it is also ranked number 1 in regards to size in comparison to other major cities.


Starting with accessible parking, Denver airport is fully disability-friendly. Lifts, escalators and travellators improve accessibility for those with mobility difficulties, whilst hearing loops and sign language interpreters are available for those with hearing impairments. Toilets are fully accessible, with service animal toilets available for when your animal companion needs to relieve themselves. Meanwhile, wheelchair services are fully provided, although you may want to compare mobility scooters vs power wheelchairs to find one that fits dimension restrictions. The airport is also part of the Sunflower Network, helping passengers with hidden disabilities find the support they need too.

Recommended Arrival Check-in

There are many reasons why you need to check in within a certain amount of time. Regardless, the norm is usually 2 hours if flying domestically and at least 3 if traveling internationally. Passengers who do not have bags to check can normally check in an hour prior to their flight.

For planning purposes, it is important to consider any unforeseen delays, which may be out of your control such as shuttle schedules, finding parking spaces, traffic, or even construction. Besides these, you also need to account for the actual amount of time it will take to check in and clear TSA and then hurry along the initial distance to your flight’s gate.

East Terminal and West Terminal for Ticketing, Arrivals, Airlines, and Pickups

As you drive to D.I.A you will see signs for both East terminal and West terminal. The drop-off area, arrival area, and parking are all determined by your airline. Taking the train also requires you to ensure the correct direction is reached so that you are able to check bags and catch your flight.

Parking and Modes of Transportation

Long term airport parking at Denver International can be difficult but not impossible to find a spot. Garage parking is charged either hourly or daily and starts at $5/hr. and/or $35/day. Besides these, parking for long-term purposes is also available through the Mt. Ebert Lot, Economy Lots, or the Pike Peak Lot.

Denver International Airport Shuttle

If you do not plan to use long term airport parking DIA, then you will enjoy taking a shuttle to get you to your destination throughout the Denver area. It is always good to have options available. The following forms of transportation are currently available for all passengers:

  • The Silver Mountain Express shuttle provides service to passengers coming and going to D.I.A and Eagle-Vail airport.
  • The Blue Sky Limo shuttle is also available and has sites within Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge, and Avon.
  • Summit Express shuttle service transports many passengers to various locations throughout the area such as Copper Mountain, Frisco, Breckenridge, and Keystone. An option to book a private shuttle is also available, which will gladly take you to Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, and Beaver Creek. Then, when your trip is finished, they will gladly return you to Denver International.

Transit Center at Denver International Airport

If you plan to utilize the Denver Transit Center you will be able to reach Union Station in downtown Denver in under an hour. Using the day pass provides all passengers with RTD Bus and RTD Rail service. All of Denver is reachable by both transportation methods.

Once at Union Station you can jump aboard the Amtrak and explore the west towards California. Along the way, you will have stops in Grand Junction, Fraser, Glenwood Springs, and Granby, Colorado.

Westin at Denver International

The Denver area hosts many hotels that are within a short distance to the airport. Many popular hotels can also be found along Tower Road. Many, if not all, provide airport transportation and a place to park if you drive. However, the closest hotel that only requires a short walk is at the airport itself and is called the Westin.

The Westin hotel is rated as a 4 star and is literally right next to Jeppesen. With the Westin, it proves to be the most time saving hotel available in all of Denver. It is perfect for travelers that are conducting leisure or business flights and cannot afford to take long to get to D.I.A. A Westin stay is perfect for those who have flights that are early morning or without worrying about returning a rental before checking in.

The Westin highlights a great dining experience that showcases its Grill & Vine restaurant as well as its Sky Lounge. Enjoy a nice meal or a nice drink to help calm your nerves before takeoff. For those with a little bit of time to kill you will enjoy working out or taking a few laps in the indoor pool.

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