More MSP changes

Old Mar 15, 20, 5:44 pm
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More MSP changes

A couple days ago, a $90 million renovation plan was announced for MSP T1. This is in addition to the DL SkyClub changes and seems to build on the recent TSA checkpoint changes and all of the flooring work that was done in the landslide departures level. AFAIK the skyway connecting the general parking garage (red and gold areas) to the terminal near the DL check in and especially SkyPriority area (and the South TSA airport security checkpoint) remains closed.

These future renovations seem to focus on making the baggage claim areas on the arrivals level more pleasant. I don't know whether COVID-19 will impact the plans for or timing of this work.

In addition, there will be road construction work involving I-494 in both directions around the airport, roughly between Highway 77 and Highway 5. Passengers are being told to allow an EXTRA HOUR to reach the airport unless using light rail.

Most DL (and partner operated) longhaul international flights seem to be suspended due to COVID-19.
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Old Mar 15, 20, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
In addition, there will be road construction work involving I-494 in both directions around the airport, roughly between Highway 77 and Highway 5. Passengers are being told to allow an EXTRA HOUR to reach the airport unless using light rail.
Not exactly. The construction is for Hwy 5 itself (the front door of Terminal 1).

Here's MN DOT's web site describing the extensive construction starting April 2020 in front of MSP Terminal 1:
https://aroundtheairport.com/
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Old Mar 15, 20, 6:11 pm
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The only long-haul international flight operating to MSP right now is HND on a less-than-daily frequency. For all flights from the EU, MSP is not designated as a CDC-approved port of entry. LHR and ICN have been suspended.
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Old Mar 15, 20, 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by mersk862 View Post
The only long-haul international flight operating to MSP right now is HND on a less-than-daily frequency. For all flights from the EU, MSP is not designated as a CDC-approved port of entry. LHR and ICN have been suspended.
That's what I thought was happening, with some passengers requiring the health procedures also not permitted to use the HND flight. IIRC HND-MSP is/was operating five times per week, but of course that can change.

Presumably AMS and CDG are suspended too. Sad.

....and sadder still to note the schedule for our nice wide body aircraft to fly south to be parked in the sun for the duration.

Did DL try to get MSP on the designated arrival airport list or was it hopeless?
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Old Mar 15, 20, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Did DL try to get MSP on the designated arrival airport list or was it hopeless?
I read somewhere they were trying for LHR-MSP approval but were denied before the ban was extended.
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Old Mar 15, 20, 10:00 pm
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Apparently they never got approved, not sure if they petitioned for it or not. ICN > MSP all the way into the end of May seem to have been suspended. Just yesterday I had my CAN > ICN > MSP flight May 21st changed to a 2 stop flight, CAN > ICN > SEA > MSP. It's a little less stress as at least we now know we'll end up entering a designated airport, but I'm surprised how far out they suspended this flight.

Interestingly, ICN > MSP appears to be a new scheduled flight, DL 196 Seems to match the regular DL 198, but the flight number 196 was previously used on domestic flights from LAX to ATL.

Last edited by givionte; Mar 15, 20 at 10:34 pm
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Old Mar 16, 20, 9:33 am
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Oh man, this is going to be a mess for the summer travel. I wonder why the westbound 494 detour goes all the way around to 77 and around, rather than just take the Mendota bridge from the east?
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Old Mar 16, 20, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by bretthexum View Post
Oh man, this is going to be a mess for the summer travel. I wonder why the westbound 494 detour goes all the way around to 77 and around, rather than just take the Mendota bridge from the east?
I'm hoping to use post road to bypass it, or if I'm without the family, get dropped off at T2 and take the light rail over to T1 since it's free between terminals.
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Old Mar 16, 20, 3:28 pm
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Everyone will be trying to park at T2 rather than T1.

This could make things even worse for the new IC hotel that's already hurting due to losing TSA screening access to allow guests to walk directly to T1 airside (without bags to check and after OLCI of course).
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Old Mar 16, 20, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Everyone will be trying to park at T2 rather than T1.

This could make things even worse for the new IC hotel that's already hurting due to losing TSA screening access to allow guests to walk directly to T1 airside (without bags to check and after OLCI of course).
That's exactly what I was thinking. Hope they are done early.
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Old Mar 16, 20, 3:54 pm
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The MSP Travelers Assistance program and its volunteer positions are suspended because of COVID-19.
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Old Mar 16, 20, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by CarmenOM View Post
The MSP Travelers Assistance program and its volunteer positions are suspended because of COVID-19.
I was wondering when this would happen, given that many volunteers are elderly/retired and not many (besides you) are able to do the roving through the terminal positions. I assume this includes the volunteers who bring their emotional support boxers, cats, etc. (Do you know whether the stress relieving "please play me" piano is being removed too? I last saw it in the baggage claim area of T1, around the exits in the middle of the terminal, and the guy playing it (jazz) was really good.)

I hope people aren't being asked/required to come to the airport to hand in their badges.

Stay safe.

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Mar 16, 20 at 4:08 pm
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Old Mar 16, 20, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I was wondering when this would happen, given that many volunteers are elderly/retired and not many (besides you) are able to do the roving through the terminal positions. I assume this includes the volunteers who bring their emotional support boxers, cats, etc. (Do you know whether the stress relieving "please play me" piano is being removed too? I last saw it in the baggage claim area of T1, around the exits in the middle of the terminal, and the guy playing it (jazz) was really good.)

I hope people aren't being asked/required to come to the airport to hand in their badges.

Stay safe.
I don’t know about the piano.

Since the support animals and their owners are part of the Travelers Assistance program I expect they will also not be coming to the airport. That’s too bad, since this is a stressful time and those animals are stress relievers for a lot of passengers.

We (the volunteers) have not yet been asked to turn in our badges. I expect that will depend on what happens in the next few weeks. Normally we are required to turn in our badges if we will not be volunteering for a month or longer.
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