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Recent MSP experience April/May 2020 - COVID19

Recent MSP experience April/May 2020 - COVID19

Old May 9, 20, 6:22 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If you're really stuck at MSP (overnight), note that most of the airport hotels seem to be open but without airport shuttle service. The best choices might be the ones very close to light rail stations, including near the MOA for a few takeout food options within walking distance. Some obvious ones meeting this criteria that seem to be open currently are a cluster of new Marriott family places at and just to the east of MOA (JW, element, AC, and TownePlace Suites), a Hyatt Regency overlooking a small park, and the CrownePlace Aero property (formerly something else I believe) that hosts the Northwest History Centre (closed, unfortunately).

ADDED: The takeout wine and beer option does not apply to food deliveries, only takeout or curbside. Some restaurants are selling fancy cocktail kits, but those are BYOB so they wouldn't work for the stranded.
I remember staying there as a kid in the 80's. It was the Holiday Inn-Airport 2.
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Old May 11, 20, 9:59 am
  #17  
 
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I was at MSP on Tuesday 5/5/20 on a BWI-MSP-SEA itinerary. The inbound flight parked at F13, and the onward flight left from F14. It was about 9:50 am when I reached the F concourse. There were only 34 pax, 2 pilots and 3 FAs on my inbound flight, an A319. I'm guessing that there were about 70 pax on the outbound, a B737-800. Walking from the end of the F concourse to the F/G SkyClub, I didn't see any of the gates with active operations at the time.

The SkyClub had its temporary entrance on the G side of the club (as opposed to where the main entrance is on the other side of the club. I was told that ongoing renovations in there were supposed to have been completed two days after my visit, so this club is supposed to be fully open and with its entrance closest to the main shopping concourse that connects F/G with concourses C and D.

The female bartender in the club was great. Adult beverages were being served (this was not the case at SEA, where the bar is closed and the only beverages served are canned sodas and bottled water). There were maybe 8 travelers in the club, 5 of which were sitting at the bar, when I was there.

On the outbound flight, boarding went very quickly, as you might imagine. I was the "bubble boy" on the upgrade list and was #1 for 0 upgrade seats (although they let 7 seats in F go empty). Unless you and a companion booked F seats together, they were only putting one person in each set of two F seats. Therefore, they only used 9 out of 16 F seats on the flight. I had a row of 3 to myself in the back of the plane, got comfortable, and slept until Missoula, Montana. (There were only 3 empty aisle or window seats in main cabin on MSP-SEA, excluding the last two rows which DL did not sell). We arrived in SEA about 10 minutes early.

Before takeoff the FAs passed out plastic drawstring bags that contained a small pack of Cheez-Its, a pack of two Biscoffs and a bottle of Dasani (in F they also passed out a "Flight Fuel" snack box).

Every Delta employee I encountered on this trip was great, and appeared to me to be genuinely glad that I was traveling.
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Old May 17, 20, 11:43 am
  #18  
 
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I just posted a Trip Report on a recent experience flying out of MSP. See that thread here:
Flying out of MSP during a pandemic

At the time of my trip late last week, the following were open:
  • Starbucks (Airport Mall)
  • Joe and the Juice (Near C1)
  • McDonald’s (D concourse)
  • Stone Arch (near North Checkpoint; 7 am - 6 pm)
  • Chili’s (Airport Mall; 12 pm - 8 pm)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings (Near C3; 10 am - 7 pm)
  • Hudson News (Airport Mall)
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Old May 17, 20, 11:48 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by tardyturtle View Post
I just posted a Trip Report on a recent experience flying out of MSP. See that thread here:
Flying out of MSP during a pandemic

At the time of my trip late last week, the following were open:
  • Starbucks (Airport Mall)
  • Joe and the Juice (Near C1)
  • McDonald’s (D concourse)
  • Stone Arch (near North Checkpoint; 7 am - 6 pm)
  • Chili’s (Airport Mall; 12 pm - 8 pm)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings (Near C3; 10 am - 7 pm)
  • Hudson News (Airport Mall)
Not too bad. Recently there was a report of two merchants open in one of the two open LHR terminals, namely Boots and Hudsons IIRC.

BTW, the latest pronouncement from the MN governor said that restaurants and bars will be allowed to open for regular sit down service (with a plan) on June 1st. Other stores and malls are allowed to open starting Monday (May 18th) at half capacity and also with plans, although MOA won't try to open until June 1st. (For locals, Edina Galleria--attached to the Westin--Ridgedale, and Rosedale plan to open tomorrow, May 18th.)
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Old May 26, 20, 1:31 pm
  #20  
 
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Flew out of MSP on Saturday. No other people at security. Counting us, 8 people in the skyclub. Food offerings were sandwiches, wraps, salads (all pre-made), cheese, vegies and various dips, and some sweet offerings, all pre-packaged. Actually more than I thought there would be. Bar was very limited. No Jack D, bottom shelf bourbon and scotch. Bar closed at 7 pm and club closed at 7:15 pm. Flight right at capacity. All wearing masks. Boarding and deplaning went without crowding. Overall, not a bad experience.
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Old May 26, 20, 5:56 pm
  #21  
 
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Did you drive to MSP? What's the traffic situation with the construction on Highway 5 getting to the airport? I'm looking at rescheduling flights for the first three weeks of June. Normally I'd originate in Brainerd to avoid 494 traffic but BRD-MSP-XXX is quite limited on flight connections. I'll likely end up driving and parking in my formally usual spot on level 6 of the red ramp, Row S at MSP.
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Old May 26, 20, 6:25 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Ringer909 View Post
Did you drive to MSP? What's the traffic situation with the construction on Highway 5 getting to the airport? I'm looking at rescheduling flights for the first three weeks of June. Normally I'd originate in Brainerd to avoid 494 traffic but BRD-MSP-XXX is quite limited on flight connections. I'll likely end up driving and parking in my formally usual spot on level 6 of the red ramp, Row S at MSP.
1) There is basically no traffic right now due to the stay at home order.
2) MSP Red and Blue Ramps are closed.
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Old May 26, 20, 8:09 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by dls25 View Post
1) There is basically no traffic right now due to the stay at home order.
2) MSP Red and Blue Ramps are closed.
According to Apple Maps traffic comes in on 62/5 then whips a sh*tty at Post Road to Northwest Drive, loops around and around the post office/IC hotel and into the parking ramps. Hmmm. I can't imagine what that would be like if pax counts were normal. I know MnDOT was originally (pre Covid) advising to expect an hour to get from 494 to 5 to the airport entrance.

And I'd maybe get an up front spot in the gold ramp so I wouldn't have to take the little train.
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Old May 26, 20, 8:24 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by Ringer909 View Post
According to Apple Maps traffic comes in on 62/5 then whips a sh*tty at Post Road to Northwest Drive, loops around and around the post office/IC hotel and into the parking ramps. Hmmm. I can't imagine what that would be like if pax counts were normal. I know MnDOT was originally (pre Covid) advising to expect an hour to get from 494 to 5 to the airport entrance.

And I'd maybe get an up front spot in the gold ramp so I wouldn't have to take the little train.
The entrance to T1 from MN-5 West is open. I cannot sure why the GPS apps are telling people to take that route. From Brainerd, take 94 South to 55 East to 5 West and you will be fine.
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Old May 27, 20, 11:52 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Ringer909 View Post
Did you drive to MSP? What's the traffic situation with the construction on Highway 5 getting to the airport? I'm looking at rescheduling flights for the first three weeks of June. Normally I'd originate in Brainerd to avoid 494 traffic but BRD-MSP-XXX is quite limited on flight connections. I'll likely end up driving and parking in my formally usual spot on level 6 of the red ramp, Row S at MSP.
I guess you know there's been construction on I-94 from roughly Rogers to Maple Grove.

It's not as bad now, but whenever I take I-494 east, I always seem to be caught in very bad traffic. To avoid this, I usually exit at East Bush Lake Road (just after US169 and before Highway 100) and take American Boulevard to go to stuff in the MOA area (watch for a bad pedestrian crossing near the closed hotel, called something like Wolf Lodge and former Radisson, with the big water park). You could turn left at 34th Avenue (one block past the Hyatt Regency) to go to T1. Whenever I look, 62 has bad traffic too (and lower speed limits than I-494).

Most of the airport hotels (but surprisingly not the Hilton at I-494 and France) seem to be open with low occupancy and very few airport shuttles operating.
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Old May 28, 20, 5:33 am
  #26  
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PSA: The light rail line between downtown Minneapolis, MSP airport and MOA is shutdown due to riots/fires/looting with no stated date for service to resume. There's no replacement bus service either, although there are (free) shuttles running between T1 and T2.

Do not attempt to take side streets through south Minneapolis or Highway 55 (Hiawatha) between downtown and the airport. I would avoid Cedar/MN 77 too as it crosses Lake Street (red light).

So far, I haven't seen any indication of protesters disrupting traffic on I-35W but that can change and even with COVID-19 level traffic, road construction can cause bad delays.

ADDED: There have been reports of protesters throwing rocks and other objects from bridges onto cars on I-35W, although I haven't heard that any injuries resulted. To avoid this, you could go west from downtown on I-394 to I-494 south to east or (somewhat shorter) I-394 west to 100 south to I-494 east. There should also be an alternative to take I-94 east to St Paul and then 5 (not all expressway) or I-35E south toward the airport, but that seems worse.

I haven't heard anything about uber/lyft/taxi availability.
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Last edited by MSPeconomist; May 28, 20 at 7:25 am
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Old May 28, 20, 3:45 pm
  #27  
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STAY AWAY IF YOU CAN. National Guard has been deployed, MOA has been boarded up, essentially all local public transportation has been shut down, and we're awaiting the law enforcement press conference, which was scheduled for almost two hours ago and is expected to be carried on CNN live. Protests/looting/riots are expected to continue through the weekend at least. It could be bad. A major protest has been scheduled to start downtown, around Government Center, in about fifteen minutes.
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Old May 28, 20, 4:44 pm
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Thanks for the updates. I hope that you’re safe!
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Old May 29, 20, 2:47 pm
  #29  
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According to CNN, Minneapolis just announced an 8 pm curfew, not that restaurants and bars have re-opened yet (and most shopping malls are now closed due to rioting/vandalism/looting, actual or anticipated). I'm *guessing* that this might apply only within Minneapolis city limits rather than all of the state, Twin Cities metro area, or Hennepin country (including suburbs that might have have Minneapolis mailing addresses but officially lie in other incorporated jurisdictions), but it could easily be extended to other areas. Check the rules carefully. Also, given this, I would expect various stores--such as grocery stores, drugstores, convenience stores, and liquor stores, all of which should be open despite COVID-19--to close early tonight and during at least the remainder of the weekend.
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Old May 30, 20, 4:26 am
  #30  
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I hope everyone in MSP is safe. I would not connect through MSP during this time. The rioters are, unsurprisingly, not phased by the curfew and are continuing their destruction. Who knows what they might do to the airport.
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