Navigating Your Way Around DIA
Useful Tips on How to Get Around the Denver International Airport
DIA is so large, and it is designed in a way that can take passengers some time to get to their gate. It might be confusing for new passengers to navigate around and so we try to give you some facts to help you get around. Denver International Airport has 6 levels and 3 concourses. Level 6 is dedicated to passenger drop offs and passengers can be picked up on level 4. Level 5 is for baggage claim. DIA provides elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks as well as underground train to help passengers reach their gates or to leave the airport. All gates are a nine-minute train ride or less from the terminal.
It is recommended to arrive two hours before your flight is due to take off. Please arrive at the airport three hours before your flight is scheduled for take off if you are traveling international. It usually takes some time to get your boarding pass, check your luggage, pass through the security line and navigate to your gate. If everything goes smoothly you will still have time to sit down and relax, or check the shops for gifts or grab a bite to eat without rushing.
You can save time and avoid the hassle of standing in a long line at the airline ticket counter if you print your boarding pass at home, or use one of the kiosks at the ticket counter, which will print out a boarding pass for you. As long as you do not have bags to check, this will help you save a lot of time. If you do have some luggage that you want to check, there is also curbside luggage check-in at Denver International Airport on level 6, which is the passenger drop-off area. If you find yourself stuck in a long line inside at the ticket counter, let an airline employee know that your plane is leaving soon so you can get priority service.
Security lines at DIA are often crowded, so it pays to be prepared so that you can pass through security as quickly as possible and not hold up other passengers, or arrive late to your own gate. Have your boarding pass and photo ID ready to show airport personnel at any time during the process. Do not forget to empty your pockets completely. Do not take any water or other liquids with you to drink while waiting, because they are not allowed past the first security checkpoint, even unopened bottles of water will be thrown away.
Make sure that your bag and purse are placed on the conveyor belt and are moving before you move forward.
Your coat, shoes and belt should be removed and placed in a bin.
All laptops need to be placed in a separate bin, out of their cases.
Regarding liquids, the rule still applies to put all liquids of 3 ounces or less in a clear ziplock baggie, make sure it is completely sealed, and place it in a bin, not in your luggage or purse.
Denver International Airport is well-planned and has three concourses: A, B and C, which can be reached by an underground train or by a pedestrian bridge, escalators, moving sidewalks and walkways. The train is roomy, has limited seating and is a smooth ride. The distance from the concourse to the farthest gate takes just five minutes by train, so once you clear the security section, it is a quick trip to even the farthest gate. There are many shops and places to eat in each of the concourses, so if you have sufficient time before your flight departs, you can enjoy shopping or a meal prior to departure.
Denver International Airport has an efficient baggage system, and it should be a simple matter to find your bags soon after you get off your flight. First you will need to take the train or walk to the main terminal, then proceed to level 5, where the conveyor belts for all luggage are located. If your flight’s bags have all been unloaded onto the carousel but your bags are not there, do not panic. Go to the lost luggage office in the main terminal and give them all of the pertinent information. They will be able to help you, and DIA has a good record regarding the safe and fast delivery of luggage to the baggage claim area.
If you have arranged to be picked up by Denver Discount Shuttle, you will need to go to Level 5 on the East side and find the door that has been designated as the place where you and your party will meet your driver.
If a friend or family member is picking you up, once you get to the main terminal and have your luggage, find out which side of the terminal you are to be picked up from. There is an East and a West side, and it can be stressful and cause a person to run from one side to another looking for his or her ride. The floor where passengers are picked up is Level 4. Please note that shuttles, buses, limousines and taxis do not use this level; they can be found on Level 5. But for all other passengers, level 4 is where they need to be. There are places to sit inside the terminal and glass walls to watch for your ride.
Denver Discount Shuttle has a designated pick up area on Level 5 on the East side, where the shuttle van will be waiting to take you on your Colorado adventure.