Denver, Colorado, is one of the most exciting cities in North America. Despite being surrounded by over 200 mountain peaks; the city still hosts many modern amenities. There is so much to see and do in Denver, from exploring its ancient museums to attending a live band performance and art expo. The city also serves as an excellent place to work, live and study and boasts a superb transport network. Below is a detailed guide on how to get in and around Denver’s world-class airport.
All You Need to Know About the Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport (DIA) takes the title for the largest airport by land area in the United States. The airport has been in operation since 1995 and serves over 60 million passengers each year, making it one of the busiest airports in the world. DIA has consistently won many accolades from leading travel publications thanks to its bounty of amenities and top-notch customer service.
Free Wi-Fi access throughout the terminus, ample parking and convenient rail service are what you can expect at Denver. Expansion plans are currently underway to add more gates and improve security and check-in processes. While the airport team does provide signage to guide travelers, it can be confusing for foreign passengers to get around the massive airport.
Getting Around the Terminal Area
Denver’s International Airport terminal currently has over six levels, each playing a unique role. Level six is the designated passenger drop-off section. Level 4 is the passenger pick-up section. If you have friends and family picking you up at the airport, be sure to inform them about the passenger waiting section in level 4. Knowing the roles of each floor level will save you time at the airport. The fifth level handles all the baggage claims for travelers touching down at the airport.
For about 10 dollars, you can board the airport rail, which provides an easy way to commute from the airport to the Denver Union station. It is a 23-mile commute that takes approximately 37 minutes. The train boarding station is situated at the DEN transit center on level 1. The DEN transit lies next to the Westin Denver Airport hotel in the south end of the Jeppesen terminal and is accessible via escalator or elevator. The rail serves a total of eight stations. The train’s daily schedule is as shown below:
- Daily commutes between the airport and Denver union station every 15 minutes from 5.00 a.m and 7.30 p.m.
- More commutes every half an hour outside of these hours
Bus Commuter Services
The regional transportation district (RTD) is Denver’s public transport system. Besides their airport rail, RTD also operates four bus routes under their SkyRide airport express service. Their SkyRide bus service is also accessible at the DEN transit center in Jeppesen terminal, level 1.
It is advisable to contact RTD support for more information about their bus commuter routes and boarding times if you intend to use their bus service. RTD’s bus service is wheelchair-friendly.
Taxi and Car Rental Shuttles
More than a dozen car rental companies operate in and around Denver International Airport. Many of these rental agencies are located within the airport property, making it easy for international travelers to access shuttle services. The shuttle services pick up and drop off travelers from the Jeppesen level 5 terminal.
Cab services are available at level 5, door 507 on the east and door 510 on the west. A taxi takes about 25 minutes from DIA to the city center. While many taxi services operate around the airport, the rates are similar across all companies. Limo services are also available, and their rates vary depending on the waiting time, the number of trips, and the desired amenities.
Economy Parking, Shuttle Lots, and Garage Services
Parking at DIA has several options for both travelers and pick up. While there are many other private parking services, the airport maintains the garage, economy, and shuttle lots. The garage lies on the east and west side of the Jeppesen terminal. Shuttle lots are affordable, but you need to book well in advance to enjoy their DIA parking services. Before parking at any of the lots, all passengers must undergo a luggage inspection before receiving their boarding passes.
DIA offers a broad selection of dining and shopping outlets to serve its 60 million passengers each year. Many of these hotels offer free shuttle services from the airport. Pass the time by checking out the airport’s impressive art collection from renowned artists. Travelers can explore the nearby mountains and ski amenities by taking a mountain carrier from the station. Despite receiving many visitors each day, airport security is top-notch. There are multiple checkpoints around the airport and a dedicated security team comprising guard dogs and anti-crime special forces.