Serving as Colorado’s only international airport and the global gateway to Colorado, Denver International Airport or D.I.A. is used by thousands upon thousands of people everyday. It’s easy to reach from downtown Denver, located only about 30 minutes by car, traffic pending.
You can catch flights out of Denver to and from the rest of Colorado’s regional airports:
- ASE | Aspen-Pitkin County Airport – Aspen, CO (Central CO in Roaring Fork Valley)
- COS | Colorado Springs Airport – Colorado Springs, CO (Central Front Range)
- DRO | Durango-La Plata County Airport – Durango, CO (Four Corners Region)
- EGE | Eagle County Regional Airport – Gypsum, CO (West of Vail and Beaver Creek)
- GUC | Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport – Gunnison, CO (CO Colorado)
- MTJ | Montrose Regional Airport – Montrose, CO (Western Slope and Southwest CO)
- PUB | Pueblo Memorial Airport – Pueblo, CO (Southern Front Range)
- ALS | San Luis Valley Regional Airport – Alamosa, CO (South Central CO)
- TEX | Telluride Regional Airport – Telluride, CO (Southwest CO San Miguel County)
- HDN | Yampa Valley Regional Airport – Hayden, CO (Northwest CO b/w Craig and Steamboat Springs)
Airlines Flying out of Denver Airport (DEN)
Completed in 1995, Denver International Airport offers direct flights around the country and even to international locations, such as Reykjavik, Iceland. It has nonstop connections throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and Latin America. It’s the hub for Frontier Airlines.
- Aeromexico – Terminal West, Gate A
- Air Canada – Terminal West, Gate A
- Alaska Airlines – Terminal East, Gate C
- Allegiant – Terminal West, Gate A
- American Airlines – Terminal West, Gate A
- Boutique Air – Terminal East, Gate A
- British Airways – Terminal West, Gate A
- Cayman Airways – Terminal West, Gate A
- Copa Airlines – Terminal West, Gate A
- Delta Air Lines – Terminal East, Gate A
- Denver Air Connection – Terminal West, Gate A
- Edelweiss – Terminal West, Gate A
- Frontier Airlines – Terminal East, Gate A
- Icelandair – Terminal West, Gate A
- JetBlue Airways – Terminal West, Gate A
- Lufthansa – Terminal West, Gate A
- Norwegian – Terminal West, Gate A
- Southwest Airlines – Terminal East, Gate C
- Spirit Airlines – Terminal East, GateC
- Sun Country Airlines – Terminal West, GateA
- United Airlines – Terminal West, Gate B
- Volaris – Terminal West, Gate A
- WestJet – Terminal West, Gate A
Currently, Denver provides direct nonstop flights to over 190 destinations. There are 26 international destinations in 11 counties. This makes Denver International Airport a major domestic hub and America’s fourth larges domestic network, behind Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare and Dallas-Fort Worth.
Providing 1.5 million square feet of space, the Jeppesen Terminal can be one hectic place. It’s host to the airport’s iconic peaked roof, which imitates the snowcapped Rocky Mountains and honors the Native American teepees that used to dot the Colorado plains. It includes access to passenger ticketing, baggage claim, international arrivals and ground transportation, as well as TSA security checkpoints, dining and shopping.
- Level 6 – Flight Ticketing
- Level 6 – Passenger Drop-Off for Departures
- Level 5 – Baggage Claim
- Level 5 – Ground Transportation
- Level 5 – International Arrivals (North End)
- Level 4 – Passenger Pick-Up for Arrivals
- Terminal Floor – Security Screening (North, South, A Bridge)
- Underground – Automated “people mover” train serving the Terminal and Concourses A, B, C
Gate A is the only concourse that can be reached by walking. You can also take the underground train. It’s also the only concourse that has it’s own separate TSA checkpoint. If the North and South end TSA checkpoints are jam packed and your flight is out of Gate A, consider walking.
Gate B requires the underground train to reach. It’s unmissable after you pass through TSA security on either the North or South end of Jeppesen Terminal. The best dining options are located within Concourse B. So even if you’re flying out of Gate A or C and have extra time, consider making a stopover in Gate B to eat.
Gate C also requires the underground train to reach. It takes less than 10 minutes, so no fear if you’re short on time.
How big is the airport?
Denver International Airport takes up a total of 54.05 square miles. It is America’s sixth busiest airport, recording 58.3 million passengers in 2016. It also boasts the world’s seventh longest runway, at 4,877 meters, 16,001 feet, or 3.03 miles.
D.I.A. is also one of the busiest and largest airports on the earth. It’s the top 20th airport in the world by passenger number. And in regards to surface area it’s the 2nd biggest airport in the world at 13,726 hectares, and 1st in the United States.
How early do you need to arrive?
A few different factors go into deciding how early you need to arrive at the airport. The standard rules of thumb are 3 hours for international travel and 2 hours for domestic travel. If you’re not checking bags, it’s recommended you arrive at least 60 minutes before departure.
When planning, please account for transportation times and delays, such as traffic, airport parking, shuttle time, etc. There’s also the time needed to check-in (if you have bags or no moble e-ticket), waiting and passing through security. Then you still must find your gate, which most usually adds in an underground train ride to your terminal (unless Terminal A you can walk to).
East vs. West Terminal – Airlines, Arrivals, Pickups, Ticketing
When you approach the airport by automobile, you’ll notice two main options, East and West. Parking, arrival pick-ups and departure drop-offs depend on which airline you’ll be flying. If arriving by train you’ll still need to head to the right direction to find your airline to check-in or drop off your bag.
- Alaska Airlines
- Boutique Air
- Delta Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Great Lakes
- Jet Blue
- Southwest Airlines
- Air Canada
- American Airlines
- Branson Air Express
- British Airways
- Iceland Air
- United Airlines
- United Express
Like the Mile High City, Denver International Airport is always reaching new culinary heights. Seemingly, every new visit to D.I.A. there is a new restaurant or bar to imbibe at. Each Concourse A, B and C offers a wide selection of food, available during typical dining hours. There are also some places to eat in Jeppesen Terminal pre-security.
- Read about the best restaurants in the Denver Airport.
- Read about the best bars in the Denver Airport.
Parking and Transportation
There are several different Denver Airport parking lots in addition to the D.I.A. run spots. You can save money parking at one of the third-party lots and taking a free, convenient shuttle in. Just plan ahead and it will cost you only a little extra time versus parking directly at the airport lots.
Ground Transportation from East and West Terminals:
The following ground transportation is found on Level 5 of either side of the terminal.
- Island 1: Taxis, Mountain Carriers
- Island 2: Limousines/Sedans
- Island 3: Hotel Shuttles, Charter Buses, On-Airport Parking shuttles
- Island 4: Rental Car shuttles
- Island 5: Public Bus Service, Off-Airport parking shuttles, Shared-Ride Shuttles
Both Lyft and Uber are available to pick you up directly from D.I.A. on Level 4 of either the East or West side of the terminal. Be sure you to note you East or West location when booking your ride share.
There are a number of shuttles that take you from D.I.A. to a variety of Colorado destinations, including the most well known, the Rocky Mountains.
- The Summit Express delivers passengers daily to a number of scheduled destinations in Summit County, including Breckenridge, Frisco, Keystone and Copper Mountain. You can also schedule private shuttles to other resorts, such as Vail, Beaver Creek, Steamboat Springs and Aspen. It will also take you back to the airport when you’re trip is over.
- Another popular shuttle is Blue Sky Limo, which has locations in Vail, Avon, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek.
- Silver Mountain Express has private car service to/from Denver International (DEN) as well as Eagle-Vail (EGE) airports.
Denver Airport Transit Center
The Transit Center allows you to access the University of Colorado A Line, aka the Denver Airport Train. From here you can get to Denver Union Station in around 45 minutes. The one day fare grants you access to all of the RTD Light Rail and RTD Bus Line for a 24 hour period. You can reach most of the Denver Metropolitan Area via these two public transportation services.
The Westin & Nearby Hotels
There are many hotels close to Denver Airport. There are several notorious chains with branches on Tower Road region. Most offer shuttles to and from the airport, as well as parking if you have a car. There is only one though located within walking distance to the airport. And that’s the Westin!
This 4 star hotel is located steps away from Jeppesen Terminal. The Westin Denver International Airport is hands-down the most time-efficient hotel to stay in for those traveling on a short business or leisure trip and need to be near the airport. Whether it’s an early flight that you don’t want to miss, or would prefer the convenience of not having to rent a car, the Westin Hotel is the spot.
It features a casual restaurant on-site, Grill & Vine, for all day dining, and the Sky Lounge for drinks. Relax at indoor pool and even get a workout in at the 24/7 fitness center. Downtown Denver is only a train ride away! It’s also rated as one of the best properties in the city, so you aren’t passing up quality for convenience.
Check prices, availability or book Westin Hotel D.I.A.
Address: 8500 Peña Blvd, Denver, CO 80249
Elevation: 1,655 meters / 5,430 feet
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