Denver Airport DEN
Denver International Airport is the largest airport in North America in terms of land area. The airport is commonly referred to as DEN Airport or DIA. The airport, which is also the second biggest in the world by land, primarily serves the metropolitan area of Denver, Colorado, and greater Front Range Urban Corridor. Denver airport is located on the western edge of the Great Plains, 25 miles from downtown Denver.
As one of the top five busiest airports in the U.S., the Denver International Airport provides international flights to several popular destinations around the world, including North America, Europe, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean. DEN serves around 28 international destinations in 14 countries. The airport offers nonstop flights to about 215 destinations, 180 of which are in the U.S.. Denver Airport processed over 69 million passengers in 2019.
Airport Stats & Facts
- DEN has the longest public use runway in North America.
- With over 35,000 employees, DEN is one of the largest employers in Colorado.
- The land occupied by the airport is over one and a half times the size of Manhattan.
- DEN is the 20th busiest airport in the world, as of 2018.
- Denver International Airport generates over $33.5 billion for the Colorado region annually.
- DIA airport expects to reach 80 million passengers by 2025 and 110 million passengers by 2040.
- The airport started the Great Hall Project in 2018 to renovate its main terminal to accommodate more passengers and add facilities.
Airport Traveling Tips
- DEN airport peak hours are between 5am & 11am and between 7pm & 9pm. Usually, peak travel days are Thursdays & Fridays.
- During peak hours, you should drop-off your passenger at Level 6 curbside of the terminal, whereas Level 4 should be used for pick-ups. If you are using a ride-hailing app like Uber and Lyft, you should use Level 5 for drop-offs and pick-ups.
- TSA security wait times at DEN could take a while. To avoid delays and risk of missing your flight, make sure to arrive at the airport two hours prior to your domestic flight. If you have an international flight at DEN, you should arrive at the airport three hours before your flight time.
- Before heading to the airport, it’s recommended to take a quick look at the Denver Airport map.
Passenger Pick-up and Drop-off
- If you are going to DEN to pick up a passenger, ask them to come to Level 4 of the Jeppesen Terminal. You cannot park and wait at the curbside. Therefore, if your passenger has not yet arrived, you can use the Cell Phone parking section for free or use a parking garage for $5 per hour.
- For departures, go to Level 6, where you can also find curbside baggage check-in and airline ticketing. DEN airport staff, often known as “DEN Ambassadors,” wear blue vests and badges which are easily identifiable. If you need any help, you should approach the airport staff or contact help desks.
- For arriving flights, take a look at DEN Arriving Flight Status page which shows DEN arrival times, delays, time-to-land and gate info.
- For departing flights, see our DEN Departing Flight Status page to check actual and scheduled departure times, flight delays, map tracking and DIA airport gate info.
- You can also book a flight at DEN directly and check the best fares and offers at the airport.
Denver International Airport has one main terminal called Jeppesen Terminal. The main terminal is divided into two sides: east and west. Each side has its own check-in desks, baggage claim, road access, ground transportation services and other facilities. Jeppesen has six floors that are connected by elevators and escalators. There are six levels of DEN. First four levels are mostly allocated for parking facilities. Level 5 has some shops and restaurants, baggage claim, and the south and north security checkpoints.
Level 1-3: Mostly parking garages and economy lots on both sides of the terminal.
Level 4: Pickups, parking garages
Level 5: Uber, Lyft arrivals and drop-offs, baggage claim, north and south security checkpoints, access to DEN plaza
Level 6: Passenger drop-offs, check-in facilities, food court, access to pedestrian bridge to Concourse A.
The terminal has three concourses: A, B and C.
Concourse A: This concourse has 51 gates. Most of the international arrivals and departures are processed on this concourse. Concourse A is accessible through a pedestrian bridge from the terminal building. You can also use DEN’s Automatic Guideway Transit System (AGTS) to access this concourse. Main airlines operating at this concourse are American Airlines, Delta and Frontier.
Concourse B: There are 70 gates on Concourse B. The main airline operating on Concourse B is United Airlines. You can only access this concourse via AGTS from Jeppesen Terminal or Concourse A.
Concourse C: This concourse has 29 gates. The primary occupant of Concourse C is Southwest. Like Concourse B, this concourse is also accessible only via AGTS.
- DEN airport serves 23 airlines, including American Airlines, Air Canada, Copa, Delta, Frontier Airlines, British Airways, JetBlue and Lufthansa.
- The airport is a major hub of United Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Operations of these three airlines account for over 85% of the total passenger traffic at the airport, as of December 2019. View the full list of airlines served at DEN Airport.
There are numerous parking options available at the Denver airport. These options include:
Parking garages are available at both East and West side of the terminal. Cost of a parking garage at DEN is $5 per hour, and $28 a day.
Parking lots under the economy category cost $5 per hour and $17 for full day.
This is the most economical choice, with rates as low as $2 an hour and $8 a day. You can access the shuttle service from this parking lot after every 10 minutes.
DEN also provides valet parking service, costing $4 per hour and $35 per day.
DEN offers short-term parking options, starting at $144/day or $6 per hour.
Cell Phone Lot
If you have to wait at the airport, this is the ideal place to park your car. The Cell Phone parking space has free Wifi, restaurants, public restrooms and flight information screens. The Cell-Phone parking area remains open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
It’s very convenient to know the availability of parking spaces at Denver airport beforehand. You can open the airport website, go to the Parking section and see real-time updates about the parking spaces throughout the airport.
You can also call the parking hotline of DEN at (303) 342-7275.
After arriving at the DIA airport, there are several ground transport options available to reach your destination.
A Line Train
The A Line commuter train at DEN airport is operated by Regional Transportation District (RTD). You can reach Denver downtown using this train from the airport in about 37 minutes. During peak times, the train runs after every 15 minutes and every 30 minutes from 3 a.m. - 5 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. The train fare is $10.50.
You can use the RTD bus service for $10.50 (full-day pass) to reach your destination in Denver from the DEN airport. The bus routes include AA, AB, AT, 145X and 169L. You can find the bus station at DEN Transit Center, Level 1, adjacent to the Westin Denver International Airport. You can reach the station through the south end of Jeppesen Terminal by exiting through the glass doors and taking the escalator or elevator down to ground level. If you plan to go outside of Denver, you can use the Bustang bus service available at the airport.
DEN also provides shared-ride service also known as commuter shuttles. You can access this service at the Jeppesen Terminal Level 5, island 5, outside doors 505-507 (east side) and 510-512 (west side). Free shuttles pick-up passengers from different parking lots (excluding garages) after every 10 minutes.
You can use app-based transport services like Uber and Lyft. Use level 5 to call your ride.
Various taxi and cab companies operate at the DEN airport. You case use a taxi to reach your destination in Denver or any of the surrounding counties. Taxi services at DEN charge a flat rate of $56 to go from the airport to downtown Denver.
There are over 10 car rental services available at DEN. These services also provide courtesy shuttle services if you plan to use their services to reach your destination.
Amenities & Services
Denver International Airport has many options if you want to eat, shop, relax or spend time in leisure activities. You can find McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King and many others places to eat at the airport. This airport features:
- Shopping stores, restaurants, coffee shops and bars
- Massage centers
- Free Wi-Fi
- Shoeshine and shoe repair shops
- Sky club
- Art centers
- Sleep stations
The Denver International Airport is owned and operated by the City & County of Denver Department of Aviation.
Address: Denver International Airport, 8500 Pena Blvd, Denver, CO 80249-6340
Phone: (303) 342-2000 or (800) 247-2336.
Have you lost an item at the airport? Lost & found.
Denver Airport: A Brief History
- Denver Airport started its operations on February 28, 1995.
- The airport project was 16 months behind schedule and had a total cost of $4.8 billion.
- A blizzard in March 2003 damaged DEN’s white fabric roof, resulting in flight disruptions. Thousands of passengers remained stranded at the airport for two days because of heavy snows and road closures.
- Another blizzard in 2006 caused stranding of thousands of passengers at Denver airport and disruption of operations for 45 hours. As a result, the authorities invested heavily in snow removal systems, drastically improving the airport’s efficiency during blizzards and harsh weather.
- In 2019, Denver’s Mayor fired the original contractor of the Great Hall development project after several delays and inflated costs. The airport is still conducting an investigation into the possible causes of the failed project.
- The first flight to depart the DEN airport was United Airlines Flight 1062 to Kansas City International Airport. United Flight 1474 from Colorado Springs Airport was the first to arrive at the airport.
Denver Airport FAQs
Q. Is Denver Airport the same as DEN?
A. Yes. The airport’s official name is Denver International Airport, but it is commonly known as DEN or DIA airport.
Q. How far is the Denver Airport from downtown Denver?
A. The airport is 25 miles driving distance from downtown Denver.
Q. What airlines have a hub in DEN Airport?
A. The airport is the main hub of United Airlines, Frontier Airlines. Southwest Airlines also has a major presence.
Q. Can you sleep in the Denver Airport?
A. Yes. There are plenty of places to sleep in Denver Airport. You can use chairs and benches before or after the security sections. Specifically, there are many benches to sleep near Gates A56-70 of Concourse A. On the third floor, there are many benches and full flat twin bed style mini beds to sleep. Check out some great DEN layover ideas that we recommend.
Q. When is the best time to fly to Denver?
A. In terms of cost, January is typically the cheapest month to fly into the Denver Airport.
Q. What cities can I fly nonstop from Denver?
A. DEN offers several non-stop destinations. Check out our direct flights page to see where you can go!
Q. How many airports are in Denver?
A. DEN is the largest airport serving the Denver area. But there are five other airports serving the Denver metropolitan area: Colorado Springs Airport, Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC), Front Range Airport (KCFO), Boulder Municipal Airport (KBDU) and Erie Municipal Airport (KEIK)
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