The general consensus is that you should arrive at DIA no later than 3 hours before your flight if travelling internationally, or 2 hours if your flight is domestic. In reality though, in 2021, because of covid procedures and airport issues we'd suggest adding another hour on to these times. Denver Airport security wait times have been pretty appalling of late, causing misery for many travelers. It’s not going to get better anytime soon, with the Airports CEO, Phil Washington stating “the holiday season will be tough.” (Mr. Washington subsequently claims that recent improvements lead to Thanksgiving 2021 average wait times being less than 20 minutes and with TSA precheck less than 5 minutes).
Part of the issue is that DIA flight and passenger numbers have rebounded back from the Covid better than any other major airport in the US, whilst labor shortages at the airport, for example shuttle drivers, combined with general infrastructure issues not suited to the volume of passengers that now fly out of Denver adds up to a bad combination for travelers. It’s hard to imagine but Denver International Airport has only been operating since 1995 and its passenger growth has been enormous.
The good news is there are long term infrastructure and construction projects planned to try and facilitate a better user experience for the growing number of passengers.
You can view which PreCheck lanes are currently open right now and for any TSA delays using the table above. There are currently 3 Denver Airport security lanes; the Bridge, North and South checkpoints.
If you haven't already, joining TSA PreCheck will greatly reduce your DIA wait times. You can find out more and enrol here https://www.tsa.gov/precheck.
Data from the US Customs and Border Protection shows that DIA security wait times for non-US citizens arriving at Denver Airport is actually pretty good for a large airport with line wait times of an hour or more being the exception rather than the norm. How long you will spend in line can vary a lot with the time of day and the number of arriving flights within a narrow window being the main contributing factors.
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