know before you go: Denver (DEN)


Denver is a fantastic airport.  A lot of connections (3rd most in US) happen here, since it’s middle adjacent.  Basically it’s a gateway to the West.  That being said, I try to avoid it as much as possible in the winter (unless it’s my destination), as I have been stranded before at the airport Marriott for almost 2 days.  You will be delayed here in the winter, so just calculate that in your plans if you can be flexible–after all, it’s not completely horrible to be stuck having to ski another day in Vail or Breckenridge.

If you’re driving the 25 miles from downtown Denver to the airport, you notice its striking architecture, it literally looks like a small range of snowy peaked mountains.  By acreage area, DEN is the largest airport in America.  It’s got 3 concourses that are interconnected, with a total of 135 gates.  It’s a hub for United and Frontier, and there’s a ton of regional flights connecting out of here.

The main terminal is split into two separate security screening areas, and the A concourse is connected directly.  The B and C concourses can be reached by a train. A includes international arrivals, American, Delta and Frontier flights.  B is United and C houses Alaska, Allegiant, and Southwest.

One of the features I appreciate most is that it is an environmentally friendly airport that partially runs on solar power.  There’s free wifi and a lot of food choices, with many before security (shout out to the fine people at the Panda Express).  Overall, a nice place to spend a few hours.


Remember: ✈️ =  Mile low to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = Mile high

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️✈️  (the trains help, a lot of moving walkways, it’s a large airport with 6 floors!)

Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️✈️ (it’s huge, it’s busy, it flows)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (all types of fast food, but a lot of sit down places/breweries, which I appreciate during a long layover.  Timberline grill makes a nice salmon, and Root Down has a decently hipster brunch.  And there’s a Magic Pan! Those have pretty much died out, but getting a good crepe is HUGE on the go.  And there’s Caribou, Coffee Bean, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks.  Plus there’s a DD in the cell phone lot, which is just plain nice)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️✈️ (there could be more for the size of the airport)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️  (free wifi available)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️ (American, Delta and United lounges, B-list mall quality shopping–random Victoria’s Secret?, there’s a bridge where you can watch planes taxi underneath you which is cool, the architecture and art are cool features)

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