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As travel continues to rebound again this year, the next days look to be the busiest in a while at Minnesota's MSP Airport.

The annual event known across the Land of 10,000 Lakes as 'MEA Weekend' is here again. If you're not familiar, 'MEA' is either short for 'Minnesota Education Academy,' or 'Minnesota Education Association,' the previous name of Education Minnesota, the state teacher's union. Officially, Education Minnesota's website refers to the one-day get-together as the 'MEA Conference,' and it always takes place on the third Thursday in September.

If you and your family are traveling for MEA Weekend, here's a heads up about the time it will take you to get through the lines at the biggest airport here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in Bloomington (which was recently named the Most Outstanding Airport in North America for the second year in a row) says the next few days could be the busiest travel days since before the pandemic.

READ MORE: New United Air Lines Boarding Policy Starts Soon

According to MSP, this Wednesday and Thursday could both see an estimated 46,000 passengers file through the TSA checkpoints, which would be the most since before the pandemic hit over three years ago. MSP officials and travel experts have said that the following dates look to be the most intense for the biggest crowds this year:

  • Wednesday, October 18th
  • Thursday, October 19th
  • Friday, October 20th
  • Sunday, October 21st

MSP has a few tips to make sure you get to your destination on time this spring:

  • Arrive at MSP two hours ahead of your scheduled departure for domestic flights and three hours ahead for international. Always check with your airline for any guidance about airport arrival times.
  • Parking will be in high demand over MEA. You can Prebook your parking now to guarantee your spot and receive a discounted parking rate.
  • If you’re picking up passengers, remember to use our cell phone waiting lot to stage your pick-up. Also, remember that you can use either roadway level at Terminal 1 for drop-offs and pick-ups. If one roadway level is congested, use the other level, and coordinate the new location with your passenger by phone.
  • Once inside either terminal, look for kiosks operated by your airline to print out bag tags for checked bags. Airline staff can help direct you.
  • As you move toward the security checkpoint lines, the TSA has some tips for families traveling with children. Another TSA webpage provides additional guidance for an efficient security checkpoint experience.
  • The TSA offers a handy checklist of security-related tips to consider as you prepare for your trip and go through security screening.
  • Get more tips on how to make your trip easier with MSP's Travel Confidently program.

And if you ARE going to brave the crowds at MSP this fall, keep scrolling to take a look at 15 items travel experts say you should never board a plane without!

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