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Airport Zen | MSP Observation Deck – Minneapolis St. Paul

Jake Redman September 12, 2013 8

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During the modhop Travel Cave remodel we need about a month of Zen. We’re on week #3, this time from the MSP observation deck  (Minneapolis St. Paul International). Take a  peek out these control tower-like windows, stare at (mostly) Delta planes and zone-out.

MSP Observation Deck
Climb your way to plane-watching above the “D” gates. – Observation Deck at MSP.

This small observation deck at MSP got a mention when I presented K-TWIN Radio with the “Top 7 Secret Spots at MSP” awhile back. The airport had just been chosen by the readers of  Travel + Leisure Magazine as best in the United States, so I was quick to brag about all the things that make it great. The observation deck came in at #6 on our list but looking back I wonder why it didn’t do better.

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If you’re a frequent modhop visitor, you might have gathered that MSP is my hometown airport (My current home airport is EWR, which starts with “EW” for a reason). MSP is where I learned that there’s a fancy room where there are comfortable chairs and food for frequent travelers  (Northwest WorldClub, RIP) and it’s where my grandfather taught me about the differences between all the different types of aircraft, mostly with red tails (NWA, RIP). But what’s always been the best part of this airport was it’s pre-911 loiterability. Places to hide, relax, shop and great spots like this one for staring at the miracle of modern flight.

MSP Observation Deck
Watch Delta jets taxi, land and takeoff from a flight up. – Observation Deck at MSP

The MSP observation deck remains a great place to get away from noisy crowds too. If you’ve got a flight departing the D or nearby C  gates, it’s a no-brainer BYO-Snacks mini-lounge. With great views of planes pulling in and out of the nearby concourses plus a full runway (and distant city) view, this is a great spot to show teach your kid differences between Airbus and Boeing planes or just kill time pre-flight. It’s drawbacks are that there are only so many seats lining the windows and that there’s only a single staircase leading to it making it an inaccessible space for those that can’t do stairs. It’s also after security, so you’ll have to be flying that day to enjoy it.




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Jake Redman

Jake Redman

Modhop Host & Founder Jake Redman brings years of global exploration and travel tips to the podcast and our videos at Modhop. Jake is also a Producer and Host for SiriusXM.

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This post currently has 8 comments.
    • modhop on September 12, 2013

      I got so busy with shooting video that I never got around to checking data speeds. Let me know how it goes if you check it out!

  1. daninstl on September 12, 2013

    One of my favorite airport spots. Usually quiet and great views. Well it “was” a quiet spot until your post 🙂

  2. Jeffsauer on September 12, 2013

    I’ve been to MSP over 100 times and didn’t know this existed! Awesome stuff. I miss the NWA World Club as well. My dad took me there as a youngin and I have been hooked ever since.

    • modhop on September 13, 2013

      My grandfather had a “lifetime” membership to the NWA WorldClubs and knew the most about flying and planes (Navy pilot in WW2) so as a young adult so he was always my preferred ride to the airport. Great memories.

      It took some work, but he’s still got that “lifetime” membership to Delta SkyClubs.

  3. Timothy Storck on September 12, 2013

    Each time I fly through MSP I try and stop there. Only a couple of times over the last twenty years of connecting in MSP have there been more than 2 people up there at a time.

    • modhop on September 13, 2013

      It’s true! I’ve never seen more than an occasional wanderer or airport employee on their lunchbreak.

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