We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Help! Haven't Flown Out of Detroit Metro in Twenty Years!

Dundee, Michigan
Level Contributor
760 posts
10 reviews
Save Topic
Help! Haven't Flown Out of Detroit Metro in Twenty Years!

We are planning a trip to California at the end of March and are flying out of Detroit Metro. We haven't flown anywhere in twenty years, and then it was also from Detroit Metro, so at least we have been there before, but it's been so long! I am really nervous about finding the right terminal, luggage check, etc. and just knowing where to go and what to do. We are flying Northwest Airlines out of the McNamara Terminal and using the Kwik-Park on Merriman. Can anyone give us any tips at all? Anything that would help us to know what to do or what to expect would be greatly appreciated. I do know to be there like two hours before our flight leaves, but that's basically all I know!

Thanks!

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
60,273 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Help! Haven't Flown Out of Detroit Metro in Twenty Years!

Well ,ifyou haven't flown in a long time here are some bits of info:

You can probably pick your seats for you flight.

YOU MAY be able to check in on-line the day before the flight and print your boarding passes.

Be prepared to take off your shoes to go through security.

Do NOT have anything liquid in your carry-on bag/purse.

IF you have liquids they need to be in a small plastic bag which you show at security.

Trynot to panic.You'll be fine!

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
Level Contributor
6,658 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Help! Haven't Flown Out of Detroit Metro in Twenty Years!

I can pretty much do this in my sleep (and will be Friday) so here goes.

You can select your seats now at nwa.com. It is also a time saver to check in online 24 hours before your flight. Don't forget to look for better seats as things can openup.

Looks like the best route from Temperance is I-275 north to I-94 east. Exit Merriman north - away from the airport. Qwik park will be on your left after about 1/4 mile. You will stop at the booth and tell the attenant you are flying Northwest. They will direct you to a parking area and a shuttle will pick you up at your car. The shuttle will drop you off in the parking deck across from the McNamara terminal. There is a small indoor area with an escalator that will take you up a couple levels (also an elevator). At the top of the escalator, to the left will be a baggage drop area. If the lines look long you can try the ticket counters instead. To the right of the escalator is a bridge over the road to the main terminal. If you have already checked your bags you can go through the security checkpoint straight ahead. If you still have luggage, or the lines are long, take the escalators to the left up to the ticketing level. I believe the domestic check in desk is to the left (I never use it). There are two security checkpoints on the ticketing level.

Look at tsa.gov for the latest rules on what you can/can't take in your carry on luggage. It will be shoes off, quart baggie of liquids out, laptops out,... Make sure any metal (cell phones, coins, watches, etc.) are off your body and stored INSIDE YOUR BAG before you get to the checkpoint. Don't put valuables into the little trays as they are too easy to get lost/stolen. Security is pretty quick in DTW, but if you alarm the metal detector you will get a secondary with a hand wand.

Once you are through security you are in the main terminal - and it is one of the nicest around. For a flight to CA you will probably be departing out of the A councourse. Concourse A houses all of the mainline (large jet) Northwest flights. B and C are accessed through a tunnel under the taxiway and handle the commuter (small jet and prop) flights along with Delta and Continental. A is very long (about a mile), but there is an elevated tram that connects the center point where you enter with both ends. If you have time to kill you can ride back and forth and check out the shops, restaurants, planes, etc. The tunnel to B/C also has a cool light/music show.

Two hours should be plenty of time.

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
Level Contributor
6,658 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Help! Haven't Flown Out of Detroit Metro in Twenty Years!

Oh, and if you post some additional details of your flight - routing and flight numbers I might be able to give some more in flight advice.

Dundee, Michigan
Level Contributor
760 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Help! Haven't Flown Out of Detroit Metro in Twenty Years!

Tev9999,

I found your reply very informative so I copied it to study and take with us. When I went to copy and paste it, I accidently hit "report inappropriate post"--Oops! I'm not sure if it did end up getting reported accidently (I don't think so, because I didn't do anything else and exited the page that came up), but if so, let me know here and I will clear it up with Tripadvisor.

Thanks so much for all of the great advice! :)

5. Re: Help! Haven't Flown Out of Detroit Metro in Twenty Years!

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 10:17 pm, September 20, 2009