Minnesota Airports Ranked: The Ultimate Best-to-Worst List of 8 Places to Fly

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: November 30, 2023
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The vast majority of people dread going to the airport. While the idea of traveling can be exciting, getting to the airport early, going through TSA, and hoping you make your flight in time can be a lot for any traveler. 

The airport you visit makes all the difference in the world. Whether you’re traveling to visit family or you’re on your way back home, we’ve ranked Minnesota airports so you know what to expect. 

While everyone’s experience is different, here is what you can expect in terms of air travel in the Land of 10,000 Lakes! 

1. Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport

Minneapolis. Image of Minneapolis downtown skyline at sunset.

This airport is famous for the cleanliness of Terminal 1.

©Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock.com

With more than 131 Gates across two terminals, there is plenty of air traffic at this popular airport. It is located in the city of Bloomington, near the Mall of America and Ikea. There are praises about the cleanliness and the amount of amenities. 

Although the Minneapolis St Paul International Airport ranks as the best airport in the state, there are also plenty of complaints from travelers. The main complaint is that this isn’t a great airport for those who are short on time.

Planes leave MSP on time more than most airports, leaving stragglers in the dust. While the majority of travelers see this as a positive thing, many dislike the fact that they do not wait an extra few minutes.

2. Duluth International Airport

Airplane taking off from the airport.

DLH is considered to be one of the major airports in the country.


Another one of the airports in Minnesota we want to highlight is located three hours north of the Twin Cities. Duluth International Airport has four runways and is a short drive away from downtown Duluth.

Although travelers like the 314-stall concrete parking garage, they don’t like the limited destinations the airlines fly to.

3. Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport

Aerial view of lakes and trees in autumn color near Brainerd Minnesota

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport sees over 20,000 travelers a year.

©Willard/iStock via Getty Images

Another airport in Minnesota is the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. There are two active runways here and Delta Airlines is the main airline that services this location. While people enjoy the free parking and an easy-to-navigate building, there is a lack of airlines to choose from, which can make costs higher than other airports.

4. Rochester International Airport

Downtown Rochester, MN Skyline during a Clear Fall Day

Most people going to Rochester are from Wisconsin or Iowa.

©SamWagnerTimelapse/iStock via Getty Images

Rochester is a city in Minnesota that is well known for the impressive medical care and possibilities at The Mayo Clinic. In fact, the majority of people flying into Rochester International Airport are visiting to specifically seek medical treatment here. 

There are two airlines that use Rochester International Airport: Delta and American Airlines. The majority of flights to and from this airport are used as connection flights. American Airlines only flies out to Chicago from Rochester International Airport. Delta, on the other hand, flies to and from Minneapolis.

For being the second busiest airport in the state, travelers expect more options than RIA provides.

5. Bemidji Regional Airport

Blizzard at airport

Bemidji offers domestic flies to Minneapolis.

©Thomas Bethge/Shutterstock.com

There isn’t too much to say about Bemidji Regional Airport, but it is not a favorite among people used to larger airports. The baggage check-in counter closes 30 minutes before your departure, which some travelers don’t find out until it’s too late. 

Although there are two security lines, there is just one security system, which can cause long lines.

6. St. Cloud Regional Airport

The left side wing of a large white commercial plane flying over the City of St. John's, Newfoundland under the evening sun. The sky is cloudy. The neighbourhood grounds below are covered in snow.

St. Cloud Regional Airport makes it easy for travelers to tour around the city.

©Dolores M. Harvey/Shutterstock.com

One of the main complaints about St. Cloud Regional Airport is that it lacks amenities. Some reviews complain about the few vending machines available not being in working order. The last thing you want at an airport is hungry and angry people traveling. 

The free parking is a huge perk but can be overshadowed by the slow security lines. This is an airline that’s relatively close to the Twin Cities, making it a great stop for many people traveling.

7. Falls International Airport

Norwegian Elkhound Working with Airport Security

Security dogs could help passengers feel more at ease at this airport.

©iStock.com/Svitlana Hulko

Koochiching County is home to Falls International Airport. Generally speaking, this Minnesota airport has great reviews. That being said there are still some things to be aware of. The primary complaint coming from this airport is the amount of delays. 

There are also some reviews that state that customer service could have been better and that the employees were quite rude. It’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of people only have good things to say about Falls International Airport, but we are highlighting the negative aspects that potential travelers will want to be aware of.

8. Thief River Falls Regional Airport

woman carries luggage at the airport terminal.

Long wait times can quickly lead to angry travelers at any airport.

©Shine Nucha/Shutterstock.com

Thief River Falls Regional Airport is another one of the worst-ranked airports in Minnesota. There are few rental cars available and many have stated that the prices for rental cars can drastically increase without notice.

People have also mentioned that you cannot book flights online and that flights get delayed due to a lack of staff available in the area. The staff that is present is said to be very kind and accommodating to people traveling in the small town airport.

Summary of the Best-Worst Airports in Minnesota

1.Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
2.Duluth International Airport
3.Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport
4. Rochester International Airport
5.Bemidji Regional Airport
6.St. Cloud Regional Airport
7.Thief River Falls Regional Airport
8.Falls International Airport

The photo featured at the top of this post is © damedeeso/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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