Last Update: 12/2012
To the folks in Detroit, the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus is simply known as "Detroit Metro," which confuses the issue when trying to remember its "DTW" airport identifier. As the main airport in the metropolitan area, Detroit Metro consistently ranks in the top 20 airports in the nation for number of passengers served. In 2010, it ranked 11th in the nation and 16th in the world for number of aircraft operations.
General InformationDetroit Metro services over 30 million passengers a year on approximately 450,000 flights. The airport has six runaways and operates out of two terminals with a total of 145 gates. Both terminals provide red-vested ambassadors to assist travelers, WIFI through Boingo, and attached parking structures. The airport provides non-stop flights to approximately 160 destinations, both domestic and international. The airport's busiest non-stop flight is to New York, New York.
These days, Delta Airlines far and away dominates the the airplane traffic at Detroit Metro. In fact, Detroit is Delta's second largest hub (behind Atlanta), and over 75% of the flights in and out of the airport in 2011 were affiliated with the airline.
Detroit Metro is also considered a major base of operations for Spirit Airlines, although Southwest Airlines services approximately the same percentage (approximately 5%) of passengers out of the airport.
International FlightsSince the 1980s, Detroit Metro has become a major international connection. In 2012, non-stop destinations include Amsterdam, Netherlands; Beijing, China; Cancun, Mexico; Frankfurt, Germany; Paris, France; and Tokyo, Japan.
General Location and Driving DirectionsDetroit Metro is located southwest of Detroit. Its south entrance, which is closest to the McNamara Terminal, is located off of the Eureka Road exit of I-275, just south of I-94. The north entrance is located off the Merriman Road exit of I-94, just east of I-275.
McNamara TerminalDelta, along with partners Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, operates out of the award-winning McNamara Terminal. The terminal is best accessed by the Eureka Road exit of I-275, located just south of the I-94 intersection. The McNamara Parking structure is attached to the terminal via a covered pedestrian walkway. McNamara has four levels at its entrance:
- Drop Off, Check-In & Departures Level
- Pedestrian Walkway to Parking Structure and Gates (as well as access to Ground Transportation Center)
- Pick Up, Domestic Arrivals and Luggage Claim
- International Arrivals and U.S. Customs
The Westin hotel is directly connected to the McNamara Terminal and within security. The hotel has 400 rooms and has earned four diamonds.
North TerminalThe North Terminal opened in 2008 and is best accessible off the Merriman Exit (198) of I-94. The terminal services all other airlines, as well as most charter flights. Airlines include Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, American Eagle, Frontier, Lufthansa, Royal Jordanian, Southwest, Spirit, United and U.S. Airways. While smaller than McNamara, the North Terminals hosts over 20 shops and restaurants, including Hockeytown cafe, Legends Bar, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Le Petit Bistro. Gayle's Chocolates, Brookstone, Sports Illustrated and Heritage Books. The Big Blue Deck is attached to the terminal via a pedestrian bridge.
ParkingEach of the terminals at Detroit Metro is connected via a covered pedestrian bridge to a parking structure. McNamara Parking has long-term ($20), short-term and valet parking, while The Big Blue Deck ($10) at North Terminal has long-term and short-term parking. Green lots ($8) are also available within the airport and accessed by shuttle.
Several other companies provide parking outside the airport. For instance, Valet Connections ($6) is the newest and potentially cheapest. It also offers car wash, detailing and maintenance services. The other parking alternatives are located just outside the airport off of Merriman and Middlebelt Roads and are roughly the same per-day price as the airport's green lots. They include Airlines Parking ($8), Park 'N' Go ($7.75), Qwik Park ($8) and U.S. Park ($8). AVERAGE COSTS. For parking status information, call 800-642-1978.
- Pick Up: If you're on taxi duty and just picking up someone from the airport, consider parking yourself at one of the cell-phone lots located near each of the airport's main entrances. You remain with your car while you wait for you traveler's call, making it easier to time the pickup of your passenger as they exit baggage claim.
- Drop Off: Detroit Metro recommends travelers arrive 90 minutes before their flight is scheduled to depart.
- Transportation Between Terminals: A shuttle connects the two terminals, McNamara and North, as well as the Westin Hotel. The shuttles run every 10 minutes and operate outside the security checkpoints.
- Rental Cars/Taxis/Limousines: Rental cars can be picked up at locations outside the airport that are accessed via shuttle bus. The shuttles can be boarded at each terminal's Ground Transportation Center. Taxis and Limousines can also be found at the Ground Transportation Centers, which are located near baggage claim and the pedestrian walkways at each terminal.
HistoryDetroit Metro started out humbly as Wayne County Airport back in 1929. It expanded after WWII, but it wasn't until the 1950s that American, Delta, Northwest Orient, Pan Am and British Overseas moved from Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti to the renamed Detroit-Wayne Major Airport.
The airport became a major player in 1984 when Republic Airlines moved in to create a hub. When Republic merged into Northwest Airlines in 1986, non-stop service to international locations was consistently added: Tokyo in 1987, Paris in 1989, Amsterdam in 1992, Beijing, China in 1996. By 1995, Detroit Metro ranked 9th in the nation and 13th in the world for passenger traffic, surpassing both Charles DeGaulle Airport in Paris and McCarren in Las Vegas.
McNamara Terminal opened in 2002 as the "Northwest WorldGateway." When Northwest merged into Delta Airlines in 2008, however, the McNamara Terminal became Delta's second biggest hub outside of Atlanta.