How to Check in Bags at DIA

Checking luggage at the Denver airport is a fairly simple process.
Checking luggage at the Denver airport is a fairly simple process. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Checked luggage rules at Denver’s International Airport (DIA) are the same as at any other airport; Each airline is responsible for setting checked baggage size, weight restrictions and fees, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sets standards regarding permissible and prohibited items in checked luggage. If you are checking luggage at DIA, you have several options to choose from, such as checking your luggage curbside or at your airline’s ticket counter. All airlines have a cut-off time for checked baggage; contact your airline before departure to find out what time to arrive so that your bags make your flight.

Arrive at the airport with ample time before your flight departs. Most airlines recommend that you have your luggage checked in at least 90 minutes before departure, and two hours for international flights. If you are flying British Airways, Lufthansa/Aero Mexico, U.S. Airways, Continental, Air Canada, American Airlines or United Airlines, you need to go to the west side ticketing counters at DIA. For Frontier Airlines, Delta, Great Lakes, JetBlue, Alaska, Southwest or AirTran flights, you must go to the east side ticketing counters. Park in the correct parking garage for your terminal, or have your driver drop you off at your terminal so you can easily find your airline's curbside check-in or ticketing counter.

Check your baggage curbside. When you are dropped off at your airline’s departure area, you can visit the curbside kiosk to check in to your flight and check your luggage. Make sure you know which terminal your airline's ticketing counter is located in: west side or east side. Pay your luggage fees at the curb, give your luggage to airline officials, and skip the lines at the ticketing counter.

Visit your airline’s ticketing counter inside the airport. Using the self-service kiosks, you can print your boarding passes, choose the number of bags to check, and pay your baggage fees using your credit card. An airline employee will then weigh your bags and put a luggage tag on each bag.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are parking your car at DIA you have several options. The parking garages on the east and west sides feature long-term and short-term parking; long-term parking is $18 per day, and short term is $3 per hour with no maximum hours. Valet parking is available on both the east and west sides of the airport at $27 per day, or $11 for one hour and $2 for each additional hour. Parking lots are available near the airport for a small fee; shuttles bring you to and from the airport.

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