Traveling through the Des Moines airport? Here’s what to eat and drink

The Des Moines International Airport reveals a new bar to go along with Iowa craft beers and food.

Few things in life are more pleasurable while waiting for a flight to board out of Des Moines International Airport than sipping an ice-cold pint of beer. 

The always reliable, and somehow more delicious, airport beer — add in some stress from traveling during the holidays, or flying for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and that wheaty airport beer can mark the official start to vacation. 

But the airport has more to offer than beer. While not comparable to the sprawling, endless options found at larger airports, Des Moines travelers can find some delicious meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and yes, even some Iowa craft beers to sample.

Related: Holiday travel rebounds despite ongoing pandemic

Kayla Kovarna, spokesperson for the airport, said travelers should anticipate long wait times and encourages passengers to arrive early amid busier holiday travel months

“Pack your patience and exude Iowa nice,” Kovarna said. “Know everyone is doing their best to get you to where you need to go. Airline ground crews are working hard and being patient and understanding makes these peak travel times much more enjoyable. And bring an extra mask.”

Here’s what’s waiting before you step on the plane or during your layover at the Des Moines airport: 

More: Amazon Air arrives at Des Moines International Airport as company pushes toward same-day service


Before Transportation Security Administration screening, fliers and those waiting for travelers can order a beer at Berk & Chester’s or shop for an Iowa gift at Hudson, a national travel retailer. Currently Berk & Chester’s is only serving drinks, while its kitchen — serving breakfast, lunch and dinner — remains closed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will reopen the kitchen when we see more demand for landside dining options,” Kovarna said.

At Hudson, don’t miss the selection of local gifts, including Bozz Print T-shirts, Pickle Creek oils and vinegars and dog treats from Woofables.


After passing through the TSA checkpoint, travelers arrive at the airport’s terminals, where six dining and drinking options stand ready to serve.

More: Airports are getting busy again—here’s what you need to make your travels more comfortable

Another Hudson gift shop also awaits travelers with an extensive display of wireless headphones and a wide selection of sunglasses. One section of the store includes more Iowa-related products including Raygun apparel, locally made jams, and tiny corn plushies for those looking for souvenirs or holiday gifts. Prices for snacks and drinks are reasonable, too.

Friedrichs Coffee

Opening at 4:30 a.m., Friedrichs Coffee is the obvious choice for early-morning travelers looking for a quick, low-hassle breakfast. The coffee bar serves hot, custom breakfast sandwiches on English muffins, bagels, croissants or biscuits. Smoothies, muffins, cinnamon rolls and premade sandwiches are also available. According to staff, the Snickeroo latte is one of the most popular drinks but for an early morning buzz, try the frozen espresso martini.

Mill Supply Co.

Mill Supply is the airport’s version of a convenience store, offering nearly every snack imaginable. The mini shop is perfect for grab-and-go travelers who prefer to munch on Peanut M&Ms rather than eat a full meal at the airport. Kovarna said her go-to is a cup of fruit as something refreshing and low maintenance to bring onto flights. Don’t forget to pick up a pack of gum to chew that will help pop ears after the elevation change after the flight takes off. 


The full-service bar and grill Portermill is the airport’s flagship restaurant offering meals throughout the day and a selection of 18 Iowa-made beers on tap. Opened in 2017, Portermill centers around the restaurant’s broad, horseshoe-shaped bar. Windows along the back wall let travelers watch planes take off while they sip bloody marys or flights of beer.

According to AJ Marrs, airport operations manager of Aero Service Group, which manages the airport’s food and dining options, Portermill sells burgers and fries more than anything else on its menu.

The cheese curds are the real star of the show. Portermill sources its Gouda fresh from Frisian Farms Cheese House in Leighton. The fried, cheesy nuggets come with Portermill’s house ketchup that’s a sweet, tangy sauce. 

While Portermill’s menu features eggs Benedict and other breakfast dishes until 10:30 a.m., and salads, sandwiches, pasta and salmon in the afternoon and evening, the airport restaurant’s own pork tenderloin ($14.50) could compete with those found at the Iowa State Fair. 

The meaty sandwich was crispy and topped with salty, maple-glazed ham. The Confluence IPA chicken breast ($17) continued the local fair theme and came drizzled with a maple-mustard sauce.

Aside from 18 Iowa beers on tap, the restaurant’s bottle and can list features another 30-plus craft brews such as Single Speed Tip the Cow milk stout, West O peanut butter stout and Railgater pale stout from Reclaimed Rails. Beer flights include four five-ounce pours for $14.

Arugula & Rye

Those who want to avoid sitting down at Portermill can stop by Arugula & Rye for quicker bites and lighter fare. The cafe includes a deli, a self-service salad bar and a full menu of made-to-order flatbreads. The restaurant connected to Portermill also includes a row of windows for plane watching. Try the Cuban or any of the flatbreads.

At C Concourse

Coffee & Bar opened in July 2020 as a remote bar offering more accessible coffee, drinks and snacks for passengers. The C Bar is an extension of Portermill, offering a full bar for travelers who want to stay close to their gates. According to Kovarna, “within a couple months, the revenues from the C Bar were meeting pre-pandemic expectations,” leading to the recent opening of a similar remote bar in the A Concourse. 

At A Concourse

The bigger sister of C Bar, A Bar opened Monday at A Concourse and mirrors the menu at C Bar. To fit the bar on the concourse, the airport removed some seating.

“We knew we were not capturing all of the demand, which is why we moved forward with opening the C Bar and the A Bar to recapture passengers who bypassed Friedrich’s due to a long line,” Kovarna said. “Portermill offers craft beer and a full restaurant dining experience, whereas The C Bar and A Bar offer limited food options, but cater to those passengers who want to be near their gates while they enjoy a quick bite and a drink.”

More: A fifth of Iowans would be ‘thrilled’ to see an Ikea, In-N-Out Burger come to the state, Iowa Poll finds

Hannah Rodriguez covers retail for the Register. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @byherodriguez.

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11,000 people expected to travel through Jacksonville International Airport on Sunday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Long lines and crowds of people are expected at Jacksonville International Airport on Sunday following the Thanksgiving weekend.

Airport officials posted Saturday on Twitter saying approximately 11,000 people will travel through the airport. That is nearly as busy as the Wednesday before the holiday. News4JAX spoke with travelers that day, and some said it was a close call making it to their flights.

“Just plan everything three hours early please because now I go to wait and I’m almost late,” said Laurne Pierce.

“I thought I was going to go through a little bit smoother but I’m good though. I have no delays my flight is on time,” said Delector Swanigant.

For those flying home on Sunday, JAX officials recommend arriving two hours before departure. This allows enough time to find parking, check bags and navigate through security.

Records show more than 53 million Americans were expected to travel this weekend. Roughly 4.2 million planned to fly.

Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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Airport screenings reach pandemic high

Airports are busy again, and air travel is inching closer to pre-pandemic levels.

Driven by pre-Thanksgiving travel, 2.3 million people passed through airport screenings Wednesday in what the Transportation Security Administration said was its busiest day since travel plummeted to coronavirus lows in April 2020.

That is more than double the 1.1 million people who went through TSA checkpoints a year earlier on the day before Thanksgiving, according to a TSA database.

It’s also 12 percent below the number of travelers screened on the equivalent day in 2019, when TSA checkpoint workers saw 2.6 million people a few months before the pandemic.

The day before Thanksgiving is typically among the busiest travel days of the year, along with the days after the holiday as people return home.

The TSA has hired 6,000 new officers this year and has enough staff to deal with the increase in passenger volumes, Lorie Dankers, a TSA spokesperson, told Reuters.

“So staffing, while we are hiring, will not slow people down this holiday season,” Dankers said.

Still, airlines advised passengers to arrive at airports early in case of long security lines. Delta Air Lines suggested two-plus hours early for domestic flights and three-plus hours early for international flights.

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Santa Barbara airport sees return of heavy holiday travel

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Santa Barbara airport is seeing a rush of travelers ahead of Thanksgiving day.

After more than a year of virtual celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are excited to finally reunite in person with their loved ones.

Santa Barbara airport saw a return of their holiday rush on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Travelers took part in the hustle and bustle of getting in and out of the airport.

“It’s going to be crazy, I have a feeling because it’s like Thanksgiving so everyone is just gonna be going going going,” said Paige Moor, who’s traveling to Tuscon.

COVID-19 prevented many from traveling and making contact with friends and family. This meant traveling services including airports and trains saw a dip in business from the pandemic.

“I’ve flown before COVID and like a little bit during COVID and now to see everything super busy again, it’s super cool and super weird at the same time,” said Delani Wahr, who is flying from Chicago.

The Santa Barbara airport expects millions of passengers by the end of 2021 year.

“For us what that means is that we’re seeing the success in everything that we put into staying safe and providing that ease of travel,” said Angi Daus, the Santa Barbara Airport Marketing Coordinator.

Airports continue to follow CDC protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including social distancing and wearing masks.

For more info on the Santa Barbara airport, click here.

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Holiday travel at Dayton International Airport shining light on airport’s pandemic rebound – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

DAYTON — One of the busiest travel days of the year is putting a spotlight on air travel and its impact on the economy.

While the Dayton International Airport is seeing an uptick in travel the day before Thanksgiving, city leaders said the airport has been seeing a nice recovery from the worst part of the pandemic.

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News Center 7′s Mike Campbell was at Dayton International Airport on Wednesday when plenty of people were prepared to travel to catch up with loved ones. Darryl Monfels, of Dayton, did fly a little during the COVID-19 pandemic, but feels safer to do so now.

“Each time we feel like the restrictions and requirements, and attention to detail, has gotten much better, especially in the last three to four months,” Monfels said.

The more travelers feel safer has impacted the amount of flying they do. The passenger numbers, and revenue, at Dayton International Airport recovered much quicker than expected, according to city officials.

“They are expected to be about 12 percent off of 2019 revenues, so that’s good news,” Shelley Dickstein, Dayton City Manager, said.

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Dickstein said the rebound is amazing when compared to the original projections.

“We were 80 percent off,” Dickstein said. “This was an industry that almost completely shut down for a good chunk of time.”

Dickstein said a lot of Dayton travel returning to 100 percent will depend on business travelers returning to airports for travel.

While the number of travelers is up, it has not returned to pre-pandemic levels. City leaders told News Center 7 that they will wait and assess the numbers throughout 2022 to determine whether they will reach that level again.

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Wednesday, Friday expected to be biggest travel days for El Paso International Airport

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) This holiday season the Spokesperson for the City of El Paso says Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Friday following Thanksgiving Day are expected to be the busiest at the El Paso International Airport

“Already this year, travel stats on some days have reached pre-pandemic levels. To put the upward air travel growth trend in perspective, our latest operating report shows an impressive increase of 120.4% compared to September 2020 for total passenger traffic. Year-to-date total passenger traffic is also up 73.1% as compared to the same time last year…”

Tammy Fonce, City of El Paso Spokesperson

AAA says 3.9 million Texans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving, with the majority driving, not flying.

“Of that, 3.6 million about 92 percent will drive to their destination, 230,000 Texans are going to fly to their Thanksgiving destination, and another 50,000 or so will take a train, a bus, or a cruise because cruises are back open and that’s also contributing to the higher travel volume that we’re seeing,” said Daniel Armbruster the Spokesperson for AAA Texas and New Mexico.

According to a an AP story, more than 2.2 million travelers streamed through airport checkpoints last Friday, the busiest day since the pandemic devastated travel early last year.

From Friday through Tuesday, the number of people flying in the U.S. was more than double the same days last year and less than 9% lower than the same days in 2019.

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

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LaGuardia Airport Is Selling $15 Passes to Skip the Security Line

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Busy holiday travel season lands at Sea-Tac Airport but vaccine impact on TSA minimal – KOMO News

Busy holiday travel season lands at Sea-Tac Airport but vaccine impact on TSA minimal  KOMO News

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Airport parking garages are filling up ahead of the holiday

Reagan and Dulles airport parking garages have been reaching near capacity as more travelers take to the sky.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Travelers planning on catching a flight during Thanksgiving week need to think about how they plan on getting to the airport, as parking garages at both Dulles International and Reagan National start to fill up. 

“We’ve had a couple of weekends where parking nearly filled. It got full in the garages, it got pretty tight in economy parking so this year we’re advising people to reserve parking in advance to guarantee an available spot,” said Rob Yingling, the spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Yingling said it’s been a while since the airports experienced busy roads, busy terminals, and lines. All things he said we used to see before the pandemic as we approached Thanksgiving.

RELATED: Travel rush begins at Reagan National Airport

As of Monday evening, one of Reagan National’s parking garages was at 80%, another at 73%, and the economy lot at 63%.

Things were busier at Dulles International Monday evening where one garage was full, another garage was at 61%, the airport’s terminal lot was at 75%, and the economy lot was at 45% capacity.

“Today was looking really busy,” Yingling said. “Tomorrow, Tuesday a little busier. Wednesday a little busier yet and then Sunday the busiest of them all.”

For peace of mind airport officials are recommending people reserve their spot online.

“Reserve online, put in when you’re going to arrive and depart the parking facility and when you arrive here, you’ll have a QR code to get you in the entrance even if it’s full,” Yingling said. 

You can reserve your spot here.

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Orlando International Airport braces for busy holiday travel season – WFTV

ORLANDO, Fla. — Travelers at Orlando International Airport are seeing a rise in activity for the holidays, but so far things have been moving forward.

READ: Passenger accused of running from Atlanta airport after gun discharged facing 3 charges, police say

A scare Saturday with an accidental gun discharge at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport only delayed three flights in Orlando, officials said.

Saturday is predicted to be the third busiest travel day of the holiday season and airport leaders are expecting a busy weekend.

WATCH: Tears and hugs as Thanksgiving travel season takes flight

Lines were seen throughout the airport on Saturday, but nothing too terrible.

Some passengers said they have been dealing with delays throughout the day.

READ: Florida woman arrested after Canadian border agents seize 56 illegal weapons

Officials said Sunday is expected to be the fifth busiest travel day at Orlando International Airport.

See more in the video above.

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