608today City Guide Work

We’re helping you navigate the Dane County Regional Airport

To help make your entire process at the Dane County Regional Airport as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on the airport’s 17 nonstop flights.

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Check out the new South Terminal updates at the MSN Airport. | Photo by Dane County Regional Airport, Shawn Harper

Table of Contents

Traveling via plane is fun — jet-setting over beautiful blue waters or rolling hills, taking in cloud formations, and landing in a completely different location in a matter of hours is unlike anything else.

The whole navigating the airport part? Less exciting, and sometimes pretty stressful. To help make your time at Dane County Regional Airport as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on the airport’s 17 nonstop flights.

Current airport updates

The Dane County Regional Airport celebrated the completion of phase one of its South Terminal expansion in June 2023. This $85 million project includes more gate seating, restroom expansions, and the implementation of eco-friendly HVAC systems.

Keep tabs on the airport’s press release page for updates on phase two which includes the demolition of the former south end of the airport.

What to know

  • TSA | Approximate wait times for security lines at Dane County Regional Airport can be found at each TSA checkpoint — travelers with TSA PreCheck must enter through the south checkpoint area, inside door one.
  • Map it out | If you’re like us and need to completely visualize a place before you step foot inside, these maps will be your saving grace.
  • Flight status | While we recommend staying updated via your respective airline, you can also check the airport’s dashboard for your flight status in a pinch.
  • Food and drink | Grab baked goods from Ancora, pick up some locally sourced bites at Metcalfe’s Local to Go, sit down for a burger at the Mad Town Gastropub, or if it’s one of those travel days — stop at Vinoteca Wine and Tapas for a heavy pour.
608today Dane County Regional Metcalfes

It would be very non-Midwestern of you to show up empty-handed, grab some beers.

Photo via Dane County Regional Airport

Parking, shuttles, and rideshare

Not everyone has a bestie who will drop everything to pick them up from the airport at 3 a.m. Each lot and garage offers 30 minutes of free parking + $2 hourly parking. Beyond that, the price per day is as listed:

  • Economy lot | $6/day
  • Surface lot | $8/day
  • Ramp | $10/day
  • Hourly | $2/hour up to 6 hours

Hate the thought of driving yourself? Try out a shuttle, rideshare, or taxi service that will take you to and from the terminal. These taxi services are suggested by the Dane County Regional Airport:

  • Madison Taxi | 608-255-8294 | Get surge-free pricing 24 hours a day.
  • Union Cab | 608-242-2000 | Do you have the jingle stuck in your head now?

The rideshare pick-up location is located outside of door six while taxis pick up outside of door seven.

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With the new terminal updates, you’ll wish for a long layover at MSN airport. | Photo by Dane County Regional Airport, Shawn Harper


Are you partial to a particular airline? MSN hosts six:

  • American
  • Breeze Airways
  • Delta
  • Frontier
  • Sun Country
  • United
MSN airport 4

Get some work done at the desk stations. | Photo by Dane County Regional Airport, Shawn Harper

Nonstop flights

Madison offers 17 nonstop flights, all domestic, flying to all US regions. Here are five nonstop flights to nearby locations, all around two hours long.

Bonus: Get lower fares by signing up for Going. You’ll get emailed when flights are 40-90% cheaper than usual. Get a two-week free trial of the Premium plan, which lets you set custom destination flight alerts (score).

Note: Remember that flight times and schedules are subject to change you should rely on your respective airline for exact timing and to stay updated on any changes.

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Fido’s gotta go? Check out the pet relief area. | Photo by Dane County Regional Airport, Shawn Harper

Fly comfortably

While we may not be able to offer solutions for crying babies or mysterious in-flight meals, we do have some tricks up our sleeves for upping your comfort while flying. Browse some of our favorite travel essentials:

  • Anti-nausea wristbands | Some simple anti-nausea wristbands might relieve a nervous stomach or sensitivity to turbulence while flying.
  • Bose Noise Canceling Headphones | These headphones are tried-and-true traveling companions, beloved for their crisp sound and ability to block exterior noise.
  • Cozy Earth joggers | These Oprah-approved joggers are polished enough to navigate the airport in, but comfy and stretchy enough for long flights.
  • Leather Dopp Kit | Keep your essentials organized and easily accessible, ensuring hassle-free journeys wherever you go.
  • Lights Out Sleep Mask | This eye mask provides optimal comfort and aids restful sleep amidst changing environments and varying light conditions.
  • Snacks | Bringing your own snacks ensures dietary preferences are met — plus, you’ll save time and money while traveling.
  • The AirFly Pro | Make sure you can always access in-flight entertainment (while avoiding the wired headphones airlines pass out) by using an AirFly. It plugs into your seat’s headphone jack and connects to your earbuds or headphones via Bluetooth.
  • Trtl travel pillow | The Trtl pillow is scientifically designed to provide a better head position when sleeping upright, thanks to an internal support system comfortably cushioned in cozy fleece.
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