Denver International Airport (DEN)


Denver International Airport is located 121 miles East of Vail on the East side of Denver. DIA is 26 miles north and east from downtown Denver and several miles south of I-70. DIA is the largest airport in Colorado and the 11th largest Airport in the world.

DEN is a busy airport with convenient flights with favorable fares to destinations around the globe.

Guests should expect a two to four hour trip to DIA depending on traffic, weather or construction en route. TSA suggests that domestic commercial airline passengers arrive 90 minutes before scheduled departure and that international passengers check in 2 hours prior to take off. 

Skier traffic has been a local issue since the popularity of Vail's EPIC season passes began several years ago. Traffic congestion begins west bound I-70 between Denver and Vail Friday afternoon to Saturday at noon. East bound skier traffic begins Vail to Denver Saturday after 12pm to Sunday 7pm as well as holidays such as Christmas, Presidents day and spring break.

Denver International Airport (DIA)

Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport (DIA)

Vail Aspen Transportation Service offers private, direct, non shuttle SUV and Van car service to and from Denver International Airport to Vail, Beaver Creek , Aspen, Snowmass and Summit County (Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain) ski areas. Our highly experienced drivers will transport  groups, families and individuals safely and comfortably to all destinations.


Denver to or from Vail / Beaver Creek

Why non shuttle or shared ride? Colorado Mountain Express offers shuttles that run on a scheduled basis. We found that many guests do not like the shuttle experience be it the extra time it takes, flights at times that can't meet the shuttle schedule or travel with children. Private service allows guests to create their own schedule for a quicker trip. The personalized service our drivers offer has clients from all over the world traveling with us every year. Let Vail Transportation Service ease your trip and help you enjoy the experience.


Arriving at DIA


When arriving at DIA

  Denver International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world and may be confusing to new visitors.  The driver and dispatch office track commercial flights into DIA, however we ask that guests please notify our office when a flight is rescheduled, arriving late or if there is a significant change in arrival time.  It takes about 45 minutes for domestic passengers with checked luggage to be ready to leave, so we encourage communication between our guests, our office and drivers to ensure a timely pickup. International guests take longer due to customs and since overseas phones do not always work in the US, we will provide driver text, What's App, or phone numbers for convenience. Once at the gate and deplaned guests go to the center of the Concourse, go down two floors to a train that leads to the main terminal. Baggage claim is divided "East" and "West" by airline. See the table below for airline assignments. DIA rules require passengers to collect bags before making contact with our office in case there are delays in baggage handling, however informing the dispatch office that the bags are arriving is helpful in timely pick ups. DIA will not allow drivers in the secure pick up area for an extended time, so every effort is made to expedite passenger pick up. Thank you for your cooperation.


Collecting Baggage At DIA

The DIA terminal is divided into "East" for the airlines listed in the figure to the right. The "West" side of the airport United, Air Canada, ATA. International guests come through an "International Arrival" door located on the West side, near door 519. Guests on the East side will meet the driver between doors 505 and 513 in Island # 2. Drivers are placed according to passenger traffic at the airport and airline that the guests are arriving upon. Guests with baggage claim on the West side of the airport will be picked up between door 504 and 512 Island # 2 in the Mountain Carrier lane. Please call 970 926-2593 if you have any questions or if you need assistance. 

Vail Transportation Service level 5 instructions DIA.

Meeting Drivers at DIA

The baggage claim for domestic flights is located on level 5 at DIA. DIA's airport authority requires every driver to obtain a permit to pick up passengers, then wait at a holding lot located near the terminal.  Drivers are never permitted to leave their vehicle or enter the terminal as DIA rules forbid anyone other than ticketed passengers in the terminal. Once the flight arrives and either the office or driver are notified that the passenger had gotten their luggage, the airport issues a permit for passenger pick up. Drivers drive to a security screening area on level 5, give the permit to the "Limo" booth attendant and meet guests in Island # 2 at level 5. 

Departures at DIA


Thank you for choosing Vail Transportation Service!

When it is time to fly out of DIA, here is some useful information to help plan your travel. VTS schedules pickups for DIA four hours prior to departure time as requested by TSA. For some guests four hours is enough, not for others. Large groups or families with small children, persons requiring assistance will need additional time. International travel may require additional time. Average travel time between Vail and DIA is 2:15  to 2:45. This is not the case for travel on Sundays past 12pm where skier traffic tends to be the heaviest. Visit for travel information on the I-70 corridor. Holiday traffic and inclement weather conditions may add time to the journey as well. Please plan ahead, we simply can't control traffic and weather.


DIA is busy in the winter and summer!

Colorado resorts have so many popular activities that our small communities sometimes are overwhelmed with the influx of travelers. Security screenings and travel times sometimes slow things down. We love our visitors and want to make it easy to travel here, so we encourage guests to be flexible when we encounter road, traffic or weather conditions that may affect travel. Our drivers are assigned trips the evening before travel and encouraged to communicate with guests before travel. Pick up times can be adjusted if we identify factors that would affect travel time. Hotels and Resorts in our areas frequently do not allow drivers to wait for guests very long because of limited space for "standing" vehicles. Guests should expect drivers to arrive at the scheduled time, so please let us know if you will require more time to load. 

Domestic travelers are taken back to DIA on level 5 where each airline offers curbside check in. This is the easiest access to DIA and allows guests to check in, find their concourse and gate quickly.

International travelers are sometimes dropped on level 5, however some airlines do not have check in service on level 5 and will be dropped on level 6 near ticketing.

Vail Transportation Service DIA departs.

We appreciate your business!

Thank you for traveling with us! Ask your driver about tips for your future travel plans to Colorado. Below I have posted some interesting shots of features at DIA.

DIA features and myths

Crazy cost overruns and delays.

Crazy cost overruns and delays.

Crazy cost overruns and delays.



Many of the conspiracies around the Denver airport revolve around  what may lie beneath the airport. A former airport construction worker claimed  that the reason why the airport was so far behind schedule was because  five multistory buildings were built underneath the airport. This same  construction worker, as well as others, also supposedly said that there  was a complex network of tunnels beneath the airport. 

These claims led people to theorize that there may be anything from a vast network of underground New World Order command bunkers, to post-apocalyptic fallout shelters  for the global elite (such as billionaires and politicians), to a  future FEMA concentration camp waiting to be used beneath Denver  International Airport.

It was later determined that the "underground tunnels" had actually become home to the airport's rail system. Try to find the Pinwheels in the train tunnels that cost Denver taxpayers millions of dollars.

The baggage claim Gargoyles

Crazy cost overruns and delays.

Crazy cost overruns and delays.


Gargoyles above doors 506 in the West side of the terminal in baggage claim and 507 on the East side of the terminal baggage claim protect travelers, or do they? The baggage system at DIA that was supposed to be State of the Art, but instead it caused serious delays and costs. When the airport finally opened, the baggage system wasn't working and bags were sorted in a parking structure.

Murals that predict Apocalypse

Crazy cost overruns and delays.

Murals that predict Apocalypse

Strange murals with evil themes at DIA.

 One of the most startling things in the Denver airport are the murals  that line the walls on Level 5 of the Jeppesen Terminal. Many think that  the murals, painted by artist Leo Tanguma, tell the story of apocalyptic biowarfare destroying the world as we know it, with the New World Order taking over in its place. 

The Dark Horse Bronco Lucifer

The Dark Horse Bronco Lucifer

Murals that predict Apocalypse

Vail Transportation Service DIA Dark Horse.

 DIA’s unofficial mascot—a massive horse statue called “Blue Mustang” that has already killed at least one man.  At 32 feet tall and 9000 pounds (it’s made out of fiberglass), “Blue  Mustang” is huge and imposing, and its glowing red eyes don’t help  matters. This thing is giant and really scary—and it killed the man who  made it. Really. Artist Luis Jimenez died in 2006 when a piece of the  sculpture’s head broke off and severed an artery in his leg.  

Jeppesen Terminal DIA

The Dark Horse Bronco Lucifer

Jeppesen Terminal DIA

Vail Transportation Service Jeppeson Statue at DIA.

Find out how Elry Jeppesen changed the Aviation industry and the world and why Denver International's main terminal is named after him.

Mason Theory

The Dark Horse Bronco Lucifer

Jeppesen Terminal DIA

Vail Transportation Service DIA Masonry stone

Freemason stone dedicated to DIA. Fredrico Pena went on to be the Secretary of Transportation for the US Government.

photographs compliments of Denver International Airport