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Flight Attendant Life,  For Travelers

Detroit Airport Guide – McNamara Terminal

Disclaimer! I have never been over in the North Terminal so this Detroit Airport Guide will only be helpful to you if you’re taking Delta and will be in terminals A, B, and C. 

I bet you’re wondering why Detroit? Well Detroit is actually one of my favorite airports. It’s very easy to get around, spacious and bright. It’s also one of Delta’s biggest hubs and the gateway to Asia. So here’s my guide to help flight crew and passengers make the best out of their layovers in Detroit.

Food Options

My favorite food is Corridor Kitchen! (A7) Their food really doesn’t taste like airport food and I’ve eaten there several times. I’ve gotten pizza, butternut squash ravioli, and a caprese sandwich with a pesto mayo that I’m obsessed with. 

Don’t bother waiting in the lines at Starbucks if you want a breakfast sandwich because none of them have an oven. You can still get a small selection of pastries as long as you don’t want them warmed up. (By gates A20 & A61 & B8)  Best options for breakfast is the Plum Market at gate (A36) but it’s pretty expensive, or Chic Fil A (A71) if feeling guilty about basic human rights while eating a chicken sandwich is how you like to start your day. 

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Other Food Options

High A gates (in order from A76-A40)

  • Pinkberry, Chic Fil A & Qdoba
  • Gordon Biersch
  • Longhorn Steakhouse
  • Popeyes & Subway
  • Starbucks
  • Mezze Mediterranean Grill
  • Leo’s Coney Island
  • Illy Coffee & Fountain Bar (Here you can also see the Water Fountain Feature)

Low A gates (in order from A38-A1)

  • P.F. Changs
  • McDonalds
  • Plum Market
  • Sora Japanese
  • Andiamo Italian Bar
  • Cat Cora’s Taproom
  • Starbucks
  • Max & Erma’s
  • Corridor Kitchen, Grobbel’s Gourmet Deli, Palazzolo’s Gelato & Shed Bar)

C Gates: Subay & Harvest Grounds, Robert Monday Experience Bar.

B Gates: Potbelly, Chili’s, Wendy’s, Starbucks, Papa Joe’s, Ember’s Fire & Ice Lounge.

Water Filling Stations: A29, 35, 47, 55

Getting From Gate to Gate

There are lots of moving walkways but it is a straight shot all the way from A1 to A76 so even with the walkways it takes a hot minute; hot meaning you’re gonna be sweating when you get there. However, there is a tram that you can use. You’ll just go up one of 3 escalators, following signs for Express Tram, and it will make 3 stops. 

Detroit airport guide

The entrance/exit is halfway through A gates, about gate A40. 

If you’re heading over to B or C gates you’ll head down an escalator and through a tunnel with more moving walkways, then back up the other side where B and C are. These gates are where most of the regional short haul flights will be. This tunnel does have a light and music show, however if you have a disability or it’s too damn early for a light show you can suspend it by pressing a button.

Detroit airport


At the entrance or across from A40:

  • Body Shop
  • Spanx
  • Brookstone
  • Duty Free

  • Sunglass Icon (A63)
  • L’Occitane & Soundbalance (A36)
  • Tumi (A21)
  • Lots of newsstands for magazines & snacks

Delta Help Desks are at A17 & 43 & B10

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There are 3 Delta Sky Clubs. You can check out this link to see information about hours and amenities.

  • One is at the entrance or near A40 on level 2
  • Another is near A68 on level 3
  • Then there is one in the center of B&C gates.

The Freedom Center Military Lounge is near A40.

The Delta FA Lounge is on the short side of A gates but obviously I can’t give you directions there for security reasons. There is also a Crew Outfitters near the lounge.

There is a Westin Hotel (A36) if you happen to get stuck and don’t want to deal with leaving the airport. They even have their own security so you’ll avoid going through with everyone else in the morning. 

That’s a wrap for my Detroit Layover Airport Guide. I hope you find it helpful next time you’re passing through and I’m hoping to put together some guides for other airports in the future!

If you have a trip coming up, go check out my post on How to Pack the Perfect Carry On.

Happy Travels & Stay Safe Everyone!

-The Hoppy Flight Attendant

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Questions About the Detroit Airport

Is a 1 hour layover enough time in Detroit?

Most likely yes. However there are a few factors to consider. If you’re going from B or C over to A then it’s a longer walk but there are lots of moving walkways. The same should be considered for going from A1 to A70 but there are lots of moving walkways and there is also a tram that will make going through A super fast as long as it is operating.

How early do I need to arrive at DTW?

As with most major airports you should arrive at least 90 minutes prior to your flight and 2 hours if you’re flying internationally. This gives you time to check any bags, get your boarding pass, go through security and make it to your gate before boarding starts. It’s always better to have extra time rather than rushing to the gate.

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