America’s largest airport might be keeping a massive secret

You can probably guess that there are plenty of secrets your airline isn’t telling you. Between unexpected baggage fees and delayed flights, routine inconveniences don’t even faze an experienced jet-setter at this point. But when it comes to the airport itself, you might be surprised by the insane conspiracies lurking beneath your very own nose—or feet.

Take Denver International Airport (DIA), for example. Measuring a total of 54 square miles (that’s twice the size of Manhattan!), the DIA is the second-largest airport in the world and the largest in America. A record 61 million travelers were expected to pass through its doors in 2017 alone. But ever since the airport opened in 1995, speculation has swirled regarding some of its most bizarre features.

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Most beautiful airports in the world

Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport — Spain

The airport saw its first commercial flights take place in 1933. A new terminal was unveiled in 2006, and the airport has seen over 50,000,000 travelers in each of the past two years.

Vancouver International Airport — Canada

Vancouver International Airport is the rare airport you might want to visit even if you don't have a flight. In addition to its sculpture collection, the airport has multiple aquarium exhibits. 

Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore Changi International Airport has been named the best airport in the world by the consumer-aviation website Skytrax for five years in a row. It's easy to see why, as the airport's amenities include multiple gardens, a movie theater, and a swimming pool.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport — Malaysia

With over ten posh lounges and a massage center, Kuala Lumpur International Airport gives travelers plenty of opportunities to relax before their flights.

Munich Airport — Germany

In addition to serving travelers, Munich Airport also has an event space. The airport has hosted surfing and biking events over the years.

Heydar Aliyev International Airport — Azerbaijan

Heydar Aliyev International Airport saw over 4 million travelers in 2016.

Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport — China 

Shenzen Bao'An International Airport's Terminal 3 was meant to evoke a manta ray, according to architect Massimiliano Fuksas. Throughout the terminal, the ceiling is designed to look like a honeycomb.

Hong Kong International Airport — China

Hong Kong International Airport appeals to business travelers with a nine-hole golf course that meets U.S. Golf Association standards. Those with long layovers can take advantage of the airport's IMAX theater.

Hamad International Airport — Qatar

Hamad International Airport took a decade and $16 billion to build. Some parts of its interior look like a modern art museum.

Dubai International Airport — United Arab Emirates

In 2016, Dubai International Airport was the busiest in the world with 83.6 million passengers.

Beijing Capital International Airport — China

While it's currently one of China's signature airports, Beijing Capital International Airport may be overshadowed by the upcoming Beijing Daxing Airport, which is set to open in 2019.

Marrakesh Menara Airport — Morocco

Marrakesh Menara Airport features a number of stunning architectural features, like the glass dome pictured above.

Incheon International Airport — South Korea

South Korea's Incheon International Airport has first-class amenities, including free showers, massage chairs, and sleeping areas. 

Haneda Airport — Japan

Haneda Airport in Tokyo is known for a variety of high-quality food options. The airport's ramen, sushi, and dessert vendors even attract customers who don't have flights. 

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For starters, it contains a collection of eerie statues and murals that would give anyone the creeps. But conspiracy theorists smell something even fishier: The initial construction project reportedly went $2 billion over budget and opened 16 months behind schedule. To make matters worse, its multi-million dollar automated baggage system failed to work, leaving behind 47,000 square feet of useless underground space.

What explains all of these suspicious events? Word on the street is that the airport’s underground tunnels were never intended for baggage transportation in the first place. Instead, the space hides a secret bunker that would protect the world’s billionaires and political elite during an apocalypse.

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12 tips that can get you through the airport as quickly as possible
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12 tips that can get you through the airport as quickly as possible

Apply for TSA PreCheck status

Signing up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry can help save you valuable time, as you can keep your shoes, belts, and light jackets on as you go through security. You also don't have to remove your laptop or any liquids from your bag. 

It will help get you through an expedited line over Thanksgiving weekend as well as each time you travel afterward, making it a valuable investment.

Check in ahead of time.

Give yourself as few tasks to do at the airport as possible. Instead of waiting to pick up your boarding pass, check in ahead of time, either online or on your phone.

You can go paperless at most airport and use an electronic pass on your phone to board.

Download your airline's app.

American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and British Airways are just a few of the airlines that have developed mobile apps to give travelers real-time information on flight delays and gate changes.

That way, if your gate has changed and you're short on time, you’ll know before you even get to the airport.

Wear slippers.

If you're going to have to take your shoes off at security, make them easy ones to remove.

Slippers are a good choice because they'll keep you warm and cozy on your flight without taking too much time to remove at security.

Buy a TSA-approved laptop bag.

Certain laptop bags are specially designed to be approved through TSA security, meaning you won't have to take your laptop out separately when passing through.

Simple cases like this one from Case Logic ($27) are perfectly reasonable. 

If you're bringing gifts, leave them unwrapped.

If you're exchanging gifts over the holidays, ship them ahead of time to avoid having to take them through the airport. Or if you're going to bring them with you, leave them unwrapped, as TSA agents may have to unwrap them.

"Wrapped gifts are allowed, but we recommend waiting until you land to wrap them," it says on the TSA's official blog. "If there's something in the gift that needs to be inspected, we may have to open it … It also slows down the line for everybody else when we have to do this."

Pack shoes foot-to-toe at the bottom of your bag.

Packing your shoes in the bottom of your bag will help to put some weight on the wheels of your luggage and make it easier to remain balanced, especially if you're rushing to your gate. 

Arrive early.

This one seems like common sense, but make sure you leave yourself more time than usual during holiday travels. Brian Ek, a travel expert for Priceline.com, told Fox News that he encourages fliers to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight and three hours for international flights that are leaving early in the morning or late at night.

For normal business-hour flights, he recommends giving yourself another 30 to 45 minutes, just to be on the safe side. 

Keep a bag of essential items ready to go.

Skip the time it would take to transfer your shampoo into a 3.4-ounce bottle and have a bag of toiletries ready to go.

Grab samples of your favorite products, or get travel-size toiletries and store them in one bag so you can simply grab it and go each time you pack.

Have a booking app set up on your phone.

Canceled flights are an unfortunate reality when traveling during the holidays. To help ensure you get the best place to sleep if this does happen, have a booking app set up on your phone so that you can make last-minute hotel reservations or rent a car.

If your flight does get canceled, take advantage of your time and start calling the airline over the phone while you wait in line.

Look for lines toward your left.

According to CNN, looking for lines toward your left side can help you spot the one that's shorter. Studies show that Americans are more likely to turn right than left when entering a building. 

If your flight is delayed, relax at an airport lounge.

Even if you're flying economy, it doesn't mean you can't access airport lounges. Most lounges sell day passes so that anyone can experience last-minute pampering and relaxation. 

You can also get a Priority Pass, which gives you access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world. 

Finally, check your credit card to see whether or not it gives you lounge access. Some, like American Express Platinum, have access to Delta and Centurion lounges. 

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While it sounds fascinating in theory, this rumor doesn’t appear to be true. The Denver Post claims that all plumbing and electrical infrastructure appears to end at the underground area’s lowest level, which would make an underground bunker all but impossible. In fact, “hiding anything else under it would be an engineering feat on par with the ‘Chunnel’ that connects England to France,” they wrote.

That’s not the only bizarre conspiracy theory behind this massive airport, though. Some say aliens or “lizard people” lurk in the lower levels, while others point out the runways resemble Nazi swastikas. So if these are the types of stories that keep you up at night, don’t miss more of the strangest unsolved mysteries of all time.

[Sources: The Denver Post, The Independent, OMG Facts]

The post America’s Largest Airport Might Be Keeping a Massive Secret appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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