Larger than the island of Manhattan in New York, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is massive and is the largest connecting hub for American Airlines, which accounts for more than 85% of passengers and uses gates in all five of the airport’s terminals. The 22-mile drive east to downtown Dallas takes about a half-hour in normal traffic. Downtown Fort Worth is 25 miles west of the airport and takes about 35 minutes in normal traffic.
Four of DFW’s five terminals opened when the airport opened in 1974 and have floor plans in the shape of semicircles that in the days before strict security were designed to give passengers short distances between curb and their gate. The fifth terminal, Terminal D, was opened in 2005 and adapts that design to make more efficient use of the space with today’s requirements. Terminal D also offers direct access to a Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Ground transportation options at DFW include numerous choices of app-based ride services, taxis, car services and shared-ride vans as well as rental cars. App-based ride services pick up passengers on the upper level of each terminal. Taxi stands are on the upper level of terminals A, B, C and E and on the lower level of Terminal D. Other ground transportation services can be met on the lower level at each terminal. Rental cars are all in the Rental Car Central near the south entrance of the airport which is reached by about a 10-minute shuttle ride from the lower level of each terminal. Two public transportation options at DFW are DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) light rail to Irving, downtown Dallas and Plano and TEXRail to Grapevine and Fort Worth. The DART station is accessed from the lower level of Terminal A, doorway A10. The TEXRail station is at the north end of Terminal B on the lower level.
American Airlines flights arrive and depart at gates in the A, B, C, D and E terminals at DFW. The Skylink automated train allows passengers to make connections between terminals without exiting the TSA secure area. Trains operate every 2 minutes and the maximum amount of time it takes to travel between the farthest points is 9 minutes. The average ride takes about 5 minutes. Walkways also allow connecting passengers to go between the A, B, C and D terminals. The E terminal is accessible only via Skylink. Arriving passengers on international flights who have not pre-cleared U.S. Customs at their departure airport must exit the TSA secure area at DFW and be re-screened but then can use the Skylink to go their connecting gate. American Airlines has check-in counters and baggage claim in each terminal.
Big D (Dallas) and Fort Worth, with Arlington in between, anchor what they call the Metroplex. It’s a name they came up with in the early 1970s about the time they were planning to build Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
The Metroplex is made up of 13 counties and about 200 place names ranging from little Corral City, with a population of less than 30, to Dallas with a population of more than 1.3 million. Texans like to boast about big things and they say the 9,286 square miles that make up their Metroplex is larger than the land areas of six U.S. states and about the size of the state of New Hampshire.
The region is diverse. Dallas owes most of its growth to the boom as an oil town. Fort Worth promotes its image as a cow (cattle) town. And Arlington is home to the NFL Dallas Cowboys, Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers and the original Six Flags theme park.
See the Visit Dallas’ website here.
Visit Fort Worth’s website is here.
Read about Arlington here.
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