Larger than New York’s Manhattan Island, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is massive. It is the largest connecting hub for American Airlines, which uses gates in all five of the airport’s terminals and accounts for more than 85% of the airport’s passengers. DFW is about 20 miles west of downtown Dallas and 25 miles east of Fort Worth. Access is from both the north and the south. From the south, the exit is off (Texas State Highway) TX-183, the Airport Freeway. The north access is in Grapevine off TX-121 which continues northeast toward Frisco and Plano and southwest connecting to TX-183 to Fort Worth. Be aware that many of these roadways are toll roads, including the north-south International Parkway that goes through the DFW terminal area.
Four of DFW’s five terminals were part of the original airport that opened in 1974 and are laid out in the shape of semicircles that in the days before strict security were designed to give passengers short distances between curb and their airline gate. The fifth terminal, Terminal D, was opened in 2005 and adapts the original design to be more efficient under modern requirements. Terminal D also offers direct access to a Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Terminals A, B and C are used exclusively by American Airlines, which also uses gates in Terminals D and E. Most international airlines are in Terminal D, including Aeroméxico, Air France, Avianca, British Airways, Emirates, Japan, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways, VivaAerobús and Volaris. Airlines in Terminal E include Air Canada, Alaska, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit and United.
Ground transportation options are numerous at DFW. App-based ride services are met curbside on the upper level roadway at each terminal. Taxi stands staffed from 8 a.m.-12 midnight are on the lower level roadway outside bag claim at each terminal. Courtesy vehicles, car services, Yellow Checker Shuttle and charter buses are all met on the lower level roadway outside bag claim at each terminal. The Rental Car Central is near the south entrance of the airport which is reached by an approximately 10-minute shuttle ride from the lower level of each terminal.
Two public transportation options at DFW are the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) Orange Line serving Irving, Love Field airport, downtown Dallas (where transfers can be made to other lines) and North Dallas, and TEXRail serving Grapevine, northeast Tarrant County and Fort Worth. The DART DFW station is accessed from the lower level of Terminal A, doorway A-10, and the scheduled travel time to downtown Dallas stations is between 30 and 46 minutes. The TEXRail station is at the north end of Terminal B on the lower level and the scheduled travel time to downtown Fort Worth is 53 minutes.
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’s called 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 Draper (formerly 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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