I’ve spent a lot of time in DFW airport over the years. What’s a lot? I’ve arrived or departed on a flight there almost 500 times over the years. As a friend of mine once said, “I don’t think I’ve visited my favorite restaurant half that many times.” The fun fact about DFW is that it covers more land area than Manhattan. It’s a big place.
The life of a 10-year American Airlines Executive Platinum means a steady diet of DFW Airport. Terminal D is the newest terminal, opened in 2005 and housing most of the international traffic. Other terminals, like Terminal A, have been around for 40+ years and really showed their age.
A couple of years ago, DFW airport started the process of renovating that old Terminal A. I was skeptical. The building was constructed at a different time and it just wasn’t that big. Ceiling height was okay, not as bad as C/D at Washington Dulles, but not ideal. The concourses weren’t that wide, especially given planes with more seats.
As DFW airport wraps up the customer-facing elements of the Terminal A renovation, it’s clear they’ve done an incredible job with the physical plant. The two things that struck me as I’ve watched the construction progress is how the space handles crowds much better and it’s just much brighter. They’ve been able to channel more natural light into the concourses and reduce the presence of walls that impeded progress.
The other huge change is the retail and food options in the terminal. Prior to renovation, the only viable sit-down dining was Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen (and it was a fairly recent addition). Now, you’ve got tons of great options, including Pappasito’s and Ling & Louie’s. I’d personally avoid the Salt Lick Barbecue, but you’ll find Dunkin’ Donuts and Pinkberry to satisfy your sweet tooth. And, if you need real sugar overload, Ice Box has you covered.
The Final Two Pennies
There are tons of new technology in the parking garages, check-in areas and throughout the gate areas. Work tables, power plugs and USB ports are everywhere. A layover in DFW isn’t anywhere near as painful as it used to be. Heck, you don’t even really need a club membership given the amount of work spaces that exist throughout the terminal. Terminal A still has my favorite domestic airline club (unbelievable showers). And, now, the rest of the terminal is a business traveler’s dream.
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