Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

DFW

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW) is one of the busiest airports in the United States. Equally positioned between Dallas and Fort Worth, DFW is a great airport to fly into. Don't forget that as you drive out of the airport, you will have to pay a toll to leave. DFW is the chief hub of American Airlines, which controls well over 80% of all the flights.

Understand

The airport was designed in the 1960s to allow for people to park next to their gate and make a short walk to their plane. However, modern security requirements and the hub-and-spoke system have made its long narrow semi-circular terminals somewhat inefficient. Recent improvements including a people-mover tram system (inside security) and renovated terminals have overcome this challenge to make DFW a great connecting airport. Also, the terminal layout with 4 semi-circular terminals and 1 squared one means that the airport has multiple security checkpoints and shorter lines.

The largest selection of restaurants and shops are in Terminal D, while A, B, C, and E have a few decent restaurants spread throughout. An ongoing renovation of the older terminals will improve the selection, with part of A currently complete.

Flights

DFW International has 5 terminals. Terminals A, B, and C handle domestic flights, while Terminal D and E handles international and domestic flights. All terminals are connected by a quick rail system inside security and buses outside of security. American Airlines and its affiliate American Eagle has a dominate position at DFW airport and occupies all of Terminals A, B, and C and part of D. Though exact locations can change due to an ongoing renovation of 5 of the terminals.

Arrive

For those arriving on international flights, Immigration and Customs process usually takes 15–30 minutes, but can take over an hour at peak times. The busiest times are in the afternoon, and the full statistics can be seen here.

Transfer

Like all airports in the United States, there are no special transit facilities for international transfers. That means that if you are arriving from an international flight and have an immediate connection, you will have to pass through Customs and Immigration. For details of entry and visa requirements see get in section of United States page.

Ground transportation

DFW Terminal Map

By car

The main way most travelers get to DFW is by driving to the airport. In fact until recently a car or bus was the only way to the airport. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has grown up around the airport to the point that major expressways form a complete (though oddly-shaped) loop around the airport, with a spiderweb of freeways and toll roads going in all directions. Routes to the airport are noted on road signs 10 miles or more from the airport, though the numerous multilevel interchanges will make it difficult to just head to the airport without looking at a map or using a GPS device.

While there are many different parking areas and 5 terminals, all the terminals and the express and garage parking are on International Parkway, a toll road that goes from the north entrance to the south entrance and connects to all the major highways. The North Entrance connects to the DFW Connector, a several mile long interchange of SH 121, 114, and 26, as well as Interstate 635. A recently completed $1 B construction untangled what was a confusing and disjointed mix of highways that often hopelessly congested. However, the redesigned interchange eliminated the exit to the airport loop road for using the North Remote parking lot from International Parkway, so you should take Texas Trail exit from 121/114 from the west or Freeport exit on 114 from the east. The South Entrance meets with an SH 183 near interchanges with SH 360 to the west and President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) to the east. South remote parking and the car rental center are both easily reached from the south entrance before the toll plaza.

By bus

Once you've arrived at the airport, you will probably do best to take one of the Shared Ride shuttle services. They offer door to door pickup and drop off, probably costing ~$30 for ~20 miles, which will get you to most places.

By rental car

Another option is to pickup a car rental at DFW. To do so, you will take the shared shuttle from the airport terminal to the consolidated car rental facility. The following companies are located inside the facility:

For DFW, there are courtesy phones that will let you ring them directly (for free), and they are usually pretty quick about pickups and drop offs. (at most adding an extra 30–40 minutes while you wait for them to pick up more people, or to drop your fellow passengers off on the way to your place or hotel).

terminal D

By DART

A less expensive option, to some places, would be DART, Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Don't be fooled by the airport transportation information service, who will tell you that there isn't any public transport available to get you out of the airport. Since August 2014, DART Rail Orange Line operates seven days a week from Terminal A to Downtown Dallas. Trains arrive at DFW regularly from 3:50 a.m. to 1:19 a.m. daily, 7 days a week.

For another option, as you walk out of the arrivals hall at DFW, turn right and wait under the sign for the 'Remote' South shuttle. This free service takes you to the 'Remote South' parking lot station, where you can either take another shuttle bus to to the TRE or DART bus 408. The airport is north of the CentrePort/DFW Airport Station of the TRE commuter train. From the CentrePort/DFW Airport Station the train goes east to Downtown Dallas and west to Downtown Fort Worth every day except Sunday.

Parking

There are several different levels of pricing for parking at the airport depending on proximity to the terminal and level of service. In addition, there are private parking services located near the airport that will drop you off at a terminal like the Parking Spot and Park 'N Fly.

Short-term

Since International Parkway cuts through the center of the airport, anyone entering the airport will have to pay a toll of $2 ($1 with a TollTag from the NTTA). Tolls are $2 up to 30 minutes, and $3 for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Tolls increase to $5 after 2 hours, $7 after 4 hours, and $20 (or $18 with a TollTag) after 6 hours. You can park in the covered parking at any of the terminals, except the valet areas. There is also 1-hour parking on the 1st level nearest the gates.

Long-term

If you are leaving your vehicle at the airport, there are many options.

Get around

On foot

It is possible to walk between Terminals A, B, and C inside security. Though the distances can be great, so it is best to use the Skylink to travel between terminals. There are sidewalks outside of security, but these are outside and not really designed for easy transit by passengers carrying lots of luggage.

By Skylink

Skylink is an automated people mover system operating airside (secured side) between all DFW terminals. This system allows passengers simply changing planes at DFW along with originating passengers who have already gone through security to move between terminals without having to be re-screened. Skylink has 2 stops at each terminal with trains running in both directions. A train stops every 2 minutes with average rides of 5 minutes and the longest ride between most distant stops being 9 minutes.

DFW Skylink

By Terminal Link

Terminal Link is a free shuttle van system operating landside (unsecured side) between all DFW terminals. Service operates every 10 minutes between 5AM and midnight. Between midnight and 5AM, passengers must call in advance (+1 972 574-5465) to request pick-up.

Wait

Eat and Drink

There is a good collection of places to eat air side of the terminals. The only restaurants outside the secure areas are inside the 2 Hyatt Hotels. Fast food restaurants, Starbucks, and Dunkin Donuts are spread liberally throughout all 5 terminals with a few decent places if you know where to look. Most of the best restaurants are located in Terminal D.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Buy

Duty Free

International-bound passengers are free to shop at the two duty free shopping shops in Terminal D.

Connect

WiFi is provided by AT&T for free (attwifi).

Cope

Sleep

There are 2 hotels and an hourly hotel service inside the airport. Many more hotels in the surrounding cities. Most of the hotels in the nearby cities have shuttles to the airport and long-term parking services.

Nearby

The nearest cities to the airport are Grapevine, Southlake, and Coppell to the north, Irving to the east, and Arlington and parts of Fort Worth to the south.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 17, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.