Airports around the country are staying busy this week with everything from the introduction of a new digital concierge at DFW to celebrity sightings, Hispanic Heritage Month and Fossil Day celebrations, and shopping tips.
Cut the TSA line AND get free food at DFW
A new amenity that may soon become an airport staple is a program that allows travelers to reserve a time to pass through the TSA checkpoint.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) offers this service – called SEA Spot Saver – from 4 am to noon – at several checkpoints.
Now Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is piloting a similar program.
Launched this week, the DFW Fast Pass program allows travelers who don’t have TSA Precheck or Clear to make a reservation to go to the front of the checkpoint line at the Terminal D checkpoint D18. There is no cost to use the service and reservations can be made up to 7 days in advance.
And, as a nice bonus, DFW is giving passengers who use the service a complementary food or retail offering (while supplies last).
DFW plug-in gates
As part of DFW’s Terminal C renovation, the airport shared a timelapse video of its “High C” gates being moved onto piers at the terminal. Take a look – this may be the way all airport terminals get built in the future.
Where We’d Go: The Pendleton Round-Up
Incorporating many community traditions and the dedication of hundreds of volunteers, the 111-year-old Pendleton Round-Up – one of the country’s oldest rodeos – is back this year and ready to roll in a tiny town in eastern Oregon that is so very Old West.
The festivities include Main Street Cowboy shows, an outdoor cowboy breakfast, and the Westward Ho! Parade, which may be the largest non-motorized parade in the U.S. The real action though is in the historic Pendleton Round-Up Arena, where the classic greeting isn’t ‘hello’ or even ‘howdy,’ but ‘Let’er Buck!” Events include Bareback Bronc Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, and Steer Roping, among others.
This rodeo even has its own whiskey. The multi-million-dollar annual licensing fee helps boost the rodeo’s operating budget and contributes to the economic well-being of Pendleton. The town has a year-round population of about 16,000 but welcomes more than 50,000 visitors during the Round-Up.
The 2, 106-foot-square lounge has seating and power charging stations and lots of Coca-Cola themed exhibits and attractions.
In addition to Coca-Cola vending machines, the lounge space has two display cases filled with vintage artifacts and memorabilia from the Coca-Cola Archives. The mini-museum has an 1896 syrup urn and pieces from ad campaigns featuring Run DMC, Max Headroom, and the Coca-Cola Polar Bear.
The Coca-Cola Around the World Experience also features an interactive photo booth, folk art Coca-Cola bottles, a digital coke store, and a digital display with interactive timelines, stories, trivia, and digitized images from around the world.
Oh, did we mention that Coca-Cola is the official beverage sponsor of DFW Airport? We didn’t know airports had official beverages either.
But, evidently, they do.
The “5 Things We Love About…” series on StuckatTheAirport.com celebrates features and amenities at airports around the world.
This installment of “5 Things We Love About…” lands at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), which sprawls out over almost 27 acres, with 7 runways and 164 gates.
1. The DFW Skylink
Skylink is the elevated train that connects all 5 terminals at DFW airport. Tracks run above and outside of the terminals, with a train pulling into terminal stations every 2-to-3 minutes. An 18-minute round-trip offers great views of the airfield throughout the airport.
Here are some more details about the Skylink system, shared when the system celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015.
2. Founders’ Plaza
Dedicated in 1995, DFW’s Founders’ Plaza is an Observation Area and park near the airport offering great views of aircraft taking off and landing.
The park plaza has parking, picnic tables, telescopes, historic information, a commemorative monument and a radio broadcasting air traffic control communications from the FAA tower. Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Luckily, DFW is home to 2 Gameway centers (at Gates E16 & B32) with a total of 36 gaming stations. Each station has a Playstation 4 Pro pre-loaded with games, a leather chair, 43″ 4K TV, noise-cancelling headphones, charging ports for your electronic devices and space to store your luggage.
Pricing includes an option for unlimited play, which for some will be a perfect match for long layovers and delays.
4. Shopping at DFW
Big airports have lots of shopping options and DFW is no exception.
In December 2017, DFW Airport opened the largest duty-free store in the Americas. Over the years, we’ve scored plenty of charming and quirky Texas-themed souvenirs in shops throughout DFW as well.
5. Art at DFW Airport
DFW’s has a great art collection with more than 30 pieces of commissioned work including sculpture, paintings, mosaics and more. Many of the pieces are in International Terminal D and in the Skylink stations.
Did we miss a favorite amenity that you love at DFW airport? Add a note about in the comment section.
Have an airport you’d like to see featured in “5 Things We Love About…”? Leave a note below.
Want to sponsor the series or one of the installments? Drop a line.
Airports in the “5 Things We Love About …” series. So Far.
Today is the grand opening of the Gameway video game entertainment lounge at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
There are two locations: E16 with 22 stations and B42 with 14 stations. Each station has it’s own Xbox with 19 games predownloaded, a 4K TV, noise cancelling headphones and a place to charge your phone and tablet.
It is not free: the charge is $.42/minute or, for this summer, $20 for unlimited gaming, which seems like a great deal if you’re a gamer and you have a long layover. Or don’t mind if you miss a flight….
If you’re in DFW Monday July 2 from 10-11:30am, swing by Terminal E, Gate 16 where Gameway will be celebrating its opening with several gaming characters dressed up like the iconic Halo, the 8 foot metal giant “Reinhardt” and more.