Jun 142008

This week I traveled to Dallas for business, and used DFW Airport. This is a huge airport (yes, I know, every thing’s bigger in Texas), but the main problem is that it is sprawling, and seems disorganized.

Often, airports grow, and their original design doesn’t allow them to grow in a logical way. I think this might be the case with DFW. There are multiple terminals, and because it’s American Airlines primary airport, if you’re flying American, you’d better know which Terminal your flight is departing from. They use multiple terminals.

They moved the rental cars away from the terminal, and run a common bus to one of two rental car terminals. While normally not a bad idea, it can take 15 – 20 minutes to travel between the airport terminal and the rental car terminals. They moved the rental car operation way out from the airport. The highways approaching the airport are poorly marked, and there are two primary approaches, but they lead you to different parts of the airport. If you don’t know anything about the airport, it would be hard to know which one to take based on the signage on the main roads.

I was departing from Terminal A. It was clean and didn’t feel old, but it seemed a bit cramped with a somewhat narrow main hall along the concourse. It seemed to have the usual amenities, and there were chain restaurants to select from. Seating in the gate areas was the typical airport seating, and the gate areas seemed a little small. They at least have nice open doorways into the restrooms. I can’t believe how many airport restroom entrances are clearly designed by idiots who never travel pulling a carry-on and carrying a briefcase.

It was very cramped at the security line, and clearly this terminal was built pre-9/11 with very little room to wrap the waiting line.

They get points for cleanliness and the overall amenities, but they lose a lot of points due to the distance between the terminal and the rental car outpost.

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