TRAVEL HERE: INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURES AT DFW
I’m not exactly a fan of DFW, but if I have to go out there I hope I’m flying out of terminal D. For one thing, that means I might be going out of the country, which is always good news to me. For the other, it is by far the best terminal from which to depart.
New and Improved Travelers
There was a time when my husband tried to push the travel envelope to the very edge. He wanted to find out just how close he could cut it. It seemed every trip we were the passengers breathlessly running aboard as they closed the door. Unfortunately, I had been raised by a father who considered earliness to be next to godliness. That race for the plane thrilled my excitement junkie hubby, but I would go into pure panic mode.
Over the years we’ve both mellowed out. This is a good thing, since these days, travel is a very different endeavor from what it was twenty years ago. Anybody pulling a last minute maneuver, like some we did back in the day, would find themselves cooling their heels in some TSA holding space.
Nowadays we get to the airport with hours to spare. We treat the terminal like a tourist attraction, tasting the local treats and checking out the souvenirs.
A Plug for Park &’N Fly
When we fly, our car is parked at the Park ‘N Fly facility on Park Lane. We drive in. A bus pulls up and a nice driver pops out to help us with our bags. Frequently we are driven directly to our terminal, but even at busy times we get from our car to our gate lickety split. The nice driver offloads your bags and you’re almost done.
Over the last year, we joined Costco and guess what! Park ‘N Fly, which is already a bargain at full price, has discounted rates with Costco coupons. You buy 5 day blocks of tickets for $35 and we’re talking discounted. The price is so cheap that we saved money with the coupons even though we had to buy and extra day. The coupon never expires, so we’ll jut hold on to it until the next trip – maybe the one we’ll make to visit our new friends in Oregon we met aboard the Viking Tor.
Our driver for this trip may just be the most charming we’ve ever had. He was filled with the joy of his salvation and was listening to a sermon on his sound system. He politely asked if that was OK with us, but we just amen-ed with him and said a few hallelujahs. He asked where we were headed and when he found out about our cruise on the Danube he really wanted to go along.
Hurry Up and Wait
At the Lufthansa check-in we stared down the kiosk and tried to determine which number or piece of paper it preferred, but we were grateful when someone came to assist us with the check-in, especially since I had already theoretically done that online. It seems to me that all this digital stuff just makes more work. Used to be you called up your travel agent to buy your fare, got a hard copy ticket, took it to the desk and were checked in. Now you dabble online to find a ticket, get a virtual ticket, check-in online, get a virtual boarding pass, fritz with the kiosk at the airport, get pieces of paper and still have to report to a live agent to check-in your bags. Convenience, schamenience!
The line for the TSA security check was not too bad and then we were in, with a couple of hours left to kill. I had visions of sitting down over a good meal at Cafe Izmir, Cool River Cafe, III Forks or Sky Canyon. Then I made the mistake of allowing Bill to see the directory of restaurants and ended up at Popeye’s. You may think I’m kidding, but it’s the truth. Bill loves Popeye’s and since we’re usually trying to eat healthy we stay away. With all food being calorie free on vacations (wink wink) he wanted to get some.
After our chicken we roamed the terminal and looked at all the places we could have eaten and checked out the shops. Along the way we saw some interesting art installations spread throughout the space. We really began to feel like tourists. Many of the most beautiful installations were mosaics on the floor which photograph poorly. We also found this interesting public interactive.
We decided it was getting close enough to departure time that we should get to our gate. They’d decided to start boarding early to beat some turbulence, so getting there early had been a good thing.
If you’re coming through Dallas or leaving from our airport, I hope you’ll get to enjoy Terminal D. If not, you’re stuck with the usual. Maybe if you’re stuck there long enough on a layover you could take the train over to D and dine in style.
On Wednesdays I’m sharing my Viking River Cruise, the reason we were at the airport in the first place. Please check back and share the adventure.