COVID era changes you will notice at DFW International Airport and others you won’t notice
DFW AIRPORT, TX (KLTV / KTRE) – Travelers arriving from Tyler Pounds Regional Airport or East Texas Regional Airport connect through Dallas Fort Worth International Airports, one of the most frequented in the world.
Passenger numbers show people are resuming their flight, approaching pre-pandemic levels. The latest available totals show that 6,866,796 people traveled via DFW in July, up 112% from the same period in 2020. This is around a quarter of a million passengers less than in July 2019 , the summer before the end of pandemic ground air travel.
Nationally, the industry’s recovery was less promising for airlines, as bookings began to collapse amid a slight increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. The winter holiday season should always be a busy time for travelers.
If you haven’t set foot in DFW Airport since the pandemic began, or even if you have, the super hub has been busy for the past year and a half.
HEALTH AND SECURITY
Passengers, workers, and other visitors to DFW Airport should cover their noses and mouths, as required by federal law. âThe requirement applies to anyone 2 years of age and older or anyone without a health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask safely,â a press release said.
Signage throughout the property encourages social distancing and adherence to other safety protocols. Passengers needing assistance with directions and other information were able to communicate with Ambassadors virtually through the airport’s digital kiosks. Many volunteers have since returned to face-to-face interaction with passengers in the terminal.
Since January 2020, the airport has stepped up the frequency of cleanings, particularly of high-contact surfaces at all five terminals, including TSA security checkpoints and seating areas. Plexiglass screens were installed, along with modifications to create a touchless experience in the toilet.
The airport has also started installing Ultraviolet C, also known as germicidal irradiation, in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. âThe technology effectively eliminated an airborne coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in testing by destroying the outer protein coating of the coronavirus,â a press release said.
With many destinations and governments requiring testing before traveling or returning home, COVID-19 testing facilities are available in Terminal D, both before and after the security screening process.
This summer, the National Guard began offering free COVID-19 vaccines to passengers at Terminals B, C and D.
Even though fewer passengers were traveling there, new doors were added, while others were closed in anticipation of major expansions.
DFW’s Terminal D southern extension opened in May, bringing four new gates and a variety of amenities to the southeast corner of the international terminal. QR codes on each seat near the doors allow passengers to have food and drink delivered directly.
A new construction approach is used in renovations to some of the airport’s older facilities. Gates C35 to C39 are expected to be closed until 2022, as a hall is built using prefabricated modules that will be transported to the terminal from an off-site location.
Five new gates are coming as part of a planned expansion of Terminal A. Scheduled for completion by 2026, the projects will add 850,000 square feet to the airport, according to a press release.
However, previously announced plans for the construction of a sixth terminal, Terminal F, are on hold at the moment, according to DFW Airport.
From DFW International Airport, travelers can travel to 258 destinations around the world. While some of the 22 airlines operating in DFW have suspended service since the start of the pandemic, several have resumed scheduled or seasonal flights, while others are expanding their service.
Sun Country Airlines is offering new non-stop routes from Dallas-Fort Worth, which is a flagship city for the ultra-low cost carrier. Service to Santa Ana, California and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico began earlier this year.
Mexican low-cost airline Volaris Airlines now offers three direct flights per week to Mexico City.
Star Alliance member Lufthansa resumed flights to Germany in May.
In July, Doha-based Qatar Airways increased its scheduled flights to 12 per week until September 26.
Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines, which operates crew and maintenance bases at DFW, also launched three flights per week to the vacation destination Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this summer. Later this fall, Miami will be added to its list of 18 destinations from DFW.
Air Canada resumed service to Toronto Pearson International Airport on September 7.
Newcomer Turkish Airlines has announced four weekly flights with long-haul flights to Istanbul from September 24.
DFW is American Airlines’ largest hub and will begin direct flights to Tel Aviv, Israel on October 31. Until November 6, the airline also added daily flights to Bangor, Maine and Burlington, Vermont, two new routes for the historic carrier. . Direct flights to Columbus, Georgia also began last month.
Frontier Airlines is expanding its network through DFW with introductory fares as low as $ 29 per trip on flights to Phoenix this fall. The low-cost carrier plans to launch non-stop flights to San Diego and San Francisco in September; Tampa and Phoenix in November; and Buffalo, New York, Durango, Colorado; and Hartford, Connecticut from April 2022. Other new routes include: Atlanta; Chicago; Nashville; Ontario, California; Salt Lake City; and Cancun, Mexico.
In October, Delta Airlines will launch a bi-daily service to DFW from Boston Logan International Airport.
During the pandemic, DFW Airport unveiled “smart” toilets in its terminals, with motion-activated faucets and soap and paper towel dispensers. The number of vacant places is now displayed on digital screens at the entrance to the toilets. Inside, colored lights on the ceiling indicate which toilets are available.
American Airlines has reopened its Admirals Club lounges in Terminals A, B, C and D. It also announced plans to reopen its flagship lounge in Terminal D later this fall.
United Airlines reopened its United Club in DFW at the end of August.
With free spa services and showers, the American Express Centurion Lounge in Terminal D reopened in October with modified security protocols.
Capital One has announced the opening of a lounge in Terminal D, near gate D22, this fall.
Most dealerships have reopened, many seeking to fill staffing gaps, a similar situation seen statewide.
Texas-based burger chain Whataburger plans to open a second location in DFW by the end of 2021 or early 2022. A 1,200 square foot restaurant is currently operating out of Terminal E – Satellite, the terminal D being ready to welcome the new store. .
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