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Photo credit Kevin Brown

Holiday travel really doesn’t have to be stressful.  Breathe deep as you get ready for the holiday season and if you are one of those travelers who only gets to the airport during this time of year, expect to find some changes at DFW International Airport.

In recent months, DFW Airport has welcomed several new retail and dining options, installed state-of-the-art technology designed to extensively improve the DFW travel experience, and renovations continue on Terminals A, B, C, and E, and respective parking garages.

The restaurants and shops that standout include some new choices in terminal D like Stampede 66 Express, a modern Texas cuisine by Chef Stephan Pyles near D27; CRU food and wine bar near D24 alongside luxury retailers like Coach and Longchamp, and near D20 and D25 there is now luxury beauty brand shopping from Aveda, Jo Malone and Mac.

David Magaña, Senior Manager, Media Relations at DFW International Airport said “DFW Airport is constantly working to enhance its customer experience by providing travelers with unique and culturally relevant concessions and retail options.”

 The busiest days

The busiest days for traveling through DFW Airport are generally the Saturday and Sunday prior to Thanksgiving, and the Sunday following Thanksgiving, which is normally the single busiest day for that travel period.  

“Even during the holidays, DFW does not see “crowds” per se, just busier peaks,” Magaña said.  “A weekday travel day in October might see 160-170,000 passengers visit DFW whereas a day during the Thanksgiving travel period might see 190,000, so while it is a 10 to 12 percent jump there are not really “crowds.”

Magaña said it is often the time-of-day versus the actual day that determines when the airport will be busier.

“An airport has rush hours in the morning and late afternoon just like the roads in a city, and thus you have a sense of what times of day are busiest,” Magaña explained. 

Parking at DFW

As for holiday parking, DFW International Airport is hoping to make that easier for holiday travelers too and is offering two different parking promotions during the holidays. The first will be available Thanksgiving week and the second will launch during December. 

And about that much talked about Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program (TRIP) that is in the final phases in Terminal E and Terminal B and is not slated for completion until January 2018. Keep that in mind when traveling to the airport too.

“Our goal is to make the customer experience as smooth and efficient as possible,” said Ken Buchanan, executive vice president of revenue management for DFW Airport. "For the most convenient parking travelers are encouraged to take advantage of our Terminal Parking promotion and we will continue to elevate the overall DFW travel experience with new amenities and updates to make for a delightful trip through DFW.”

Magaña offers these tips to make your holiday travel easier at DFW International Airport this year:

DO: Download the to access tailored information for your journey through DFW, including intuitive wayfinding functionalities, interactive maps, custom flight information, and simple yet powerful search capabilities. The DFW Mobile App (version 3.2.2) now works with Apple Watch and features seven languages, news and weather alerts, enhanced flight search with autocomplete functionality, a geo-enhanced “shops, dine and services” feature, improved parking information, Skylink locators, social media connectors, and overall improved offline use. The DFW Airport Mobile App is available as a free download for Apple iOS and Android mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.

DO: Park closer, faster and smarter by using DFW Parking. With Valet, Terminal, Express and Remote Parking options available, DFW has a choice for every traveler.

DO: Speed through the security process by joining trusted traveler programs such as TSA Pre?® or Global Entry, available from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, respectively. To enroll, visit the TSA or Customs and Border Patrol.

DO NOT: Arrive late to your gate. The Airport recommends arriving two hours prior to your flight departure to ensure ample time to park, check-in, clear security, and arrive at your departure gate.

DO NOT: Bring liquids in carry-on bags that are more than 3 ounces and not packaged in a one-quart bag. Pack lightly, with no more than one bag allowed per person. Remember 3-1-1!

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