DFW Airport – It’s Not So Bad Anymore

By Robert Mark on April 22nd, 2007

When I was asked a few months ago to run a workshop about airport marketing and new media for the Texas Aviation Conference in Corpus Christi I was pretty excited. The Texas Department of Transportation folks put on a great event and have always made me feel right at home with a whole bunch of Texas hospitality.

Then came the cold mackerel of flight planning reality.

An on-time arrival at the conference demanded an airplane switch at DFW.   In my book, multi-leg airline trips through airline hubs are right up there at the top of the purgatory level right behind putting a corporate pilot in row 24. Connections just add one more place for things to go wrong and a massive hub like DFW is a recipe for a mess … or so I thought as I thought back to the old tram system that used to run at DFW. But DFW now has Skylink.

Twenty minutes past boarding time came the news from American Airlines. My flight was, “Out of Service,” with no word about when or if a replacement airplane might show up.

So much for a connection to Corpus.

Thirty five minutes later however, American found an extra MD-80 and we loaded. An hour and five minutes late, we blasted off for DFW. Being the nervous irvis I am about connections, I’d pretty much decided I’d never make it and simply focused on getting in late to CRP.

After landing at DFW, the flight attendants where sharp. They knew a bunch of us had tight connections and asked those who were not connecting to remain seating so the rest of us could blast past. It was a kind though, but as soon as they set the parking brakes and shut down the engine, everyone stood up. Figured I was finished for sure since we were at “A14” and I needed “B22.” That’s on the other side of the airport.

Never say die though, so after I hit the terminal, I saw the Skylink gate right next door. Skylink is this nifty two-way train that runs between all airport terminals every two minutes. Simply jump on which ever train is aimed in the direction of the gate you need.

I ran up the stairs just as the train to the “B” terminal arrived. I timed it. 35 seconds later I hopped off at a Skylink gate right near “B22.” Down the stairs I ran and low and behold, I still had six minutes until boarding time.

I made it to CRP on time. And wonder of wonders, so did my bag.

Thanks DFW. That Skylink system is astounding. Now if you could just convince the people at ORD.

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