Fly into the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and you'll be landing at one of the five busiest airports in the world. DFW is a mega-sized installation that spreads over twenty-seven square miles, has five terminals containing almost two hundred gates, and a total of seven runways. Aircraft traffic surpasses half a million flights per year and annual passenger numbers regularly top fifty million.
Any airport that's as big and busy as Dallas Fort Worth will take more of your layover time to negotiate. The necessary immigration controls can get gridlocked and baggage collection can be a slow process. You can find out how long queues are at any given time by using the app on the official website. It's useful but doesn't make the queues any shorter, and you may also need to change terminals to catch your Dallas connection. If you do, there are two modes of transport you can use. The first is Terminal Link which is before the security checks and Skylink which is after them. The maximum journey time on either is nine minutes.
6 hour layover in Dallas
A six-hour layover in Fort Worth International Airport won't give you free time to go out of the airport even if you use the DART. The DART, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, operates a fast service train from the airport into Dallas departing from the station on the lower level of departures in Terminal A. Apart from taxis, it's the fastest way of getting into Downtown and takes about an hour. There are charter bus services but these can take anywhere up to two hours to make the same trip.
- If you find yourself with an hour of your stopover to spare before you need to check-in, head for Founders Plaza where you can get a breath of fresh air while watching planes taking off and landing.
- Drop your bags in a Dallas luggage locker facility or check-in early if you can then take a tour of the airport on either the Terminal Link or the Skylink. You'll be amazed at just how big the airport is.
8 hour layover in Dallas
When you have an eight-hour layover you will be able to catch the DART into Downtown Dallas, but it won't leave you much time for sightseeing unless you’re pretty speedy. Get off at the Akard station and you'll be a ten-minute walk from the JFK Memorial Plaza on Main Street. After seeing that, continue your walk at a brisk pace to the Reunion Tower where you can ride the elevator up to the observation deck. While you may not have time on your layover to see much of Dallas close up, from the tower you'll be able to see it all before you need to leg it to Akard station to catch the DART back to the airport for your connecting flight.
- Buy your ticket for the tower online before you go. They are valid for thirty days from the date of purchase and will save you time when you get there.
- If you're a quick walker and don't dally, you'll be able to go and see the Giant Eyeball. The sculpture of an eyeball is on Main Street just a three-minute walk from the station and makes for a super souvenir selfie.
10 hour layover in Dallas
If you've been on a Dallas layover before and want to do something different instead of going into Downtown to see the sights there, go to Grapevine. Grapevine is a short ten-minute taxi ride from the airport and has an interesting historic district. Take a short walking tour around the Cotton Belt Historic District which encompasses most of the main street where there are also a variety of artisan workshops and a railroad museum.
- While you're in Grapevine, take a stroll around the Grapevine Botanical Gardens. It's a great spot for a leg stretch.
- For a garden of a different sort, plan a brief visit to the Messina Hof Grapevine Winery where you can stroll through the vineyards then have a tasting session.
- If you do decide to head into Dallas, try taking a walking tour down Main Street with an architecturally knowledgeable guide who will give you an insight into the history and construction of some of the city's most iconic skyscrapers.
12 hour layover in Dallas
Turn your twelve-hour Dallas stopover into an exhilarating time by dropping your bags at an airport luggage storage service, and grab a cab for the fifteen-minute drive to the Six Flags Over Texas. The theme park in Arlington covers more than two hundred acres with mind-blowing roller coasters and thrill rides that make airplane take-offs look and feel tame. There are live music performances and endless eateries where you can grab a sustaining bite to eat. It's wild and definitely the best way to spend a Dallas stopover if you're traveling with kids.
- Go wet and wild and make your layover more refreshing by heading for the Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark. The best way to chill out between flights is floating down the lazy river on a lilo.
- To stay dry but still get some exercise on your layover, think about hiring a bicycle and pedaling the Katy Trail. The three-and-a-half-mile-long trail runs along a reconditioned railway line and is totally pedestrianized so there's no traffic to deal with.
24 hour layover in Dallas
Dallas is such a big city and one where there's so much to do you're never going to get to see and do everything that interests you even with an overnight layover. It's easy to get diverted by the fun side of the city and its endless theme parks, but Dallas has a serious side too and some incredible outdoor recreational areas. Plan in advance what you want to do and you'll make the most of your layover whether you pay a visit to the Old Red Museum of Dallas County, catch a show at the Irving Arts Center or the Winspear Opera House, or go hiking or cycling around White Rock Lake Park.
- Enjoy a quiet dinner on your Dallas layover by wandering down the Mandalay Canal Walk and taking a table at one of the waterside restaurants there.
- Don't miss out on all the fun by visiting the Museum of Illusions or Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Yes, even Dallas has a bizarre side.