I was invited by the American Airlines Social Media Team (@AmericanAir) for a tour behind the scenes of the daily operations at Dallas Fort Worth Airport. It was a two-day excursion that took us behind the scenes at the American Airlines Control Tower, Crew Lounges, Underground Bagroom, on the tarmac experience, C.R Smith Museum, and the Flight Academy facility.
This will be a four part trip report which will be divided as follows:
As you may know, American Airlines is headquartered in Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) and operates out of Terminal A, B, C, and D. All other airlines that fly into DFW are crammed into the red headed stepchild, Terminal E.
There is so much construction going on outside of DFW, but most importantly, there are huge changes in store inside the airport. Yesterday, we met up with Julie Ludeman who is the Communications Director for the Terminal Renewal Improvement Program (TRIP) at DFW International Airport. We started at Terminal A which is currently undergoing renovation.
Julie told us that there are new larger signs that say “Re-Pack” and “Re-Dress” after clearing TSA. There’s also more room for passengers to re-pack and re-dress as well.
She also told us a lot of new restaurant concepts were now running and that there were more to come. There were also larger information signs to inform customers where the restaurants were located by gate. Julie also said that the signs and lighting were brighter and helps the customers tremendously.
There was a dark side to Terminal A, which were the unfinished gloomy parts of A18-39. Work is expected to be completely finished within a year to a year and a half.
Next, we went to take a tour of the American Airlines Control Tower.
The control tower folks on the left half of the room are communicating with people on the ground in all different departments such as the ground crew, mechanics, maintenance, and anyone who wishes to speak to the control tower.
On the other half, these folks figure out where the planes are going to go and give the pilots gate assignments or re-assignments.
The computer screens display information of all sorts about flights, their respective times, and shows how long the plane has been on the ground. There are also several color codes that help them out. Green means the flight is on-time, scheduled, and there are no delays. Red means the flight has been severely delayed and or cancelled.
There are also cameras that stream live video from every gate at DFW.
There are also individual desk stations that solely focus on a particular terminal such as Terminal A, C, and D.
Afterwards, we went upstairs to the rooftop observation deck for sweeping views of DFW airport.
The group photo was courtesy of Stephanie Scott. This was by far the best view an #avgeek could ever imagine.