DFW Transfer

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  • Justin Germany
    Participant

    Hi everybody,
    does anybody have experience of changing flights at DFW airport when connecting from London and then onward from DFW to Mexico, with just a two hour stopover between flights.
    I understand that I must pass immigration first despite flying onward internationally, but does this take long? Is there a special transfer desk?
    Also, what is the best lounge option at Dallas, given that I arrive with BA in first class and then transfer to an American Airlines flight?
    Many thanks in advance!
    Justin


    Gold-2K
    Participant

    DFW is pretty good for transfer, but as you say you’ll have to pick up your bags and go through customs. American have a desk to recheck and from memory there is security next to it so you can go back airside.
    Sometimes the main security lane can be busy but if you have Global Entry / TSA Pre you will be fine.

    DFW is huge but you can get around easily using the sky train which is airside and on the upper level of the terminals.

    Best AA lounge is the Flagship Lounge in Terminal D. It’s not on a par with Qatar or Cathay but is not bad. If you are not flying out of D, the other lounges are OK but nothing to write home about unless you like dry bagels and pretzels 🤷🏻‍♂️


    Brett88
    Participant

    Yep, also transferred through DFW and felt it was very easy and efficient (tho this was pre-Covid – not sure what the labour situation is like in DFW atm)

    I went to the Admirals Club when I was there and it was fine but if you have the time definitely go to the Flagship Lounge. It’s very easy to go between terminals on the airtrain. Flagship Lounge in ORD was streets ahead of any Admirals Club I’ve been in so imagine DFW will be much the same


    Justin Germany
    Participant

    Many thanks for the information, much appreciated.


    RoyJones
    Participant

    Adding my 10 cents worth. DFW is a huge airport. It’s best if you go straight to your departure terminal and know how far your gate is from the Admiral’s Club [in that terminal] Don’t try any last minute rush for the plane, unless your gate is right by the Admiral’s Club the walk may take longer than you think and the gate agents can be very officious in offloading late arriving passengers. Good luck


    maxgeorge
    Participant

    Agree with Mr Jones, above. Anything less than 2 hours would be pushing your luck. Go directly to your departure terminal.

    The inter-terminal SkyTram service ( on the upper levels) is reliable but it can take 20 minutes or more to get to a distant terminal.

    After the ICE checks you’ll have to go through security again, which, even through TSA Precheck/Global Entry lanes(which are not clearly marked)can take some time.

    The Flagship Lounge in Terminal D, open since last March, is far superior to the Admiral’s Clubs, but Mexico flights on an F or J ticket won’t get you in – you need OW Emerald or Sapphire.


    Justin Germany
    Participant

    Great, thanks for the advice. I have BA Gold so I guess should be able to try out the Flagship lounge…..assuming there is time!


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Justin, I suggest that you check which terminals are involved and take a look at the map to see – if you need to change terminals – how long the skytrain is likely to take. I remember it being incredibly slow if you are going more than one terminal away.

    The nightmare part, in my experience, is the baggage collection / customs / recheck process, which was so awful the last time I went through there that I vowed never to do it again. I must have hit a bad day / time / whatever but the queue for recheck took 2½ hours (and no, I am not kidding, I remember it vividly). I fortunately had a longer layover but ended up having to run to get my flight.

    If you are on a through ticket then one would hope that you will have a protected connection in case things go wrong. But I would advise that you have hard copies of your documentation and make a note of the contact information for your onward carrier (presumably AA?) in case things go pear-shaped. My experience with AA and connection problems has (with one notable exception) been pretty good.

    Good luck!


    jsn55
    Participant

    Hope it’s your lucky day … two hours between international flights is cutting it close. It’s the official stuff that gets in the way and you never know how long it will take to deal with it all. Have a Plan B, or change your itinerary now to allow more time.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Justin Germany
    Participant

    I did see quite good news on Qantas’s website which suggests that baggage now gets transferred through DFW to the final destination. If this is true, then I only need to get through passport control and over to terminal E! I will update this group next Friday!


    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    Please check carefully if this is the case.
    Only speaking from personal experience, I’ve never seen baggage get automatically sent on to the final destination when transiting through a US airport. It has always been immigration, collect luggage, pass through customs, then bag gets taken away for forwarding to next flight.
    That said, great if this new approach does happen.


    RoyJones
    Participant

    I can second AlanOrton1’s comment. The positive news is that US customs is now more like European Customs – they don’t question everyone, just pick out particular people. I suspect, but do not know, they use some of the scanning technology TSA use when checking people. Two months ago with my Global Entry and early bag arrival I was through ORD in less than 10 minutes and into the lounge after transfer and TSApre security in under 25 minutes – an absolute record. I had expected just over an hour.


    Justin Germany
    Participant

    Generally that is true, but there are a few airports in the U.S. that do this, Miami I know is one, as I experienced it myself on the way to New Orleans. Still based on the following, I am hopeful! (So long as I don’T get stuck for 2 hours as passport control!)

    I quote Qantas here: https://www.qantas.com/au/en/qantas-experience/at-the-airport/airport-guides/dallas-fort-worth-airport-guide.html – sounds promising and I hope it also applies to BA flights too.

    “Passengers connecting in Dallas (Fort Worth) with direct international service, no longer have to claim their baggage through US Customs and Border Protection. You can simply claim your baggage at your final destination once passport control has been cleared.
    International-To-International (ITI) baggage transfer service is available at Dallas (Fort Worth) between American Airlines (AA) and Qantas (QF) for all connecting passengers from Australia to AA without the need to clear their bags through US Customs in Dallas (Fort Worth) when transferring to a direct international destination (eg. Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, UK, Spain, France, etc.). ITI is also applicable from AA international flights connecting through Dallas (Fort Worth) to QF to Sydney.”


    CheerUp
    Participant

    Very much worth confirming at check in desk as to whether your bags will be through checked to end destination.
    Admittedly in the other direction, but I flew MTY-DFW-LHR in 2019, and my bags were through checked to LHR.

    You do have to clear US immigration (which took hours – luckily a longer connection) – so ESTA (or relevant US entry requirements) required.


    Justin Germany
    Participant

    I am pleased to report a favourable DFW transfer experience in the end! Luggage does get checked through to the final international destination, in my case LHR-DFW-CUU. It gets given a big orange tag at LHR stating that it is checked through.
    Passport control at DFW was also fast, although I was first off the plane and there was no queue when I arrived at passport control – not sure what it was like for the rest of the A380 fellow passengers. Security took 10 minutes. So despite a sub-two hour connection, I made it through even with enough time for a quick (and possibly unnecessary!) beer before my onward connection to Chihauhau.
    Good service on the onward AA flight to CUU too.

    As a side note, I have to congratulate Mexican airport service. On all three Mexican airport experiences in the last two weeks, check in has been fast, security in less than 5 minutes and baggage arriving quickly too. They put some European airports to shame.

    5 users thanked author for this post.
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