Dallas Fort Worth: a big airport for a big city
Cows, cowboys, oil, cheerleaders and Miss Ellie, Yes, we are talking Dallas, or the “Big D” as it is fondly known Stateside. The second biggest city in Texas has always been a place where big is better whether it is hats, shopping malls, churches, football teams or indeed the local airport, Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), which in 2009 was the eighth busiest worldwide with over 56 million people using it.There is no other way of putting it• DFW is big, its entire site covers nearly 30 square miles and boasts five terminals connected by a futuristic Skylink shuttle service. There are also 174 gates, two hotels, a golf course, a multi-million dollar art collection and a public observation park. Oh, and let’s not forget the 100 or so shops to tempt the traveller with time to spare, as well as over 120 different restaurants and cafés.Feeling spoilt for choice on the shopping front? Well fear not: here are our top retail picks across DFW’s five terminals.
Terminal A (American Airlines)
If you want to buy a memento of your trip to Dallas hotfoot it to the Jethro Pugh Western Shop, where you can wallow in Americana to your heart’s content with everything from cowboy hats and leather belts to BBQ sauces and salsas. You will find similar rootin’ tootin’ fare at the wonderfully named, Ropin’ & Ridin’ outlet and Texas Marketplace.For local flavour of the sporting kind head over to the Official Dallas Cowboy Shop, where you can buy all manner of branded merchandise such as replica jerseys, t-shirts, caps, fleeces, jewellery and glassware. For a more complete picture of the type of gear available, see www.shopcowboys.com.Away from souvenirs, Terminal A boasts a kids’ toy shop (KidZoo), a beauty spa treatment salon called XpressSpa, and several book shops and news stands (Main Street News, News Express, DFW News Connection, Hudson Booksellers and Southwest News).
Terminal B (American Eagle)
Western gift shops are not in short supply either in this terminal• take your pick from JP’s Dude Ranch and the Lone Star Emporium. However, we particularly like the idea of the self-service Best Buy Express kiosk, where you can buy the type of electronic gadget it is all too easy forget to bring when packing your suitcase such as mobile phone and computer accessories, flash drives, MP3 players, headphones and so on. (You will also find Best Buy Express outlets in all four of the airport’s other terminals).
A welcome break from all the gift and souvenir shops is the Details, Gifts for Women shop at Gate B17, which stocks ladies fashion accessories and features brands such as DKNY and Calvin Klein. The bright and colourful Natalie’s Candy Bar will delight the sweet-toothed traveller, selling over 300 different types of candy from chocolates, sours and jellies to more unusual lines such as sugar-free confectionery and healthy nut mixes. Log on to www.nataliescandybar.com to find out more.
Terminal C (American Airlines)
The retail selection here is dominated by souvenir shops such as Texas Marketplace and Lone Star Attitude and new stands such as Sierra News, Fox News Channel, DFW News Connection and Wall Street News. Overkill perhaps, but remember well over 50% of travellers using DFW are headline-hungry business travellers.Brooks Brothers, the US’ oldest men’s fashion retailer, boasts a store in Terminal C (C14) selling both men’s and women’s fashion and accessories. Famous for its so-called “timeless classics” such as dress shirts, ties, blazers and sits, Brooks Brothers is a great place for those wanting to perfect that difficult look: “smart casual” (see www.brooksbrothers.com.
Terminal D (International Departures)
The International Departures lounge can only mean on thing• yes duty-free, or in the case of DFW, the aptly named Buckaroo Duty Free. Operating from two locations (D17 and D27), by all accounts Buckaroo sells the usual range of duty-free liquor, tobacco, fragrances, cosmetics, watches, jewellery and confectionery. Disappointingly, however, the retailer doesn’t run a consumer website, giving travellers no chance of browsing the range or latest launches or promotions before their departure.
On a brighter note the La Bodega Winery is a genuine rarity in the world of travel-retail• a bona fide bonded airport winery permitted to produce wine on site. Make a beeline for Gate 17 to try one of the family-owned company’s award-winning Texan wines. After a glass or two you may end up convinced that there is more to American wine than the Napa Valley. Accompanying nibbles offered will help soak up the alcohol.
Terminal E (Delta, Virgin America, US Airways and many others)
This terminal offers many of the same retail names as the other four terminals (Brooks Brothers, Texas Marketplace, Official Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop and Best Buy Express). We do however like the idea of the InMotion Entertainment store at Gate E16, where you can rent DVDs and portable DVD players to use on your trip and then return them using a handy pre-paid FedEx shipment service. The store, which has dozens of other US airport locations nationwide, also sells computer accessories, games, Internet tablets and MP3 players (seewww.inmotionstores.com for more details).