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5 things to know about D/FW this summer

Profile image for By Randy Loftis
By Randy Loftis
New signs can be seen on the DART trains promoting their new Orange Line service to Terminal C at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Monday, August 18, 2014. The new $150 million dollar extension from the Beltline station to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport offered their first day of service today. (David Woo/The Dallas Morning News) 05222015xNEWSDavid Woo
New signs can be seen on the DART trains promoting their new Orange Line service to Terminal C at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Monday, August 18, 2014. The new $150 million dollar extension from the Beltline station to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport offered their first day of service today. (David Woo/The Dallas Morning News) 05222015xNEWS
David Woo
A cake shaped like a D/FW Airport Skylink car is cut in honor of the 10th anniversary of the airport’s gate-to-gate passenger transport system.Ashley Landis
A cake shaped like a D/FW Airport Skylink car is cut in honor of the 10th anniversary of the airport’s gate-to-gate passenger transport system.
Ashley Landis
Tim Ashworth of Charleston, West Virginia buys chips, soda and water from Nicolasa Lara of Hurst, Texas at the new Belgian Beer Cafe on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas. Several new amenities, including restaurants, boutiques and mobile device charging stations were recently added to the airport's terminals. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News) 05222015xNEWSAshley Landis
Tim Ashworth of Charleston, West Virginia buys chips, soda and water from Nicolasa Lara of Hurst, Texas at the new Belgian Beer Cafe on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas. Several new amenities, including restaurants, boutiques and mobile device charging stations were recently added to the airport's terminals. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News) 05222015xNEWS
Ashley Landis
D/FW Airport has boosted mobile phone coverage in its terminals and installed more recharging ports. And free Wi-Fi in the terminals has become a staple.Ashley Landis
D/FW Airport has boosted mobile phone coverage in its terminals and installed more recharging ports. And free Wi-Fi in the terminals has become a staple.
Ashley Landis

Travelers going through Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport this summer can expect some changes, including a deal on express parking, more free Wi-Fi and phone charging stations and new shops and restaurants.

And lots and lots of people.

Along with issuing its summer travel forecast for 2015 — a record 18 million passengers are expected this vacation season, up from 17 million in 2014 — airport officials on Thursday showcased a range of new services and facilities.

Garage parking is easier

Space-scouting at terminals A and D isn’t nearly as futile as it once was.

Signs at entrances and at row intersections display how many spaces are open and where to find them. If they’re all taken, a big red X suggests not bothering. If there are vacancies, the directions to them are in green.

Each space is marked with an overhead light — red for occupied, green for available. It beats crawling by each one to see if it’s really open or hiding a tiny car.

Drivers who use handicap spaces can follow dedicated green lights to those as well.

The new Terminal A parking structure, already partially open, is scheduled for completion this summer. It will have 7,700 spaces, making it among Texas’ biggest parking decks.

From now through Aug. 31, the airport’s on-site Express Parking, north and south, is offering seven days for $55, less than $8 a day. The usual rate is $11 a day in the open, $13 a day covered, which is available at Express North.

Express Parking comes with passenger pickup at your car, dropoff at your terminal, luggage help, bottled water and newspapers.

Taking a DART train

DART’s Orange Line reached D/FW Airport last August, making 2015 the first full summer with direct connections from downtown.

The airport station is at Terminal A. Hop a shuttle or Skylink if you’re headed to a different terminal.

Free connections, more shops

Free Wi-Fi in the terminals has become a staple. The airport also has boosted mobile phone coverage in the terminals and installed more recharging ports.

The airport has added eight new shops and restaurants in terminals A and B. The five terminals, A through E, also have 28 ATMs.

Happy (or unhappy) travelers

Airport managers are calling their customer engagement effort “Sunny Service Days.”

Workers will monitor social media for how things are going and try to respond quickly.

To jump in, use #DFWSummer.

Happy birthday to Terminal D

Terminal D, the airport’s newest, covers 2 million square feet and serves 55 international destinations as well as domestic cities. It opened July 23, 2005.

Skylink also had a birthday this year, its 10th. D/FW bills it as “the world’s largest automated airport bi-directional train system.” More than 141 million have ridden it.

July 1 is the 10th anniversary of the Grand Hyatt DFW, the hotel attached to Terminal D.