Sleeping in Airports

9 Things to do on a layover at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport

If you have found yourself with a layover at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, you may now be wondering what to do with your time….besides sleep! Overall, DFW is comfortable with many things to do, especially if you like eating and shopping.

Here are ten things to do on a layover at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

1. Enjoy the food

Airport DiningYou won’t have any problem finding a good meal at DFW – this is Texas, after all! Plenty of eateries are in every terminal, serving barbeque, sandwiches, Southern cooking, fast food, frozen yogurt, Tex-Mex, American classics, and more. Head to Terminal D for more options for leisurely sit-down restaurants with international flair. Foodies in the know head to Whitetail Bistro by Kent Rathbun, Banh Shop, Love Shack, Stampede 66 Express, and Cousins Bar-B-Q. Fans of American football may want to seek out the Dallas Cowboys Club or avoid it altogether, depending on their allegiance. If you’re a breakfast-any-time-of-day person, Cereality is a cereal bar open all day. Staying the night at DFW? Plan ahead, as it seems only the Airside 7-Elevens stay open 24 hours.

2. Spend time in a lounge

Airport LoungesYou may be surprised to learn that several airport lounges allow any traveller’s entry, regardless of their airline or flight class. Sure, you’ll have to spend a few bucks, but it may be money well spent to pass your layover in upgraded comfort, with food, WiFi, and other amenities typically included in your entry fee. Gain entry by pre-booking online or using your lounge membership program. See our Dallas Fort Worth Airport Guide for details and locations.

3. Go shopping

ShoppingGet your steps in between flights by browsing the many shops! Expect plenty of airport staples in each terminal, like convenience stores, travel and technology shops, and specialty stores offering candy, souvenirs, and skin care. Texas Marketplace, The Range, and similarly-named stores offer Texas goods like local leather and cowboy hats and buckles. You can also give your credit card a workout at splurge-worthy boutiques in Terminal D, like Longchamp, Coach, and Michael Kors.

4. Take a shower

If you want to freshen up, Minute Suites and the DFW Lounge offer shower facilities, but you’ll need to pay for entry.

5. Unwind at the spa

After your last flight, you may need some TLC. XpresSpa has several locations in the airport for manicures and pedicures, massages, facials, hair styling and other relaxation services. Not every site offers all services.

6. Stay connected

Stay connected to friends and family, update your social media accounts or surf the internet using the airport’s free WiFi.

7. Browse the art

DFW takes public art seriously, installing more than 30 artworks, including terrazzo floors, an outdoor sculpture garden, and paintings. Join an airport tour or see how many you can spot while strolling through the terminals.

8. Explore Dallas

Layover SightseeingIf you’ve got a layover of at least 6 hours, consider leaving the airport behind altogether!

The DART public transit network provides cheap connections to downtown Dallas. The easiest option is the DART Rail Orange Line, which has a station at Terminal A. Bus route 408 and Trinity Railway Express connect with the city but are limited in service. Plan about 75 minutes one-way. Taxis are also available.

You can also head to Fort Worth, but Dallas is closer and more accessible by public transit.

(If you are leaving the airport, know luggage storage isn’t available at DFW, so pack light or plan ahead.)

The DART connects to these Dallas neighbourhoods, so pick one or more to explore, depending on your flight itinerary:

  • The Pearl/Arts District is the spot for art and culture aficionados. Pop into the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, or the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Architectural walking tours are a fun and affordable way to explore this neighbourhood.
  • The West End District has plenty of shopping and eating establishments. However, it is mainly known for its place in history: Former U.S. President JFK was assassinated at Dealey Plaza here, and the Sixth Floor Museum memorializes the event.
  • The Main Street District is the heart of downtown Dallas. Stroll through the gardens and art exhibits at Thanks-Giving Square, or look for live music performers. This is an excellent neighbourhood to explore if you’re not in the mood to head to museums or historic attractions.

Other options for exploring Dallas include the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Dallas World Aquarium, but these require even more time. You’ll need to shell out for taxis, too.

As always, head back with plenty of time to process Security and reach your gate before that next flight!

9. Catch up on your sleep

Airport SleeperGenerally, overnight travellers shouldn’t have many issues camping out overnight. The airport is pretty sleep-friendly, but plan to walk a lot if you’re searching for a decent spot to spread out. Travellers particularly enjoy the leather footrest chairs in the lounge near Gates B10-11. The Relax Lounge in B28 isn’t well-lit but is said to provide a calm sleep environment. In Concourse C, seek out the rest zones that tend to be dimly lit. One near Gate C27 has two large couches plus a few comfortable chairs suitable for a few hours’ rest. Terminal E has a quiet yoga area, even during the day. No matter where you hang out, bring an extra layer and earplugs to block out airport AC and noise. As a U.S. transit hub, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport sees a lot of stranded passengers thanks to mass flight cancellations. The airport is prepared with eco-friendly biodegradable blankets and pillows. If your flight has been cancelled and you are stuck in the airport overnight.

If you would rather spend the cash to ensure better quality sleep? Terminal D has a couple of options: Minute Suites rent private suites with daybed sofas by the hour or overnight, and when they’re full, they’ll rent air mattresses. Or head to the Grand Hyatt DFW or Hyatt Regency DFW for a traditional hotel room, with day rooms available. Plenty of hotels are located off airport premises, some with free airport shuttles; see our Dallas Fort Worth Airport Guide for details.

These are just a few things to do on a layover at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Visit our Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Guide for more information about services and facilities, such as food, WiFi, mobile charging, luggage storage, nearby airport hotels, and much more.