A record number of travelers is expected to pass through Dallas/Fort Worth Airport during the Thanksgiving holiday period, and airport officials are once again making an extra effort to ease the pressure on infrequent fliers who tend to get stressed out.
This year, the world’s fourth-busiest airport will offer giant, walk-in snow globes at each of its five passenger terminals. The snow globes, which are actually just see-through props painted to look like oversized, souvenir spheres, are expected to be a hit with travelers interested in taking a holiday photograph.
But catchy photo opportunities are just the beginning. DFW also will offer free coffee vouchers for customers who use valet parking, or take Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail to the airport. Also, luggage porters will be on hand in parking garages to help travelers with their bags.
“We see this time of year a lot of people who don’t have a lot of experience traveling, or people traveling with little kids — so we’re here to help you along,” said DFW spokesman David Magana.
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A record 2.25 million travelers are expected to pass through the airport during the Thanksgiving travel season, which ends Dec 2. That’s a 1.4 percent increase from last year, officials said.
Airport officials on Friday launched their “Cheer Starts Here!” holiday campaign. The idea is to encourage leisure travelers to get to the airport at least two hours early, providing plenty of time to get through security and spend money at stores and restaurants in the terminals.
DFW officials on Friday showed off some of the 44 recently renovated gates in Terminals A, B and E. Near ticket counters at Terminal D, passers-by were offered food and beverage samples, including alcohol-free drinks, hummus and dolmas from Wild Bleu Martini Bar — a venue with a permanent location near Gate A9.
Stores such as Destinations, located at gate A14, showed off the latest fashion fare.
Free samples of Starbucks coffee, which is sold at various locations both in the secured and unsecured areas of DFW, were also handed out.
Stephen West, who works at Xpress Spa near gates D24 and D18, suggests a 15-minute chair massage, which costs about $35.
“It gives you relief when you’re catching that next flight,” he said. “It releases the tension of being cramped up in that chair while flying in.”
Staff writer Andrea Ahles contributed to this report.