American Airlines is ready to move into 15 new gates at DFW Airport’s Terminal E.
But customers who aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of Dallas-Fort Worth Airport might have to work a little to find them.
The new gates are in a building known as Terminal E Satellite. It’s an extension of Terminal E, with its own small terminal building jutting out into the airfield on DFW’s east side. Travelers connecting to a flight at the satellite terminal must use an underground walkway, which is about 500 feet long but features moving sidewalks.
The entrance to the Terminal E Satellite is near gate E21.
The airline, which will begin using the new gates Friday, held a ceremony Thursday to celebrate more than a year of work that went into upgrading the satellite terminal. It features upgraded concessions, including a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit that’s already open and a Whataburger that is scheduled to open around the end of May.
Also, a new Admiral’s Club will open at the satellite building later this year, so frequent flyers can relax in luxury without having to leave the terminal.
“This is just in time for the summer peak season,” said Jose Velez Rubio, vice president of hub operations at DFW for Envoy, which is a subsidiary of American that handles many of its regional flights.
Many of the flights arriving and departing at Terminal E Satellite will be serving American Eagle destinations such as Evansville, Ind., Harlingen and McAllen, officials said.
The improvements to Terminal E Satellite were made as a way to temporarily help American accommodate its tremendous growth.
Eventually, DFW Airport plans to build a sixth passenger terminal — Terminal F — to meet growth needs for decades to come, to benefit American as well as other airlines. But Terminal F negotiations between the airport, American and other airlines are just getting started, and once the talks are completed construction of the new terminal could take roughly five years.
American didn’t want to wait that long to add flights to its largest city — which happens to serve the Dallas-Fort Worth area. American’s world headquarters is in Fort Worth, and roughly 25,000 North Texans are employed by the airline.
Adding the 15 gates to Terminal E Satellite will allow American to add roughly 100 flights, said Cedric Rockamore, American vice president for DFW. The airlines is expected to surpass 900 departures per day from DFW this summer, during the peak travel season, officials said.