Aviation

Yes, Whataburger may be coming to DFW Airport. But will you be able to find it?

Luis Limon and Denise Gomez had their engagement photo shoot at their favorite place: Whataburger. Now, Whataburger may open a place at DFW Airport.
Luis Limon and Denise Gomez had their engagement photo shoot at their favorite place: Whataburger. Now, Whataburger may open a place at DFW Airport.

Whataburger might soon be arriving at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, which should be mouth-watering news for anyone with a long layover and a growling tummy.

But will air travelers be able to find it?

It turns out that those who crave a bite of the iconic Texas-based hamburger may have to engage in a bit of a scavenger hunt.

Not only will the Whataburger be located in Terminal E, which happens to be among the least used of DFW Airport’s five passenger terminals, it won’t actually be in the horseshoe-shaped main terminal with all the usual shops and restaurants. Instead, it will actually be located in a facility attached to Terminal E known as the satellite terminal.

The satellite area has nine gates originally built for Delta Air Lines’ regional propeller planes, but is now rarely used. However, this little pocket of the spacious DFW airfield could soon become more popular than spicy strawberry biscuits.

American Airlines is in the midst of a $20 million renovation of the Terminal E satellite and plans to open 15 gates there in the spring. That’s also about the same time the Whataburger would open there, assuming the DFW AIrport board approves a concession agreement during its regular monthly meeting Thursday.

As for Whataburger, a company official on Wednesday tried to downplay the notion that the DFW location was a done deal.

“We absolutely love hearing from so many fans traveling through DFW International Airport and are excited about the opportunity to cure their cravings,” the company said in an emailed statement. “There are a number of factors that go into our decision to build a restaurant in any location, and this vote is one of several steps needed to move forward. At this time, no plans have been finalized.”

But assuming Whataburger does arrive at DFW, what will that be like for someone who arrives in Terminal D (perhaps an international traveler who has heard stories of the burgers from thousands of miles away)?

Well, it will probably involve a trip on the airport’s SkyLink system, which allows travelers to speed between passenger terminals without going through security, as well as a roughly 500-foot walk through the underground tunnel connecting Terminal E’s main hallway to its satellite.

So, if you only have a 30-minute layover, it’s probably not worth the stress (as good as those Whataburgers with grilled onions and jalapenos are!).

Or, for those arriving at DFW Airport as their final destination, it might be best to wait until you are outside the DFW Airport grounds. Fortunately, there are at least 10 Whataburgers within a 10-minute drive of the airport, in the neighboring cities of Euless, Grapevine and Irving.

Star-Telegram Digital Reporter, Prescotte Stokes III, took a chauffeured ride around Fort Worth in an Indycar stopping at a Whataburger, Kroger and the Fort Worth Stockyards. The response from people on the streets, "Is that your car?"

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796; @gdickson

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