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AA Guide: DFW / Dallas - Fort Worth International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc

Old Sep 7, 15, 10:18 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: JJeffrey
Please edit or add information to this wiki as necessary.

Check-in times Link for current information.

In most locations, you must be checked in:

At least 45 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights within the United States

At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights to or from airports outside of the United States


If youre beginning travel from any of several airports operating u Dee more restrictive check in times, follow the link above, as the check-in period is longer.
Link to DFW airport website

Link to aa.com DFW page

General Information

Despite it's size and five terminals, DFW is a fairly easy airport to navigate and connect though. If you have any difficulty, look around for kiosks / booths staffed by volunteer Ambassadors - they can usually be spotted wearing "ten gallon" cowboy hats. They offer maps and terminal guides (which include dining and shopping information).
.. ..
DFW Ambasadors - look for the "Ask Me" button

Peculiarities: DFW can be severely affected by rare winter ice or snow, and summer thunderstorms. Lightning effectively shuts the flight line down. This is AA's prime hub; over 80% of aircraft movements here are AA, so knock-on effects during lengthy OSO / IROPS can manifest themselves systemwide.

Note: DFW Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program (TRIP): DFW is undergoing a fairly extensive terminals refurbishment program, and parts of terminals A, B and E have been under construction/ refurbishment, as are some parking garages, so changes in security screening, etc. are common. See here for further information and updates.

DFW all Terminals , SkyLink and DART Exit Map


Operating terminals and gates

AA operates flights out of terminals A, B, C, D; as of March 2016 AmericanEagle by ExpressJet use Terminal E with AA partner Alaska and others.
  • Terminal A is the ex-international terminal, used for domestic flights (see TRIP note)
  • Terminal B is usually used for regional (American Eagle branded) flights (see TRIP note)
  • Terminal C is usually used for domestic flights
  • Terminal D is the current international terminal; most AA international flights depart here, as well as all partner and Lufthansa international flights.
  • Terminal E is used by some AA regional and ExpressJet CRJ flights (E34-E38) as of 3 Mar 2016, AA partner Alaska (and others) (see TRIP note)
  • Terminal "V" or VIRT means an actual gate has not been assigned yet

* may always be subject to change

DFW American Airlines Terminals Map:
Ticket Counters and Hours of Operation Link
Please use link to check today's hours; below accurate 8 Mar 2016

Terminal AA8 - A15: full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
A16 - A23: full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 4:30 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.

Terminal BB6: Daily: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m.
B30: Daily: 5 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Terminal CC2 - C15: self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 8:45 p.m.
C16 - C25: Full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 3 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.
C26 - C39: Self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 8:45 p.m.

Terminal D D1 - D18: Self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
D20 - D40: Full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 4 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Terminal E (American Eagle by ExpressJet CRJ flights) E34 E38: Full service and self-service check-in, Daily: 5 a.m. 9:45 p.m.

AA Headquarters CTO / City Ticketing Office 4333 Amon Carter Blvd? (at Sovereign Rd. across from USPS), Fort Worth, TX
Lobby, on left prior to security; free visitor parking. Weekdays, 10 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Alternative for ticketing, voucher use, etc.
Check-in and ticketing at DFW and check in times Link

Flagship Check-in: NO

Minimum time for checking in and arriving at the gate

To better ensure an on-time departure, our goal is to close the jetbridge door 10 minutes before departure time. This allows all customers to board and stow their belongings. (AA may release your seat if you show up at your gates less than fifteen minutes prior to scheduled departure.)

To retain your pre-reserved seat on a confirmed flight, make sure to follow the minimum check in and gate arrival times.*

For flights within and between the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands:
  • Minimum check-in is at least 30 minutes before scheduled departure in most locations


  • Arrive at the gate and be ready to board at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure; gates close 10minutes prior to departure. Early boarding and departure are not unknown.




For flights originating outside the U.S. or flights departing the U.S. for an international destination:
  • Minimum check-in is at least 60 minutes before scheduled departure except in Buenos Aires, Dublin and Maracaibo, Venezuela
    • Arrive at the gate and be ready to board at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure Upgrades May be cleared prior to announced boarding times, regardless of your position on the list.


Minimum time to check baggage

To help us get your bag on the same flight with you, present your bag to an airline representative for check-in no later than the cutoff time.

For flights within and between the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands:
Check bags at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure at DFW

For flights departing the U.S. for an international destination:Check bags at least 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure

Time to baggage delivery: minimum 20 minutes
Getting from concourse to concourse

Landside, one can use the terminal link blue and green vans (see below), but it's faster and easier to use Sky Link.

Airside elevated bidirectional Sky Link is the easiest way to get around
  • bi-directional system connects all five terminals and is the shortest route to your stop while inside of security.
  • Free service
  • Trains arrive every two minutes
  • Average ride time of five minutes
  • Maximum ride time of nine minutes between farthest points
  • Easy access to other terminals shops and restaurants


Station escalator/elevator locations:
  • Terminal A: Between A13 and A16 and between A29 and A34
  • Terminal B: Between B9 and B12 and between B28 and B31
  • Terminal C: Between C8 and C12 and between C27 and C32
  • Terminal D: Between D11 and D20 and between D24 and D34
  • Terminal E: Between E8 and E11 and between E31 and E32


Walking between terminals
  • Terminals A-C and B-D (international) are connected at the ends by departures level walkways; the people mover belts on these walkways have been out of service at least for years. Estimate at least a five to ten minute walk between A and C, B and D, more if gates are farther from the connector.
  • Terminals A and B are connected by overhead walkways (escalator or lift / elevator). This walkway is serviced by working people mover belts, all of which are out of service as of 7/18/19. Courtesy carts use this route by using lifts.
  • Terminals C and D (international) are connected by overhead walkways (escalator or lift / elevator). This walkway is serviced by working people mover belts.


There is no need to leave the secure area to move from one concourse to another. *Exceptions are arriving international flights. In such case one must normally clear immigration and customs, reclaim bags and proceed through security.

Landside free interterminal transportation

Terminal Link's blue and greens vans arrive every 10 minutes and will transfer you between all terminals once outside of security.
  • Free service
  • No ticket or pass of any kind is needed to board
  • Service available between 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
  • To request van pick-up between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., call 972 574 LINK (5465)
  • All vans are wheelchair accessible


Two easy-to-locate green pick-up/drop-off areas are located outside baggage claim areas of each terminal. Follow the Terminal Link signs to reach the nearest pick-up/drop-off area:Terminal AEntry A10 serving Gates A1-18
Entry A24 serving Gates A18-39

Terminal B Entry B12 serving Gates B12-B25
Entry B25 serving Gates B25-B49

Terminal C Entry C12 serving Gates 1-14
Entry C24 serving Gates 15-25

Terminal D Entry atLower Level D17 serving Gates D1-D22
Entry at Lower Level D24 serving Gates D23-D40

Terminal E Entry at E7 serving Gates E1-E10
Entry E31 serving Gates E31-34 (American Eagle by ExpressJet)
Security at DFW

Link to DFW Airport Security information (including checkpoints and hours)


Note: coming out from immigration and customs, you may find yourself near the D22 and possible lengthy queues through TSA security. As swag says in a post, "D has multiple checkpoints, all easily walkable, and any ticketed passenger can use any one of them. If you find yourself facing a long line at D22, it may be worthwhile to walk down to D18 or D30."

Note: D22 has PreCheck but may be closed; D30 PreCheck is open most of the time.

Link to AA Flyer Guide wiki DFW Security

Priority Access lines available at Terminals A, C and D.

PreCheck lines are available at A20, C20, D22, D30 and E18; none at Terminal B.
MCT: Minimum and reasonable connection times at DFW

Q. What is the Domestic to Domestic or Domestic to International Minimum Connection Time (MCT)?

The MCT for Domestic to Domestic or Domestic to International is 40 mins.

There are other MCT's for specific connections including:
-Connections from Terminal E to Terminal E 30 mins
-Connections to/from ERD/ER4 aircraft 50 mins
-Connections to/from Terminal E to other Terminals 50 mins
-Connections from a US Pre-Clearance airport 60 mins

Q . What is the MCT for International to Domestic?

The MCT for International to Domestic is 80 mins, or 85 mins if arriving off a widebody aircraft. 85 mins is applicable for most all long haul destinations in Europe, Asia, South America, etc.

There are other MCT's for specific connections including:
-Connections to Terminal E 90 mins
-Connections to/from ERD/ER4 aircraft 90 mins

Q. If I am making an international to international connection, what is the process?

There is no international transit process in most U.S.A. airports, but (DFW and MIA have a ITI baggage exception for international to international if arriving from some "approved" international origins). Arriving internationally, unless you have been pre-cleared or are excused by meeting ITI requirements as described here, you must proceed through U. S. immigration (there are kiosks and a fast channel for Global Entry approved passengers, and a "green line" for those with no checked bags), recover your baggage from the baggage carousel and proceed through U. S. Customs. There is a "green line" shortcut for passengers traveling only with carry-on baggage (no checked luggage) and there are Global Entry kiosks and a short cut to Global Entry queues.

Upon exiting Customs there is a bag drop facility; drop your checked connecting baggage, exit to the landside arrivals area.

NOTE: if your connection exceeds 11 hours or entails remaining overnight, you will normally be required to take your baggage with you and re-check it within ~four hours of departure.

NOTE: Any liquids in excess of security allowance will have to either be packed in checked baggage or, in the case of duty free purchases at your origin (or in air from other airlines), presented in STEB (Secure, Tamper Evident Bags) with receipts to TSA

Proceed to the kiosks to get boarding passes for your ongoing travel, or check in and re-check your baggage, then proceed through TSA security to airside (see the "DFW Security" section). Your international departure will be from Terminal D, also your international arrival terminal.

See DFW / Dallas Ft. Worth Connection & Times - Domestic & International (consolidated)
DFW dining, services and shopping

Lounges: please see the Lounge Dashboard "sticky" for further lounges information at DFW

Admirals Clubs and Lounges:
  • Terminal A: Admirals Club across from gate A-24
  • Terminal B: Admirals Club Service Center across from gates B-5 and -6
  • Terminal C: Admirals Club across from gates C-19 and -20
  • Terminal D: Admirals Club, and coming Premium lounge near gate D-23;NOTE: offers new Flagship Dining
  • American Express Centurion Lounge take lift opposite gate D-17
  • BA, LH, QF and QR have their own lounges between D-21 and D-22
  • The Club at DFW (Pay, Diners, Priority Pass) between D-21 and D-22
  • Terminal E: Delta Sky Club
  • DFW Airport Travel Lounges are free, offer warm lighting, comfortable lounge and workstation seating, and power outlets at every seat; near gates A29, B8, B28, C8, C27, E8, E31


Dining, Shopping Link to DFW services, dining guide and interactive map

See here for shopping and dining changes.

AA Employee Store: Link: (open to the public) Shop for AA ware, baggage, memorabilia, etc. at Gate C-2

Currency exchange: Travelex at D11, D22 (Outside Security), D24, D36, E8, Intl Re-Check.

WiFi / wireless service: Free AT&T Wireless Hot Spot throughout airport

Device Power Charging: DFW Airport Travel Lounge - B28, C8, C27, E8
Free Power Stations - A10, C6, C20, C27, C35, D21, D23, D30, D40, E10, E37 (also see DFW Travel Lounges above)
Guest Services Center - B14

Disabled and VIP Services

For disability assistance contact AA Special Assistance services (no fee) (link)

For VIP gate to gate connections (fee), see AA Five Star Service (link)

Smoking: No smoking in terminalsTerminal A Admirals Club and D Club smoking rooms are closed)

Rental cars: The Rental Car Center is located at 2424 E. 38th St, DFW Airport, TX, near the south entrance of the Airport and is served by 10 companies. Link. Arriving Passengers: After collecting your baggage, follow the Rental Car signs to the designated pick-up area on the lower level of the terminal. From there, board the Rental Car shuttle bus. Buses run 24 hours a day, depart (theoretically) every five minutes and reach the Rental Car Center in approximately 10 minutes.

Departing Passengers: Before your departing flight, please return your vehicle at the Rental Car Center. For transportation from the facility to your terminal, board the Rental Car Shuttle. The Rental Car Shuttle runs 24 hours a day and departs every five minutes from the facility.

Animal Relief Areas: (all land side)Terminal A: Lower level grassy areas.

Terminal B: Lower level grassy areas.

Terminal C: Lower level grassy areas.

Terminal D: Lower level, outside the D30/D31 baggage claim area by the parking garage and at D18.

Terminal E: Lower level grassy areas.
DFW Parking

There are Valet, Terminal, Express and Remote parking options. See here for options, pricing and interactive guides.

Disability Parking: see Link

Cell phone lot (none)
DFW transportation

Public transport

Metro DART Orangle Line to Dallas. Take from entry near Terminal A, A-10. Take the elevator to the lower level, then walk to the right and follow the signs.

TRE / Trinity Rail Express to Dallas and Ct. Worth. NO SERVICE SUNDAYS. Take free bus to Remote south Parking; take connecting bus to CentrePort/DFW Airport station.

Shared Vans: City Shuttle, L.L.C. shared van service 1.240.760.1998

Go Yellow Checker Airport Shuttle shared vans to Ft. Worth hotels. Board at upper level roadway marked areas.

Taxi: at every terminal; see DFW Taxi Guide for prices, etc.

App Based Transportation (Uber and Lyft)
When using these services for pick-up, exit the terminal and proceed to the Shared Ride sign.
Airport and Area hotels

DFW has many hotels, most served by shuttles, many nearby options.

There are two hotels at DFW, both connected to terminals. They tend to be rather pricey and fill up quickly.Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport Hotel at Terminal C (link)

Grand Hyatt DFW Hotel at Terminal D (international terminal) (link

There is a "Minute Suites" cubicle hotel (with rental showers) that rent by the hour or eight hour period near gate D-23 at Terminal D. (link. (Terminal A has a Minute Suites planned for 2016.)

There are several lower priced hotels with shuttles. These and "alternative" sleeping or rest opportunities are listed hereon sleepinginairports.net. This page includes many helpful listings - baggage storage, lounges, where to sleep in the airport, etc.

During Off Schedule Operations / Irregular Operations, cots with blankets and pillows are available for affected passengers.

During OSO / IROPS, AA will generally not offer hotel and meal vouchers for disruptions from causes not directly under the airline's control (such as weather). You may be able to at least get "distressed traveler" certificates for lower rates from AA, or you may be able to request distressed traveler rates from reservations center's or properties.
Is there anything to do at DFW?

See DFW / Dallas-Ft. Worth Layover Questions (consolidated) ...

You can visit the

C. R. Smith Museum (AA history, DC-3 Flagship Detroit, gift shop)
4601 Texas HWY 360 at FAA Rd
Fort Worth, Texas 76155
817-967-1560
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9:00-5:00, Sunday 1:00 - 5:00; Closed Monday
Cost: $7.00, $4.00 seniors 65 or +, students w/ ID, children 2-17, military
Getting there: taxi; (unofficial: take crew shuttle if space available to Conference and Training Center, get dropped at the Museum).

See FT DFW and the AA / C. R. Smith Museum in Dallas (consolidated)

Do I have time to go to Dallas?

A minimum of six hours would be suggested for "going to town".
Other resources
  • Link to AA FAQ: Will I make my connection?

  • Link to AA Flyer Guide wiki: Minimum Connecting Times

  • Link to AA Lounge Dashboard (guide to AA and other lounges)

  • Link: to DFW connection guide in Texas forum

  • Link: to DFW layover guide in Texas Forum

  • Link: to DFW Employee Store (open to the public) Shop for AA ware, baggage, memorabilia, etc. at Gate C-2
Contributors to this thread include: aamilesslave;

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AA Guide: DFW / Dallas - Fort Worth International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc

Old Mar 18, 15, 1:49 pm
  #151  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
 
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I'd like to report back about my connection time, but I never had the chance.

At 10:30pm the evening before my 9am flight the next morning, I received a cancellation email from AA. It was the weekend Dallas iced over. They put me on another flight 2 days later - out of JFK instead of EWR, and at 6am

Needless to say, I scrambled, got myself an award on UA, and stayed on the phone until I got someone to refund my miles, and managed to arrive in HNL 3 hours before my AA flight would have arrived.

And here I thought that it would be easier to fly thru DFW because of the nasty weather in the rest of the country

To say I have a bad taste in my mouth about AA is an understatement. Particularly after they put me on a 6am flight at a different airport 2 days later. I could have dealt with leaving from EWR, but not JFK at that hour.
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Old Mar 22, 15, 10:14 pm
  #152  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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CDG-DFW-SFO: Is 2 Hours Enough for DFW?

Flying CDG-DFW-SFO(All AA) in July. I was checking my flights and notice they changed my DFW-SFO to an early time. Which leaves me with only 2 hours to transit DFW . Is this enough time to transit? The only flight I can switch to would leave with 5.5 hours layover.

Last edited by sbc94523; Mar 22, 15 at 10:22 pm
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Old Mar 22, 15, 10:26 pm
  #153  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Where is your passport from, do you have Precheck?
upinsmoke is offline  
Old Mar 22, 15, 10:36 pm
  #154  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Originally Posted by upinsmoke
Where is your passport from, do you have Precheck?
US Passport for all in party of 2 adults/2 children. No Precheck.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 9:36 am
  #155  
 
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2 hour connection should be enough for US citizen, even without Global Entry/PreCheck.

Since they installed the automated kiosks for all US citizens, I haven't seen long lines in the orange line (US citizens without GE). If the line for security after you recheck your luggage is long, you can walk to the next security checkpoint.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 8:55 pm
  #156  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Originally Posted by upinsmoke
2 hour connection should be enough for US citizen, even without Global Entry/PreCheck.

Since they installed the automated kiosks for all US citizens, I haven't seen long lines in the orange line (US citizens without GE). If the line for security after you recheck your luggage is long, you can walk to the next security checkpoint.
Thank for the info.
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Old May 4, 15, 5:54 am
  #157  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Vagabond
Posts: 64
Intl to Dom connection at DFW (separate tickets)

Hi all, this is probably my first post on the AA forum!

My parents are scheduled to land at DFW on May 30 at 9.45 AM on Emirates EK 221, and have a separate ticket for Corpus Christi on American Eagle 2620 at 1.30 PM. This leaves for a little over 3.5 hours of connect time, of course not accounting for incoming delays.

Will this be a reasonably okay time for making the connection - which will include Immigration, Customs, change of terminals, check-in and re-clearing TSA?? Or should I be looking at changing their reservation on a later flight?

My parents are Indian passport holders and will have no pre-clearance, so this will be a full drill. They are senior citizens but have good mobility and not too bad with English language / directions.

One last questions - am I right in thinking that they will have to use the Terminal Link vans and NOT the Skylink in order to get from Terminal D to B?

Many thanks (on my parents' behalf too).

Last edited by zenith2010; May 4, 15 at 5:55 am Reason: terminal numbers added
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Old May 4, 15, 9:36 am
  #158  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Originally Posted by zenith2010
Hi all, this is probably my first post on the AA forum!

My parents are scheduled to land at DFW on May 30 at 9.45 AM on Emirates EK 221, and have a separate ticket for Corpus Christi on American Eagle 2620 at 1.30 PM. This leaves for a little over 3.5 hours of connect time, of course not accounting for incoming delays.

Will this be a reasonably okay time for making the connection - which will include Immigration, Customs, change of terminals, check-in and re-clearing TSA?? Or should I be looking at changing their reservation on a later flight?

My parents are Indian passport holders and will have no pre-clearance, so this will be a full drill. They are senior citizens but have good mobility and not too bad with English language / directions.

One last questions - am I right in thinking that they will have to use the Terminal Link vans and NOT the Skylink in order to get from Terminal D to B?

Many thanks (on my parents' behalf too).
They will have plenty of time. After Customs they will drop their bags at the re-check belt and exit, go up stairs and back thru security in Term D. SkyLink will be no more than 2 stops to Term B.
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Old May 4, 15, 9:42 am
  #159  
 
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Minimum DFW connection time I to D is 85 minutes so your folks should be fine at 210 minutes. Should be time enough to ride skylink several laps after they check in with AA at closest counter to where they exit customs in terminal D.
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Old May 4, 15, 10:25 am
  #160  
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Originally Posted by itchief
They will have plenty of time. After Customs they will drop their bags at the re-check belt and exit, go up stairs and back thru security in Term D. SkyLink will be no more than 2 stops to Term B.
The ability to drop bags at the re-check belt depends on them being able to get their bags checked through when they check-in with Emirates. If they aren't able to do that (they should ask at check-in with Emirates), then they will need to check the bags in with AA, but they can do that in Terminal D as well - it's just not quite as simple as dropping the bags bag off at the belt.
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Old May 9, 15, 8:31 am
  #161  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Vagabond
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Thanks wrp96, and others. I will have them ask re the possibility of through check-in, but in case that does not happen, I now know that they can check-in with AA at Terminal D itself, go back up through security and Sky Train to B. Thanks also for the opinion on connection time - we are not changing to a later flight.
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Old May 9, 15, 11:22 am
  #162  
 
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They should print out the eticket document for the second flights (Eagle) and have that when they check in for Emirates.

When they leave immigrations/customs at the lower level in D there will be a belt for recheck- if they havent bee able to check through, there will be check in counters just beyond the belt with agents to check them in. All in the same large area just outside of customs, so they dont need to go anywhere else.

The security check upstairs can get long (esp without precheck) so some folks will travel to the next entry. It is a bit of a walk. I mention this just in case.
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Old May 12, 15, 12:47 pm
  #163  
 
Join Date: May 2015
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Hello, I'm traveling NRT-DFW-TUS, both flights are with AA. The connection time in DFW will be 13 hours (From 9am to 10pm). I know it is plenty of time for a connection, but my questions are, will I have to pick up my baggage and check in and pass through security again? Or I'll just have to walk from gate to gate and wait? Thanks for your answers, I'm new to flying with connections in the USA.
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Old May 12, 15, 1:30 pm
  #164  
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Originally Posted by Leafar
Hello, I'm traveling NRT-DFW-TUS, both flights are with AA. The connection time in DFW will be 13 hours (From 9am to 10pm). I know it is plenty of time for a connection, but my questions are, will I have to pick up my baggage and check in and pass through security again? Or I'll just have to walk from gate to gate and wait? Thanks for your answers, I'm new to flying with connections in the USA.
At DFW, you will go through US immigration, collect your bags, and then pass through customs. Because your connection is greater than 12 hours, most likely when you check in at NRT they will not be able to tag your bags all the way through to TUS. If they are able to tag the bags all the way through, you will drop your already tagged bags off at the conveyor belt just outside the exit from customs and then proceed upstairs and go back through security. If they aren't able to tag the bags, you'll go past the conveyor belts where you will check your bags in and get them tagged to TUS. Then you will head upstairs and go back through security.
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Old May 14, 15, 1:16 pm
  #165  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Mexico
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Originally Posted by wrp96
At DFW, you will go through US immigration, collect your bags, and then pass through customs. Because your connection is greater than 12 hours, most likely when you check in at NRT they will not be able to tag your bags all the way through to TUS. If they are able to tag the bags all the way through, you will drop your already tagged bags off at the conveyor belt just outside the exit from customs and then proceed upstairs and go back through security. If they aren't able to tag the bags, you'll go past the conveyor belts where you will check your bags in and get them tagged to TUS. Then you will head upstairs and go back through security.
Thank you for the info wrp96. ^ I'll check very carefully if my bags are tagged for DFW or TUS.
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