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

Old Sep 7, 2015, 10:18 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: controller1
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 you’re 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 orange 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 orange 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 orange 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
  • Terminal E: Admirals Club at top of escalator on Mezzanine level
  • 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
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 Oct 30, 2019, 12:47 pm
Join Date: Sep 2006
Programs: AAdvantage PP
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Just remember gates are usually initially assigned around T-36 (or so) but can change multiple times before actual departure. If you see your flight to DFW will be late you're better off making alternative arrangements before you get to DFW.
MiamiAirport Formerly NY George is offline  
Old Oct 30, 2019, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by therewillbetravelling
I am travelling from Chicago O'Hare to Lubbock, TX next week. It is a one-stop journey. ORD to DFW by AA2754, which usually comes in gate A23, and then DFW to LBB by AA5918 which usually goes out of gate B49. My layover at DFW is just 45 mins. Will I be able to make the connection in time? What is the fastest way to get from A23 to B49?
You should be OK to make the connection, provided that your inbound flight is on-time.
Gates are not really guaranteed; the DFW-LBB leg will probably go from the B terminal, but it could really be any gate in there. There are some express flights that leave from a wing of E, but thankfully I've never had to go there.
The ORD-DFW flight can arrive at A, C, or D.

I wouldn't discount walking, as it might be faster to make the connection. If DFW-LBB leaves from B1-4 and your incoming flight arrives at A30 or higher, C8 or lower, or D30 or higher, it will probably be faster to just walk (particularly from D).
aztimm is offline  
Old Nov 13, 2019, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by aztimm
The ORD-DFW flight can arrive at A, C, or D.
And now B as well.
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Old Nov 13, 2019, 6:12 pm
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Originally Posted by flightrisk
I can't find anything online about this, but it looks like they're building a small new security checkpoint around D37-38. They've installed a metal detector and one of the new CT scanners, which would be the first at DFW. Its visible airside and not sure if it'll be connected to the far right of the terminal after the D30 checkpoint. Maybe TSA precheck will get moved?
Appears to be employee screening only.
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Old Nov 19, 2019, 3:45 pm
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Hi, first time departing DFW and I got a question. It says self check-in service at D1-D18, do they have counter to check my bag there? Since the only priority lane at Terminal D is at D18 checkpoints and the amex lounge is at D12 I am going to use D18 checkpoint. If no, then I need to go to D30 to check in first then walk back to D18 for security.
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Old Nov 19, 2019, 5:07 pm
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Yes-You can checkin and drop your bag there.

That said-there is no pre-check at that checkpoint but unless you’re departing around the time of KE, LH, etc, that checkpoint is typically empty so it’s no big deal.

FWIW, I use both the Amex Centurion Lounge and “The Club” PP Lounge in Terminal D.

The Club is certainly smaller, but the crowding at the Centurion Lounge is out of control and I think depending on the time of day, The Club has better food. For example, at lunch time, the Centurion Lounge only has one hot entree available typically whereas The Club always has a variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads. I think the service at the bar at the club is better, though the liquor selection is a bit less top shelf.

Better yet-try both and see what you prefer.

Just my $.02.
BOSishome is offline  
Old Nov 19, 2019, 5:16 pm
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Thanks a lot for the info. I will go check out both lounge then.
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Old Dec 2, 2019, 6:42 am
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Connection Advice - DFW E22 to C27 (12 minutes between arrival and boarding)to merge

Connection Worked Fine - I arrived as Group 3 was boarding.
Note: I did not have to wait for a gate checked bag, SkyLink ran fine.

Original Post Follows:

Good morning,

So in spite of having flown a few times and having transited through the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport more than once I find my looking to optimize my movements between the following gates given the below time constraints.

I am scheduled to land at DFW 9:37am, Gate E22 is common and likely where I'll end up.

My departing flight generally leaves from gate C27 and is scheduled to start boarding at 10:49am with a departure time of 10:19am (so I'm thinking it's likely the door will be shut at 10:04am)

This leaves me with potentially 27 minutes from the scheduled arrival to time for me to have my BoP (B__t on Plane).

The most obvious and simple course of action is to simply leave plane(12A) head to skylink, tram to C, walk to gate.

While I don't think there are any more efficient options - if anyone has any thoughts I'd love hearing them. (And no, high school cross country was many years and many pounds ago - unfortunately that is not an option).

My only thought was trying to switch to 1A tomorrow morning (I am guessing that seat is airport blocked, this is common for that route - although I'm not sure - but for this particular connection saving the 60-120 seconds by moving from 12A to 1A might be helpful).

Yes, yes I am the genius who agreed to this routing without paying close attention. Yes I know better. While I'd love to blame Concur; I did not check this schedule closely. Lesson learned.

Last edited by Pakse; Dec 7, 2019 at 11:35 am Reason: Close the loop on the situation
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Old Dec 2, 2019, 6:55 am
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Weather at DFW is forecast to be clear. Unless you experience an unexpected delay on your inbound flight, you should be fine. Use the AA app to check what gate your connection is boarding from, and if you walk quickly and use the train, you'll likely make it to your gate in 10 minutes or less. If it is indeed C to E those are very close-- just be sure to board the train going in the right direction.

DFW is one of the easiest places to make a connection in the US.
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Old Dec 2, 2019, 7:32 am
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The OP should arrive at his/her connecting gate just at boarding, maybe a little after boarding commences. He/she is PP and assuming no upgrade would be boarding with Group 3 so it should be about a wash. The biggest issue would be arriving after Group 3 and not having his/her bags stored near their seat. Otherwise, he/she should be fine assuming moving quickly.
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Old Dec 2, 2019, 9:03 am
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If those gates hold you should be fine. E22 is in the sattelite concourse so that could add 3-4 minutes to your trip to the train. The C gate you referenced should only be 2 stops from your gate which is 5 mins on the SkyLink.
wakesetter93 is offline  
Old Dec 2, 2019, 9:25 am
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I would not book such a connection if I had anything time-sensitive at the end of my journey. But, if this is booked, the time to consider is when the flight closes, not when boarding commences. OP must be at the gate no later than T-15 (for a domestic flight) in order to assure that he is not off-loaded and aboard by T-10 when the cabin door is subject to being closed. The former would only apply if the flight is overbooked and at risk of oversale or if there are no other passengers waiting to board.

That said, one can make a circuit of SkyLink in 11 minutes, so this is entirely doable.
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Old Dec 2, 2019, 9:45 am
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It’s not a connection I’d be comfortable with but I’m sure if everything worked out with the gates holding and your incoming flight being on time you should be fine.
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Old Dec 2, 2019, 9:56 am
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I would make sure you have a carry on that isn't required to go in the overhead, as 1) waiting for gate valet bags at DFW will take precious time (assuming you are on an E145 which has minimal overhead bin space) and 2) by the time you arrive at your connecting flight, they will probably already be boarding and you don't want to be reliant on overhead bin space still being available.
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Old Dec 2, 2019, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by wakesetter93
... should only be 2 stops from your gate which is 5 mins on the SkyLink.
Provided that the SkyLink is running, on-time, and doesn't break down while the OP is on it

Gates really aren't guaranteed until day of...and even then are subject to change.
Express can arrive/depart from most of B, and the satellite gates in E.
Mainline can arrive/depart from A, B, D, and a few gates in B.

It is often faster to just walk between gates, even if they happen to be in different terminals. So long as one isn't E, then there isn't a choice, you have to use the train (or exit security and take a landside vehicle between terminals and re-clear security, which I would NOT advise).

Additional information can be found in the dedicated thread on DFW, where this thread will eventually get merged:
AA Guide: DFW / Dallas - Fort Worth International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc
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