DFW International Airport Expects 3.2 Million Passengers During Christmas / New Year’s Travel

Holiday Helpers Celebrate International Terminal D Opening With ‘Holidays Around the World’ Celebration; Santa Waves in Plane From Tucson; Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Greet Travelers & Troops

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ — DFW International Airport expects 3.2 million passengers will pass through its five terminals between Dec. 16 and Jan. 2, a strong finish to the year despite the elimination of the Delta Air Lines hub this year. Smiling faces and warm hearts greeted passengers at DFW’s ticketing halls and concourses today, as the Airport’s world-recognized Holiday Helpers commemorate the opening of International Terminal D and Skylink by hosting “Holidays Around the World” for travelers on the busiest ‘getaway day’ of the Christmas — New Year’s travel season.

Santa Claus made a special early arrival on the ramp of International Terminal D to celebrate its opening by marshaling in American Airlines Flight 1122 from Tucson, Arizona. And Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders greeted passengers and U.S. Military personnel arriving from overseas for a holiday break.

“This indeed was a milestone year in DFW’s history with the successful openings of Skylink, International Terminal D and the Grand Hyatt,” said Jeff Fegan, Chief Executive Officer for DFW. “We have faced a number of challenges this year, but we are optimistic for 2006. We will also be kicking off January with a lot of spirit as Spirit Airlines begins new low-fare service January 10 to Fort Lauderdale. That is a great way to start the New Year.”

The current holiday travel period, which began Dec. 16, is forecast to fall 2.2 percent below the 2004-2005 Christmas-New Years’ period. The loss of Delta’s hub operation has lowered the total number of seats available to the public by seven percent over the last year. The Airport continues to aggressively seek new and expanded air service for North Texas to fill the void.

“In light of losing over 230 daily flights when Delta removed its hub operation at DFW and the year-long assault on the Wright Amendment I believe we have done an outstanding job of ensuring passengers the best selection of destinations with our outstanding mix of 24 airlines,” said Joe Lopano, executive vice president of marketing and terminal management for DFW. “Our goal over the coming year is to continue to grow DFW, continue the growth in international traffic, and continue to grow the low cost carrier segment. AirTran’s announcement of three new daily departures to Chicago Midway is evidence of the competitive environment that exists at this outstanding facility. We want that to continue to grow.”

Nearly 100 Holiday Helpers, Airport Ambassadors and entertainers are fanning out across DFW today, serving up “Happy Holiday” greetings in multiple languages, performing music from around the world and distributing goody bags of small toys and travel items for children and families. Holiday Helpers are DFW employees who leave their regular jobs to assist in the terminals during busy holiday travel days. The tradition was born after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and has become a popular program with volunteers and passengers.

Holiday Helpers, Airport Ambassadors and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders greeted the daily U.S. Military Rest and Recuperation flight from Kuwait with a high energy pep rally that included special giveaways for families eagerly awaiting their special soldier headed home for the holiday.

“The Airport is a proud sponsor of the USO and the community greeting program in place to give our soldiers the finest treatment in the world when they arrive in North Texas,” said Lopano. “Holidays are all about homecomings and we saw some very special ones today.”

The Airport began to distribute parking coupons at both the Remote and Express parking lots on Wednesday to encourage drivers to park at the terminal lots. The parking coupon program is an extension of the discounted holiday parking program that launched over the Thanksgiving travel period. More than 3,600 parking coupons were redeemed from the 5,000 coupons distributed, a remarkable 68 percent redemption rate. An additional 5,000 coupons are anticipated to be distributed this week. The coupons are also redeemable in the new high tech 8,100-space parking garage attached to International Terminal D. http://www.dfwairport.com/parking .

“I know many people will be traveling with their families over the next couple of weeks and the Airport wants to make it as easy as possible to find a parking space,” said Ken Buchanan, executive vice president for revenue management at DFW. “We have more than 40,000 parking spaces, but of course, when you’re in a hurry that one space is always hard to find. We think this holiday treat will help parkers and give them an opportunity to park closer to the terminals and get a nice break with the coupon.”

Krispy Kreme, located on South Cooper Street in Arlington, donated 100 dozen fresh glazed doughnuts for departing passengers. In addition, the Pepsi Bottling Group of North Texas donated free samples of products. T-Mobile provided free day passes for WiFi Internet access.

* Holiday Helpers will be handing out coupons for the following Airport
restaurants: TGI Friday’s — offering a free appetizer with a paid
* Cousin’s BBQ — free chips and drinks with a sandwich purchase
* Cool River, Cantina Laredo and Champps Grill & Bar: 10 percent
discount off a traveler’s entire bill.

DFW’s SantaTracker at http://www.dfwairport.com/ and yuletide hotline (972) 586-NOEL are in full service to track the swift visit of Claus to North Texas. And Santa’s Landing Pad is ready at the Airport’s General Aviation Facility for Santa’s refueling stop on Christmas Eve.

About DFW International Airport

Located halfway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW International Airport is the world’s third busiest, offering nearly 2,000 flights per day and serving 59 million passengers a year. Currently, DFW International Airport provides non-stop service to 135 domestic and 39 international destinations worldwide. For the latest news, real-time flight information, parking availability or further details regarding the many services provided at DFW International Airport, log on to http://www.dfwairport.com/ .

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