The holiday season brings good food in large doses, family that are good in small doses and travel that requires a heavy dose of a narcotic to get through. More than a few of you will shove clothes into bags and beg friends for rides as you make your way to DFW Airport to visit loved ones for the holiday.
Once you navigate the automated kiosks to grab your tickets and let the TSA go to third base, you’ve made it into the busy terminals elbow to elbow with scrambling passengers. You check the times for your flight, and because of wind speeds and rain clouds and other weather terms, your flight has been delayed until March.
What do you do? Do you live in the airport now? Will you create a sleep shanty out of discarded boxes and jackets people leave behind? Live off oversized Toblerone bars and take hobo showers in the automated sinks? You could. Consider that a solid plan B, but first try doing some of these things at the airport to pass the time.
Get Some Early Holiday Shopping Done
At this point the bags you packed are practically empty after TSA made you throw everything away for being a danger. Sure, you thought it was just a harmless teddy bear to give to your nephew, but you know what word also starts with the letter B? Bomb. And that’s solid enough logic for them — toss it, you war criminal.
No matter what holiday you celebrate, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or some weird mix of Star Wars and the Old Testament, gifts usually get exchanged and you don’t want to be empty-handed. Thankfully there are a variety of shops at your disposal to browse in and conveniently replace the things you just disposed of. It might even be the actual items you threw away, who knows?
Coach is in Terminal D if your mom has always wanted that purse your dad is too cheap to buy, and the Official Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop is available in both A and D terminals if your family is from Pittsburgh and you want to piss your dad off. For the electronics lovers, you have the iStores that offer laptops and tablets, and the younger ones can be covered with the multiple candy stores selling mutant-sized gummy bears.
Or just take care of you. An airport is one of the only places in the world you can be drunk at any hour of the day and no one will judge you. Noon at a Cheddar’s on your third beer? Time to stage an intervention. 11 in the morning at an airport double-fisting whiskey and Coke? Look at the world traveler living it up — maybe they’re a secret agent?
And by no means are we suggesting get blackout at an airport. There’s still a level of sobriety you have to maintain to sit in an air-locked flying tube, but if a kid can kick your seat for three hours, then you can knock back a few cocktails earlier than normal. You can start your alcoholic journey at any of the restaurants like Applebee’s in Terminal D, or if you’re already typing up some angry, snobby comment about Riblets, you can check out the bar in Terminal C in the Mezzanine on Level Two.
Plug In With Some Video Games
If you’re an avid video gamer and already going through withdrawal, the recent addition of video game lounges to the DFW Airport should keep you sated. Gameway, a multi-station video game lounge, has two spots in Terminals B and E for gamers to pick a comfortable chair and play a recent triple-A title of their choosing.
Any traveler can pick a spot that offers an Xbox One with 19 games like Fortnite and Madden 19 loaded on the console, noise-canceling headphones, charging docks for their electronics and a space to store their luggage. The only thing it won’t come with is your mom saying to get off because dinner is ready. Pricing can range from $10.99 for 30 minutes to $44.99 for an unlimited play session. Doritos and Mountain Dew sold separately.
For fans of Mario, take note: Right now it’s exclusively Xbox One stations. If you want to play Super Smash Bros. or a PlayStation 4 exclusive, you’re out of luck until they expand their selections.
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Every Day Can Be a Spa Day
Traveling can be stressful, so why not unwind at the ExpresSpa located in Terminals A, D and E? Open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., each location provides you with all the services you would expect. Whether you need a massage, a manicure, a pedicure or a facial, a specialist will be able to assist.
ExpresSpa even offers waxing, so keep that in the back of your mind. If you look at your phone, see you have about two hours to kill until you board, go get some of that hair ripped off your body. Finally there’s going to be one Thanksgiving when your uncle can’t make fun of your back hair at dinner. You got him this time. You’re walking around all confident and carefree, and your family asks, “What’s the deal, did you get a promotion at work?” And you can reply, “No, I got a Brazilian at the airport!”
Just Hang Out
Throughout all the terminals, you’ll see lounges for each airline, but you would assume you’re not permitted entry because you don’t have some frequent-flier secret card they offer. For a one-time fee, most of these lounges will let you behind the velvet rope to clear your head in a quieter space. These are prime spaces to chill out, read until you’re ready to take a nap and charge your electronics close to your boarding gate.
Almost all the lounges offer food and drinks, so if you don’t feel like fighting the crowds, this is a good alternative to people who value their personal bubble. All the amenities of the private lounges will hopefully let you relax as you figure out a way to tell your parents you dropped out of college last year but have really appreciated their checks.