DALLAS — As we all know, American Airlines has been making waves for making big changes in the air. A brand new paint scheme and nearly universally praised business class cabin point to changes we’ve all seen or heard about in the air. But American has also been making changes on the ground, as we found out to a trip to DFW earlier this year.

If you haven’t been inside DFW’s Terminal A in a while you’d be excused for thinking you accidently wound up in the wrong airport. While the American Airlines terminals at DFW are hardly the worst looking in the country, they were in need of a little image boost. And back in March that’s precisely what a portion of American’s Terminal A got.


The first airport to receive a full treatment to the new AA branding, the terminal now features a fresh, modernized look more in line with the beautiful and well-appointed International Terminal D. Next-generation check in kiosks greet those starting their journey in Dallas, with self-tag capability to reduce lines.


Those with AAdvantage Elite status and/or are traveling in first or business class are in for a bit of extra luck with a new dedicated priority check-in area. The room has a small seating area, several check-in kiosks, and direct access to security lanes.

This is not to be confused with American’s new Flagship Check-In, which does not exist at DFW yet. The new red carpet service is open to those traveling in international first class on AA or other oneworld partner airlines as well as those traveling in first on 3-class transcon flights between MIA, LAX, and JFK. It is also open to the far more exclusive club of Concierge Key members, AA’s invitation only extreme frequent flyer program.


The service features personalized check-in in a set side environment stressing exclusivity and privacy. So far only MIA, Chicago O’Hare, LAX, and NY JFK have received the upgrade. DFW is due to receive one by the end of the year.


Behind security gate even more improvements are to be found. Gate areas are more open, with power outlets with work tables in the waiting area. Windows, which used to be a dark & dull, are now bright and airy. Single agent gate desks have replaced the bulky classic podiums.


The renovation, which so far only includes gates A8-A16 within terminal A, is the first completed section in an airport wide overhaul project. Eventually terminals A, B, C, and E—built in 1974—will be completely renovated to look the same. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2017, with the whole of Terminal A scheduled to wrap up in late 2014.