Enduring Dallas Love Field racks up awards

Guest Author by Guest Author | Jul 31, 2020

Written by Chris Perry, Communications Manager, Dallas Love Field Airport

Editor’s Note from ACI: In early March 2020, ACI announced the winners of this year’s ASQ Awards. Since then, the impact and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought the global airport industry to a standstill. The ASQ Awards recognize those airports that listen and respond to the voice of passengers. As the industry begins to restart and plan for recovery, it will be even more important for airports to listen, understand, and responds to the changing needs and expectations of their customers.

Dallas Love Field is not supposed to be here. Not here, as the back-to-back recipient of the Airport Service Quality Award for North American airports that service 15-25 million passengers, but as in here at all.

A brief history: An airport on the brink

In 1964, the FAA told the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth to come together and create a central airport for the DFW region. As a result, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was created and opened in in 1974.

The opening of the now fourth-busiest airport in the United States just 12 miles to the northwest was supposed to mean the end of Dallas Love Field (DAL). The nearly vacant terminal even housed an ice-skating rink as draconian regulations were placed on air carriers choosing to operate at the venerable airport.

Lo and behold, DAL persevered to grow into the busiest medium-hub airport in the United States while racking up honours along the way.

A new beginning

While it has been in operation since 1917, both as a military airfield and commercial airport, the watershed moment of DAL’s recent history came in October 2014 when nonstop flights once again began operating to all corners of the United States.

That venerable airport of the past was reborn with the opening of a new 20-gate terminal, coinciding with those nonstop flights as DAL embarked on its current mission of leading the evolution of the airport experience.

Leading the evolution of passenger experience

Customers at Love Field fall primarily into one of four categories:

  1. Super travellers: who are on the road as much as one per week and know the ins and outs of the airport experience
  2. Vacationers: who may travel a few times a year but are not as versed as super travellers
  3. Families: who are working hard to traverse the many obstacles that may pop up in getting to their flight
  4. Rare travellers: who are not all familiar with changing environment of air travel

“Providing a first-rate customer experience is at the core of every decision we make,” Love Field Director Mark Duebner said. “Our customers appreciate that we listen to, investigate and respond to their comments and concerns.”

Adhering to its mission, DAL has created an airport environment and experience that fits the needs of each of those customers.

For the super traveller, Love Field is a seamless, one-stop for each step of the travel process. It has one ticketing area, one security checkpoint, one terminal, and one baggage claim. For the casual vacationer, it is a plethora of dining options and parking availability. For the family, DAL offers the Live at Love Stage and the Lil’ Love Lounge play area. For the rare traveller, there are always-staffed information booths and state-of-the-art wayfinding.

Awards and expansion

To create these experiences, Love Field has made data-driven decisions primarily through the Airport Service Quality Programme. Vindication has come in the form of ASQ Awards in 2018 and 2019, ACI-NA Best Food and Beverage Program awards in 2018 and 2019 and second-place showings in 2018 and 2019 in JD Power & Associates’ Airport Satisfaction Study.

In 2018, DAL surpassed 8 million enplaned passengers for the first time. It served more than 16.5 million passengers in 2019. July 2019 was Love Field’s busiest month in history as nearly 1.5 million passengers passed through the 20-gate terminal.

With new concessions nearing completion and new experiences being created nearly every day, Dallas Love Field is poised for continued growth and success through its second century.

Not bad for an airport that isn’t supposed to be here.

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Chris Perry is the Communications Manager for Dallas Love Field Airport. Perry serves as the airport’s spokesperson and manages public relations, marketing, media relations, and social media.

The article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of ACI, its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

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