By Rachel Hawkins
Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport kicked off the holiday travel season with a Christmas tree lighting and carols on Tuesday, Nov. 21 in Terminal D.
Every year, more than 7.7 million passengers travel through the DFW Airport. During the holidays, the airport spreads cheer by converting the terminals into winter wonderlands. A decorated 37-foot Christmas tree passengers can walk through, stands in terminal D. As passengers walk under the tree, they experience a snowflake light display.
“We want every customer to feel the magic in the air, whether they are leaving Texas, or planning to see family, or discovering a new part of the world,” Ken Buchanan, DFW’s executive vice president of Revenue Management said. “We also want to welcome millions of customers to Dallas-Fort Worth with true Texas sized hospitality, and it doesn’t get any more ‘Texas-sized’ than a 37 foot tree.
“We’re also going to open a Santa workshop throughout the holidays. We’ll have surprises from singers, dancers, entertainers, and concessions to spread some of the good cheer. We want to be the reason people smile when they come through DFW over the holidays.”
The DFW Airport’s 12 therapy dogs attended the tree lighting event. They can be spotted in the terminals wearing their official “DFW K9 Crew” harnesses and accompanied by handlers wearing DFW K9 Crew uniforms.
“Our job is to promote goodwill, and help passengers with stress relief,” David Elliott, a member of the DFW K9 Crew therapy team, said. “We will sometimes go into the terminals to walk around and talk to the passengers who are waiting for their flights.
“This is very relaxing for me. I get to meet a lot of different people from different places. My therapy dog, Nickie, a great Dane, has been doing therapy visits for three years.”
Besides working at the airport, the therapy dogs, along with their handlers also go to VA hospitals, attend book readings for kids, and various Christmas parties.
During the event, the Irving Chorale, which has a chorus of over 70 members from across the Metroplex, performed classic holiday carols, wearing bright red outfits and Santa hats.
“Our choir being here today institutes the beginning of the Christmas season for the DFW Airport,” said Black, a member of the Irving Chorale. “This also helps me get started on my own Christmas as well. This is very exciting for us.
“We just enjoy singing and spreading the holiday cheer.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with family, getting together for Christmas, and having a really good time with them.”
From November to January, the airport will continue to entertain guests with surprise events for the holiday season.
“I thought this event was a very good idea,” Maria Gonzales, a passenger traveling home to Argentina, said. “Passengers who are waiting for their flight needs to be entertained.
“I arrived early to my own flight, and I’m so glad I had the chance to experience this. I especially loved seeing the dogs, they were cute.
“I’m always ready for the Christmas season. My family is waiting for me back home, and we are always excited to start Christmas.”