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How To Get From Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to Dallas [2024]

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James Larounis
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James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...
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Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is one of the largest commercial airports in the U.S., home to nearly 2,000 flights each day. It’s the primary airport for the Dallas, Texas, region, and there are a few transport methods to get from the airport to downtown Dallas, which is about 20 miles away.

We’ll examine DFW’s transportation options, their pricing, and which might make the most sense for you.

Airports Near Dallas

There are 2 commercial airports serving the Dallas area:

  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is the larger airport and is the primary international gateway for the city. American Airlines operates its largest hub here. The airport is about 20 miles from the city center.
  • Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) is about 6 miles from the city center, so is much closer to the downtown area. This airport is a major hub for Southwest Airlines and serves only domestic destinations.

Overview of Cost Estimates

Transit MethodCost Estimate
DART Orange Line$3
TEX Rail$2.50
Trinity Railway Express$6
Ride-ShareFrom $50
TaxiFrom $60
Hired CarFrom $135

DART Orange Line

DFW Airport station couple
Image Credit: DART

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) operates its Orange Line out of Terminal A at DFW. All terminals at DFW are connected airside via an interterminal train system, so even if you land in another terminal, you can take the train over to Terminal A before exiting security. It’s highly advisable that you not exit security before this, as although there is a post-security bus system, it’s often a smaller bus that runs infrequently. Taking the train system is a much better option.

Once you arrive at Terminal A, follow signs for DART. It’s at the far end of Terminal A, so you have to walk outside for part of it and under a covered walkway to arrive at the station.

Trains depart every 20 minutes or so, and you must purchase a ticket before boarding the train. There is no conductor, so the tickets you purchase are mostly on the honor system, though there are regular fare enforcement checks from police and security. You should see several ticket machines before boarding the train, but you can also download the GoPass app to purchase a ticket on your phone.

It takes about 50 minutes to reach downtown, so it’s certainly not quick, but it does bypass the inevitable traffic you’d hit if you drove. The light rail system does not have designated luggage racks, so you need to carry your bags on board and store them where you’re sitting. This train can get busy during peak hours, especially as it picks up commuters.

Hot Tip:

If it’s a hot Dallas day out, walk inside Terminal A for as long as you can before exiting for the DART. You may see signs sooner indicating to go outside, but there’s no need to until you’re at the very end of the terminal.


TEXRail DFW Airport Terminal B Nov 2019 2
Image Credit: Danazar via Wikimedia (license)

TEXRail operates from Terminal B and heads to Fort Worth (the opposite direction from Dallas). Trains depart about 30 to 60 minutes, and this is a larger commuter train with plenty of seating on board (unlike the DART, which is a light rail system).

Ticket vending machines are on the platform.

Trinity Railway Express

TRE Link
Image Credit: Trinity Railway Express

If you’re up for an adventure, take the shuttle bus to the Remote South parking lot and then a separate TRE Link shuttle to CentrePort/DFW Airport Station. Once there, you can catch the Trinity Railway Express, which departs every hour or so during commuting hours, to the downtown Dallas area. While this is quicker than taking the DART, you have to navigate a few convoluted shuttle buses to get to the station, so it might not be the quickest option.

You can purchase a ticket at each station’s vending machines or the GoPass app, which also sells DART tickets.


DFW ride share
Image Credit: DFW Airport

If you’re catching a ride-share, proceed to the upper level (where ticketing is), go curbside, and tell your driver which door you’re at. It costs about $50 to go downtown, so it’s not cheap, but you can reduce your individual cost by traveling with more people.

Many hotels in downtown Dallas don’t sit right on the DART line, so a ride-share may be your best bet for getting there without having to haul your suitcase across many city blocks.

Traffic from the airport to the downtown area can be very busy during peak hours, so keep this in mind when calling a ride. Surge pricing is common in Dallas. There are also charges to enter and exit the airport, so these may be calculated as part of your ride.


DFW Airport Taxi
Image Credit: DFW Airport

Taxis wait for passengers on the lower level of each terminal at marked taxi stands. It costs about $60 to get downtown from DFW, and taxis use a metered system, which may mean you’d pay more for longer rides or traffic. Of course, you need to add a tip, as well.

Hired Car

Hiring a car and driver would be the most expensive option, but it is usually appropriate for someone on an extremely tight schedule who can’t afford to waste time calling a taxi or ride-share or for business executives on a per diem.

Typical costs to Dallas are:

  • $135 for a business class sedan (luxurious)
  • $180 for a first class sedan (the most luxurious)
  • $160 for a 5-seater van.

On top of these costs, expect to pay tolls and tip. You can make this type of ride much more affordable by traveling with multiple people.

Final Thoughts

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is the main transportation hub for the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, and if you’re taking any long flights, you’ll likely end up at this airport. There are a ton of ways to get from the airport into downtown, though some are easier and cheaper than others. If you want a guaranteed trip without the traffic, DART really is your best option, though a ride-share can certainly be economical with multiple people.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Dallas airport have a shuttle to downtown Dallas?

While there’s no official company affiliated with DFW Airport, you can hire a car service or shared van to take you to downtown Dallas and any of the hotels in that area.

How much is taxi from Dallas airport to downtown?

A taxi from DFW to downtown Dallas will cost you approximately $60.

How far is Dallas airport from city?

DFW Airport is about 21 miles away from downtown Dallas, though the time it takes you to transit that distance can vary greatly with traffic.

Which airport is closer to downtown Dallas?

Dallas Love Field (DAL) is the closer airport to downtown Dallas, though DFW is a larger airport with more flight options.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.


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