tamtagon wrote:The next terminal addition is likely to abandon the horseshoe layout. With the design departure from existing terminals should come the expansion readiness to accommodate a competitive hub to oneworld & AA.
I don't see how the future terminal F doesn't substantially copy Terminal D- the Skylink tracks were built out in anticipation of terminal F being built in the future, and the Terminal D design is largely on par with top-tier global airports as far as passenger amenities, waiting areas, etc. They even have a big gaudy luxury shopping mall now, tho they don't make you walk through it after clearing security the way European airports do.
The main shortcoming at DFW as compared to other global megahubs is something outside their control- how the US handles international arrivals. No matter what your next destination is, everyone* on an international flight arriving in the US goes straight to Immigration & customs where they pop out on the street and have to recheck luggage and re-clear security, though most every international hub also requires a security recheck when connecting as well. This puts a damper on international to international connections at US airports as people need a US visa or entry clearance to connect, plus their goods are subject to US customs limits even if just passing through.
(*I think there are a few random exceptions for a handful of flights from the south pacific to LAX that continue on to Europe and passengers continuing on are allowed to sit in a smallish holding area instead of clearing customs, but they obviously can't avail of the shops and restaurants)
DFW could of course build a "true" international terminal where passengers in transit don't have to clear customs formalities, but that would also mean anyone departing on an international flight from DFW would effectively "leave" the US as soon as they cleared the security check and have to go through customs to exit the terminal (if their flight is changed or cancelled for instance). It also couldn't be tied in with the Skylink system, which would make connecting from a domestic flight to an international one difficult.
My guess is that F looks like D when it gets built out, and the next wave of construction involves tearing down C, then A, then E and building a linear terminal with long perpendicular concourses and an FIS on the east side of the airport. The end state has AA mainline occupying the east side complex (including international arrivals for American Eagle), Terminal B remaining as domestic American Eagle, D being all non-AA carriers with international flights (Including Spirit and Suncountry), and F being the other US domestic carriers (Delta, United, Jet Blue, maybe Southwest by this point)