For a change, an American Airlines flight went OK. We arrived in Dallas a little early, slightly extending my 22-hour layover time! Ideally I’d prefer not to have this amount of time between fights but the whole trip from Las Vegas to Mexico City only cost £90 and the next cheapest option was about £200. Thinking pragmatically, a day of my time is currently worth a fair amount less than £110.

I’d booked into a Dallas hotel a few months ago. When I double-checked the hotel details yesterday, I was somewhat horrified my the reviews. Reading between the lines, here’s what I think happened and I probably shouldn’t name the hotel in case I libel them! This establishment is not in a bad area of Dallas but there have been past issues of drug dealing, prostitution, violence and general sketchiness. I’ve since found a newspaper article from last year which states that the hotel was closed down by the authorities. It was then refurbished and reopened under a different name. It’s initial reviews were fine, probably coinciding with when I booked. However it looks that it has since gone downhill again and the well-known hotel booking agency that I used don’t even list it on their website any more. Despite having already paid for the room, I’d rather spend a night in Dallas-Fort Worth Airport! Getting an airport hotel may have been an option but since tomorrow’s flight to Mexico City has been brought forward this would have meant relying on a shuttle bus at 5.30am.

Visiting Ft Worth for a few hours was a possibility but due to my long layover the airline wouldn’t keep hold of my bags. There also appears to be no luggage storage facilities at the airport and I didn’t fancy lugging my stuff around Ft Worth. There’s a swanky Hyatt Regency Hotel within the terminal and I could have possibly asked them to look after my bags. Sometimes if you go into a random hotel (that you have no reservation for) and ask them to store your luggage until you check in later, they will. However there’s a risk that they’ll double-check your name or even allow you to check in early for your imaginary reservation. Getting rumbled would be a bit embarrassing so I didn’t want to go down that route!

A day in the airport actually wasn’t that bad. The Wifi is free and works fine so it allowed me to listen to a bit of radio from home and get this blog up to date. If I’d have been there longer though I’d have felt like Tom Hanks in The Terminal! I spent most of the day sitting near the security area and it is amazing how many people leave stuff in trays. There were constant announcements about passports, computers, phones and medication that had been left behind.

As it was too early to check-in, I had to spend the day on the landside of the airport as they call it in the trade. For a major airport, the landside cuisine options in Terminal D are fairly atrocious. Having walked from one end of the terminal to the other I discovered the fare to be a Starbucks, some vending machines and a newsagents that essentially sells the same sort of crap as the vending machine. To make matters worse there’s a whole variety of food outlets visible through the other side of security. Google helped by pointing me in the direction of Arrivals downstairs where there was a deli, selling things such as salads and yoghurts, just what the body is crying out for.

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