You never really quite know what to expect in Dallas.  My recent visit for a conference provided one surprise after another.

It all started at the airport.  Someone told us that the best way to get to our hotel, the Hyatt, was to catch the DART – something like our C Train service.  Apparently, all you had to do was hop onto the train at the airport and it would deposit us at Union Station just across the road from our hotel.  Sounds simple, right?   Um – no.

First of all, simply finding the station at DFW is a nightmare.  Optimistic signs with arrows pointing in the general direction surprisingly fizzled out.  We walked one way – then another – then asked an airport employee who was having his smoke break.  I couldn’t understand what he said but he waved us back inside the airport.  It was then we realized that to catch the DART (rapid transit – what a laugh) we had to catch a bus to the other terminal where the DART station would be found.  This little jaunt ended up taking about 20 minutes.  By this time, I was wishing I had taken a taxi …. but that’s another story.

Eventually we got to the station and purchased our tickets.  Now here was another weird twist.  In order to purchase these on a credit card you had to enter your ZIP code.  Only 5 spaces.  Our postal code has 6 spaces.  What the hell?  Fortunately, someone there at the same time told us that if you are using a Canadian credit card you have to put in the 3 letters followed by 2 zeros.  Oh, my goodness.  Has anyone heard of this before?  So, with my postal code being T2J 5C4 I had put to in TJC00.  We finally got our tickets and thankfully the train was still standing in the station.

We jumped on board and found empty seats with plenty of space for our suitcases – only then realizing that the reason the seats were empty was because a bird had pooped all over them.   *sigh*.   But we were on the train and would be at our destination very quickly – we thought – Rapid Transit, right?


Looking at the map on the wall it seemed that in order to get to Union Station we would have to change trains.  Oh, now this is complicated.  We got to the end of the line (whereupon the train goes back to the airport) and got off the train during which time we met a lovely couple – mom and daughter – who had overheard our confused conversation.  “Don’t y’all worry” mom told us.  “Y’all just stick with us.  We going to the same place as you.”  OK great.  We climbed on the train making sure to keep mom and daughter in our sights.

The next problem occurred when the ticket inspector got on the train.  Our guardian angels were inspected, and then removed from the train and promptly fined and arrested.  Bye guardian angels…

Chugging along on the train we were joined at one of the stations by a very weird guy who looked like he might be high on something and a lovely sweet homeless lady who chatted our heads off.  We were told that the train we were on would take us to Union Station – so we could relax.  As we approached Union Station we started getting our stuff together…. but the train just raced right through Union Station without stopping.

What the heck?

No problem to our high as a kite friend who promptly started pulling the emergency stop lever.  With that the train ground to a halt in the middle of a tunnel.  A few suspenseful moments ensued when we all sat in silence and then the train started to move again.  Curiouser and curiouser.
When the train pulled into the next station we rushed off the train with our big suitcases and then had to cross the train tracks to get to the other side while we waited for the next train coming from the other direction, so we could travel one stop and get off at – yes – Union Station.


Yes, we said – we should have taken a taxi.  Which we did the next day when we wanted to go out for dinner.  Now that’s another story completely.  Cowboy Cabs, Ubers and rip off unmetered rides and more ….

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. Interesting but why didn’t you check on Internet before you went to Dallas. It is very clear on the dart map that you go from Terminal A and have to change to get to Union Station. We recently went to Paris and checked on Internet and than used train to get downtown with no problem at significant saving to using a taxi. A little personal planning and investigation goes a long having a trouble-free trip.


  2. Dear Leslie,
    Too bad you weren’t in San Francisco – the BART there is marvellous. Signs everywhere pointing to the train and right there between both Domestic & International Terminals and one gets a ticket from a clearly marked machine and then onto the train, which is being cleaned (as it’s the first stop / last stop) and room for your luggage.
    Very fast service to downtown and beyond = and presto-chango you’re at your hotel.
    I love BART….
    I’ve heard horror stories about Dallas (never been there) and Houston (have been there 3 times and learned new curse words from several other passengers)…………


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