Photo courtesy of Barber Shop Marketing

Dallas-Fort Worth has landed near the top in several recent travel rankings, including family friendly vacations and hotels, and now the region can add best airport to that list. The Airports Council International (ACI) has named Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport the winner of the 2022 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award for Best Airport that serves over 40 million passengers in North America.

The ACI ASQ awards recognize airports that exhibit consistent excellent customer service.

ACI's data is compiled through their worldwide passenger departure and arrival surveys. According to their report, the DFW Airport is “the largest airport in the world” to receive the award.

DFW Airport CEO Sean Donohue said in a statement that it was a “tremendous honor” to be declared the best airport in North America, and the award reflects all of the hard work he and his team have done to prioritize their customer service.

“I want to thank and recognize all of our employees, especially our front-line customer experience team, for the passion and commitment they showcase every day in taking such good care of our customers,” he said. “I also want to thank all of our business partners who share our commitment to providing an excellent customer experience."

2023 looks to be one of the busiest years for the DFW Airport since 2019, with 78 million passengers projected to travel at the airport.

More information about the award can be found on the DFW Airport website.

Private Suite

New service at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport lets you board plane in luxury

Airport News

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is adding a new facility that'll make the airport experience more luxurious.

Called The Private Suite DFW, or PS DFW, it's a private terminal for everyday passengers taking commercial flights, that lets travelers avoid regular airport terminals.

The service includes a separate terminal, private TSA and customs clearance, luxury spaces, and a "back door" to your commercial aircraft, with white-glove service before and after your flight.

According to a release, construction is underway, although the opening date is still TBA.

The offering was founded in 2017 and opened its first outpost at Los Angeles International Airport. There's also a PS opening at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in 2023.

DFW will be a 12,200-square-foot facility adjacent to Corporate Aviation at DFW, and will feature both Private Suites and The Salon signature lounge.

Services include: chauffeured BMW transportation to and from the aircraft door, private TSA and customs screenings, and state-of-the-art amenities.

The design, amenities, and chef-led culinary program will reflect Dallas-Fort Worth culture, which they describe as a blend of Western heritage with modern, cosmopolitan sensibilities. Cue the cowboy hats.

In a statement, DFW's Executive Vice President Revenue Management and Customer Experience Ken Buchanan says that the airport welcomes PS and the opportunity to elevate the customer experience with this unique new option for travelers.

"They can have a more personalized experience to and from their flights at DFW," he says.

PS owns and operates private airport terminals that allow commercial travelers to bypass the public terminals, in order to get a private and seamless travel experience with the spirit of luxury hospitality.

PS guests get access to luxurious lounges or designated private suites, chef-prepared food, and spa services.

A "control room" coordinates with government, security, and airline officials to make the task of getting on the plane less tedious. Anyone can become a member of PS and corporate memberships are available.

Such luxury does not come cheap: In Los Angeles, the lowest starting rate is $995 for a one-time user. Sign up for an annual membership and that drops down to as low as $695. But truly, no price is too high for the luxury of avoiding the unwashed masses.

Photo courtesy of JSX

Dallas-based JSX brings back seasonal flights to 2 sumptuous summer playgrounds

Summer vacay planning

Beach or mountains? That's the only decision left, upon the news that hop-on jet service JSX is bringing back summer flights from Dallas to Destin, Florida and Crested Butte, Colorado.

"Back by popular demand ahead of a busy summer travel season," they're re-introducing limited, seasonal, non-stop routes to these destinations that proved to be a hit in summer 2022, they say in a release.

Here are the details, per the release:

Nonstop seasonal service from Dallas (DAL) to Destin (DSI) begins Thursday, May 18, 2023 with flights operating twice a day, five days a week.

  • Morning and late afternoon departures from Dallas will operate on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Fares begin at $359 each way.

Nonstop seasonal service from Dallas (DAL) to Gunnison/Crested Butte (GUC) begins Thursday, June 22, 2023 with flights operating once a day, four days a week.

  • The flight will operate once per day on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.
  • Fares begin at $429 each way.

Flights include a minimum of two checked bags for each traveler.

While these are considered seasonal flights, there's no end date yet, the company says.

JSX continues to tout its "no crowds, no lines, and no fuss" travel experience that made them especially popular during the pandemic. Dallas travelers fly out of a private terminal at Love Field and can arrive just 20 minutes before "hopping on" their flight. Passengers have access to valet parking, touchless check-in, Wi-Fi lounges, and speedy baggage retrieval.

The 30-seat planes will beam up to SpaceX's Starlink Wifi soon, they say, and there's a pet-friendly policy that allows small dogs and cats to fly for free.

A new partnership with United Airlines also now allows JSX travelers the opportunity to book directly through United and earn coveted United MileagePlus miles.

JSX’s nationwide network serves 43 routes across 22 key North American markets, they say, including new international service to Cabo San Lucas and networks across Colorado and Florida.

The new flights are available for booking via the JSX website.

Courtesy photo

Event celebrating Dallas' Braniff Airways a must for fashion & flying buffs

Fashion News

Dallas' original hometown airline is having a moment: Braniff International will celebrate its 95th anniversary with an event that promises to be a must for fashion and airline buffs alike.

Called The Braniff Style Tour & Fashion Show, it'll take place on March 11 at the Alexander Mansion, with David Preziosi, Braniff Airways Foundation Board Member and Executive Director of Texas Historical Foundation, presenting a program on what a release calls one of the most revolutionary airlines in history.

The event will include lunch and a mini fashion show featuring Braniff’s epochal flight attendant uniforms created by haute couture fashion designers Emilio Pucci and Halston.

Braniff International began in June 1928 with a small Stinson Detroiter single-engine six-passenger airplane that flew its first flight from Oklahoma City to Tulsa. It operated as an airline until 1982.

braniff airlines stewardessBraniff Airlines flight attendants decked out in stylish uniforms.Courtesy photo

Braniff Airways is now a branding/marketing, online retail and historic airliner tour firm with a portfolio of licensing agreements worldwide. Its history has been preserved by Braniff Airways Foundation, an organization created by Richard Ben Cass, a former pilot and Braniff collector and expert whose book Braniff Airways: Flying Colors was published in 2015.

The Foundation curates the Braniff International Heritage Archives, formerly Braniff Flying Colors Collection, which contains Cass' lifetime collection, and includes original Braniff Airways Advertising Department records and archives.

The collection was founded in 1972, and has become the largest and most comprehensive collection of Braniff memorabilia that includes more than 1000 crew uniforms.

The Foundation also acts as an advocacy group for Braniff buildings in danger of demolition, including the mid-century themed Braniff Operations and Maintenance Base in conjunction with lead Flying Crown Land Group.

In 2014, they authored a nomination for the Braniff Hostess College to determine its eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The Hostess College is undergoing a complete restoration and will become a public use facility in the future.

The fashion show promises lots of stretchy fabrics and zowie colors, while the lunch menu is a fun throwback, inspired by vintage Braniff flight menu, with chicken Romanoff, a garden vegetable medley, and strawberry cheesecake.

The Braniff Style Tour & Fashion Show is March 11. Doors open at 10:30 am, with the style show beginning promptly at 11 am, and lunch at 12 pm. Tickets are $60 for "First Class" (includes lunch) and $20 for "Coach" (style show only). Tickets are available online. Proceeds benefit the restoration of the Alexander Mansion.

Photo courtesy of Aero

New private jet service takes off in this week's 5 hottest Dallas headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. New private jet service Aero takes off to Aspen and Mexico from Dallas Love Field. A luxe, semi-private jet service called Aero is scheduled for takeoff from its new hub at Dallas Love Field starting this spring. The Dallas hub will launch routes to Los Cabos, Mexico and Aspen, Colorado on April 21 and May 18, respectively.

2. Dallas-based Vonlane revs up luxury bus service to major new Texas destination. Vonlane finally has remembered Alamo City. After years of shuttling travelers among all the other major Texas cities - to and fro - the luxury bus operator will introduce daily, nonstop service between its home base of Dallas and San Antonio on February 10.

3. Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 restaurants & bars with fun flights. While everyone else is making lists of mocktails in January, our monthly Where to Drink column is going with flights: Bars that are serving not one drink at a time but multiples so you can mix and match. Here are five restaurants and bars with fun flights.

4. TV documentary dives into Dallas-Fort Worth connection to the Amber Alert. The national Amber Alert system, which highlights when children go missing, is the subject of a new original documentary airing on Peacock TV. Called Amber: The Girl Behind the Alert, the show recounts the history of the Amber Alert and its origins in Dallas-Fort Worth.

5. Where to shop in Dallas right now: 8 must-hit stores for January. The vibe for 2023 is being a well-rounded person. And what better way to illustrate that in our lives than in the places we shop and in the items that we buy. From luxe skincare to fancy dog food and even fancier golf gear, the Where to Shop list this month checks off pretty much every consumer’s box.

Photo courtesy of Aero

New private jet service Aero takes off to Aspen and Mexico from Dallas Love Field

Wheels up

A luxe, semi-private jet service called Aero is scheduled for takeoff from its new hub at Dallas Love Field starting this spring.

The Dallas hub will launch routes to Los Cabos, Mexico and Aspen, Colorado on April 21 and May 18, respectively.

The service already offers flights to those two locations plus Sun Valley, Idaho, with additional hubs at San Francisco International Airport, Van Nuys Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport.

One-way flights from Dallas will be available for purchase starting January 19, with rates starting at $1,000, according to a release.

At the Dallas hub, travelers will go through a private terminal to avoid check-in, long lines, and crowds. Instead of having to show up to the airport hours early like commercial flight travelers, Aero travelers are encouraged to arrive 20 to 30 minutes early and get to relax in a private lounge.

Aero CEO Uma Subramanian says the company looks forward to the addition of their new hub.

“We are excited to offer our guests more options to fly with Aero,” Subramanian says in the release. “We will continue to provide our guests with an unparalleled way to travel and we look forward to sharing the Aero experience with Texans.”

The company boasts an “exceptional” traveler experience. Their concierge team offers personalized attention to each passenger and will go so far as to book you a driver to or from the airport or make sure your favorite drink is available on board.

The Aero jet fleet consists of custom Embraer ERJ-135 jets with 16 premium, all aisle and window seats. The company also flies two Legacy 600 business-style jets that seat 10 to 13 travelers each.

Inside each jet, guests will enjoy “modern luxury” with hand-stitched Italian leather seats, state-of-the-art lighting and a custom sound system, they tout.

Guest safety is a “number one priority” for the company, they say. With contactless check-in and crowd-free lounges, Aero keeps touch points to a minimum for both pilots and passengers. Each jet undergoes a sanitation process before and after every flight, according to the press release.

Travelers interested in booking an Aero flight can visit the company’s website.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Leggy crane flies land atop this week's 5 most popular Dallas stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Crane flies have landed ever so lightly in Dallas, which means one thing. The crane flies have arrived in Dallas, and this year, they're here in droves. Fragile, leggy, and whisper-light, crane flies are most often found around streams and lakes. But at certain times of year, they show up in urban areas, hovering and bobbing around houses and doorways.

2. Site of former Valley View Mall in Dallas meets sad unfortunate end. A once-beloved North Dallas mall is meeting its timely ending: The former Valley View Mall at LBJ Freeway and Preston Road saw demolition begin on March 16, putting an end to nearly a decade of inept waffling. The mall closed in 2015, with big plans for redevelopment that never happened.

3. Grab this '60s East Dallas home with only one owner before flippers get it. A '60s house in East Dallas with only one owner that's basically untouched is on the market at a great deal of a price. Located at 2323 Homeway Cir., it's a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home built in 1969, with 1,802 square feet and an attached two-car garage.

4. Country music bad boy Morgan Wallen headlines ACM Awards benefit show in Dallas-Fort Worth. Dallas-Fort Worth will be the center of the country music universe on May 11, when the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards are broadcast from The Star in Frisco. As with any worldwide, Super Bowl-level event, there'll be many happenings leading up to it. First up: a benefit concert headlined by Morgan Wallen.

5. Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 bars with cool cocktail specials. It's always good to support your local watering hole but sometimes the heart wants something else, and even better when it's something cheap. For our March edition of Where to Drink, we spotlight five drinking opportunities around Dallas that include a seasonally-focused happy hour, a one-day drink special, a new happy hour for the summer, and a new happy hour at an Arts District hotel bar.

Texas rises through the ranks of most innovative states, says new report


The Lone Star State has again taken a step up on an annual report that ranks the most and least innovative states in the country — this time cracking the top 15.

Texas ranked No. 15 in personal finance site WalletHub's 2023’s Most and Least Innovative States ranking. It's a steady improvement for the state, which ranked No. 16 in 2022 and No. 17 in 2021.

The report analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia and how each performed across 22 key metrics, including population of STEM professionals, venture capital investment activity, number of technology companies, patents per capita, and more. The data was pulled from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Science Foundation, National Center for Education Statistics, United States Patent and Trademark Office, and other records.

Here's how Texas performed at a glance:

  • No. 18 – for share of STEM professionals
  • No. 16 – for projected STEM job demand by 2030
  • No. 25 – for eighth grade math and science performance
  • No. 21 – for share of science and engineering graduates aged 25 or older
  • No. 13 – for share of technology companies
  • No. 31 – for R&D spending per capita
  • No. 18 – venture capital funding per capita

For the 11th year, Texas won Site Selection Magazine's Governor's Cup, the governor's office announced earlier this year. The award, which Texas has won 19 times since its inception in 1978, recognizes the nation’s top-performing state for job-creating business relocations and expansions.

"Texas truly is America’s economic engine, and we stand apart as a model for the nation. When choosing where to relocate or expand their businesses, more and more innovative industry leaders find themselves at home in our state," Governor Greg Abbott says in a news release about the award.

"I congratulate the exceptional economic development teams at the local, regional, and state level who have worked so diligently to attract and retain these growing businesses and the jobs they create in diverse communities across this great state," he continues.

The most innovative states included the District of Columbia, which ranked at No. 1, followed by Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland, and California, respectively. The least innovative state was identified as Mississippi, followed by Louisiana, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Arkansas, respectively.

Source: WalletHub

Access to quality education is a significant contributor to each state's innovation economy, the experts say in the report.

"Investing in education, particularly K-12 but also at the University level, it is no accident that innovative ecosystems develop in states with strong education systems and research universities," says David L. Deeds, professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. "These institutions build strong capable modern workforces that attract capital, and jobs and create innovations. The benefits do not happen overnight, in fact, they take years if not decades, but consider what The UC’s or the University of Texas at Austin have meant for the development of premier innovative ecosystems."

Hall Group to open new hotel in mixed-use re-do of Frisco office park

Hotel News

Frisco is getting a new hotel at one of the city's pioneering office developments: Called the Hall Park Hotel, Autograph Collection, it'll open at Hall Park, and will be part of the Autograph Collection Hotels – Marriott Bonvoy collection.

According to a release, construction is anticipated to be complete in late 2023, with an opening set for spring 2024.

The hotel is part of the first phase of a $7 billion new masterplan to shift Hall Park from an office focus into a live-work-play community. It'll be owned by Dallas-based Hall Group, and operated by Coury Hospitality.

Autograph Collection Hotels – Marriott Bonvoy is known for its diverse independent hotels that champion individuality.

Hall Park Hotel will feature:

  • world-class contemporary art
  • outdoor pool
  • 4,000 square-foot ballroom
  • state-of-the-art fitness center
  • chef-driven restaurant and lounge
  • expansive patio

There will be 224 guest rooms and 60 well-appointed suites, supporting both short term and longer stays, with a focus on business travelers, events, meetings, regional “staycationers,” and tourists visiting Toyota Stadium, The Star in Frisco, regional youth sports tournaments, the upcoming PGA of America complex, and Universal Studios Park.

This makes the second hotel for Hall Group, the first being the Hall Arts Hotel which opened in the Dallas Arts District in 2019; and the fifth Autograph Hotel in the DFW area (others include the Adolphus in downtown Dallas, Hotel Vin in Grapevine, the Sinclair in Fort Worth, and Hotel Drover in Fort Worth).

Coury Hospitality is based in Las Colinas, with a portfolio of more than 30 hotels and restaurants, including 10 hotels in the Autograph Collection.

“Our partnership with Autograph Collection Hotels provides the opportunity to deliver a one-of-a-kind property to the residents and visitors of Frisco that will include a museum-quality art collection and world-class food and wine offerings,” says Hall Group chairman and CEO Craig Hall. “Framed by views of the art-filled Kaleidoscope Park, which is currently underway, hotel guests will be able to experience Frisco not only as a business and sports hub but also as an emerging arts and culture destination.”

Other new developments at Hall Park include The Monarch, a 19-story, luxury apartment tower expected to open in the fourth quarter. It'll have 214 units with 29 floorplans, including eight penthouse units with oversized balconies and high-end appliances and finishes, spa-inspired master baths and park views.

Amenities include a club room with kitchen, pool, fitness center, outdoor grilling areas, yoga and meditation space, bike storage, pet washing area, and meeting space.

The base of the residential tower will hold a 10,000-square-foot eatery, slated to open in 2024, with a diverse selection of 10 unique, chef-driven restaurants.

They're also building The Tower at Hall Park, a 16-story office tower that shares a podium with the hotel and will boast multiple terraces on every suite level, outdoor amenity space, and direct park access. That tower will also include 10,000 square feet of ground-level retail and restaurant space facing Kaleidoscope Park. It's also forecast to open in the fourth quarter of 2023.