For the first time, we're getting a glimpse of what Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport will look like for years to come.
New high-definition, virtual-reality animations show how the airport plans to convert four 1970s buildings into sleek terminals for the 21st century.
A lot has changed since Terminals A, B, C and E opened in the early 1970s. Since then, the "groovy" wallpaper has gone by the wayside, and the brightly colored Braniff jets have disappeared into the past. But the airports' workhorse terminals still look dated when compared to the shining Terminal D that opened in 2004.
One week after North Texas hosts the Super Bowl in February, the airport will kick off a $2 billion renovation of terminals A, B, C and E.
Animations created for the airport's board show a new look with glass panels that allow passengers to see through from the front doors all the way to the planes parked at the gates. Ticket counters will have more space for passengers and for self check-in machines -- machines that didn't exist when they opened the doors more than 35 years ago.
The security checkpoints will be turned at a 90-degree angle from their current layout so that passenger lines will no longer block the walkways restaurants inside the gate area will be grouped together in pods.
"It creates more ability for passengers to see all the choices they have and to get those things quickly," said airport spokesman David Magana.
The goal, airport officials say, is to create a look that's more consistent with Terminal D.
"Could they make it look like that? That would be really nice," said Jaime Smith, a traveler who said she loves the shops and restaurants at Terminal D.
The floors and other finishes in the renovated buildings will have a similar look to Terminal D, as will the signs and colors throughout. The tile floors in the old terminals were installed before there was much rolling luggage, so bags now click-clack over the floors as they roll along. New smooth terrazzo will make dragging the bag a much quieter experience.
Behind the scenes, all of the plumbing and air conditioning will get replaced as the airport aims for a "greener" future.
But the same cannot be said for the ride to and from the airport. Plans to link the terminals with a DART rail line are on hold because of the agency's budget troubles.
Passengers waiting to pick up family members may be disappointed to see that there won't be any new restaurants outside of security near the ticket counters. The airport said its studies have shown there just isn't enough business on that side of the terminal to make it work.
The renovation, funded by $2 million in bonds, is expected to take six years to complete. The airport plans to increase parking fees by a dollar or two and work to boost concession sales to pay off the debt.