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On a recent domestic award trip on American Airlines, I had a long stopover at DFW International Airport in Dallas. DFW was once a weaker location for Priority Pass holders, but that has changed recently. There is now The Club DFW, and there are Minute Suite locations in Terminal A and Terminal D.
And as of March 2019, DFW has a new option for a little more variety.
Getting to Gameway
The Gameway room in Terminal B is downstairs from the SkyTrain stop near Gate 42. It’s between the stairs and the main hall and easy to spot: it’s an open square room lined with high definition TVs on the walls, and a wide leather chair at each screen. There’s the usual Priority Pass sign at the desk as well. The Terminal E location is near Gate 16, but as that was out of my way I did not stop by to view the space.
I have Priority Pass Select membership through my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. At the Terminal B Gameway location I handed over my physical Priority Pass card and was quickly checked in; I wasn’t asked for an onward boarding pass, and that requirement is not mentioned on the PP page for Gameway, but that could be an oversight. (SEE ALSO: I Just Got a Chase Sapphire Reserve (and Didn’t Even Get the Sign-Up Bonus))
Gameway charges customers by time spent at a station, whether using the television or not. The charges quoted to me were $11 for half an hour, $20 for 1 hour, and $35 for 2 hours. Priority Pass holders receive 2 full hours of complimentary time at a station, and extra time is at a 10% discount from normal pricing. In addition, PP holders/guests receive 2 snacks and a drink each, which represents a very good deal overall in my mind. Snacks are heavily focused on sugar, and drink choices are sodas, water, or energy drinks. I chose a Diet Coke, something I’ve grown to miss while living abroad, as well as a Snickers and a Kit Kat. Far too much sugar for a middle-aged man, but when in Rome…
The room was attended by just one associate, and even if it became busy, this seems like a sufficient presence for effective customer service. He did assume that I wasn’t interested in gaming (remember that middle-aged man thing?), and thus I had to specifically ask for the controller/headphones combo that allows customers access to the games available on the local computers. But he happily provided it upon request, as well as a short overview for using it to change between games, Twitch streams, and other entertainment options. The selection was quite good, with twenty games to choose from and a wide variety of streams to watch.
The individual spaces for playing/relaxing are also well designed. The chairs are soft without leaving you feeling like you’re sinking into quicksand, and provide a lot of room to settle into. The 4k, 43″ screens are large enough that they fill your vision, yet they don’t distort at their relatively short distance from the seats.
Each station also has 2 USB ports for charging your devices while there. A tabletop fan is on each table as well, though given the temperature control in the airport I didn’t really need it. All in all, it’s a cozy set up for getting down to a little “pew pew” action .That’s where the only problem I faced arose.
I love video games, but my entire life I have played them only on personal computers. Gaming console controllers are completely alien to me, and I (and many gamers I know) cannot use them at all. Unfortunately, Gameway only has console controllers; there’s no “mouse and keyboard” option for PC players. Thus, after 2 attempts at playing Overwatch where I spent most of the time running in circles while staring at the sky, I gave up on gaming and watched Twitch streams instead. But that’s a personal problem, and most people will have no difficulty playing the games with the controllers.
Where Priority Pass’ value with Gameway really shone was when a family of 4 stopped in. With just the swipe of a PP card the kids were able to engross themselves in the games, as a cardholder’s “guests” can each use a different station. Meanwhile the parents rearranged their belongings, planned the next leg of their trip, and generally took it easy for a while. A long layover can be extremely trying when traveling with kids, and 2 hours to break up the monotony with some video games and candy is probably a godsend for many families.
Gameway at DFW is a good change of pace for Priority Pass holders, and a solid value. If your family plays with video game consoles at home then the controls will be easily familiar, and you have over twenty popular games to choose from. If you’d rather not play, you can watch television or entertainment streams, or even just relax, though I’d recommend the Minute Suites instead for that if you are flying solo. Priority Pass’ guest system means multiple family members can play different games at once, and the chance to grab a bite to eat and a drink makes it an even better option. Gameway is a positive addition to Priority Pass’ growing list of non-lounge options, and I hope they can expand to more locations…and maybe add keyboards for old-timers.
Would you visit Gameway during your next layover at DFW?