03:03 AM

DFW International Airport And USO Announce New Airport Lounge

Airport's Strong Support Of U.S. Military Includes Assistance For Families, Free Wireless Internet; Opening In May

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas (April 23, 2004) – Adding another key customer service feature to bolster its strong support of the U.S. military, DFW Airport announced today it is teaming with the USO to build a lounge in Terminal B, scheduled to open in activities around the Memorial Day Weekend period.

The 2,900-square-foot facility will be located in the space formerly occupied by the President's Club for Continental Airlines -- which is now located in Terminal E. DFW is refurbishing the lounge to "like new" condition to assist service members and their families while the USO is providing financial support, staffing and furnishings. Today's announcement was highlighted by an appearance by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and Secretary of the Navy Gordon England, who praised the Airport for its strong commitment to the armed services.

"Thousands of men and women who serve in our Armed Forces pass through DFW Airport each month. This new USO Center will provide them with a place of their own where they can relax and refresh as they travel to and from their duty stations around the globe," said Gordon England, Secretary of the Navy. "Thanks to the USO, DFW and all those who have helped sponsor this facility. They have done a great service for those who wear the cloth of our Nation."

The lounge's first frequent users will be service men and women returning from Southwest Asia as part of the military's Rest and Recuperation (R&R) program. DFW, one of the three R&R airports in the country, assisted more than 12,000 soldiers during R&R flights from November 2003 to January 2004 and donated more than $300,000 in fees and services.

"The DFW Board felt like that was the right thing to do, and we believe teaming with the USO on this lounge is the right thing to do," said Max Wells, Chairman of the DFW Airport Board. "We are proud of the support from the North Texas community for our brave men and women in uniform. DFW provides a wide variety of services and amenities for our troops and now aid will be centralized in this USO facility. And DFW's Interfaith Chaplaincy, Traveler's Aid and Airport Ambassadors will continue to be there to assist."

The Airport is donating more than $50,000 in construction costs to renovate the lounge. Amenities will include wireless Internet access, free of charge. Service members or their families can surf the web using a high speed, wireless network. The lounge will also feature a fully stocked kitchen, pantry and a game and movie room. The USO is hiring an executive director to oversee operation of the facility.

“The USO is excited about opening a new USO center at DFW,” said Edward A. Powell, president and CEO of USO World Headquarters. “This center will give the people of this region a chance to reach out to and thank the thousands of American service members and their families who pass through this airport every day. When it opens, this new center will be the latest link in the chain that connects the United States with the men and women who defend us. Whether the troops are passing through here as they move from one assignment to another, or as part of increased R&R flights to DFW, this touch of home will be one additional reminder to the military that America is thinking of them.”

For 63 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has brought a touch of home to America’s military personnel. The USO is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit organization and is not a government agency. The USO is supported by World Partners Amazon.com, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, BAE SYSTEMS, Bass Pro Shops, Clear Channel Worldwide, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Lockheed Martin, Lowe’s, Morgan Stanley, Northwest Airlines, Ray-Ban, Sara Lee, S & K Sales Company, Ty Inc., USAA Foundation and The Walt Disney Company. Other corporate donors, including Walgreens and the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CF-0600), have joined thousands of individual donors to support the USO. For more information on the USO, please visit our Web site at www.uso.org.

Located halfway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW International Airport is the world’s third busiest, serving 54 million passengers a year. Offering nearly 2,000 flights daily, DFW Airport provides nonstop service to 136 domestic and 31 international destinations worldwide. For the latest news, real-time flight information, parking availability or further details regarding the many services provided at DFW International Airport, log on to www.dfwairport.com.

To arrange interviews contact DFW Public Affairs at 972 574 NEWS (6397) or Ken Capps, Vice President Public Affairs, kcapps@dfwairport.com.