A Must Visit Place for Any Aviation Enthusiast

Just outside of Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport is a little hidden gem of a museum, the C.R. Smith Museum, home to everything American Airlines. If you’re any bit of an aviation enthusiast like me, it’s worth it to make a “pilgrimage” here.

The museum itself sits on AA’s training campus, and unfortunately is not accessible via public transportation. Your only options to get here are by car, taxi or Uber, though it’s only about a 10 minute drive from the terminals, so if you have an extended layover, or are early for your flight, you can certainly have time to visit.

IMG_4982

As you walk inside, you’re greeted by an awesome American West plan, with US Airways logo. All of the content in the museum is interestingly updated to reflect the merger details, so you’ll find a fair amount of material on US Airways and their pre-merger carriers, too.

IMG_4979

Admission is $7 for adults, and is discounted for children and museum members. I did inquire about an Executive Platinum discount, and was denied, by the way. 😉

There’s a theater directly inside, which features a short 15 minute film on the history of aviation, and how American helped “fuel the fire.”

IMG_4977

The coolest – and I mean the coolest – feature of the whole museum (well, maybe not…) is the auditorium. Step inside, and you’ll see that all the seats are retired First Class seats. You don’t have to pay thousands for a ticket to sit in First anymore – just come down to Dallas to the AA museum!

IMG_4956

After you exit the theater, you start on a tour of the exhibits, which follows a circular walkway around a small inside seating area where you can watch several videos highlighting the operations of AA, such as how they de-ice aircraft and price tickets.

The exhibits all follow in chronological order, and end at the present day.

IMG_4954

IMG_4955

IMG_4958

IMG_4959

You can pilot an aircraft in a small simulator in the AA colors!

IMG_4960

Or, you can check out the past uniforms and a beverage cart.

IMG_4968

…and even a piano that was once on one of their Luxury Liners.

IMG_4969

In a large glass pavilion, you can tour a DC-3, both inside and out.

IMG_4966

IMG_4962

As you near the modern-day exhibits, you’ll find a timeline of their recent achievements, including new routes, seating options, and meal improvements (or, in my opinion, lack thereof).

IMG_4971

There was one sign that I found particularly funny as it highlighted how American had to file for “Chapter 11 protection.” Nowhere does it actually come out and say bankruptcy. 🙂

IMG_4970

As you come back to the entrance atrium, there’s a large gift shop with AA apparel, model plans, housewares and toys for kids.

You can buy an American Airlines flight attendant doll! #musthave

IMG_4974

I dropped $150 on some neat shirts, a DVD and a how-to guide to SABRE, their ticketing and reservations system (not sure why I needed this, but it looked cool…). This is not a place to go if you aren’t ready to drop a few bucks…which you will if you’re the least bit interest in AA. 🙂

IMG_4980

My Take

I really enjoyed this museum.  If you’re even slightly interested about AA, it will take you about an hour to see the exhibits end to end. If you’re really an aviation geek, it will take a few hours, though as I said before, it’s certainly a museum you can see on a long layover. There’s a bit of positive propaganda towards the airline for obvious reasons, but it’s something you can expect considering it’s their own museum. It’s a must do item the next time you’re in Dallas!

 

Find those elusive Awards & Upgrades - Find Flight Availability, Flight Upgrades & Awards, Frequent Flyer Information and more with ExpertFlyer.com

Looking for the best way to earn miles and points quickly? Visit the "Credit Cards" drop down on the main menu bar above for the hottest deals!Want to learn more and stay up to date on the latest tips, tricks and deals? Join My Travel Tips Facebook Page!  This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Comments

  1. says

    The other cool US Airways collection is at CLT, where at the edge of the airport they have what was the primary US Airways museum (Carolinas Aviation Museum) which includes the Miracle on the Hudson plane. There is also the Delta Heritage Museum at ATL.

    • says

      I haven’t been to the US Airways museum, but now that I know it’s there, I’ll have to take a visit! The Atlanta Delta museum is pretty sweet – great place to go on a long layover, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *