Airports Authority Offers Holiday Travel Tips

Published: November 19, 2012

Travelers will find New Security Screening Lanes, Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and Enhanced Parking Features

Thanksgiving week is the kickoff of a season of holiday travel that lasts through the New Year. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has worked throughout 2012 to prepare Reagan Nationaland Dulles International Airports to serve its customers well during this busy time. Several tips and enhancements are worthy of note as travelers prepare to take flight to visit family and friends.
 
“We advise our customers to plan ahead and arrive early during peak times this holiday season,” said Jack Potter, Metropolitan Airports Authority President and CEO. “We are committed to providing an excellent, welcoming experience to all travelers who come to our airports – especially at this time of the year.”

Earlier this year, The Transportation Security Administration introduced TSA Pre✓™, a dedicated security checkpoint available for passengers who are approved for expedited screening through the program. TSA Pre✓™ approved passengers no longer need to remove shoes, belts, laptops, or 3-1-1 compliant bags from carry-on luggage. All passengers are encouraged to visit the Transportation Security Administration’s website to learn more about this new program.

The Airports Authority anticipates that the Thanksgiving holiday rush will start on Friday, November 16 and continue through Monday, November 26. Peak travel times are typically during the early morning (5:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) and late afternoon (3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.). There could also be a mid-day peak (11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.). Travelers are advised to arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight, especially during these peak times.

Student Ambassadors — wearing distinctive yellow shirts — and Travelers Aid volunteers — wearing blue blazers — are located at both Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport to give directions, answer questions and offer assistance to passengers.

WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR?

  • New and existing airlines have added flights at both Reagan National and Dulles International Airports.
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  • Additional security screening lanes: At Dulles, TSA operates at a new dedicated TSA Pre✓™ checkpoint in the center of the Main Terminal’s departures level. At Reagan National, TSA Pre✓™ lanes are located at the north and south checkpoints.  Also at Reagan National, a new eighth security screening lane was opened Friday at the south checkpoint serving Delta, Alaska and United flights. TSA Pre✓™ is available at that checkpoint.
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  • Real-time security checkpoint wait times for Dulles are available athttp://www.mwaa.com/dulles/4793.htm
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  • Reagan National has upgraded its parking equipment. Customers will see space count indicators for each level as they enter the garages. They can also enter and exit with a credit card to save time.
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  • Each airport has four electric vehicle charging stations (click here for DCA / click here for IAD), which accommodate up to eight electric vehicles.
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  • Supreme Airport Shuttle, a new shared van service, now operates in addition to SuperShuttle.

The Airports Authority offers these tips to holiday travelers:

  • Confirm the status of your flight directly with your airline before coming to the airport. Weather here or in other parts of the country can affect airline schedules across the route network.
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  • Print out your boarding pass before in advance. Some airlines also offer electronic boarding passes.
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  • Bring government-issued photo ID to the airport for all adult passengers.
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  • The busiest days will include the Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving. Expect full flights and full luggage bins onboard.
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  • Pack wisely – no prohibited items in carry-on luggage; and no valuable items in checked luggage. Label your luggage so your name is plainly visible.
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  • Reagan National customers check parking availability online at www.mwaa.com/reagan or at 703-417-PARK. Economy tends to fill over holiday periods.
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  • The Airports Authority has convenient dining options at both Reagan National and Dulles International. Sit down and enjoy a meal before your flight or order something to bring with you on the airplane. Shopping and Dining guides are available at shopdullesairport.com andshopreagannational.com.
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  • For travelers not familiar with the airport, printable one-page information sheets are available in the “Travel Tips” section at Dulles International or Reagan National webpages. Travelers can also follow tweets about both airports at twitter.com/dcairports.

We wish you safe and enjoyable travels this holiday season.

 

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