The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority continued its efforts to protect the safety and convenience of air travelers by cracking down on taxis and other for-hire vehicles that are not authorized to operate at Washington Dulles International Airport. On June 5, the Airports Authority filed ten lawsuits in the United States District Court in Alexandria, Va. against ground transportation operators for unlawfully utilizing theWashington Flyer® trademark. The Washington Flyer trademark may only be used by for-hire vehicles that have been authorized by the Airports Authority to operate at Dulles International Airport; none of the operators named in these lawsuits has received this authorization.
Drivers authorized to operate under the Washington Flyer trademark must adhere to a wide range of safety and reliability standards set by the Airports Authority. These standards result in a dependable and consistent method of travel to and from Dulles International Airport. Among numerous other conditions, drivers are required to perform regular service and maintenance of their vehicles, to follow set fare guidelines and to take the most direct route to their destination. Together, these standards are designed to ensure a safe, comfortable and convenient ride for Dulles passengers.
“Unfortunately, some ground transportation operators have tried to pass themselves off as Washington Flyertaxis, using names similar to Washington Flyer and running websites that serve to confuse travelers,” said Philip Sunderland, vice president and general counsel for the Airports Authority. “These unauthorized operators are subject to none of the dependability standards that must be met by Washington Flyer taxis. As a result, their service can be unreliable and excessively expensive.”
The Airports Authority provides ground transportation services from Dulles International Airport, and between the airport and the West Falls Church Metrorail station, under different brand names that utilize theWashington Flyer trademark: “Washington Flyer Taxi,” “Washington Flyer Coach,” and “Washington FlyerShared Van.” The Authority’s website, washfly.com, serves as the online informational hub for its ground transportation services.
Travelers who ride in any taxi, limousine or other vehicle using the Washington Flyer name without the signature Washington Flyer arrows may report their experience, including, if possible, the name of the driver and information identifying the vehicle, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority was established in 1987 by the governments of Virginia and the District of Columbia to manage and operate Washington’s Ronald Reagan National and Dulles International airports, which together serve more than 40 million passengers a year. The Airports Authority also operates and maintains the Dulles Airport Access Road and the Dulles Toll Road and manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail system into Loudoun County, Va. No taxpayer money is used to operate the toll road, which is funded by toll revenues, or the airports, which are funded through aircraft landing fees, rents and revenues from concessions. The Silver Line construction is funded by a combination of toll-road revenues, airport contributions and federal, state and local government appropriations. The Airports Authority is led by a 17-member board of directors appointed by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, the mayor of Washington, D.C., and the president of the United States.