Be Ready for Takeoff with these Summer Travel Tips

Published: June 21, 2017

Airport Travelers Advised to Plan Ahead and Stay Connected via Social Media

As the long-awaited vacation period begins for many, Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports are offering a few tips and special offers to help passengers enjoy their summer travel:

Be aware of airport travel peaks and when to arrive: Passengers should arrive to the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. Peak travel times at the airports include the early morning (6 a.m. to 8 a.m.), mid-day (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and late afternoon (3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.).

Enjoy new shopping and dining options: Reagan National and Dulles International have opened several new concessions and amenities. Find the full list of stores and restaurants at Dulles International here, and offerings at Reagan National here.

Look forward to Fourth of July weekend entertainment: Passengers traveling through both airports during the holiday weekend can delight in special performances. Stay tuned to the Dulles International and Reagan National websites for more information.

Follow airport social media accounts: For up-to-date information about airport conditions, passengers should monitor @Dulles_Airport and @Reagan_Airport  on Twitter. Passengers may also check FlyDulles and ReaganAirport on Facebook.

Be mindful of construction at DCA: Reagan National’s construction project, Project Journey, will commence in late July. Stay informed about the latest improvements and possible impacts construction may have on your trip by checking flyreagan.com/projectjourney.

Guarantee a parking spot in advance at DCA: At Reagan National, ePark allows travelers to assure a parking spot. Travelers can make reservations from 24 hours to six months before their trip. Reservations can be changed or canceled online up to 24 hours before arrival time, free of charge. For more information on DCA parking options, visit flyreagan.com/parking.

Plan Metro transportation carefully: On June 25, Metro will implement changes to fares, schedules and system hours. Visit wmata.com for more information on these modifications.

Stay alert about construction near IAD: Construction of Metrorail to Dulles International may result in lane closures to roads in and around the airport, including the Dulles Toll Road and the Dulles Airport Access Highway. For information on the latest roadway impacts, visit dullesmetro.com or follow @DullesMetrorail on Twitter.

Take advantage of the Silver Line Express to IAD: Travelers can ride the Silver Line Express bus directly from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station to Dulles International for a low flat rate of $5 each way. The bus has free Wi-Fi and spacious storage room. Learn more at flyDulles.com/silverlineexpress.

Enjoy more efficient international arrivals: A pilot program at Dulles International streamlines clearance procedures at the primary inspection point. Customs and Border Protection aims to prevent long waits at the exit.

Additional travel tips:

  • Pack wisely – no prohibited items in carry-on luggage and no valuable items in checked luggage. With the Fourth of July holiday approaching, passengers are reminded that fireworks are prohibited at all times. Check the TSA’s website for information about prohibited items.
  • Confirm the status of your flight before coming to the airport. Weather here or even in other parts of the country may affect flight schedules.
  • Check in online and print your boarding pass before coming to the airport.
  • Economy lots tend to fill quickly during the summer. Be sure to check parking availability for Reagan National online at flyreagan.com/parking.
  • All adult passengers must bring a government-issued photo ID to the airport.
  • TSA Pre-Check Enrollment Centers are available at both airports. You can apply and/or complete the enrollment process at either of the in-airport centers. 
  • Real-time security waits for Dulles International are available on your smartphone or tablet and on displays near the checkpoints. The wait times are updated every minute and can help you find the best way to get to your gate.
  • If your boarding pass states “TSA Pre✓,” proceed to the appropriate security checkpoint. This will save valuable time when moving through the airport.
  • Label your luggage so your name is clearly visible.
  • Find one of our digital directories or Information Desks if you need assistance navigating the airport.

Travelers should prepare ahead of time, make full use of airport websites and follow airport social media accounts to have the best experience possible. Happy travels – we look forward to seeing you at Washington’s airports!

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, the Dulles Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road and also manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail public transit system through Fairfax County and into Loudoun County, Virginia. More than 45 million passengers a year pass through the two airports. The Airports Authority generates more than 387,000 jobs in the National Capital Region.