Holiday Travel Tips at Washington's Airports

November 15, 2016

Travelers Can Enjoy New Dining, Shopping and Customer Amenities at Reagan National and Dulles International Airports

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport are preparing for a busy holiday travel season from the week of Thanksgiving through the end of 2016. Passengers will benefit from the introduction of new airlines, destinations, shops, restaurants and amenities at the airports this year.

“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods for Washington’s airports,” said Margaret McKeough, executive vice president and chief operations officer for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “Passengers should prepare for additional crowds on the roadways and within the terminals from Friday, November 18, through Sunday, November 27. Our staff is working hard to make sure their journey is efficient and enjoyable.”

Here are the Airports Authority’s top tips for holiday airport travelers. Passengers can visit flyreagan.com and flydulles.com to explore the full range of airport services and amenities.

Reagan National Dulles International
Plan Ahead – Book airport parking in advance, check in to your flight online and arrive in the terminal at least two hours in advance of flight boarding time. Arrive Your Way – Dulles is connected to the region by highways, Silver Line Express, Washington Flyer Taxi and other bus options.
Be Road-Ready – Airport roads and the Cell Phone lot may become congested at peak times. Park in a garage instead of circling; avoid using airport roads as a cut-through. Park Close to the Terminal – Use Terminal-Hourly for a short stay or Terminal-Daily for overnight trips. Or consider garage parking to keep your car out of inclement weather.
Enjoy Your Journey – Reagan National opened four new shops and 15 new eateries this year. View the options here. Enjoy Your Journey – Dulles International opened two spas, seven new eateries and five duty-free shops this year. A children’s play area opened near Gate B70.
Minimize the Wait – Enroll in TSA Pre-Check or CLEAR registered traveler programs.

Minimize the Wait – Enroll in TSA Pre-Check or CLEAR registered traveler programs. Check live TSA wait times online or on airport monitors.

For international flights, download the free Mobile Passport App and use Global Entry or Dulles Passport Express for expedited Customs processing.

General Airport Tips

  • Re-confirm the status of your flight with your airline before arriving at the airport.
  • Expect full flights and full luggage bins onboard.
  • Bring government-issued I.D. for all adult travelers and passports for all travelers on international trips.
  • Avoid stress by arriving at the airport early. Get to the terminal at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.
  • Obey posted speed limits and be alert for Silver Line construction activity on the way to Dulles.
  • Keep valuables out of plain sight and pack them in carry-on luggage only. Remember to lock cars and take the key.
  • Leave gifts unwrapped until after the flight. Review TSA’s prohibited items list.
  • Follow Reagan National (@Reagan_Airport) and Dulles International (@Dulles_Airport) on Twitter or for important travel information updates.

A full calendar of December performances, specials and entertainment is in the final planning stages and will be posted on flyreagan.com and flydulles.com.

Airport traffic grew at Reagan National and Dulles International in the past 12 months, with more than 45 million passengers served. Royal Air Maroc and Air Canada established new Dulles service with nonstop flights to Casablanca and Toronto. Dulles added seasonal summer service on United to Barcelona and Lisbon and will begin daily flights to Ft. Lauderdale on December 16. Winter seasonal service begins December 17 on United from Dulles to Nassau, Bahamas; Turks & Caicos Islands, and Vail/Eagle, Colorado.

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 44 million passengers a year pass through the two airports. The Airports Authority generates more than 387,000 jobs in the National Capital Region.