Reagan National and Dulles International airports are preparing to make the busy Thanksgiving travel rush more enjoyable than ever for passengers, with enhanced offerings, new services and helpful travel tips. Travelers at the two airports can enjoy easier parking, reduced wait times for customs processing, new airlines, new destinations and the opening of several new food and retail options.
During the 11-day holiday travel period, November 21 – December 1, Washington's airports are forecasted to accommodate as many as 1.5 million passengers. Increases in Thanksgiving airport travel are expected nationwide, with full flights–especially at peak travel times. Travelers at Reagan National and Dulles International will be able to take full advantage of these enhancements made throughout the year.
Summary of What’s New in 2014
|Reagan National Airport
||Dulles International Airport
Parking at Reagan National Just Got Easier
Reagan National has expanded parking options, providing new online services and additional space to give travelers more choice and convenience. Now customers can reserve parking in advance at Reagan National, guaranteeing them space at the airport, and pay through a mobile app or at an airport kiosk.
A new 99-space Short Term parking lot opened across from the Terminal A parking garage. It is an especially convenient location to access Terminal A or to wait for an arriving traveler in the event the Cell Phone lot is full. A credit card is required to enter and exit the lot. Hourly parking is also available in all Terminal parking garages.
Reagan National customers should check parking availability online at flyreagan.com/parking or at 703-417-PARK (7275). Economy parking tends to fill at holiday time. Visit here for new parking rates now in effect.
‘Dulles Passport Express’ Makes Customs Inspections More Efficient
Dulles purchased and installed 40 self-service kiosks to speed up the Customs arrivals process for international travelers landing at the airport. All passengers with U.S. and Canadian passports and passengers from visa waiver countries will use the new kiosks instead of the old process of filling out paper forms to be reviewed by Customs officers. ‘Dulles Passport Express’ reduces the time Customs officers previously spent on administrative tasks and increases the overall efficiency of the inspection process.
Metro to Dulles, Closer Than Ever
There are plenty of ways to get to Dulles International, and the options continue to expand. Metro to Dulles is closer than ever with Silver Line construction now underway at the airport and new stations open to the east. Passengers can ride nonstop between Dulles and the Silver Line for just $5 each way on the new Silver Line Express bus. Buses run every 15-20 minutes to the Silver Line’s Wiehle-Reston East station, replacing the discontinued Washington Flyer Coach bus to/from West Falls Church. Buses may be added to the route during peak holiday travel times to accommodate increased ridership. With Silver Line Express, the total trip cost from anywhere in the Metrorail system to Dulles is $11 or less per person.
New Air Service and Facility Changes at Reagan National
Some ticketing, baggage claim and gate locations of airlines shifted this year at Reagan National due to mergers and service expansions. Customers of American, US Airways, JetBlue,
Southwest and Virgin America, take special note. See all the changes below:
- An expanded security screening checkpoint opened in Terminal A to accommodate the increased passenger traffic at the terminal’s nine airline gates.
- American and US Airways baggage claim offices are now consolidated into one office next to claim area #12.
- Virgin America relocated from Gate 26 to Gate 24 (Terminal B); No change to ticket counter location. The airline added three new daily round-trip flights to Dallas Love Field.
- JetBlue relocated from Terminal A Gates 1, 2, 8 and 9 to Terminal B Gates 26, 28, 30 and 32; Ticket counter and baggage claim also relocated to Terminal B. New signage is in place. The airline has added six daily round-trip flights to its schedule since June.
- Southwest expanded its gate space in Terminal A to six of the terminal’s nine gates (2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9). With 44 daily round-trip flights, the airline has become the airport’s second largest carrier.
- Air Canada, Frontier and Sun Country ticket counters relocated to former JetBlue ticket counter space in Terminal A.
New Air Service at Dulles
Airlines made new service announcements throughout the year. Consider these destinations for your next trip:
- United – Seasonal weekly service to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, begins Dec. 20. Seasonal service to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, begins Dec. 20.
- Alaska Airlines – Nonstop daily service to Seattle begins Mar. 11, 2015
- Frontier – Ultra-low-cost airline serves Dulles as a focus city with flights to many North American destinations. New nonstop service to Miami begins Nov. 21.
- Southwest – Nonstop daily service to San Diego and Las Vegas began Nov. 2
- British Airways – Service to London upgraded to a new Airbus A380 aircraft
- Air China – New airline with four nonstop flights per week to Beijing
New Food & Retail Options
The airports are transforming the shopping and dining experience to include more iconic and local brands for passengers to choose from. Visit the Reagan National and Dulles International construction update webpages to keep track of the latest new developments.
|Now Open at Reagan National
New Food & Beverage
|Now Open at Dulles International
New Food & Beverage
Top Airport Travel Tips
- Get started early. The Thanksgiving holiday rush is likely to start on Friday, Nov. 21, and continue through Monday, Dec. 1. Peak travel times are during the early morning (5:30 a.m. to 8 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 p.m.). Passengers are advised to arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight, especially during these times.
- Dulles International travelers can check security checkpoint wait times online and on their mobile devices at flydulles.com/waittimes and on large displays at the airport. The wait times are updated every minute and can help passengers make smarter decisions about the best way to get to their gates.
- Airport Ambassadors — wearing blue or yellow polo shirts — and Travelers Aid volunteers — wearing blue blazers — will be available to give directions, answer questions and offer assistance to passengers.
- Avoid traveling with wrapped gifts. All items carried past the security checkpoint are subject to inspection and may be unwrapped.
- Confirm the status of your flight with your airline before arriving at the airport. Weather here or in other parts of the country can affect flight schedules across the air travel network.
- Print out your boarding pass and pay any airline baggage fees in advance. If your boarding pass states “TSA Pre✓,” proceed to the appropriate security checkpoint. This will save valuable time when moving through the airport.
- Bring government-issued photo ID to the airport for all adult passengers.
- Expect full flights and full luggage bins onboard airplanes during the busiest days, including the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving. Plan your trip accordingly.
- 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.
- Economy parking at Reagan National tends to fill during peak holiday periods, passengers should check parking options and take advantage of the new option to reserve space in advance atflyreagan.com/parking.
- Sit down and enjoy a meal at the airport before your flight or order something to bring with you on the airplane. Convenient dining options are available both pre-security and post-security at Reagan National and Dulles International.
- Follow Reagan National (@Reagan_Airport) and Dulles International (@Dulles_Airport) on Twitter or on Facebook at fb.com/FlyDulles and fb.com/ReaganAirport for important travel information updates.
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.