Summer Travel Tips for Washington’s Airports

Published: July 01, 2014

Travelers Urged to Plan Ahead and Stay Updated via Social Media


Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International Airport anticipate a high volume of passengers during the travel period through Monday, July 7 for the Fourth of July holiday. To ensure travelers at Washington’s airports enjoy their experience, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has special offers and tips for passengers as they prepare to take flight to visit family and friends. 

Get Started Early: The summer months are a very busy time for Reagan National and Washington Dulles International. The Fourth of July weekend is likely to attract more travelers than normal, which could cause some congestion and longer security wait times. Passengers are advised to arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight, especially during peak times. Peak travel times are typically 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.).

Enjoy Parking Deals at Dulles: Washington Dulles International is now offering two great parking specials for passengers this summer. Passengers can sign up for FlexPark, which offers unlimited parking for one monthly payment. Depending on the level of service selected, FlexPark allows users to park in general or reserved parking spaces in premium locations.

In addition to FlexPark, Dulles is introducing a seasonal parking promotion that allows passengers to park for four days or more, and receive one additional day free beginning Saturday, June 21, through Sunday, July 13. Passengers must sign up online, download the promotional coupon and present the coupon to the cashier when exiting the parking lot. 

For more information on these promotions visit

Take Advantage of New Restaurants and Shops: Reagan National and Washington Dulles International are opening a variety of new restaurants and shops this summer. The new dining options help enhance travel experience by introducing healthier dining options as well as incorporating popular restaurants into the airport.

A full list of new offerings is available here at

Follow the Airports’ on Twitter and Facebook: Reagan National and Dulles International will be frequently updating their social media channels with information about travel tips and conditions to help passengers move with ease through the airports. Passengers can follow each airport via Twitter@Dulles_Airport and @Reagan_Airport or through Facebook at /FlyDulles and /ReaganAirport.

Passengers can now experience the Airports’ updated mobile website and enjoy the newly upgraded free Wi-Fi for easy and convenient connection.

Try Something New: Airlines have added flights at both Reagan National and Dulles International Airports.

Additional Travel Tips:

  • Confirm the status of your flight with your airline before coming to the airport. Weather here or in other parts of the country can affect flight schedules across the air travel network.
  • Print your boarding pass or select an electronic boarding pass 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.
  • TSA Pre-Check Enrollment Centers are available at both airports.  Applicants can begin and/or complete the enrollment process at either of the in-airport centers. 
  • Bring government-issued photo ID to the airport for all adult passengers.
  • 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. Passengers are reminded that fireworks are prohibited at all times and should be left at home.
  • Dulles International travelers can check the wait times at the security checkpoints online and on their mobile devices at the Dulles website, 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.
  • Reagan National customers should check parking availability online at or at 
    703-417-PARK (7275). Economy lots tend to fill quickly during holiday periods.
  • 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.

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.