Passengers advised to plan ahead, use Metro, arrive early

With passenger activity levels rising in 2023, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is preparing for significant travel through Washington’s airports in the coming weeks. During peak times around holidays from Veterans Day through New Year's Day, passengers may experience heavily congested airport-area roads, limited parking availability and bustling terminals. New customer amenities, however, are available to make their journey easier and more enjoyable.

Airport Arrival Time 

To ensure a smooth and stress-free journey to catch flights on time, passengers are advised to arrive inside terminal at least two hours prior to departure for domestic flights. For international flights, passengers should enter three hours in advance.

Navigating Airport Parking and Roadways  

  • Passengers departing from Terminal 2 at Reagan National can use Express Passenger Drop Off to expedite their travel experience. Follow the purple signs.  
  • Passengers can be dropped off and picked up from the Departures or Arrivals level at Dulles International. 
    Reserve parking at Reagan National or Dulles International in advance to guarantee space. Customers with reservations can park even if the garage or lot signs say full.  

"Reagan National Airport is committed to providing the highest level of service to our passengers, and our team has been working tirelessly to prepare for a busy 2023 holiday travel season," said Paul Malandrino, vice president and airport manager. "With work completed for the season on a major runway rehabilitation project, our airport is ready for the expected surge of holiday travelers."

Use Metro to Avoid Roadway Congestion  

"Dulles International Airport is working diligently to ensure a seamless holiday travel season," said Richard Golinowski, vice president and airport manager. "As the fastest growing international gateway in the United States, we are dedicated to enhancing the travel experience for all passengers. Getting to Dulles is now more convenient than ever with Silver Line Metrorail service to the airport.”

Prepare for Security Screening at TSA Checkpoints 

  • At Reagan National, passengers flying out of Terminal 1 should utilize the Terminal 1 security checkpoint. Both checkpoints inside Regan National’s Terminal 2 and Dulles International’s main terminal allow customers a choice of whichever checkpoint is more convenient. 
  • Live security wait time information is now available for all screening checkpoints at Reagan National. The wait times are posted on signs near each checkpoint, online and on the DC Airports mobile app.
  • TSA recommends enrolled travelers use its expedited TSA PreCheck screening program to reduce wait times through checkpoints. Dulles International has a dedicated PreCheck screening area on the Departures level. Reagan National has PreCheck lanes at each TSA checkpoint. 
  • Passengers can review TSA’s database of prohibited items and request special services in advance.

Reduce Wait Times in Customs at Dulles International

  • Eligible travelers can utilize the free Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app to streamline the entry process into the United States.
  • Global Entry travelers can use a mobile application to expedite their arrival.

Enjoy New Amenities and Concessions

  • Valet parking returned to Dulles International in April. Customers can make a reservation in advance or simply follow signs to drop off their vehicles along the Departures curb. 
  • Sunflower lanyards debuted in July at Reagan National and Dulles International. Under this internationally recognized program, passengers with hidden disabilities can receive assistance discreetly from airport staff. 
  • A Capital One Lounge opened September 7 at Dulles International. The lounge has healthy grab-and-go options, locally sourced small bites, a specialty coffee bar and a full-service bar, as well as a suite of premium amenities and seating, ample workspaces, children’s play area and a parent room. 
  • Dulles International new concessions: Rusty Taco, Union Kitchen, (D-gates) and Hudson Nonstop, Cacao Chaser (A-Gates) Eden’s Boutique, Cacao Chaser, Cava (B-gates). 
  • Reagan National new concessions: P.F. Chang’s, DC Proper (E-gates), iStore, DCA T Shades Sunglass shop (National Hall), The Goods@DCA (corner of National Hall and Concourse D) and Vino Volo (National Hall) Dunkin Donuts (Concourse B). 
  • Concessions construction will continue and is an important part of the Airports Authority’s redevelopment plans. Passengers can expect more openings in the coming years.