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Old Dec 9, 10, 1:20 am   #1
 
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Spending time at IAD

Hello, I arrive at IAD at 6am from LGB but I have to wait for my brother. His flight is scheduled for 2:30 pm, but it is an international flight so he has to go through immigration too.
However, I have to wait for approximately 9 hours. Do you have any idea how to spend a few hours at IAD. Is it for instance possible to use a lounge if I am not flying Business or have a Premium Miles Card? Or are there hotels which offer services for non guests?

Philipp
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Old Dec 9, 10, 4:43 am   #2
 
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Originally Posted by neri View Post
Hello, I arrive at IAD at 6am from LGB but I have to wait for my brother. His flight is scheduled for 2:30 pm, but it is an international flight so he has to go through immigration too.
However, I have to wait for approximately 9 hours. Do you have any idea how to spend a few hours at IAD. Is it for instance possible to use a lounge if I am not flying Business or have a Premium Miles Card? Or are there hotels which offer services for non guests?

Philipp
Welcome to FT! As others have suggested in this forum, the Air and Space Museum (Annex), the Udvar-Hazy Center, right next to IAD is a great place to spend some time:

http://nasm.si.edu/udvarhazy/

Since I live in the area, I don't spend time at any of the hotels so others may be of more hope but I hope that you do give yourself some time at this fascinating museum.
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Old Dec 10, 10, 8:51 am   #3
 
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+1 on the Udvar-Hazy suggestion. The museum is great; the admission is free; open from 10-5:30 every day but Christmas; MacDonalds-operated food service is "OK"; very good IMAX movies (see "Fighter Pilot"); 50 cents for the shuttle bus ride between the airport and museum.

The shuttle leaves from curb 2E (look for the rental car shuttles and parking shuttles, and find the 2E overhead sign in the middle of that area. The first shuttle on weekdays is at 10:30am, and then every 45 minutes. The return schedule on weekdays starts at 10:45am, and then every 45 minutes. (Weekend schedule is once an hour - you can find it online.)
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Old Dec 10, 10, 2:12 pm   #4
 
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thanks for your reply. unfortunately, the problem i see is my luggage. i don't know where to store it meanwhile.
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Old Dec 10, 10, 7:49 pm   #5
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You might be able to get an airport hotel for cheap - look around for hotel rates, and then lowball priceline (but beware some of the airport hotels they offer may not have a shuttle service). Take a nap, grab a shower, visit the museum than meet your brother and head off to wherever you're going. The room also gives you a place to dump your stuff for a few hours.

Where are you going once you meet up? If you're staying in DC, you might just want to head downtown and meet up there once he's in town. If it's an age/get around thing for either of you, the hotel option is a good idea. Otherwise you could buy a one time entry for a lounge pass ($50 - I'd rather do the hotel room in your situation, personally). You can't leave your stuff and walk around, the one time pass is really one time and the lounges are really not a good place to hang out for long hours. You'd do better to find a quiet gate where you can lay across a few chairs, IMO.
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Old Dec 10, 10, 8:14 pm   #6
 
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Hello, well I think I will go to DC, because we will be staying there anyway. I just was thinking it would take too long driving there and back again. But as I checked it's 40 min or so. Is it doable in 40 min?
I have a different question, how is the parking situation in DC? We stay at the Hyatt on Capitol Hill. What would you say where to park in DC?
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Old Dec 10, 10, 8:15 pm   #7
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Originally Posted by neri View Post
Hello, well I think I will go to DC, because we will be staying there anyway. I just was thinking it would take too long driving there and back again. But as I checked it's 40 min or so. Is it doable in 40 min?
I have a different question, how is the parking situation in DC? We stay at the Hyatt on Capitol Hill. What would you say where to park in DC?
Why rent a car at all? What are your plans once in the city? Parking is a major PITA or $$$ in the city, its better not to have a car and you won't need it if you're sticking to the city itself.

Although if you are going back and forth twice, it could be worth it to rent the car at IAD, drive twice to the hotel for you and your brother, then return to the car to DCA or to somewhere downtown. If you're a taxi person, that'd likely be cheaper. If you are a bus person, the 5A will bring you downtown and be significantly less expensive
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Old Dec 10, 10, 8:18 pm   #8
 
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well, we will be going to Philadelphia and eventually to NYC.
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Old Dec 10, 10, 8:19 pm   #9
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well, we will be going to Philadelphia and eventually to NYC.
Amtrak is a good option - or rent the car when you are ready to head North. You certainly don't want a car in NYC. Downtown Philadelphia isn't much better.
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Old Dec 10, 10, 8:21 pm   #10
 
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well, we will just drop it off in ny as soon as we arrive there!

is it that bad in the cities?
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Old Dec 10, 10, 8:28 pm   #11
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It depends on your appetite - your hotel parking is $46/day (41 plus tax). Is there street parking? Sure, but meters in DC were "upgraded" and most areas you need to feed the meters (and meet the parking time restrictions) until 10pm M-Sa, only Sunday is gratis. If you happen to come in when there is snow, that will make the situation even worse as there are streets where no parking would be allowed during the storm and clean up periods. A car is just a hassle in the city, I'm in the burbs and even I hate driving in these days.
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Old Dec 10, 10, 8:52 pm   #12
 
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so you would recommend not renting a car. how is the public transport in DC and Philadelphia? Would you say, there is no need for a car when you want to go sight seeing?
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Old Dec 10, 10, 8:58 pm   #13
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so you would recommend not renting a car. how is the public transport in DC and Philadelphia? Would you say, there is no need for a car when you want to go sight seeing?
If you are spending a few days in each location, and your interest is in sightseeing in the city then public transportation, walking and taxis should do you fine. You can choose to drive or use Amtrak to get between each city (buy in advance, use a AAA rate and the price is very reasonable), that's again a decision on your preference and whether you plan on doing anything between the cities or just going from Point A to Point B
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Old Dec 15, 10, 12:05 pm   #14
 
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The Dulles Airport Marriott is on the IAD site. Has a free shuttle every 15 minutes. Decent resturant. You can get a room if you need to crash for a few hours. Leave luggage with the concierge if you want to visit Uzvar-Hazy (I recommend it.)
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Old Dec 21, 10, 4:02 am   #15
 
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I have a 7 hour layover in January at IAD. The way I remember it from my last time I took a connecting flight I had to pick up my own luggage and get it over to the recheck, from there I got the impression that I couldn't exit the airport but had to get myself through TSA and into the gates. Am I wrong on this? Is there any way to get out and to the museum after rechecking your baggage following an international flight?
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