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AA Guide: DCA / Reagan Washington National Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

AA Guide: DCA / Reagan Washington National Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

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Old Feb 21, 18, 12:27 am   -   Wikipost
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Check-in times as of March 2016 Link

In most locations, you must be checked in:

At least 45 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights within the United States

At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights to or from airports outside of the United States

For nonstop American Airlines Shuttle flights from DCA to BOS or LGA, you can check-in up to 20 minutes before departure without checked baggage and 30 minutes with checked baggage.
Wait, what's the name of this airport?
In 1998, an act of Congress renamed DCA from Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Apart from costing the taxpayers millions of dollars in changing signage around town, the renaming upset left-leaning locals and traditionalists. Old-school locals will refer to the airport as "National" or "Washington National," some vehemently so. "Reagan National" has slipped into local parlance, sometimes as a political statement, sometimes as a slip of the tongue. You can avoid the politics if you just call it DCA, which is a surprisingly mainstream way of referring to it.

DCA is a very compact airport. Gates are numbered south to north. Terminal A is the historic terminal (1941) and its gates (1-9) are served by several low-cost carriers and Air Canada. Terminal B/C, the "new" terminal (1997), is divided into three piers: North (gates 35-45), Center (23-34), and South (10-22). Despite having two letters, it is a single building divided into three piers: Gates 10-22 at the "B" end, Gates 35-45 at the "C" end, and Gates 23-34 in the Center Pier located in, well, the center at the border between B and C.

Terminal B/C has three passenger accessible levels. A drop-off/check-in level on the top floor, where taxis and other vehicles drop passengers and the main check-in counters are located; a departure/arrival level in the middle, with some secondary check in counters for AA and Delta where the parking and Metro (subway) system entrance is and from which gates are accessed; and a baggage/pick-up level on the bottom, where baggage claim is located along with taxi stands, bus pickups, and other passenger pickup is available.
American Airlines at DCA
AA operates a hub at DCA. Constrained by the perimeter rule, capacity controls, and airport facility constraints, AA is nonetheless able to offer nonstop service to most destinations of consequence within 1250 miles of DCA. Beyond the 1250-mile perimeter, AA has perimeter slot exemptions to provide three daily nonstops to PHX, two daily nonstops to LAX and one to LAS.

DCA / Washington DC - Ronald Reagan National Airport map

Ticketing and Check-in
The general AA ticketing counters are on the upper level (one floor above security screening & departures) in terminal C. If you are not checking bags and do not need to see a TA, there are several kiosks opposite the ticket counters. If you arrive via Metro or park in Garage C, there is a mini ticketing counter just as you enter the airport from the walkway to the metro and garage. When staffed, this location allows you to check bags. There are also boarding-pass-only kiosks available for your use.

Curbside check-in is available for a fee.

American Airlines Shuttle check-in for flights to LGA/BOS is on the departure level (downstairs from general ticketing) just before you approach security for the North Pier. All kiosks (even those upstairs) can print a shuttle boarding pass, but if you need to see a TA or check luggage, you must do so at the shuttle ticket counter.

AA Gates
- AA occupies all gates in the North Pier (gates 35-45)
  • All American Eagle regional jet and turboprop flights operate from Gate 35X (formerly known as 35A). Gate 35X is a combined gate: when flights are called to board, passengers descend the escalator to queue for a shuttle bus transport to the aircraft at a remote stand. The operation is (usually) reasonably efficient, but tends to make for a somewhat unpleasant cattle-call. A new commuter terminal is currently under construction with scheduled opening in 2021.



- AA occupies gates 23-26 in the Center Pier
- AA Shuttle flights to BOS/LGA depart from gates /29/31/33 in terminal B/C, the Central.

Getting from Pier to Pier
There are no airside walkways between the terminals, nor is it possible to walk between piers in the B/C terminal building. To facilitate connecting flights between the North and Center piers, AA operates a shuttle bus service located between gates 36 & 38 in the North Pier and gates 23 & 25 on the Center pier. *Special assistance passengers unable to manage stairs to the shuttle buses can use a wheelchair porter to be escorted from pier to pier (re-clearing security).

Connections to other carriers require exiting security. From the time one exits security at the North pier to the time one arrives at security for Terminal A should be no more than a brisk 12 min. walk. The walk is entirely indoors. There is also an airport shuttle bus that runs around the airport, stopping at each concourse and at the rental car garage, but it probably takes just as long as walking.

Project Journey - New Commuter Terminal and TSA Security at DCA

When Project Journey is completed in 2021, two new 50,000-square-foot security checkpoint buildings will replace three smaller checkpoints currently serving Terminal B/C – increasing the post-security space to include all of National Hall and its premier shops and restaurants for ticketed travelers. In addition, a new 14-gate concourse will replace Gate 35X – ending the need for travelers to ride buses to board regional jets parked outside. Concourse amenities will include jetbridges, holdrooms, concessions and an American Airlines Admirals Club lounge.
Security at DCA
Although security wait times can vary depending on time/day, the screening process usually proceeds very swiftly at DCA, and each pier is screened separately, thus each checkpoint serves a limited number of gates. AA AAdvantage elite members can make use of priority security lanes in the South and Center piers, although those lanes are not always open. PreCheck is available at all checkpoints.

Parking at DCA
Daily garages, when not full, are very convenient at DCA. If spaces are available, you can avoid the elevator by parking on garage level 2. Off-site Economy is also available, and not too far flung. See the airport website for more information.

Food
"Are they serving fries on this flight?" No. But your FA is using the ovens to keep warm the lunch s/he managed to grab at Five Guys.
Options for food are limited, but reasonably good.
North Pier

Five Guys Burgers and Fries (a Northern Virginia homegrown favorite--wait times can be long at peak hours)
Hudson News
Kapnos Taverna (Greek)
Wow Bao (pan-Asian buns)
Washington Pour Bar
Dunkin' Donuts
Say Si Bon!
Georgetown Gourmet Market
&pizza (custom thin-crust pizza)
American Tap Room
Center Pier
Smashburger
Lebanese Taverna
U Street Pub
Magic Pan
Dunkin' Donuts
Say Si Bon!
El Centro D.F. (Mexican)
Taylor Gourmet (hoagies)
Big Bowl (pan-Asian stir-fries)
Forbes News
There are many pre-security food and shopping options in National Hall, from sushi to Spanx to Smithsonian souvenirs. Here's a map of the dining and retail options, pre and post security.

Baggage Claim
The baggage area at DCA is one level below the arrivals/gate level. Once you exit security, there are escalators/stairs/elevators directly ahead (across the main terminal concourse) leading to the lower level. Monitors at the base of the escalators display carousel information for individual flights (but see caveat below).

AA baggage arrives on carousels 10-12. Pay attention to the monitors at individual carousels, as US often delivers bags on a different carousel from the one displayed on the monitors near the escalators from arrivals.

DCA Lounges
AA Admirals clubs are located in the North Pier and Central Piers, accessed via stairs (or elevator) immediately after the TSA checkpoint.

International Flights
DCA does not have customs and immigration, however pre-clearance international flights do land here. For example AA operates flights to BDA and NAS.

Foreign Currency Exchange
Travelex Currency Service is located in National Hall before security.

Baggage Carts
Smartecarte baggage carts are available throughout the terminals, parking garages, and at the Metrorail station. The SmarteCarte kiosks accept coins, $1 and $5 bills.

Passenger Assistance
Electric cart service for transporting passengers between gates is not available at DCA. Contact US to make arrangements for wheel chair assistance, if necessary.

Your 3-hour Connection at DCA
-Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Sam and Harry's, located just outside security (curbside, not airside) in Terminal C. The food is nice, the service is nice, and you're right next to Security, so you can monitor the wait times.

-Or enjoy a sushi lunch at Matsukake, located airside near the security entrance for the center pier.

-Step down the hall that connects Terminal A to Terminals B and C. This passageway typically houses a small selection of area and aviation exhibits. Speaking of history, the airport was built next to George Washington's granddaughter's home, the ruins of which are on a knoll between the parking garages.

-Terminal A has limited amenities but does have some nice views of the runways before you reach the security checkpoint; there is a Starbucks and some rocking chairs close to the prime takeoff viewing!

-If you need more shopping opportunities, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is 7-10 minutes away (door to door) by Metro or cab.

Fortunately, the security lines at DCA are usually quick and efficient; more so at the North Pier than the Center Pier. 3 hours allows for a little more time to explore the airport airside than in other airports with long lines, long waits and long piers.

Ground Transportation Departing DCA
Taxi service is readily available. If you have not traveled to DC in a while, you will be pleased to know that DC taxis have eliminated the zone fare system in favor of a metered fare, and now accept credit cards. From DCA to most points in downtown DC you can expect a fare of $15 to $20, depending on baggage and number of passengers.

DCA is also served by Metro, Washington's subway system. The Metro station is connected to the terminal by walkway on the departures level. DCA is served by the Yellow and Blue line trains. Access to the station is by faregate rather than turnstile, which means that rollaboards are easily managed. Wheelchair-accessible gates are readily available and useful for larger luggage. Trains can be very crowded during peak times (so a family of four with luggage will be much better off in a cab). Travel time into downtown varies depending on destination and wait times, but averages 15 to 20 minutes.

Fares depend on distance and time of day. A SmarTrip plastic farecard is required for each traveler. The card itself costs $2 and can be purchased at vending machines just inside the station.

For more detailed information on trip durations and applicable fares, see the interactive Metro Trip Planner.

Getting to Union Station (Amtrak and MARC train to BWI, various intercity bus services)

By Metro - see map
Take a Yellow line train toward Fort Totten (or Mt. Vernon Square, or Greenbelt). Exit this train at Gallery Place/Chinatown and transfer to the Red Line train in the direction of Glenmont. This train will take you directly to Union Station. The fare for this trip is $2.75 (peak/rush hour) and $2.20 (off-peak).

Estimated trip time varies; weekday midday estimate is 24 minutes but less frequent service and regular maintenance/track work on the weekends and late evenings can extend the time by an hour.

By Taxi
Estimated taxi fare during non-rush hour travel is about $17-18 (before tip), which may be worth it on weekends or if facing a deadline at Union Station.

To continue on to BWI
This map outlines DCA-BWI-IAD transit options, including:
  • Amtrak direct service (price varies from as low as $11 with advance purchase)
    • MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuter) Penn Line, $6 each way



Alternate route to BWI from DCA
Take Metro Yellow line train in the direction of Mt. Vernon Square, Ft. Totten, or Greenbelt; if your train's final destination isn't Greenbelt, exit at Archives station and transfer to the Green line in the direction of Greenbelt (on the same platform). Take this train to the end of the line. Connect to the B30 bus to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Service runs every hour during weekdays.

Bus fare is $7.50 and the trip should take about 40 minutes. Metro fare is $3.85/$5.90 peak.

Useful links:

http://wmata.com (Metro)
http://mta.maryland.gov/services/mar...mMaps/penn.cfm (MARC train Penn line)
http://amtrak.com (Amtrak)

General note about Metro: not all trains service the final stop on a given line. Greenbelt is the end of the Green line and some Yellow line trains, so you must take a train specifically to Greenbelt to reach that station. However, Silver Spring is not the terminus of the Red Line train; to reach Union Station your train may actually terminate in Glenmont. Check the Metro system maps to confirm your options.

Connecting to IAD

Taxi
Taxi fare will run upwards of $45 (as high as $80 in rush hour/stalled traffic) so public transport is the more affordable option, although the journey can be long.

The reverse journey (IAD to DCA) can be even more expensive, due to the rules on which taxis are allowed to pick up at IAD and the fares they are permitted to charge.

Public Transport - see MWAA's page
Take Metro's Blue Line toward Largo; at Rosslyn, transfer to the Silver Line in the direction of Wiehle-Reston East. Or, take Metro's Yellow Line service toward Fort Totten; at L'Enfant Plaza, transfer to the Silver Line in the direction of Wiehle-Reston East. At Wiehle, you can take the Washington Flyer bus (10 minutes, $5 cash), or Fairfax Connector buses 981/983 (30 minutes, $1.75 cash or SmarTrip) to IAD.

Estimated trip time: 80-90 minutes

Estimated cost: about $8 each way but each transport is charged/paid separately. One payment for the subway, one payment for the bus.

Getting to DCA via Metro
Take the Yellow or Blue Line to the airport station. Note that there are two walkways/skybridges connecting the Metro station to terminals B & C, one at each end of the Metro platform. The north skybridge serves terminal C & the AA check-in counter, so travelers arriving on trains from the center city should plan to be at (or walk toward) the rear of the train upon arrival.

Walking or biking
If you're feeling energetic, there are signed walking & cycling routes to DCA from Crystal City and the Mount Vernon Trail, which connects D.C. to Alexandria. As a bonus, the trail passes through Gravelly Point Park, right below the flight paths. Bicycle racks are available within the garage, on the ground floor near the C walkway.

Rental cars
The on-airport car rental center is in the south parking garage, roughly across from Concourse A/B. Walk across the Concourse B bridge from the terminal to the garage (next to Cibo Bistro), turn left, and follow the signs. There's also a shuttle bus from the arrivals level.

Note: Advantage and Dollar are located off-airport and run shuttles via the arrivals level roadway.

The River Visual
The flight approaches to DCA fly over the Potomac River, in order to avoid noise impacts over the city and to avoid flights over “P-56″ (aka the Monumental Core). If winds are from the south/east, flights will land from the north and take off to the south. Planes are closer to the ground during landing than during take-off, so if you have this landing you’ll be treated to fantastic views of central D.C. (on the left side) and Arlington (on the right side) in the last few minutes of flight. YouTube has a selection of good cockpit-view videos.

If winds are from the north/west, flights will take off to the north and land from the south (i.e., "Mount Vernon Visual," with views of George Washington's house and Alexandria from the left side of the plane).

Acknowledgments
The bulk of this wiki was originally created by user DCAorBust, with substantial help from dcpatti. See post #1 in the thread for the pre-wiki version.
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Old Feb 18, 11, 9:25 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Washington DC
Programs: AA Plat
Posts: 1,304
Arrow AA Guide: DCA / Reagan Washington National Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

WORK IN PROGRESS -- Please contribute in the thread or PM me with suggestions. If you would like contribute specific additions to the post, I'll be glad to reserve a topic for you in the "To Do" section


Wait, what's the name of this airport?
In 1998, an act of Congress renamed DCA from Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Apart from costing the taxpayers millions of dollars in changing signage around town, the renaming upset left-leaning locals and traditionalists. Old-school locals will refer to the airport as "National" or "Washington National," some vehemently so. "Reagan National" has slipped into local parlance, sometimes as a political statement, sometimes as a slip of the tongue. You can avoid the politics if you just call it DCA, which is a surprisingly mainstream way of referring to it.

DCA is a very compact airport. Terminal A is the historic terminal (1941) and its gates (1 - 9) are served by several LCCs and *A partner AC. Terminal B/C is the "new" terminal (1997)and it is divided into three piers: North (gates 35-45), Center (23-34), and South (10-22).

US AIRWAYS at DCA
US Airways operates a focus city (mini-hub) at DCA. Constrained by the perimeter rule, capacity controls, and airport facility constraints, US is nonetheless able to offer nonstop service to many destinations within 1250 miles of DCA. Beyond the 1250-mile perimeter, US obtained perimeter slot exemptions in order to provide three daily nonstops to PHX and one to LAS. US is actively seeking additional exemptions in order to serve other beyond-perimeter destinations.

Ticketing and Check-in
The general US ticketing counters are upstairs in terminal C. If you are not checking bags and do not need to see a TA, there are several kiosks opposite the ticket counters. If you arrive via metro or park in Garage C, there is a mini ticketing counter just as you enter the airport from the walkway to the metro and garage. When staffed you can check bags at this location. There are also boarding-pass only kiosks available for your use.
Curbside check-in is available for a fee.
US Airways Shuttle check-in (all flights to LGA/BOS) is on the departure level (downstairs from general ticketing) just before you approach security for the North Pier. All kiosks (even those upstairs) can print a shuttle boarding pass, but if you need to see a TA or check luggage, you must do so at the shuttle ticket counter.

US Gates
- US occupies all gates in the North Pier (gates 35 - 45)
- US occupies gates 23 - 26 in the Center Pier
- US Shuttle flights to BOS/LGA depart from gates 41/43/44/45 in the North Pier
- US Express regional jet and turboprop flights operate from Gate 35A (regional flights – RJs, turboprops). Gate 35A is a combined gate, and a special kind of hell. When flights are called to board from 35A, passengers descend the escalator to queue for a shuttle bus transport to the aircraft. The operation is (usually) reasonably efficient, but tends to make for a bit of unpleasant cattle calling and herding.

*A Partner Operations at DCA
- UA operates out of gates 29 and 31 from the Center Pier
- CO operates out of gates 10 - 12
- AC operates out of terminal A

Getting from Pier to Pier
There are no airside walkways between the terminals, nor is it possible to walk between piers in the B/C terminal building. To facilitate connecting flights between the North and Center piers, US operates a shuttle bus service located between gates 36 & 38 in the North Pier and gates 23 & 25 on the Center pier. *Special assistance passengers unable to manage stairs to the shuttle buses can use a wheelchair porter to be escorted from pier to pier (re-clearing security).

Connections from US or UA to CO or AC require exiting security. From the time one exits security at the North pier to the time one arrives at security for Terminal A should be no more than a brisk 12 min. walk.

Security at DCA
Although security wait times can vary depending on time/day, the screening process usually proceeds very swiftly at DCA, and each pier is screened separately, thus each checkpoint serves a limited number of gates. Although not always open, US DM Preferred members can make use of priority security lanes in the South and Center piers.

Parking at DCA
Daily Garages, when not full, are very convenient at DCA. If spaces are available, you can avoid the elevator by parking on garage level 2. Off-site Economy is also available, and not too far flung. See the airport website for more information.

Food
"Are they serving fries on this flight?" No. But your FA is using the ovens to keep warm the lunch s/he managed to grab at Five Guys.
Options for food are limited, but reasonably good.
North Pier
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (a Northern Virginia homegrown favorite--wait times can be long at peak hours)
Gordon Biersch
California Tortilla
Auntie Ann's Soft Pretzels
Dunkin' Donuts
Ranch 1
Center Pier
Fuddruckers
Potbelly
Panda Express
Dunkin' Donuts
Auntie Ann's Soft Pretzels
South Pier
McDonald's
Einsten Bros. Bagels
Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzels
There are a significant number of pre-security food, souvenir, and shopping options in National Hall. If you've just landed and you want a great cup of coffee before you leave the airport, clear security and stop by the Mayorga stand immediately outside of security in the North Pier.

Click here for a great map of the dining and retail options, pre and post security.

Baggage Claim
Baggage at DCA is YMMV. Personally, my experience has always been swift, but I've read a lot of complaints.

DCA Lounges
US has a nice club in the North Pier. As soon as you clear security take the stairs (or elevator) on your left to the club level. The club has great views and the bar area can sometimes be noisy during peak times, though there are also quiet recesses and work stations if you need to attend to business.

US club members also have access to the UA club in the Center Pier and the CO club in Terminal B.

International Flights
DCA does not have customs and immigration, however pre-clearance international flights do land here. For example US operates flights to BDA and NAS. *A partner AC operates flights to its hubs at YYZ and YUL.

Foreign Currency Exchange
Travelex Currency Service is located in National Hall before security.

Baggage Carts
Smartecarte baggage carts are available throughout the terminals, parking garages, and at the Metrorail station. The smartecarte kiosks accept coins, $1- and $5-bills.

Passenger Assistance
Electric cart service for transporting passengers between gates is not available at DCA. Contact US to make arrangements for wheel chair assistance, if necessary.

Your 3-hour Connection at DCA

-Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Sam and Harry's, located just outside security (curbside, not airside) in Terminal C. The food is nice, the service is nice, and you're close to Security so you can monitor the wait times

-Step down the hall that connects Terminal A to Terminals B and C. Currently there is a small selection of area and aviation exhibits, but in March a new Artomatic exhibit opens, which will feature about 70 works from local artists. http://www.artomatic.org/

-Terminal A has limited amenities but does have some nice views of the runways before you reach the security checkpoint; there is a Starbucks and some rocking chairs close to the prime takeoff viewing!

-Or enjoy a sushi lunch at Matsukake, located airside near the security entrance for the center pier

Fortunately, the security lines at DCA are usually quick and efficient; more so at Terminal C than at the B/C central pier entrance. 3 hours allows for a little more time to explore the airport airside than in other airports with long lines, long waits and long piers.

Ground Transportation
Taxi service is readily available. Some taxis serve Virginia only, while others serve the District of Columbia. The taxi stand attendant will ensure that you get in the right cab. If you have not traveled to DC in a while, you will be pleased to know that DC taxis have eliminated the zone fare system in favor of a metered fare, which is far more transparent to tourists. From DCA to most points in downtown DC you can expect a fare of $18 to $25, depending on baggage and number of passengers.

DCA is also served by METRO, Washington's subway system. The Metro station is connected to the terminal by walkway on the departures level. DCA is served by the Yellow and Blue line trains. Access to the metro station is by gate rather than turnstile, which means that rollaboards are easily managed. Wheelchair-accessible gates are readily available and useful for larger luggage. Trains can be very crowded during peak times (e.g., a family of four with luggage will be much better off in a cab). Travel time into downtown varies depending on destination and wait times, but averages 15 to 20 minutes. Fares depend on distance, but should only be a few dollars (min1.95, max $5.00). All day unlimited ride passes are available after 9:30 am for $9. See www.wmata.com

Getting to Union Station (Amtrak and MARC train to BWI, various tourist bus pickups)
The airport Metro station is National Airport; there is Blue and Yellow service lines at this station. Take the Yellow line train in the direction of Fort Totten. Exit this train at the Gallery Place/Chinatown station and transfer to the Red Line train in the direction of Glenmont. This train will take you directly to Union Station.

Estimated fare as of today is under $2 for a one-way trip. There is a small discount for use of Smart Card but these are not easily purchased in the stations; there is a $5 card fee.

Estimated trip time varies; weekday midday estimate is 24 minutes but less frequent service and regular maintenace/track work on the weekends and late evenings can extend the time by an hour.

Estimated taxi fare during non-rush hour travel is about $20 and may be worth it on weekends or if facing a deadline at Union Station.

To continue on to BWI:
Amtrak direct service (price varies from as low as $6 with far advance purchase)
MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuer) Penn Line Train $10 each way; note that MARC train does not run on weekends or holidays

Alternate route to BWI:
Take Metro Yellow line train in the direction of Fort Totten; exit at L'enfant Plaza station and transfer to the Green line in the direction of Greenbelt. Take this train to the end of the line. Connect to the B30 bus to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Service runs every 40 minutes during weekdays (less frequent during very early mornings, very late nights or weekends).

Bus fare is $4.00 and the trip should take about 40 minutes.

Useful links:

http://wmata.com (Metro)
http://mta.maryland.gov/services/mar...mMaps/penn.cfm (MARC train Penn line)
http://amtrak.com (Amtrak)

General note about Metro: not all trains service the final stop on a given line. Greenbelt is the end of the Green line, so you must take a Green Line train specifically to Greenbelt to reach that station. However, Silver Spring is not the terminus of the Red Line train; to reach Union Station your train may actually terminate in Glenmont. Check the Metro system maps to confirm your options.

Connecting to IAD

Taxi fare will run upwards of $45 (as high as $80 in rush hour/stalled traffic) so public transport is the more affordable option, although the journey can be long.

The reverse journey (IAD to DCA) can be even more expensive, due to the rules on which taxi's are allowed to pick up at IAD and the fares they are permitted to charge.

Via public transport

Take Metro's Blue Line service in the direction of Largo Town Center, and exit at the Rosslyn station. Use the North Moore Street station exit and walk about 1.5 blocks to the stop for the 5A bus service to IAD. This service runs about every 30 minutes (less frequent on weekends, holidays, early mornings and late nights). The 5A bus will take you directly to IAD.

Estimated trip time: about 90 minutes
Estimated cost: about $8 each way but each transport is charged/paid separately. One payment for the subway, one payment for the bus.

You cannot use a Metro fare card for bus fare payment. You can use a Smart Trip card for both. But if you put the full fare on a paper fare card, you will end up paying cash for the bus and having a $5 fare card as a souvenir.

[TO DO LIST]
Rental Car Info
The River Approach & Taking off to the North

Acknowledgments
Thanks to dcpatti for drafting whole sections of this post and to everyone who contributed in the thread to correct or add information.

Last edited by DCAorBust; Mar 30, 11 at 2:13 pm
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Old Feb 18, 11, 9:25 pm
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Old Feb 19, 11, 7:06 am
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Very impressive. May I suggest adding information on getting to Dulles and maybe to Amtrak?
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Old Feb 19, 11, 10:05 am
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Great start. Don't forget that when talking about Amtrak to mention not just Union Station in DC but Union Station in Alexandria (closer, and often against traffic) as a way to get to Philly, Newark and New York when irregular operations disturbs your itinerary. Though no Acela, this can be a life saver and has for me.
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Old Feb 19, 11, 12:36 pm
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Shuttle gates are 41/43/44/45 those four line the end of the North Pier.
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Old Feb 19, 11, 8:46 pm
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There is no electric cart service available in the 2 concourses US uses; when they built the new terminals the airport authority wouldn't allow their use because of the type floor (marble?) they put in...they said electric carts would tear them up.
You also forgot to mention that DCA is the home of some of US's finest f/a's!!
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Old Feb 19, 11, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by GalleyWench View Post
You also forgot to mention that DCA is the home of some of US's finest f/a's!!
Some secrets are worth keeping ;-)
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Old Feb 19, 11, 9:56 pm
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Good information here... To those who have never been, 5 Guys is the east coast's answer to In and Out Burger, and much better in my opinion. highly recommended if you are in this area of the airport as there isn't too much in this area...
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Old Feb 19, 11, 10:47 pm
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Looks great! Might want to add in something about operating hours. Don't look for night flights at DCA!
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Old Feb 19, 11, 10:48 pm
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Also, maybe something about it's status in the US network? I'm new here, and new to the airport, but why isn't it considered a hub?
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Old Feb 19, 11, 11:06 pm
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Is there still parking right out front for senators?
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Old Feb 20, 11, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by cactus47 View Post
Also, maybe something about it's status in the US network? I'm new here, and new to the airport, but why isn't it considered a hub?
I believe US serves around 48 destinations (including seasonal service) with approximately 200 daily departures. It is considered a "focus city" rather than a hub because the schedule is not coordinated into departure "banks" as it is in CLT, PHL, and PHX. DCA primarily serves O&D traffic, however there are still a large number of connecting passengers that move through the airport.

Last edited by GotCalcio4; Feb 20, 11 at 2:29 pm
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Old Feb 20, 11, 9:08 pm
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Might note that in Daily Parking, garage level 2 is the same level as the bridge from the garage to the airport. Elevators from other levels to level 2.
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Old Feb 21, 11, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by GotCalcio4 View Post
I believe US serves around 48 destinations (including seasonal service) with approximately 200 daily departures. It is considered a "focus city" rather than a hub because the schedule is not coordinated into departure "banks" as it is in CLT, PHL, and PHX. DCA primarily serves O&D traffic, however there are still a large number of connecting passengers that move through the airport.
Got it. Thanks! I never thought about the schedule banks, but it seems like you're right. I never think about that because I'm usually coming in from a BOS shuttle flight, so it's not hard at all to coordinate a connecting flight.
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Old Feb 22, 11, 7:46 pm
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Wait, what's the name of this airport?
In 1998, an act of Congress renamed DCA from Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Apart from costing the taxpayers millions of dollars in changing signage around town, the renaming upset left-leaning locals and traditionalists. Old-school locals will refer to the airport as "National" or "Washington National," some vehemently so. "Reagan National" has slipped into local parlance, sometimes as a politcal statement, sometimes as a slip of the tongue. You can avoid the politics if you just call it DCA, which is a surprisingly mainstream way of referring to it.
I always thought Washington National was already named after a President
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