Moving from NYC to WAS area - Flying DL in WAS

Old Mar 21, 19, 9:04 am
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Moving from NYC to WAS area - Flying DL in WAS

Hi Everyone,

I'm going to be moving from NYC to the Washington, DC area in a couple of months. Currently I'm Gold Medallion on DL, and will hit Platinum this year for the first time. Home base is obviously LGA (mostly) and JFK. I'm concerned about flying Delta out of DCA and IAD due to the far more limited nonstop network out of those airports. Flight Stats shows that most of the nonstop flights out of these airports are mostly to LGA, JFK, ATL, DTW, & MSP, with some limited nonstop options to secondary and tertiary airports.

A lot of my flights are to the west coast (SNA, LAX, and SAN), as well as LAS, MIA/FLL, SLC, and PHX. I'm concerned about the number of connections I'll have to make through ATL/JFK/LGA/MSP by flying Delta in out of the WAS network, and then the limited upgrades as a result lol. On the other hand, I'm really dreading the thought of switching from DL to another carrier. Flaws and all, I feel like I have a pretty good system in place right now. AMEX Plat for lounge access, CLEAR at major airports in DL terminals, Elite status with ok upgrades, nice plane interiors with wifi and seatback entertainment, excellent on-time flight record, etc.

The major airlines that fly out of DC are (in order) Southwest, United, and American. So if I switch I guess I'm switching to either UA or AA (Southwest non-starter due to limited international network for personal travel), which seems like a massive downgrade from Delta.

Anyone fly out of WAS on DL regularly? How do you like it and how do you handle transcon trips? Should I really think about switching from DL when I move? Ugh.

Thoughts or insight would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Mar 21, 19, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by marcdc View Post
Hi Everyone,

I'm going to be moving from NYC to the Washington, DC area in a couple of months. Currently I'm Gold Medallion on DL, and will hit Platinum this year for the first time. Home base is obviously LGA (mostly) and JFK. I'm concerned about flying Delta out of DCA and IAD due to the far more limited nonstop network out of those airports. Flight Stats shows that most of the nonstop flights out of these airports are mostly to LGA, JFK, ATL, DTW, & MSP, with some limited nonstop options to secondary and tertiary airports.

A lot of my flights are to the west coast (SNA, LAX, and SAN), as well as LAS, MIA/FLL, SLC, and PHX. I'm concerned about the number of connections I'll have to make through ATL/JFK/LGA/MSP by flying Delta in out of the WAS network, and then the limited upgrades as a result lol. On the other hand, I'm really dreading the thought of switching from DL to another carrier. Flaws and all, I feel like I have a pretty good system in place right now. AMEX Plat for lounge access, CLEAR at major airports in DL terminals, Elite status with ok upgrades, nice plane interiors with wifi and seatback entertainment, excellent on-time flight record, etc.

The major airlines that fly out of DC are (in order) Southwest, United, and American. So if I switch I guess I'm switching to either UA or AA (Southwest non-starter due to limited international network for personal travel), which seems like a massive downgrade from Delta.

Anyone fly out of WAS on DL regularly? How do you like it and how do you handle transcon trips? Should I really think about switching from DL when I move? Ugh.

Thoughts or insight would be greatly appreciated!
You might find this recent thread helpful: Relocating to NYC - Sell Me on Delta
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Old Mar 21, 19, 9:17 am
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I don't fly out of, but into DCA quite a bit and I've been quite pleased with my experience. As far as connectivity goes, LAX is a direct flight, and it's quite easy to make SLC connections even <1hr
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Old Mar 21, 19, 9:31 am
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DCA is a great airport, so convenient on public transport and with little fuss once you arrive, but for West Coast travel it's all AA for me. Even weekend getaways somewhere warm in winter are on AA because DL doesn't go anywhere I want to go. For TATL, DL is expensive from DCA and IAD is too awkward to get to (and also expensive in J). I buy 2 tickets - one in coach from DCA to JFK and then one in J from JFK to wherever I need to go internationally. For TPAC, DCA-DTW is a good connection, then DTW to wherever in Japan.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 9:44 am
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Where will you be living in DC? DCA is incredibly convenient but IAD and BWI are quite a distance away from the city center. IAD is great for UA and *A. BWI is great for SW. A new convenient train will go out to IAD next year.

Last edited by sydneyracquelle; Mar 21, 19 at 10:45 am
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Old Mar 21, 19, 9:49 am
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I made the same move a few years ago and have largely stuck with Delta. A lot of my travel involves a connection regardless of carrier, so then it's an easy decision to book on Delta. The DCA-LAX and IAD-SEA non-stops have been very useful for me to get to the west coast, and SLC is one of my most frequent destinations (with non-stops from DCA, BWI and IAD). There area also some random non-hub flights from DCA that can be useful occasionally (LEX and OMA). I also use my GUCs on the IAD-AMS flight when going to Europe.

The biggest weakness for me is the limited non-stop service to Florida, since it's too close to justify a connection. Although I've flown both the DCA-MCO and DCA-MIA non-stops, they only fly a few days a year so I generally fly JetBlue for all my Florida travel.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 9:53 am
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I'd consider AA as an alternative since they have so many nonstop options out of DCA, including many of the routes you'll be flying. DL will have you connecting in ATL a lot - which is not the end of the world, but will suck so many hours out of your life over time that it may not be worth the better service experience and arguably higher reliability on DL.

UA is only worth considering if IAD is convenient for you - out of DCA they tend to offer even fewer options than DL, typically routing you through ORD (yeesh) or IAH. They have a very nice mix of international partners out of IAD (LH, NH, TK, etc.), but their own concourse at IAD is a total dump.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
Where will you be living in DC? DCA is incredibly convenient but IAD and BWI are quite a distance away from the city center. IAD is great for UA and *A. BWI is great for SW. A new train now goes out to IAD.
The OP has to start with an airport preference. Rare is the flyer that could find BWI/DCA/IAD equally convenient.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
A new train now goes out to IAD.
Not for another year.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
The OP has to start with an airport preference. Rare is the flyer that could find BWI/DCA/IAD equally convenient.
I find them roughly equally convenient since it takes about the same amount of time to get to all 3 from my home in MD (DCA is the fastest, and BWI takes the longest, but only by 5 minutes without traffic). DCA has metro access and the cheapest Uber fares, but BWI has the cheapest parking. IAD is always somewhere in the middle for transportation costs. I always pick based on price and schedule, which leaves me flying into one airport and out of the other quite frequently.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:08 am
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You guys all forgot to mention the best thing: Delta One lie-flat seats on DCA-LAX direct. AA is the more convenient option though. Connecting through PHX is the best SNA option.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
Where will you be living in DC? DCA is incredibly convenient but IAD and BWI are quite a distance away from the city center. IAD is great for UA and *A. BWI is great for SW. A new convenient train will go out to IAD next year.
I'll probably be in the Bethesda/Potomac/Rockville area
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
I made the same move a few years ago and have largely stuck with Delta. A lot of my travel involves a connection regardless of carrier, so then it's an easy decision to book on Delta. The DCA-LAX and IAD-SEA non-stops have been very useful for me to get to the west coast, and SLC is one of my most frequent destinations (with non-stops from DCA, BWI and IAD). There area also some random non-hub flights from DCA that can be useful occasionally (LEX and OMA). I also use my GUCs on the IAD-AMS flight when going to Europe.

The biggest weakness for me is the limited non-stop service to Florida, since it's too close to justify a connection. Although I've flown both the DCA-MCO and DCA-MIA non-stops, they only fly a few days a year so I generally fly JetBlue for all my Florida travel.
This is super helpful, thank you for the feedback
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
The OP has to start with an airport preference. Rare is the flyer that could find BWI/DCA/IAD equally convenient.
being in the Potomac/Bethesda area means I'll be indifferent to DCA and IAD (unless you all think differently). BWI would be third choice (EWR equivalent)
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by joejones View Post
I'd consider AA as an alternative since they have so many nonstop options out of DCA, including many of the routes you'll be flying. DL will have you connecting in ATL a lot - which is not the end of the world, but will suck so many hours out of your life over time that it may not be worth the better service experience and arguably higher reliability on DL.

UA is only worth considering if IAD is convenient for you - out of DCA they tend to offer even fewer options than DL, typically routing you through ORD (yeesh) or IAH. They have a very nice mix of international partners out of IAD (LH, NH, TK, etc.), but their own concourse at IAD is a total dump.
this is great to know... sounds like if I make the change it'll be to AA. but again, would like to avoid that if possible. I guess I'll need to see how it plays out in practice
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