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Old 07-09-2014, 07:53 PM
 
7,966 posts, read 9,722,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnight View Post
I second this statement! Dulles is quite far from DC, even though it serves as the metro region's international airport, the PRIMARY domestic airport is actually Reagan National (DCA) which is closer to DC.
The original question was about an international flight to Dulles, which is the PRIMARY international airport for the DC area.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:18 AM
 
Location: SW Waterfront, Washington DC
76 posts, read 151,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frostopsy View Post
Unfortunately that not always the case. Plus you have about an extra mile to walk (or 10-12 minutes of walking) and have to take yet another shuttle to get to the main terminal. There's no promise that it will be less of a wait. It could be jammed to capacity at midfield, with less personal on hand. Then you have to go through security check point (TSA) on top of a possible secondary from customs.
Good info--thanks!
I'd like to try at some point, just to say I did. Do you have any other experiences? ie, the best time of day to try it, and what signs you follow after getting off the plane?
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:40 AM
 
504 posts, read 1,027,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangemanGary View Post
I've heard there's a trick at Dulles where, if you land at one concourse, you can make your way to the "mid field concourse" and clear immigration through a less-busy station. I only travel internationally maybe twice a year, so I've never bothered to figure it out. Maybe someone else has tried it and has some tips?
How could you this? For all my returning flights, I got stuffed right into the "mobile lounge" then dumped right into the main terminal immigration line. Do you mean just take the "transfer" line then go through immigration there? Hmm... Might have to try this the next time!
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
989 posts, read 2,475,441 times
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Dulles is my least favorite airport anywhere. Normally when you exit the plane you get on a mobile lounge that takes you directly to the customs area. If you can deplane early (if your seat is close to the exit door of the plane), you should at least be able to make it to customs before some of the rest of your plane. The lasts time I was on a mobile lounge returning from an international flight, the mobile lounge loaded and unloaded from the same door (so if you enter and go all the way to the back you will be the last off). When you enter the mobile lounge if you stay near the driver you should be able to exit first.

Lines at Dulles do tend to be longish. Our baggage was on the carousel long before we cleared customs the last time.

Good luck with your trip!
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,108 posts, read 19,956,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lqda4 View Post
How could you this? For all my returning flights, I got stuffed right into the "mobile lounge" then dumped right into the main terminal immigration line. Do you mean just take the "transfer" line then go through immigration there? Hmm... Might have to try this the next time!
I believe it's only for transfer passengers. If the destination is Dulles you have to ride on the moon buggy. I'd hate to go to the midfield Customs while you're bags are over at the main terminal.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL and Orlando, FL
1,011 posts, read 933,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
Dulles is one of Washington's airports. It is not just a Virginia airport.
It is but due to the very far distance from DC it is not the primary airport for DC, the primary airport for DC is Reagan National.. City-Data admins moved this thread to the Virginia forum.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Great Falls, VA
771 posts, read 1,209,934 times
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IAD may be an airport serving the DC area but oh boy is it far. I live very close to the airport, and I seem to have this idea in my mind that I live relatively close to DC. But man, every time I have to drive there (or take a cab to DCA) my little bubble bursts and I re-discover that it's pretty damn far, almost feels like a road trip. Distance is subjective I guess, but to me IAD is definitely very far from Washington.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:16 AM
 
504 posts, read 1,027,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
I believe it's only for transfer passengers. If the destination is Dulles you have to ride on the moon buggy. I'd hate to go to the midfield Customs while you're bags are over at the main terminal.
True... never mind that idea.

I'll stay out of the "DC airport" debate but will say this - I never like the landing approach at DCA (from the north, depending on day/wind condition). I believe DCA is ranked pretty high on list of top challenging landings due to restricted airspace and noise ordinance along the Potomac. After a few pretty scary landings at DCA (inlcuding one the pilot had to abort landing right before we hit the tarmac) in bad weather, I opted to fly in and out from IAD.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:56 AM
 
3,552 posts, read 5,563,226 times
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still not as far as BWI, which because it has "Washington" in it's name is considered a DC area airport, but really it's more of a Baltimore area airport
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,108 posts, read 19,956,520 times
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That's right. DCA, IAD, and BWI are all considered Washington area airports. All have Washington in their names. Business and people from all over the area use all three airports. I know plenty of Marylanders who use Dulles more often than the other two. Sure DC is far, but they provide an access road to make it easy for DC residents, and businesses to get there. In approximately 4 years, the Silver line will connect Dulles with Washington's Metro system. It is NOT just a Virginia airport.
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