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Old 07-04-2014, 02:29 AM
 
8 posts, read 4,166 times
Reputation: 14

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My husband and I will traveling to Dulles on the 20th Dec.

We have never traveled on Christmas so my questions are...

How chaotic is this airport around this time and have their been ANY improvements to their immigration section? We haven't been to Dulled in like 4 yrs and this was a few yrs back during Easter, it was a nightmare! I'm a US citizen so I know it *can* speed things up when waiting in immigration lines but out of all the airports I have flown in and out of...Dulles was one of the worst. If it wasn't for the massive different in flight times and costs we would of flown directly to Philly.

Also, has anyone rented from Budget at this location? How was your experience with them? Any issues?

This will be my first time celebrating Christmas with my family in 15 yrs so I just want things to go without too much hassle. Asking too much? Perhaps lol.

Any tips or info. I would be grateful for.

*Bethany
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:10 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,689,163 times
Reputation: 1550
It will be pretty busy but not that bad. I actually flew into Dulles from international travel 3 years ago on December 20th and it was pretty smooth. I always hear people complain about customs but I have never waited more than like 20 minutes at of all the times I've flown internationally, so I don't know if I'm just more patient or what.

I think Thanksgiving is when it's most nightmarish though. That's the only time I've encountered 60 min+ security lines.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,828 posts, read 19,365,050 times
Reputation: 5675
Traffic is way down at Dulles now. BWI and especially DCA and all their new domestic flights have really taken a toll on Dulles the past few years. Maybe that has had some impact on getting through customs faster with less resources going to domestic flights. Just a wild guess though.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Chicago IL
472 posts, read 514,014 times
Reputation: 495
Look into getting Global Entry About Global Entry | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
It seriously expedites the Customs process. You go to a kiosk when you get in, then skip the line on the way out.

A little pricy though, as the only caveat.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:11 AM
 
39 posts, read 138,894 times
Reputation: 42
I take it you'll be coming in from overseas. As a very frequent international traveler, the immigration lines at Dulles have deteriorated significantly over the last 3-4 years. The lines for both US and foreign nationals are long and often it takes 45+ minutes just to clear immigration. My last arrival into Dulles (3 weeks ago), the immigration and customs lines were taking about 3 hours to clear. Yes, there are more international flights in/out of Dulles but there are just too few officials working the immigration booths which is the real driver for the increase in wait times.

If you have the global entry (which I do), it's such nice perk - saves huge chunks of time (immigration is basically a few minutes) and once you get your bags, you have a dedicated customs line so you can breeze through. If you travel to the US at least once a year, it's so worth it (costs $100 for five years) - go online and find out how to apply if you're overseas - it's really worth it.

DC is my home so I can't advise you on rental cars.
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:16 AM
 
Location: SW Waterfront, Washington DC
76 posts, read 150,961 times
Reputation: 71
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?
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Chicago IL
472 posts, read 514,014 times
Reputation: 495
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?
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.
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,379 posts, read 20,181,872 times
Reputation: 16366
Move thread to the Northern Virginia forum as Dulles isn't in DC
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL and Orlando, FL
1,011 posts, read 925,676 times
Reputation: 848
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
Move thread to the Northern Virginia forum as Dulles isn't in DC
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.
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,041 posts, read 19,873,240 times
Reputation: 7646
Dulles is one of Washington's airports. It is not just a Virginia airport.
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