Free WiFi – Washington Dulles offers travelers free Wi-Fi throughout all terminals, just use the “Dulles Airport” SSID for access. Other “for-pay” wireless services are still available for travelers.
International Departures – Dulles is definitely the airport of choice for international departures out of the Washington DC metropolitan area…the only international flights allowed out of DCA are to Canada and select Caribbean destinations.
More Parking Options – Parking at any airport can be a challenge, but with some pre-planning and research, parking at Dulles Airport can be surprisingly simple. Dulles offers onsite long term and short term parking, handicapped parking facilities, valet parking services and remote economy lots with free shuttles. Outside parking vendors offer remote economy parking that you can pre-pay online, and several hotels in the vicinity offer discounted parking or stay and park packages.
No rail access (yet) – Dulles airport is not connected to the Washington DC Metro rail system, so right now, it is only accessible by car, bus or taxi. There are several affordable options for shared airport transportation if you don’t want to drive your own vehicle or to shell out parking fees. However, construction is underway for the “Silver Line” (otherwise known as the long-awaited railway system to Dulles) which will make access much more convenient.
Not easy to navigate – To state that Washington Dulles is busy is an understatement; with more than 21,000 departures and 1.5 million passengers a month to contend with, getting to your gate on time can be a real challenge. In 2006, the airport discontinued the mobile lounge transportation system and introduced the AeroTrain; an inter-terminal train that services the A, B and C gates. The AeroTrain does facilitate movement throughout the airport, but arriving early and allowing additional time to get through the airport is still the best practice.
Over 25 miles from downtown Washington D.C. – Although IAD airport services the nation’s capital, it is not close to the center of the action. Fortunately, the city is easy to get to, and there are several transportation options available to travelers; including, shuttle services, tour busses and limousines.