Aerial View of Reagan National Airport

Reagan National Airport DCA

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Reagan National Airport (DCA) Guide

Welcome to Reagan Airport, the gateway to our nation's capital. With its convenient location just minutes from downtown D.C., DCA is a popular choice for travelers visiting the city. From its historic terminal to its modern amenities, this airport has something for everyone.

Looking for a comprehensive guide to help you navigate DCA Airport? Look no further! Our guide provides all the information you need to get from your door to your gate, including flight status & tracking, airline departure terminals and gate locations, parking options, terminal maps, and food and shopping directories. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, our guide will ensure a stress-free airport experience. For even more detailed information about major commercial airports worldwide, check out iFly's Comprehensive Airport Guide.

Helpful Tips

When to Arrive

It is recommended to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your scheduled departure time for domestic flights and three hours for international flights. The busiest times at the airport are typically early mornings and late afternoons, so if you can, try to schedule your flight during off-peak hours to avoid crowds and long lines.

Getting to the Airport

The best way to get to Washington Reagan Airport is by taking the Metro. The airport has its own Metro station on the Blue and Yellow lines, making it easily accessible from downtown Washington, D.C. and other parts of the city. If you prefer to drive, there are several parking options available at the airport, including hourly and daily parking, as well as a cell phone lot for those picking up passengers.

Getting Oriented

If you're unfamiliar with Reagan National Airport, it's a good idea to use's interactive airport maps to get oriented. These maps provide detailed information on the airport's layout, including the location of gates, restaurants, shops, and other amenities. You can also use the maps to plan your route through the airport and estimate how long it will take to get from one place to another.

Avoiding Delays

To avoid delays at Reagan Airport, make sure to check the status of your flight before you leave for the airport. You can do this by visiting the airport's website or using a flight tracking app. If you're traveling during peak travel times, such as holidays or weekends, be prepared for longer lines and wait times. It's also a good idea to pack light and avoid bringing prohibited items, as this can slow down the security screening process.

Security Wait Times

When traveling through DCA, it's important to plan ahead for TSA Security wait times. The airport recommends arriving at least two hours before your flight's departure time to allow for enough time to check-in, drop off your bags, and pass through security. During peak travel times, such as holidays and weekends, wait times at TSA Security can be longer than usual. However, you can check the current wait times on the airport's website using the TSA Wait Times tool. This way, you can budget how much time you need to get to the airport and ensure a stress-free travel experience.

Navigating DCA's Terminals

DCA Airport has five terminals: Main Terminal, Terminal A, Terminal B, Terminal BC, and Terminal C. The Main Terminal is the largest and houses the majority of the airport's services, including baggage claim, ticketing counters, and security checkpoints. Terminal A is primarily used by Southwest Airlines, while Terminal B is used by American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Terminal BC is used by Delta Air Lines, and Terminal C is used by United Airlines.

Each terminal at DCA has a different number of gates. The Main Terminal has 35 gates, Terminal A has 14 gates, Terminal B has 14 gates, Terminal BC has 9 gates, and Terminal C has 9 gates. It's important to know which terminal your airline is located in before arriving at the airport to ensure a smooth check-in process.

Use our interactive airport map to locate food, services, and airline departure gates in each terminal at DCA.

Connecting Between Terminals

The airport has five terminals: Main Terminal, Terminal A, Terminal B, Terminal BC, and Terminal C. To get between terminals, there are several options available. The terminals are all connected via walkways, so walking is a viable option for those who have the time and energy. Walking from the Main Terminal to Terminal C takes approximately 10 minutes, while walking from Terminal A to Terminal B takes about 5 minutes.

For those who prefer not to walk, there is a shuttle bus that runs between the terminals. The shuttle bus is free and runs 24/7, so travelers can use it at any time. The shuttle bus departs from the baggage claim level of each terminal and runs every 10 minutes. The shuttle bus ride takes approximately 5 minutes.

Dining, Shopping & Enjoying the Airport

Travelers passing through Reagan Airport in Washington D.C. will find a diverse selection of restaurants and shops to explore. From Lebanese Taverna to &pizza, there are plenty of dining options to satisfy any craving. And for those looking to do some shopping, Duty Free Americas and Made in DC are just a few of the many stores to peruse. Keep reading for a more detailed guide to some of the most popular restaurants and shops at DCA.

The locations of all food, shops, and services at Reagan Airport can be found using iFly's interactive map. For a complete list of restaurants, bars, shops, and news stands, browse the full directory here.

Airport Hotels

Traveling can be a tiring experience, but finding a comfortable hotel near the airport can significantly smooth your journey. Whether you're a business traveler seeking modern amenities for a quick overnight stay, or a leisure traveler looking to explore the heart of the city, there are several excellent hotels located near the airport to suit your needs. From the luxurious Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel to the convenient and comfortable Hampton Inn & Suites Arlington Crystal City, these hotels ensure a seamless travel experience. So why not turn your travel necessity into a mini-vacation with these top airport hotels? For a comprehensive list of options, check out our Washington Reagan Airport Hotels page.

Picking Up and Dropping Off Passengers

Reagan National Airport offers several options for picking up and dropping off passengers. If you are picking up a passenger, you can use the curbside pickup area located outside of the baggage claim area. However, please note that curbside parking is limited to active loading and unloading only. If you need to wait for your passenger, you can use the cell-phone waiting area located just a few minutes away from the airport. This area is free to use and provides a convenient location to wait for your passenger to call you when they are ready to be picked up.

If you are dropping off a passenger, you can use the designated drop-off areas located outside of each terminal. Please note that curbside parking is limited to active loading and unloading only. If you need to park your car, you can use the hourly parking garages located near each terminal. These garages offer convenient access to the terminals and are available for short-term parking.

Parking Facilities & Options

Reagan Airport offers a variety of parking options to suit the needs of all travelers. There are several parking garages and lots located within walking distance of the airport terminals. Main Terminal Parking Garage is located adjacent to the terminal building, while Terminal A, B, BC, and C parking garages are located across from their respective terminals. There are also surface lots available for those who prefer to park outside.

If you're waiting for someone to arrive, the airport offers a cell phone waiting area located off of the airport access road. This area allows drivers to wait for up to an hour, free of charge, until their party has arrived and is ready to be picked up.

For those with disabilities, designated parking spaces are available in all parking areas. Shuttle buses are also equipped with wheelchair lifts for those who require assistance getting to and from the terminal.

If you're looking for a more economical parking option, off-airport parking is available near DCA. These lots typically offer lower rates and shuttle service to and from the airport. However, it's important to research and compare prices and services before choosing an off-airport parking option.

Get details about DCA Airport parking options and rates, along with more economical off-airport parking here.

Transportation Options

The airport is conveniently located just a few miles from downtown Washington D.C. and offers various ground transportation options to help travelers get to their final destinations.

Car rental facilities are available at the airport, with major providers such as Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz. The rental car facility is located on the first floor of the Terminal Garage, and shuttle buses are available to transport passengers to and from the airport terminals.

Taxi services are also available at Washington Reagan Airport, with designated pick-up areas located outside of each terminal. Fares are based on metered rates, and the average cost for a taxi ride to downtown D.C. is around $20-$25.

For those looking for a more affordable option, shared ride services such as Uber and Lyft are available at the airport. Pick-up areas are located outside of each terminal, and fares are based on distance and time traveled.

Airport shuttles are also available, with various companies offering transportation to and from the airport. Pick-up areas are located outside of each terminal, and fares vary depending on the shuttle company and destination.

Public transportation options include the Metrorail and Metrobus systems, which provide affordable transportation to various destinations in the D.C. area. The airport is conveniently located on the Blue and Yellow lines of the Metrorail system, with a station located on the concourse level of Terminals B and C. Metrobus stops are also located outside of each terminal.

Passenger Services

Reagan National Airport offers a variety of passenger services to make your travel experience as comfortable and convenient as possible.

For those needing internet access, free wifi is available throughout the airport.

If you have lost an item, head to the Lost and Found located in the Main Terminal. You can also inquire about lost items by calling (703) 417-2400.

Traveling with children? There are designated play areas located in Terminal A and Terminal B/C. These areas are equipped with toys and games to keep your little ones entertained.

For passengers with special needs, Reagan Airport offers a variety of services including wheelchair assistance, accessible parking, and accessible restrooms. Contact your airline in advance to arrange for any special accommodations.

Need to do some banking? There are several ATMs and currency exchange kiosks located throughout the airport.

If you require medical assistance, there are first aid stations located in each terminal. For emergencies, dial 911 or seek assistance from airport staff.

Flight Status Info

When traveling by air, it is important to stay updated on the status of your flight. Fortunately, there are several ways to get flight status information at DCA.

One of the most common ways to check flight status is to use the in-airport flight displays (FIDS). These displays are located throughout the airport and provide up-to-date information on flight departures, arrivals, delays, and gate information. Simply find the display for your airline and flight number and check the status.

Another convenient way to stay informed about your flight status is to use airline mobile phone apps. Most airlines have their own apps that allow passengers to receive alerts about departure delays, cancelations, or gate changes directly on their mobile devices. Passengers can also opt to receive updates via text, email, or push notifications.

Passengers can check the status of their flight departure at DCA Airport by visiting the flight departures page on, which provides real-time updates on flight departures, delays, and gate information.

Airport Facts & Stats

The airport, located in Arlington, Virginia, is a popular airport for travelers visiting the nation's capital. The airport has a total of 5 terminals, including the Main Terminal, Terminal A, Terminal B, Terminal BC, and Terminal C.

On average, Washington Reagan Airport handles around 60,000 passengers daily, with an average of 300 daily flights. The airport serves a total of 100 destinations, with the top 5 destinations being Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York LaGuardia, and Orlando.

The airport is a hub for American Airlines, which operates the most daily flights out of DCA. Other major airlines that operate out of Reagan National Airport include Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines.

Airport History

Reagan Airport, located in Arlington, Virginia, has a rich history dating back to the early 1900s. Here are some significant events in the airport's history:

  • 1926 - Hoover Field, the predecessor to DCA, opens as the first airport in the Washington, D.C. area.
  • 1941 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizes the construction of a new airport, which would later become DCA Airport.
  • 1945 - The airport is officially dedicated as Washington National Airport.
  • 1968 - The airport's name is changed to honor former President Ronald Reagan.
  • 1997 - The airport opens a new terminal, increasing its capacity to handle more passengers.
  • 2001 - the airport is closed for several weeks following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • 2018 - The airport completes a major renovation project, including upgrades to its security checkpoints and terminal facilities.

Today, Washington Reagan Airport serves as a major hub for domestic air travel, providing easy access to the nation's capital and surrounding areas.

Airport Contact Info