Which Airport Should You Fly to When Visiting Washington DC?

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, sometimes colloquially known as National Airport, Washington National, Reagan National, DCA, Reagan, or simply National Airport, is an airport in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. None of the airports that serve the Washington D. C. metropolitan area are actually in Washington DC, DC.

Two airports, Reagan (DCA) and Dulles (IAD), are located in Northern Virginia, and Marshall Airport (BWI) is just outside Baltimore, Maryland. Between growing up in Arlington, Virginia, and visiting my family, who still lives there, these three airports have become the most familiar to me. Each airport is slightly different and varies as to how close they are to D. However, without having flown through them, it can be difficult to know which one you should fly to when planning a trip to Washington DC, DC or the surrounding area.

When it comes to visiting Washington DC, DC, there are three main airports that you can choose from: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). Each of these airports has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to flying into the city. In this article, I'll discuss which airport you should fly to with a comparison between Dulles, Reagan and BWI, and I'll give you some tips on what to consider before booking your next flight. As always, we recommend that you pack a backpack the size of your hand suitcase to facilitate transportation through any airport. Pack everything you need without having to check in a suitcase.

Before leaving, you must pack a suitcase that can withstand whatever nature throws at it. That means you need a backpack that's water resistant and very durable. In my experience, no other bag meets these requirements as perfectly as the Turtle travel backpack. Designed specifically to maximize the usability of airline hand luggage allowances, no other backpack offers such outstanding luggage capacity and organization.

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Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

The DCA's proximity to the city center also means that it is more closely watched by the U. S. UU.

While you generally won't see or feel the difference as an ordinary person, security for both passengers and airlines is more stringent than at other airports in the region. But this is good. Their strict security policies, combined with the use of DCA (mostly) for business trips, mean that going through security is efficient and the airport itself has good services. The biggest disadvantages of DCA are that it only has domestic flights (plus a couple to Canada) and it tends to be more expensive than IAD or BWI. If you want to fly to an international destination through the DCA, you'll need to transfer, probably in Atlanta, New York or Los Angeles.

With 95 nonstop flights operating from DCA, the airport offers services to many destinations, most of which are clustered on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Some of the direct flights fly to smaller airports such as Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Dulles International Airport (IAD)

You'll find the widest selection of routes operated by American Airlines, although United, Alaska, JetBlue, Delta, Southwest and Frontier also operate from DCA. Distance aside, Dulles is a great airport in every other way. Although the IAD is huge and post-security shuttles can be a little confusing for first-time visitors, getting from the check-in counter to the boarding gate is surprisingly efficient.

Getting through both security and customs control is fairly quick, especially since the IAD has all of the accelerated customs programs Global Entry, CLEAR and Mobile Passport. Although technically an international airport, most of the ICM routes are domestic. Only eight international destinations have non-stop flights.

Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)

But what it lacks in options BWI makes up for in affordability. Flights from BWI tend to be cheaper than those from Reagan or Dulles, and Southwest Airlines operates the most flights to and from BWI. Two other low-cost airlines - Spirit and Icelandic WOW Air - also have direct flights while larger airlines such as United American and Delta also offer good deals on their fares.

Now is the time to book your flight and pack your travel bag!


For domestic flights Reagan (DCA) is the best airport to fly to when traveling to Washington DC DC Reagan is closest right (although technically it's in Virginia), small and easy to navigate with easy access to D C Dulles (IAD) is generally better for most international flights as it offers more nonstop routes to international destinations and an international flight to Reagan may require a stopover elsewhere While I usually prefer Reagan because it's closest and easiest thing to get from Washington D C Dulles is also only option for international flights and although it's large it's fairly efficient and pleasant airport navigate The ICM is only worth if you come from north side D C Or they're willing take train from Union Station Fortunately you can find some cheap flights on BWI budget airlines often wins terms affordability Carry everything you need without checking in a suitcase This comparison will focus solely on Dulles and Reagan National One of biggest benefits Reagan National (DCA) its proximity city just about four miles compared 27 miles from Dulles (IAD) Dulles unpredictable when comes traffic Most people driving airport will take Dulles Toll Road which has little traffic most time during stretch between Tysons Corner airport itself However portion Dulles Toll Road runs between Tysons Corner Interstate 66 major artery leads central Washington can very busy during peak hours especially if you're heading into D C. When deciding which airport you should fly into when visiting Washington DC DC there are several factors consider First proximity city center second cost third availability routes fourth security fifth ease navigation Finally if you're looking for cheap flights then BWI may be best option However if you're looking for convenience then Reagan National may be better choice Ultimately decision depends on your individual needs but hopefully this article has given some insight into which airport should choose when visiting Washington DC DC.

Theodore Willenbrock
Theodore Willenbrock

Passionate web aficionado. Total bacon nerd. Subtly charming tv specialist. Certified coffee practitioner. Proud zombie fanatic. Wannabe food fan.

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