Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) handles close to 24 million passengers each year. This architecturally beautiful airport is situated 26 miles (42km) from downtown Washington DC and serves a metropolitan area that includes Washington, Baltimore and Northern Virginia.
Washington Dulles International Airport was named after John Foster Dulles who was a former US Secretary of State. The airport is well-connected to Washington and Virginia, and is also connected to more than 125 destinations around the world, making it a popular gateway to the eastern United States.
The airport has a range of shopping options including book shops, fashion, jewelry, gifts, gadgets and music. The duty-free shops at the Washington Dulles International Airport are well-stocked and the amenities are top-class.
The airport serves as a hub for United Airlines, however passengers can book flights to Washington Dulles International Airport on most major international and domestic airlines.
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The main terminal houses the H and Z gates as well as arrivals, ticketing and the security checkpoint. The two midfield concourses are parallel to the main terminal. All concourses are connected to the main terminal via the Aerotrain, shuttle buses and a moving walkway. Passengers traveling to the C and D gate concourse should allow themselves some extra transfer time.
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Train: Metrorail provides transport to downtown Washington and a number of other destinations. The closest Metrorail station to the airport is the orange line’s West Falls Church Station. The Washington Flier Coach Service buses depart from door four of arrivals in the main terminal to the station every 30 minutes.
Taxi: Washington Flier Taxis serve the airport. Fares into Washington DC range $57-61 for the 26-30 mile (28-42km) trip. Passengers can find the taxis on the lower level of the main terminal at the Ground Transportation Center. A surcharge of $2.50 is added when snow emergencies are declared. The taxi fare breakdown is $3.50 for the first quarter mile and $0.50 per quarter mile thereafter, $1.50 for each additional passenger and a waiting charge of $0.50 per 80 seconds. Approximate fares to other areas can be viewed on the Washington Flier Taxi website.
Bus: The Washington Flier Coach Service operates buses to the nearest Metrorail station. Buses depart every half hour from exit 4 of arrivals in the main terminal between 5:45am and 10:15pm on weekdays and 7:45am and 10:15pm on weekends. Tickets cost $10 and the trip takes 20-30 minutes.
Metrobus 5A runs between Dulles and Washington DC’s L’Enfant Plaza. During the week the bus departs every 30 minutes during peak periods and hourly during slower periods. The bus runs from 5.50am to 11.40pm and can be caught at 2E of the airport’s Ground Transportation Curb. Tickets cost $6. On weekends it runs between 6:32am and 11:40pm.
The Virginia Regional Transportation Association (VRTA) also has buses leaving from 2E traveling to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center. Fares are $0.50 and buses depart between 10:30am and 5:15pm on weekdays and 11:15am and 5:15pm on weekends.
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Airport parking at Washington Dulles International Airport is available in the economy lot, the hourly lot and daily garage 1 and 2 (valet parking is also an option). Drivers picking up a passenger should make use of the cell-phone waiting area, which is free. Fees for the hourly parking lot are $4 per hour and $36 per day. Airport parking in the daily garages costs $4 per half hour or $17 per day. Valet parking costs $30 for the first day and $19 per day thereafter. A shuttle service is provided from the daily garages and economy lots, while valet and hourly parking is adjacent to the terminal.
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Airport information desks are located in the main terminal, the baggage claim areas, and in the central part of the terminal between the A and B gates. Staff members are fluent in English and Spanish and are generally quite helpful when it comes to regional knowledge and general airport advice.
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Money and communications: ATMs, banks and currency exchange facilities are available.
Luggage: Trolleys are available at the airport and payment can be made by credit card or cash. Skycap services are also available throughout the airport. For luggage lost on airplanes, a lost-and-found desk is located in the arrivals area behind bag claim No. 2. Items lost in the terminal or concourses are handled by the airport police.
Conference and business: A business service center is located near ticketing on the upper level before security. After security there are four business service centers in the A, D and C gates areas. The business service centers include public notary, fax and copying facilities. Conference facilities are available at the on-site Marriott Hotel, which includes meeting and conference rooms, catering, audio-visual equipment, Internet and even an outdoor pavilion area. The facilities can be booked via the hotel’s website.
Other facilities: The airport is fully accessible to passengers with disabilities, but wheelchairs should be requested in advance. It also has an animal relief area, charging stations for computers and mobile devices, an interfaith chapel, smoking lounges, shoeshine services, airline lounges, 10-minute manicure service, massage bar and first-aid facilities.
Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport. There are also several Internet kiosks available after the security check point.
Shopping: Shopping at Washington Dulles International Airport ranges from pocket-change items to credit-card extravaganzas. The duty-free shops can be found after security in the main terminal in concourses B, C and D. For fashion, sunglasses and accessories head to Solstice, Brooks Brothers, Taxco or Touch of Colour. Gadget fanatics will be entertained at Brookstone, In Motion Entertainment, Techshowcase and the Smithsonian Museum Store.
Food and drink: Hungry passengers will be pleased to know that Washington Dulles International Airport has a great range of dining options ranging from quick snack bars and eateries to sit-down pubs and restaurants. Ben & Jerry’s is always a favorite, as are Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, California Tortilla, Cinnabon, Fuddrucker’s, Matsutake Sushi, Starbucks, Subway and Wendy’s. If you’re after something slightly more formal head for Vino Volo, Tequileria, Old Dominion Brewing Co, Max & Erma’s Restaurant or the Firkin & Fox.
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