Washington Dulles Airport Guide

washington dulles airport guide

In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Washington Dulles Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

I didn't get a wink of sleep, but I saved a lot of $$$$.
- Paul

Airport Overview

washington dulles airport
photo credit: Dbenbenn / Wikimedia

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at Washington Dulles Airport.

What to Expect

  • Dulles Airport is a busy and often crowded airport with a main terminal and two concourses (Concourse A/B and Concourse C/D).
  • Reviewers cite Concourse B as modern and beautiful, with the best shopping and dining options in the airport.
  • Some reviews describe slow lines for Immigration, and chaotic check-In and TSA lines in all terminals.
  • Delays are most often related to bad weather and the high volume of incoming and outgoing flights.
  • The airport can get cold, so dress warm and have a travel blanket handy!
  • The airport provides free WiFi. See WiFi below.

Where to Sleep

  • After security checkpoints close for the night, passengers are restricted to landside only. Passengers sleeping airside will be required to go back to landside until security reopens, and will need to clear security again to re-enter.
  • Before security, all seats have armrests. It gets particularly cold and noisy here, so come with a blanket, sleep mask and ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones.
  • Once you are airside, Concourses C and D offer lots of armrest-free seating and unmanned gates. One reviewer mentioned areas near C20 and D1 as good places to sleep.
  • There are no hotels at the airport. However, there are nearby hotels that offer a free airport shuttle. See Airport Hotels below.

Good to Know

  • Airport shops and restaurants close at night, so stash a few snacks and drinks for later!
  • Economy class passengers can find comfort in one of the lounges that are accessible with a day pass or Priority Pass membership. See Airport Lounges below for locations and rates.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Washington Dulles Airport Guide. Consider sending us your Washington Dulles Airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.


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Washington Dulles Airport Information

In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Washington Dulles airport either by purchasing a lounge pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):

  • United Club - Location: Midfield Terminal, Airside, Concourse C, near Gate C7. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 59.00) • United Club Membership.
  • United Club - Location: Midfield Terminal, Airside, Concourse C, near Gate C17. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 59.00) • United Club Membership.
  • United Club - Location: Midfield Terminal, Airside, Concourse D, near Gate D8. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 59.00) • United Club Membership.
  • British Airways Galleries Lounge - Location: Midfield Terminal, Airside, Concourse B. Showers are available. Hours: 7:00AM - 2:00PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Priority Pass.
  • Air France - KLM Lounge - Location: Midfield Terminal, Airside, Concourse A, opposite Gate A22. Showers are available. Hours: 6:30AM - 11:00PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Priority Pass.

USO Lounge - The USO offers a lounge to members of the military and their families. Amenities include: WiFi, TV lounge, toiletries, snacks, computers and a library. Location: Main Terminal, Arrivals Level, across from Baggage Claim 11 and 12. Hours: 6:00AM - 10:00PM.

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Dulles Airport. Connect to the “Washington Dulles WiFi” network.

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Washington Dulles Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • Washington Dulles Airport Marriott - (4 min from the airport) Free scheduled airport shuttle service available. For airport pick-up, call 1-703-471-9500 or use the courtesy phone in the baggage claim area.
  • Westin Washington Dulles Airport - (10 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle service runs to the airport every 30 minutes from 5:30AM to 11:30PM, and upon request after hours. Shuttle picks up at the airport (Arrival Curb 2A and 2H near ground transportation) on the :15 and :45 of every hour, on the lower level outside of baggage claim. Verify that you are boarding the correct shuttle, as there are shuttles for other Westin properties. Call the hotel at 703-793-3366 to schedule an airport pick-up.
  • Hyatt Dulles - (10 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle service runs to the airport every 30 minutes from 4:15AM to 12:15AM. Shuttle picks up at the airport (Arrival Curb 2A and 2H near ground transportation) every 30 minutes from 4:30AM to 12:30AM, on the lower level outside of baggage claim. Shuttle also goes to nearby Reston Town Center (shopping, restaurants, and a movie theatre) at 4:45PM, 6:45PM, and 8:45PM.
  • Best Western Dulles Airport Inn - (12 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle service available daily from 4:00AM to 11:00PM. Hotel shuttle also goes to local restaurants and businesses, within a 3-mile radius, daily from 6:00PM to 9:00PM.

To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Dulles Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • ATMs / Cash Machines - There are are 10 Capital One Bank ATMs located throughout the airport (airside and landside).
  • Baby Care Facilities - Nursing rooms offer a secure and private environment with comfortable seating, power outlets and more. Locations: Main Terminal, landside, across from Baggage Claims 2/6/11/14 ▪ Airside, Gates A20, B70 (has a restroom), C11 (has a sink) and D1. For access, go to an Information Desk.
  • Baggage Carts - Available throughout the airport, the carts can be rented for a fee using cash or credit cards. Carts are available for free in the International Arrivals area for passengers arriving on international flights.
  • Chapel - Collect your thoughts in a quiet and peaceful environment at the airport’s interfaith chapel. Ordained clergy are available on upon request for private guidance. Location: Concourse A, airside, Gate A32 Hours: Open 24 hours.
  • Currency Exchange - There are 7 ICE offices and 2 foreign currency ATMs located throughout the airport (landside and airside).
  • Duty Free & Shopping - Duty-free Americas is located airside, near Gate A16. Hours: 7:00AM - 10:00PM.
  • Food & Drinks - There are more than 30 food and beverage concessions at the airport. Here are the dining options that are open 24 hours:
    • Landside: Guava & Java • Starbucks • Dulles Gourmet Market • Stellar News
    • Concourse D: Dunkin Donuts • Faber News
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - not available
  • Massages - Location: Airside, Concourse A, A20
  • Mobile Charging - Charge your laptops and other devices for free at charging stations located throughout the gated areas of the airport, and at the B Gates food court near Gate B73.
  • Showers - Showers can be found in the Air France-KLM and British Airways Lounges. [ see Airport Lounges above ]
  • Smoking - Smoking lounges are located near gates B38, B75, C4 and D30.
  • Traveler's Aid - This is a non-profit organization that assists stranded and distressed passengers. Volunteers assist passengers with general airport and destination queries to assisting with situations such as landing at the wrong airport, transportation assistance, lost or stolen money, wiring money, emergency housing, etc. Locations: Baggage Claim, adjacent to carousel # 6 • Baggage Claim, adjacent to carousel # 12 • Baggage Claim, adjacent to carousel # 14 • East Mezzanine, Airside, just past security • West Mezzanine, Airside, just past security • Roaming Mobile Guides are available in Concourses A, B, C, C7, D. Hours: 7:00AM - 9:00PM (Mon - Fri) • 8:00AM - 8:00PM (Sat - Sun).

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Keep in mind that airline check-in and baggage drop hours vary according the flight schedule. Check these hours with your airline. If you are in the public area of the terminal (landside) you will not be able to get through to the secure area of the terminal (airside) until the morning. The TSA security screening checkpoint hours vary according to location:

  • East Checkpoint: 4:00AM - 10:00PM
  • West Checkpoint: 3:45AM - 10:00PM

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Amtrak Connections

The closest Amtrak Station is located in Washington, DC. A taxi is the quickest option with travel time approximately 33 minutes.

For travel via bus and subway, pickup the Metro’s Silver Line at the Main Terminal. Tickets can be purchased at the arrivals Door #4. The bus departs every 15-20 minutes. Take the bus to Rosslyn to the Metro Center to Union Station. Travel time should be about 47 minutes.

Bus

The Silver Line Express provides bus service between Washington-Dulles Airport and the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station, a stop along the silver line of Washington DC’s Metrorail system. Buses run every 15 to 20 minutes from 6:00AM - 10:40PM on weekdays and 7:45AM - 10:40PM on weekends. The Silver Line Express bus stops at Arrivals Door 4, in the center of the airport terminal, and the parking garage of Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station. Arriving passengers can purchase bus tickets at the ticket counter in the Arrivals Hall. Passengers catching the bus from the metro station can pay for their tickets once they reach the airport. The fare is $5 each way. Both cash and credit card are accepted.

The following bus routes operate to/from Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Curb location 2E:

MetroBus Route 5A - Runs between the airport and Herndon Monroe Park & Ride, Rosslyn and L’Enfant Plaza. A one-way ticket is $7

Fairfax Connector Route 983 - Provides service from the airport and the National Air & Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center. A one-way ticket is $1.75

Fairfax Connector Route 981 - Runs between the airport and Herndon Monroe Park & Ride, Reston Town Center and Wiehle-Reston East metro station. A one-way ticket is $1.75.

Car Rentals

The following agencies provide on-site car rental service: Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels offer free airport shuttle service as a convenience for their guests. Contact your hotel of choice for shuttle service availability and information. Here are a few hotels that offer airport shuttle: Best Western Dulles Airport Inn   •   Comfort Inn & Suites Airport Dulles-Gateway   •   Country Inn & Suites By Carlson  •   Embassy Suites by Hilton Dulles Airport   •   Fairfield Inn & Suites Dulles Airport   •   Hilton Washington Dulles Airport   •   Homewood Suites Dulles International Airport   •   Hyatt Dulles at Dulles International Airport   •   Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North   •   Hyatt Place Herndon / Dulles Airport - East   •   Sheraton Herndon Dulles Airport Hotel   •   Staybridge Suites Dulles   •   The Westin Washington Dulles Airport   •   TownePlace Suites Washington Dulles Airport   •   Washington Dulles Airport Marriott

Shared-ride Van

SuperShuttle and Supreme Airport Shuttle offer 24-hr shared transfer service from the airport to your destination of choice. No prior reservation required. The shuttles can be found down the ramps from Arrivals Doors 2 or 7 at the Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Center.

Taxi

Washington Flyer Taxis provide 24 hour service exclusively between the airport and the DC metropolitan area. Reservations are not required for service from the airport, but are highly recommended for service to the airport. Cash, credit cards and airline-issued vouchers are accepted as payment. Taxis can be found down the ramps from Arrivals Doors 2 or 7 at the Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Center.

Train

At the time of this update, construction is underway for an elevated rail line from Wiehle-Reston East metro station to Dulles Airport. This new rail line will extend Metrorail Silver Line service all the way to the airport. Construction on the Metrorail extension is expected to be completed by 2019.

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Last Updated: 24 June 2016

The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please email us at guides@sleepinginairports.com.

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