With passenger projections exceeding last year’s record volumes at Reagan National and Dulles International airports, anticipation for the busy summer travel season is heating up. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is offering guidance and tips for passengers to enjoy the newest amenities, reduce stress and save time in line – especially when returning on an international flight.  

“The Airports Authority is teaming up with its government partners to deliver technology-based security and passport-processing improvements for customers at Washington’s airports, especially for international arrivals who must clear U.S. Customs upon arrival at Dulles,” said Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter. “With more than 40 airlines serving 190 destinations worldwide from Dulles, and travel demand continuing to increase around the world, we expect a record number of passengers at our airports this summer.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is testing and implementing new ways to streamline the passport processing experience for international travelers at Dulles and other airports. The Airports Authority urges passengers to use these tools, along with the following summer travel tips, for a more pleasant and efficient journey:

Travel Tips for the Summer
•    Reserve parking in advance through the airport website.
•    Consider alternate methods of transportation such as Metro and rideshare.  
•    Take advantage of Kiss and Fly at Dulles and the express passenger drop off at Reagan to avoid traffic backups. Both provide easy access to the terminals. Follow the signs for an easy drop off.
•    Arrive at least two hours before your domestic flight or three hours before your international flight.
•    Sign up for TSA Pre-check, Mobile Passport Control app or Global Entry. 
•    Know the carry-on luggage rules – avoid unnecessary delays at security checkpoints.
•    Thunderstorms? Check with your airline for flight info before you leave for the airport.

Save Time on International Travel
Summer is a popular time to travel around the world. Dulles is a gateway to 59 nonstop destinations outside the United States. In 2023, 40 percent of Dulles’ 9.5 million passengers who traveled from May through August flew on international flights. Passengers can simplify their return and minimize Customs waits by using the free Mobile Passport Control smartphone app.

The Mobile PasspTable of 2023 Summer passenger counts and projected levels for 2024.ort Control app allows U.S. Citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, Canadian visitors and returning visa waiver program travelers to submit their travel document, photo and Customs declaration information through a free, secure app on their smartphone or other mobile device. The use of the Mobile Passport Control app streamlines the traveler’s entry process into the United States by reducing passport control inspection time and overall wait time. Use of the app does not require pre-approval. Travelers who use the app can enter a dedicated passport-control queue at Dulles. As a result, they will experience shorter wait times, less congestion and more efficient processing.

Download the MPC app on Google Play or the Apple Store.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States by accessing the Global Entry processing technology. Pre-approved and pre-screened travelers have access to expedited clearance lanes in the Customs hall that eliminate the need for paperwork. Additionally, these travelers can skip automated kiosks when using the Global Entry app upon arrival.

Both technologies are in use at Dulles and can reduce wait times.

Experience New Airport Amenities and Concessions 
To further enhance the travel experience, new shops and restaurants are opening at the airports. At Reagan National, new concessions include:

•    Lucky Buns, a local restaurant with burgers and chicken sandwiches near Concourse B
•    Half Moon Empanadas, serving freshly baked empanadas, also in Concourse B 
•    Neighborgoods, a shop with regional souvenirs 
•    The Lego Store - opening this summer

At Dulles International, several new concessions have recently opened:

•    Freshii, fast casual with vegan options in Concourse B
•    Market 1962, grab and go books, snacks and locally branded souvenirs in Concourse D
•    Opening this summer – Gatsby and Rappahannock Oyster Company

New Flights and Destinations
Looking for a new travel destination? Four new carriers are operating this year at Dulles, bringing the total number of airlines to 43. Swiss International Airlines is flying nonstop to Zurich, Switzerland. Sun Country now serves Minneapolis, Minnesota. Aeromexico and Avelo will launch new service in July to Mexico City and New Haven, Connecticut, respectively. Existing carriers at Dulles also have added new destinations, including Phoenix, Arizona; Punta Gorda, Florida; and Anchorage, Alaska. More new destination announcements are expected in the coming months.

Reagan National also has new destinations. American Airlines diversified its regional destinations by starting service to Wichita, Kansas, and Hyannis, Massachusetts. Service to Bermuda restarted this spring, as well.

More detailed travel tips are posted on the FlyReagan and FlyDulles websites.