Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Guide

Learn About the Airport Amenities, Parking, Ground Transportation and More

National Airport
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Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Address
Arlington, VA 22202, USA
Phone
+1 703-417-8000

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) serves the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and is the closest major commercial airport to downtown D.C. Here's how to navigate the three-level, one million square foot facility with three terminals, including all the information you need to know about the airport's location, amenities, parking, ground transportation and more.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Guide Code, Location, and Flight Information

Know Before You Go

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is the airport closest to downtown Washington, D.C. (The Washington, DC area is served by three different airports. To learn about the differences Between National, Dulles and BWI Airports, check out this article).

This airport is primarily a "short-haul" airport, due to a federally-instituted “Perimeter Rule." Reagan National’s slot rule also limits the number of landings and takeoffs to 62 per hour. Still, this is a great place to fly in and out of Washington: shuttles depart multiple times a day to New York and Boston, and the airport flies domestically with a few flights to Canada and the Caribbean. 

This airport boasts 44 gates: 9 in Terminal A and 35 in Terminal B/C. Passengers enter through the pre-security arrival hall with its soaring ceilings, then walk to their gate after clearing security. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport can get very busy, due to its proximity to D.C. and in turn, its popularity with business travelers and tourists. The specific airlines it services include Air Canada, Alaska, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, and United.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Parking

There are several different parking options at DCA: the Terminal A garage service customers flying Air Canada, Frontier, and Southwest with rates at $6 per hour or $25 per day. The Terminal B and Terminal C garages service customers flying American, Alaska, Delta, JetBlue, United with rates at $6 per hour or $25 per day. The further-out Economy Lot services all airlines and costs $17 per day.

Free shuttle buses can transport customers from the parking lots to the terminals, and the garages are also within walking distance of the terminals. Parking spaces are limited and during peak travel times, parking lots may be full: check here on the airline's website for real-time information on the number of parking spaces available. You can reserve parking in advance too using an ePark system for peace of mind.

 Read more about airport parking for even more about D.C.'s airports parking information.

Driving Directions

The airport is accessible from the George Washington Parkway, and this road is notorious for traffic, so give yourself plenty of time during peak traffic (rush hour and Friday after work) to get to the airport. There is also ongoing construction as part of a planned upgrades: the construction has reduced lane capacity on the Arrivals (lower level) roadway and that can cause backups.

Public Transportation and Taxis

This airport is directly accessible with a Metrorail station that you can walk to from the terminal, which is also fully accessible via elevators. Purchase a farecards at machines located at the entrances to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metrorail station, and you're off. This stop is on the Metro's Yellow and Blue Lines, which will take you into downtown Washington, D.C. and into Maryland. Note: the Blue and Yellow lines south into Northern Virginia are shut down during summer 2019 and replaced by shuttles, so it's faster to take a taxi or ride hail if you're going to Alexandria or Springfield in case you're in a time crunch. Read more about using the Washington DC Metrorail.

To hail a taxi from a dispatcher from Terminal A, you'll exit from baggage claim and turn right then find taxis at the curb closest to the Terminal. From Terminals B and C, head to the baggage claim on the lower level (level one) and walk indoors until you get to Door 5, where you'll go out to the curb and find taxis. 

For ride-hailing, head to the third outer curb outside Terminal A or the second outer curb outside Terminal B/C Baggage Claim on the lower level. 

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is also served by multiple car rental companies located on site. 

Where to Eat and Drink

Whether you're grabbing something to eat on the plane or spending your layover with a sit-down meal, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport has plenty of options. For D.C.'s famous chili-covered half-smokes, head to Ben’s Chili Bowl (pre-security). Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn's burger joint Good Stuff Eatery is another place for burgers and shakes (Terminal B). Even more local chains include Cava, with healthful Mediterranean build-your-own bowls (Terminal B), and Taylor Gourmet, which serves up Philly-style subs (Terminal B/C). Sit down at celebrity chef Carla Hall's Southern restaurant Page (Terminal A) or newly-renovated Legal Sea Foods (Pre-security).

Where to Shop

If you didn't get enough souvenirs during your trip, there's a Smithsonian shop in the pre-security area with gifts and trinkets related to D.C.'s world-renowned museums. Other shops that go beyond bookstores or travel gadgets include a Vineyard Vines for preppy clothes (pre-security), Brooks Brothers for office wear (pre-security), and Spanx for undergarments (pre-security).

How to Spend Your Layover

Pentagon City and Crystal City are right nearby (within a 15 minute drive), with many restaurants and a shopping mall called the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. It's probably only worth going into downtown D.C. if you have a very lengthy layover, as traffic and travel can be unpredictable.

Within the airport, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority offers rotating public art displays —and musicians, singers, dancers, and other artists to Washington’s airports perform for passengers on occasion well. In Terminal A, find a Gallery Walk, with work from local artists.

Airport Lounges

Find four airline lounges beyond security: there's a United Club at Gate 11, a Delta Sky Club at Gate 10-22, and two locations of the American Admirals Club: one is at Gates 23-34 and one is at Gates 35-45.

Wifi and Charging Stations

WiFi is free in the terminal and concourse areas: just log on to the FlyReagan network. Charging stations are available throughout the airport, and you can find them by looking for "power up" signage.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Tips & Facts

  • A park called Gravelly Point Park near the airport is a popular place for locals to hang outside and watch flights depart and land.
  • Famed architect César Pelli designed the airport's 1.1 million-square-foot addition.
  • Terminal A is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Guide