The Washington, D.C. area is served by three different airports. Depending on your specific travel needs, you have a choice between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport. The latter is located 26 miles from downtown in Chantilly, Virginia. When traffic conditions are good, Dulles Airport is about a 40-minute drive away; however, traffic is unpredictable so you should leave plenty of time to get to the gate.
Got an early morning flight? You may want to consider staying overnight at a hotel near the airport.
You will need to head west out of downtown Washington, D.C. on I-66 and get off at exit 67. You can follow the signs to Dulles Airport for the rest of the 16-mile drive. If you rented a car, continue to follow the signs to Rental Car Return; the rental car lots are on Autopilot Drive.
For those who need to park their car, public parking includes a lot in front of the Main Terminal, two parking garages, and two economy parking lots. The Terminal lot costs $6 per hour ($25 a day), whereas economy parking costs $10 per day. The Ticketless Entry Option is an automated payment system with payment machines located in each public parking spot; to use, insert your credit card into a machine at the parking entry plaza, and re-insert it again when you leave. Free shuttle buses are provided to transport passengers from the parking garages and economy parking lots.
If you are there to pick up a friend, family member, or significant other, make your way to the Cell Phone Lot. It is a designated area for drivers who are waiting for arriving passengers. This free lot is located at the intersection of Rudder Road and Autopilot Drive, and you are allowed to wait for one hour at most.
There are several buses that serve Dulles Airport.
The Fairfax Connector: With the Fairfax Connector, you can take either Route 981 or Route 983 for $2. Both buses make stops at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, the Reston Town Center Transit Station, and Dulles Airport.
Metrobus Route 5A: This line will take you to curb 2E at Dulles Airport, with stops at L'Enfant Plaza, Rosslyn, and Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride Lot. A ticket costs $7.50, which is to be paid by SmarTrip or cash.
Virginia Breeze: Operated by Megabus, this intercity bus service will pick you up at the Bus Deck at Union Station and take you to Curb 2A at Dulles Airport, with one stop in Arlington. The bus ride takes one hour and 15 minutes, and tickets start at $15.
Metrorail/Silver Line Express Bus
The Silver Line Express Bus provides non-stop service between Dulles Airport and the Wiehle Avenue Metrorail Station. The bus runs from 6 a.m. to 10:20 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 10:40 p.m. on Fridays, 7:45 a.m. to 10:40 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 7:45 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. on Sundays. It comes every 15 minutes during peak times, and every 20 minutes during off-peak times. This 15-minute ride costs $5 one-way, which you can pay via cash or credit card. The tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter located inside Door 4 on the Arrivals Level of the Main Terminal.
Lyft and Uber is available in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The cost will depend on when and where you are getting picked up.
The SuperShuttle is available 24 hours a day and provides door-to-door shared rides within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. You can also opt for the non-stop shuttle or black car, which will get you to the airport faster. The price varies depending on your pick-up location as well as your departure and arrival times.
Washington Flyer is the exclusive supplier of taxi transportation services to Dulles Airport. To reserve a cab, call 703-572-8294. To reduce stress and make sure you catch your flight, it is best to reserve your ride 24 hours ahead of your planned departure time. Rides start at $6.50, and you can pay via cash, credit card, or an airline voucher.