The DCA Q&A and Tips Thread

Discussion in 'BWI/DCA/IAD | Washington D.C. Area Airports' started by Misplaced Texan, Feb 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

    • Original Member

    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

    Do you have questions about DCA?

    Where to park?

    How to get there and back again?

    Food/Shopping options?

    Post them here and we local types will try to answer them as best we can.
    • Original Member

    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

    Collected Parking Tips:

    Cheapest parking option
    The absolute cheapest parking option for DCA is the Huntington Metro Station. With the large new garage, there are always spaces and long-term parking is allowed. The parking cost is based on when you leave the garage and is a $4.50 flat rate if you leave on a week day and free if you leave on a weekend or federal holiday.

    DCA is a ten minute metro ride from Huntington and trains depart about every ten minutes, so allow 20 minutes from parking to arrival at DCA for a worst-case scenario. Cost each way is $1.60.

    Off-Airport Parking
    There are no lot-only off-airport parking serving DCA. But, several of the nearby hotels do offer self-parking to non-guests and shuttle service to the airport. Right now (2/6/11) the cheapest seems to be the Marriott Crystal Gateway for $8/day but the Sheraton Crystal City is also a popular choice and the prices for each seem to bounce around in the $8-$12 range at different times of year.
    sendbillmoney, jean9nine and eap like this.
    • Original Member

    violist Gold Member

    DCA
    Lounges in UA/US piers: yes, you can use your bp for
    another pier to get through security. And there's still
    that bus between the piers of terminal C.
    • Original Member

    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

    This is a helpful post. I didn't actually know this and there have been times when I would have taken advantage.
    • Original Member

    IMGone Silver Member

    There is always free weekend parking in nearby Crystal City ... from there you can walk or metro to the airport.
    gvdIAD likes this.
    • Original Member

    techguru Silver Member

    There is a skyclub at DCA which isn't too bad, but the more valuable tips are:

    1. Shoeshine by the Delta gates is best I've had in the US
    2. If you're leaving delta right before security veer left and keep on going you can walk to the car rental pick up faster than waiting for the shuttle bus...
    • Original Member

    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

    Can someone let me know what time security opens at DCA?
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Is there yet PreCheck for DL at TSA? If so where is it or does one just go to the elite security line?
    jbcarioca likes this.
    • Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    If you're at DCA and see long lines even at FC, but you're not flying from terminal C on US the solution is easy. Go to terminal C PreCheck, then take the US shuttle bus to Terminal B. Few people seem to know that. Today I did it and was in the AAdmirals Club about five minutes after I noticed the interminable line. my associate, who did not believe me, took 30 minutes to finally wend his way to the AAdmirals Club.
    • Original Member

    mhnadel Silver Member

    It may vary by pier, but the last time I had an early (6 a.m.) flight on American, they opened at 4:30 a.m.
  1. cova Gold Member

    4:30am. But at the AA pier they don't open the 1st/elite line until 5am.
    • Original Member

    dc_traveler Silver Member

    I just did this last week as well when flying AA out of terminal B and it made a huge difference. Plus I was able to take my brother-in-law (who was flying out of terminal C) to the US Airways Club.
  2. Fishing4Deals Silver Member

    If you have a few extra minutes at DCA, be sure to check out the historic art deco terminal which has been restored in all its glory. There is a historic exhibit hall, too.
    DCA Rob and gleff like this.

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