IAD Airport User Comments

(IAD) Washington Dulles International Airport User Ratings

Total Reviews:   71
User Rating

2.9 of 5
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User Comments

User Date Comments Rating
DJ1986 06-26-2014 8:03 PM I have had two very different experiences at this airport. The first time, flying in from Amsterdam on a United flight, I got to use the C-terminal, without those weird people movers. The CBP line was non-existent, and while the officer was a little cranky, the process was smooth. transferring to another flight was alright, but shops and restaurants were sorely lacking, making the four hour layover seem longer. The second time I did have to use the people movers, coming in from London on a British Airways flight. This has to be the most inconvenient way to get people to their gate, and I cannot believe that this airport, which serves the nation's capitol, uses such an outdated system. The line at immigration was very long, and the employees were shouting at passengers like we were cattle. Not being a US citizen, I was forced to use the visitor line, which was only served by a few officers, while a much shorter citizen line had at least double the amount of officers on duty. The officer who inspected me wasn't rude, but I would hardly call him friendly. I guess that is more a CBP issue, but I have experienced many friendly officers, just not at IAD. Baggage claim is inefficient, but I have seen worse (LAX), and getting to Washington from the airport can be either an expensive affair or quite a hassle. I took the flyer bus and then the train, which took forever, but was a lot cheaper than a taxi. I wish there was a subway connection though. Altogether IAD is not a great airport. It feels outdated and is not in the best location for an International airport serving the DC area, but I have been to airports that fared worse (CDG, ATL)
Yooperboy 06-17-2014 12:28 AM I can't believe they use the old people movers from the 60s. It is the original cattle car. "A" gates for United are like a snake pit. 10-15 flights boarding at once.
MDMcMahon 02-3-2012 3:47 PM Poor Restaurant variety Excellent Internet! Basic structure is confusing and inconvenient
LarryJohn 01-27-2011 4:42 PM Constantly the slowest baggage handling for arriving flights that I've ever experienced. I've commonly waited 1 HOUR from arrival at gate until my bag is on the belt. Poor communications about which belt bags will be on, also. Several times they were not on the one listed, but several belts away. There are about a dozen large baggage belts, so it's not easy to see them all without walking for 5 mins, up and down. Besides that, I've found Dulles to be convenient for me (I live in the Northern VA suburbs), and things usually go smoothly. I have not experienced any significant delays or problems checking in with luggage, going through security (often only takes 15 mins, tho occassionally 30+), or with the "mobile lounges", which are basically funny-looking buses that connect terminals. The new subway system that opened within the last year is great, but only goes to about 2/3 of the terminals presently. I've arrived from Europe & Canada, and not experienced significant Immigration problems. United's Terminal G can be messy, since a bunch of small planes depart from each small gate at the same time (!), but I got the hang of it after doing it once. Reagan National is a lot smaller, and thus easier to deal with. Unfortunately for me, it has fewer direct flights to my destinations, and is 25 miles (over an hour) from where I live. I can drive to Dulles from my house in less than 30 mins, outside the morning rush hours.
lawrence3178 02-24-2010 3:11 PM a functional airport that copes well with lots of passengers.
ace6969 03-24-2009 8:45 PM They say security check is randomly picked by computer ,based on ticket number ... bla bla bla ... its a big lie , I saw that with my bare eyes a DUMB TSA manager marked my wife's ticket at the check in , she had to be searched. Let me tell you what . My wife is pregnant and having a 2 year baby girl with her traveling with three suit bags. What a dumb decision stopping such a person for check up. And the funny part is that under that TSA supervisor some bunch of more stupid LABOR they wanted to cut open my daughter’s Shrek asking what’s inside. All what’s inside is just a recording thing says DONKEY DONKEY ... what a shame. They think by harassing people they will give the impression that they are tight on security.... Shame on TSA employees picking people just cause they feel like it, or because they have bad mood or they dint like what the passenger is wearing. I hate flying from this airport.
hemlocks 06-4-2008 1:43 PM One of the worlds worst airports
msunnes 04-23-2008 6:04 AM Awful! Just Awful. I dread the times I must go through this airport. Regardless of airline, the staff acts like they hate their lives and you are to blame. I feel like a domesticated animal as I am shouted at by tsa and airline staff, who treat the visitors like vermin. To top it off, the poor design and substandard shuttle lounges (which broke down twice in the time I have visited) cause me to wonder whether the airport was actually planned or was built on a "do-it-as- we-go" basis.
rkapoor 12-11-2007 8:49 PM Washington Dulles is in major need of an upgrade! The architecture is in the main terminal is kind of nice, with the big sloping roof, but the gate areas are small and uncomfortable. The check-in process takes forever and security is even worse. Immigration goes fast though. The major thing I dislike about this airport is the mobile lounges you have to use to get your gate and the overall "slowness" of this airport. However, not all is bad as you have a lot of flights and the airport is mostly on-time. A modernization program could make this airports one of the better ones in the US, but as of right now it's just average.
tja 12-5-2007 5:40 AM I fly out of BWI or National by preference but there are so many direct international flights into and out of Dulles! And yet international arrivals are a joke. Its cheaper to rent a car than get a cab or park your own car for more than a few days but the rental offices are miles from the terminal. Please finish that light rail between terminals (the buses between terminals are old in every way possible)! When is the underground going to connect to Dulles? BWI is on the MARC and National is on the metro.
petercarson 11-11-2007 8:45 PM WORST US INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY
random_user_generator 10-17-2007 1:54 PM Check-in and security are hellish experiences. You are guaranteed an impenetrable bottleneck at TSA security. Airlines tend to schedule all their flights at the same time, creating huge lineups at check-in during busy periods. I avoid this airport like the plague.
United737522 09-30-2007 4:46 PM I don't have much of a problem with IAD. It is just that the layout sucks. I always end up walking so far to eat or connect. I am looking forward to the new people mover.
changeling1946 09-21-2007 2:31 PM Wi-Fi only available in airline premium lounges. Midfield terminals are poorly laid out. Wear your track shoes!
gpangman 09-20-2007 7:04 PM This place sucks. And it's the largest business flyer airport i've been too, and it's just awful.
zachg22491 08-25-2007 2:41 AM IAD is really a miserable airport. There's nowhere to sit, especially when waiting for a crowded international flight. International arrivals are worse than Heathrow. Every flight from Europe on United arrives at the same time and luggage takes forever to come through. Food choices are not good and the hallways are pretty narrow. Terrible inter-terminal transit--have to use crazy vehicles that arrive and depart from terminals unreliably. Be prepared to miss your connection.
jkj7va 08-12-2007 1:36 AM Need to fix this mess.
rudel 07-27-2007 7:34 PM 01:15 from exiting the aircraft in an international flight until being out of the terminal... How bad is that? Despite the hard working immigration officers the immigration process could be *a lot more* efficient. Also, luggage security checks after claiming the baggage doesn't seem to make any sense at all, and delay the exiting process.
kschendel 07-25-2007 7:07 PM Mel B's line from "Airport" still holds: IAD is a giant step sideways. It seems to take forever to get from A to B. The few times I've originated there (instead of connecting), the counter lines were daunting. At least they had the good sense to start building another 1-19 runway, and AeroTrain should be a big improvement over the wonky bus thingies. If I had to choose between IAD and one of the NY area airports, I'd have to go with IAD. DON'T miss the chance to stop at Udvar-Hazy just to the south, it's awesome!
rshartma 07-19-2007 10:14 PM IAD needs to significantly increase the number of security check points. at peak periods (especially late afternoon when international flights are loading) wait time can be 1 hour. Same thing with counter wait times. International flights choke the entire front end of the airport from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. Upgrade to first class for business class if you have to fly out during these time periods to cut down wait at counter, and they have an express line for first and business class at security checkpoint.
bergende 07-6-2007 4:43 AM International terminal is horrible. Long walk!
waterinthedesert 06-10-2007 6:12 PM If you live in Northern Virginia, this is the airport for you. If you live in DC and don't own a car, it is a nightmare. The airport is quite a distance from the District, and public transit there has always been a nightmare for me. Yes, there is a public Metrobus, but don't even consider using it - the arrival and departure times of the bus are not at all reliable, and the ride itself is horrendous. There is the Washington Flyer bus, which is more expensive than the public bus, but it too is poor in quality, and a bit slower as well. Best advice is to get a friend to drive you to the airport or take Supershuttle or a towncar service. Do not take a taxi, as towncar service through several local companies is actually the same price. If you split the towncar with a fellow traveller, it is the same cost as you would pay for Supershuttle. As for the airport complex itself, I have never found very pleasing. The main terminal features depressing 1960s architecture - like something out of the movie "Airplane." Security has never been a problem for me, but the fun continues when you get past it. Hopefully your flight will be in terminals A or B, where you can take an underground moving sidewalk. If not, you will have to take a "mobile lounge," to other terminals farther afield - not a pleasant ride, and taking longer than an underground metro or walkway would. God help you if you're in Terminal G. I just noticed an online thread with the title “That Special Hell that is Dulles Concourse G.” Seems pretty accurate. Not only will your shuttle ride take about 15 minutes to get out to the last terminal, but once you arrive, you're in one huge chaotic waiting area that reminds me of a certain hellish airport in the central Turkish city of Kayseri, or perhaps a refugee camp. One waiting area, almost all seats taken, one overcrowded bathroom, and precious little food service. I nearly missed a flight there since there was no boarding announcement. Guess you're supposed to have your eyes trained on the gate at all times. The "jetway" is actually a non-climate controlled open structure where you walk to your plane, better hope you're not there during winter. This terminal is used for overpriced United regional flights to finish off the pain. If you're flying an international flight from the DC area, you're pretty much stuck with Dulles. If you're flying regional or domestic flights and live in DC or suburbs like Arlington, Alexandria, or Huntington, do yourself a favor and pay a little extra for the comfort of using the newly rebuilt, convenient, Washington National Airport.
Jack7770 05-5-2007 3:49 AM International arrivals is the worst I've encountered in nearly fifty years of transatlantic flights, at least three per year. Too many flights arrive at same time, inadequate staffing, no signs or announcements in foreign languages, shouting staff as if foreigners would understand better if shouted at. Alltogether a wretched arrival to the nation's capital.
gocode03 04-24-2007 6:50 PM ticket checkers (not TSA) have been rude every time I've been to this airport.
heathersdada 04-14-2007 12:51 AM This is the best airport in the world. It is too bad that the current administrators are not able to understand the brilliance of the original design and have fouled up the smooth, efficient, and simple operation of Dulles. Simply walk 100 feet from the departures lane outside the main terminal, check in, then walk another 50 feet to the mobile lounge which took you directly to your aircraft. The international arrivals area is quick, efficient, and friendly.
BRNF 04-13-2007 1:45 PM International arrivals procedures are shambolic. Otherwise a fairly mediocre airport, but infinitely better than London (you'll know what I mean if you fly between the two!)
shoemle 02-25-2007 10:09 PM speed up development of the train system to gates and main terminal. get light rail from DC.
rick2629 02-15-2007 4:38 PM I hate this airport