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Airport officials: Plan ahead if flying away for holidays

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With passenger levels back to pre-pandemic levels, travelers using the local region’s two major airports have some planning to do.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is advising airport travelers to expect congested airport-area roads, full parking facilities and busy terminals for the holiday-travel season.

But on the plus side, there will be some new amenities for travelers, as well, including (fingers crossed) Metro service close to, if not actually at, Washington Dulles International Airport.

Parking will be in high demand – especially around weekends and holidays, airport officials said, encouraging advanced reservations that will provide access to a space even if lots otherwise are filled.


The parking issue will be most noticeable at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

“The team at Reagan National Airport has been doing its part to prepare for a very busy 2022 holiday travel season,” said Paul Malandrino, vice president and Reagan National Airport manager. “Over the past few months, we have seen an increase in parking demand at the airport and are encouraging travelers to make reservations now, as well as consider alternative ways to arrive at the airport, such as utilizing ride-share
services, Metro and hotel shuttles.”

Washington Dulles International Airport has a larger capacity for parking at remote lots, but even that can be stretched at peak-of-the-peak holiday periods. And those planning to park there are reminded that riding shuttle buses adds to the time needed to reach the terminal.

To make it to their flights on time, departing passengers are advised to plan to enter the terminal two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

New in 2022: Both airports upgraded and added electric-vehicle charging stations inside parking garages. Reagan National has a 103 chargers in Parking Garage 2. Dulles International has 16 chargers in Parking Garage 1 and 12 in Parking Garage 2.

Reagan National long has been served by direct Metrorail service, and the Silver Line Metro station serving Washington Dulles International Airport was expected to open Nov. 15, bringing a new era to that facility.

“Dulles International Airport, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, has been working diligently behind the scenes to prepare for new Metrorail service,” said Richard Golinowski, vice president and Dulles International Airport manager. “The addition of the Silver Line will be a game-changer, and we are looking forward to introducing Dulles travelers to a new level of convenience as the busy holiday travel season takes off.”

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