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A 3 Hour Transit At IAD.  
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3182 times:

Hi guys!

It looks that I might have a 3 hour transit at IAD in a "last minute" trip to FAT. I would like to ask those of you that are TRULY EXPERTS on IAD if it's possible during that time to make a short visit to downtown Washington and see at least the White House and the Capitol. Please give me your best information on that...is it "dreamable" to try this or not? I will arrive in IAD at 2:37 PM from AMS and leave at 5:50 PM to LAX. Do you think at the time I get to IAD it will be already rush hour? Any clues or ideas will certainly help me...I'll never forget that in August 2001 I got to downtown Philadelpia with a great help from enthusiasts down there.
I wait your feedback!
Regards

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePositiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3124 times:

Quoting CV990 (Thread starter):
Hi guys!

It looks that I might have a 3 hour transit at IAD in a "last minute" trip to FAT. I would like to ask those of you that are TRULY EXPERTS on IAD if it's possible during that time to make a short visit to downtown Washington and see at least the White House and the Capitol. Please give me your best information on that...is it "dreamable" to try this or not? I will arrive in IAD at 2:37 PM from AMS and leave at 5:50 PM to LAX. Do you think at the time I get to IAD it will be already rush hour? Any clues or ideas will certainly help me...I'll never forget that in August 2001 I got to downtown Philadelpia with a great help from enthusiasts down there.
I wait your feedback!
Regards

As a DC resident, I can tell you that 3 hours isn't enough time to go downtown. Even going over to the new Udvar-Hazy wing at Air and Space at IAD might be cutting it short...


User currently offlineCODCAIAH From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3112 times:

I live in DC, and I can say for certain that three hours is absolutely not enough time to get from IAD all the way to the District AND back AND make your connection.

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7737 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3105 times:

Figure a good 45 minutes to get to downtown DC w/ favorable traffic. So unless you want to just see the Dulles Toll Road and I-66, you'll need to stay in the airport.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineTomFoolery From Austria, joined Jan 2004, 523 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3105 times:

You will not have time to make it. You can expect 20 to 40 minutes with customs/baggage claim, and you will need to go through security, and at times, the line can be quite lengthy at that time of day (most of the European trans Atlantic flights depart between 5:00 and 6:30 PM). You might have time to see the Smithsonian air and space museum (Udvar-Hazy complex) on the Southeast corner of the airport. I am not sure if there is a shuttle or other bus service from the terminal, but admission is free, and it is quite a nice way to kill an hour or so.

As for the city, IAD is 45 minutes west of the city, and during rush hour, getting back to the airport in a timely manner could be difficult.

Hope the info helps, and enjoy the trip!



Paper makes an airplane fly
User currently offlineDanairbus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3090 times:

Try not go to downtown DC you dont have a enough time. IAD is about 26 miles west of downtown DC. You will have a lot of traffic getting to downtown.

User currently offlineSunilgupta From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 775 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3058 times:

They all said it above... too short. If your bags are checked through you could have time for Udvar-Hazy. Run down to baggage claim and check with Traveler's Aide to see about the bus schedule. But you will be cutting it very close. Getting back through security without a business ticket is not usually easy.

Sunil


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3045 times:

Not to mention getting back into IAD for your flight... 3 to 6 pm at Dulles is an absolute nightmare with security lines stretching as long as 30 to 45 minutes.

What airlines? With customs and immigration plus your bags and rechecking and then getting back through security and back to a concourse, you may well need every second of that 3 hours. If you're flying all online on United you'll be fine.

NS


User currently offlineSeeTheWorld From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1325 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3045 times:

Quoting Sunilgupta (Reply 7):
They all said it above... too short. If your bags are checked through you could have time for Udvar-Hazy. Run down to baggage claim and check with Traveler's Aide to see about the bus schedule. But you will be cutting it very close. Getting back through security without a business ticket is not usually easy.

Yep, they are all correct. Go to Udvar-Hazy - even if you have only 30 minutes over there, it would be well worth it.


User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4334 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3036 times:

Expect time getting your bags, walking out of the airport and getting to your destination whether if you're going to the musuem....this could take up and hour and half. Thne expect another voyage back to the airport, checking you bags, and going thru sercurity. Remember...your departure time is during the international rush, so sercurity lines will be heavy. IAD only has two sercurity checkpoints in the main terminal, so if I were you, I wouldn't leave the terminal.

Kevin


User currently offlineUnited767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 356 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2911 times:

As said before, you will not have enough time to go to D.C. You may how ever have time to visit the Air and Space museum right down route 28. About a 10 minute drive from the terminal and all you have to pay is 12 dollars per car/cab to get in. Although security sucks at IAD at the evening rush, so it is totaly up to you if you want to risk it.


I wish UA flew mainline to MYR, that way you wouldn't be stuck in a smelly Saturn for 12 hours.
User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4334 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2872 times:

Quoting TomFoolery (Reply 4):
You can expect 20 to 40 minutes with customs/baggage claim,

AS what he mentioned, 20-40 minutes if you're lucky...usually that how long it takes to go thru customs if you hold a U.S passport. A non-U.S. passport will probably be up to 2 hours. Took me 30 minutes alone going thru customs when I flew back from LHR two weeks ago, as a US citizen...I imagine how the brits felt as the queue barely moved.

Kevin


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2830 times:

Like Gigneil said, if you are transferring online to a United flight, you can use the dedicated transfer customs in the midfield concourse and then just walk out of the airport normally. United schedules sub 60 minute connections using it, and I made it through in under 30 minutes including a security reclearance. That should give you time for Udvar-Hazy, but definately not to head into D.C.


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3697 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2822 times:

3hrs? Centre of the city? Not a hope in hell! Udvar-Hazy is at least realistic, although I still think you may be cutting it a little tight...There is now a priority security line at IAD. I've not seen more than a couple of people in it at any one time and the regs are pretty lax. Basically any elite FF card or premium class ticket gets you in. In my defence I haven't travelled from IAD during the evening rush hour since it's inception...however having seen IAD at it's summer peak hour worst I'd be tempted to forego a trip much beyond the airport perimeter if you have no priority security access.

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 11):
Took me 30 minutes alone going thru customs when I flew back from LHR two weeks ago, as a US citizen

 Confused Why would being a US citizen have any positive or negative affect on the time going through customs? There is no discrimination between nationalities at customs, unless things have changed in the last few weeks.

In my experience landing at IAD in the early afternoon is a real lottery. You have a number of European flights coming in (and one time an Ethiopian flight!) and the lines can be lengthy. That said I've never had to wait 2hrs, perhaps one hour tops. Maybe with BA's afternoon arrival times I've been lucky. Either way I've now switched to evening arrivals, never had to wait behind anybody at immigration. Ever.  biggrin 



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2812 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 13):
Why would being a US citizen have any positive or negative affect on the time going through customs? There is no discrimination between nationalities at customs, unless things have changed in the last few weeks.

There are different lines for US citizens and permanant residents than for other nationals.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3697 posts, RR: 28
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2793 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
There are different lines for US citizens and permanant residents than for other nationals.

Not at customs there isn't. Immigration maybe. I don't know how and why people seem to think the following are interchangeable and/or confuse them!

Immigration - Showing passport, dealing with visas.
Customs - The enforcing of imports and exports of goods.
Security - Having bags and persons searched for prohibited items before getting onboard an aircraft/entering secure airside area.

I don't know how and why people seem to think they are interchangeable and/or confuse them!

[Edited 2006-09-29 05:43:35]


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineWN230 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 341 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2790 times:

Quoting TomFoolery (Reply 4):
You can expect 20 to 40 minutes with customs/baggage claim

You'll be lucky if you get your bags in that amount of time. I had to wait an hour to get my bags off the 6am UA flight from LAX. And the ride down the toll road will eat up a lot of your transit time, so stay.



Judas Priest North American tour in '08 . . . cannot wait!!!
User currently offlineCODCAIAH From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2771 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 15):
Not at customs there isn't. Immigration maybe.

Thanks for pointing out the distinctions, people confuse them all the time. But most airports I've arrived at from an international flight (OSL, AMS, IAH, EZE, ASU, SDQ, others) have separate lines at immigration for nationals, members of the country's customs union, or other agreement like Schengen with a separate line for non-citizens.


User currently offlineHalaka From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2751 times:

I just transited IAD last weekend on the UA AMS flight that arrives at 2:30.

First off - if you are transferring to another UA connecting flight, you won't even be collecting your bags at the main terminal where you can get a bus or cab to the Udvar-Hazy center. You'll be doing that underneath C concourse, like I did. It's tiny and far overstuffed with all the european arrivals (the AMS one is pretty early, but by the time you get your bags all the other heavies will be arriving). You will then clear security one more time where you put your bags back on the scanners for transfer to your next flights.

If all goes well you will *hopefully* be through baggage claim, customs, and the security screening by 3:30. Two hours and 20 minutes is really not enough time to realistically get to the main terminal, hail a cab, get to udvar-hazy center, look around more than 20 minutes, hail another cab (which won't be hanging around the center, by the way - you'll need to call most likely), clear security again (at the worst possible time), and get to your gate before it closes (at 5:30). As much as I don't like to say it this way - don't listen to those who are telling you that it's worth it to spend 30 minutes there. It's not. You won't make it. It's a very cool museum, but you are 99% assured that you will miss your flight to FAT and UA won't be helpful if you tell them you were out visiting a museum during your 2:20 layover.

[Edited 2006-09-29 06:23:37]

User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4334 posts, RR: 21
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2715 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 13):
Why would being a US citizen have any positive or negative affect on the time going through customs?

Well, I noticed there were more passengers holding a UK passport then US passports in the queue at Dulles. When I flew to LHR, it was the same. I had to wait 2 hours in line and the immigration officer asked me few questions on why I'm in London and how long I'll be here. When I entered back to the USA, the officer said "Welcome back home and I hope you had a wonderful time in the UK" and stamped my passport. But then again, the other flights from Europe also affects the time.

Kevin


User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2677 times:

Hi guys!

I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you!!! Thanks for beeing very sharp in your answers....it's better like that......no chance to get to DC and then I'll not have latter nightmares thinking that I could have tried, all of you said NO WAY and I'll have peace in my mind. I'll try next time when I have a longer transit or maybe when I fly there and visit some friends. Anytime any of you want to think to come to Portugal and Lisbon please let me know, I will be glad to help in any way possible.
This is one of the things I like in A.Net, true solidarity spirit to help others.
Regards


User currently offlinePositiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2636 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 3):
Figure a good 45 minutes to get to downtown DC w/ favorable traffic.

More like 20 with favorable traffic, but still not enough time.


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 22, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2610 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 15):
Customs - The enforcing of imports and exports of goods.

Customs at IAD is practically nonexistant. You clear the queue for immigration, get your bag, and hand an already filled-out-and-stamped form that the immigration officer questioned you about.

Quoting Positiverate (Reply 21):
More like 20 with favorable traffic, but still not enough time.

I want to drive whatever you're driving... 27 miles even at 3 am here is hard to do in 20 minutes.

NS


User currently offlinePositiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2581 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 22):
Quoting Positiverate (Reply 21):
More like 20 with favorable traffic, but still not enough time.

I want to drive whatever you're driving... 27 miles even at 3 am here is hard to do in 20 minutes.

Going down the toll road and then 66 @ 70 mph without heavy traffic puts you downtown easily between 20-30 minutes.


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3697 posts, RR: 28
Reply 24, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 22):
Customs at IAD is practically nonexistant. You clear the queue for immigration, get your bag, and hand an already filled-out-and-stamped form that the immigration officer questioned you about.

Indeed, although compared to what happens when arriving at LHR for example, IAD is customs fortress  Wink I've seen some people (mainly those of Indian origin arrivng on BA flights with masses of luggage) get a real grilling, asked to open up boxes, etc. 99% of people never have any problems and usually customs is almost a non-event. I did arrive in the early afternoon from LHR earlier in the year and have an enormous line for customs, was disrupting people getting the luggage from the back end carousels and snaked around the baggage hall.  thumbsdown 

As it happens Customs do deal with some immigration matters. Was surprised myself when it happened. For a few months I had 'Advance Parole', basically was awaiting my US Perm. Resident card to arrive and so were given documents so I could re-enter the country. At immigration at IAD was told to take these to a customs official after I collected my bags. Was a little confused the first time it happened since I couldn't understand why customs would deal with an immigration situation such as this. I got a large 'B' scrawled on my Customs Decleration form and a guy looked at my passport and documents, stamped some official papers I had and was on my way.

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 19):
Well, I noticed there were more passengers holding a UK passport then US passports in the queue at Dulles. When I flew to LHR, it was the same. I had to wait 2 hours in line and the immigration officer asked me few questions on why I'm in London and how long I'll be here. When I entered back to the USA, the officer said "Welcome back home and I hope you had a wonderful time in the UK" and stamped my passport. But then again, the other flights from Europe also affects the time.

Read da post  Wink You are talking about immigration and not customs. The two are quite different.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 15):
Immigration - Showing passport, dealing with visas.
Customs - The enforcing of imports and exports of goods.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
25 FutureFO : 20 minutes down the toll road and I66. Nope not gonna happen. I used to drive in from Falls Church via 495-267 and there was no way I made it in 20 mi
26 ONTFlyer : On a side note CV990, may I ask what brings you here to the Central Valley? Family? Business? Pleasure? Just wondering because it's always great to h
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