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Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

Jupiter, Florida
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Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

Looking at flights to Washington DC, would it be better to fly into Dulles or Reagan National? I heard if you fly into Reagan National you have to fly along the river which leads to the plane weaving back and forth.

My options are Spirit into DCA or Jet Blue into Dulles.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

It is much easier and much less expensive to go into DC from Reagan.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

If you are not a big fan of flying, yes, a trip in and out of Reagan can be hairy! If you are traveling in from downriver, that is not so bad, but I don't know how you would know from which direction you would be landing before hand.

I almost got sick on take off once as we careened back and forth along the Potomac headed upstream. Can't disturb those McLean, Great Falls and Potomac residents in their kazillion dollar homes!

National is obvious if you are going to be staying in D.C . and need to rely on public transportation. I have heard the flights in and out of Dulles can be cheaper, but I don't know that for sure-someone I know well who flies a lot says she typically gets better deals out of Dulles.

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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3. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

I think the approach along the river is beautiful. Last trip, we passed right near people wind surfing.

I didn't notice any unusual weaving.

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4. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

I've flown in and out of DCA dozens of times with no more weaving or turbulence than any other airport (including IAD). Since it is exponentially more convenient to the District, I think that's a no brainer if the price is at all close. And you do get a gorgeous view of the city coming in along the river (courtesy of security routing more than the expensive homes in the 'burbs).

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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5. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

I'm going to throw something else into the mix here...while I would go DCA in a heartbeat over Dulles (and have never noticed any "weaving" while flying to and from for years now) I would have concerns about Spirit only because the media and Internet seem to be full of horror stories about them these days. They seem to be pulling out of some routes and leaving some people stranded on others.

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

I think this weaving is only upon takeoff UP river. If you are lucky to be landing from the south, yes, you are right over the river south of Woodrow Wilson. Upstream is beyond the fall line where the river narrows and twists. Maybe it was for me, that particular flight based on the current weather conditions too, but I have known others to say, UGH re. takeoff upstream.

Maybe they have become a little more lax on the flight patterns. They used to be required to stay right over the Potomac to keep the noise down.

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

The landing approach is the way it is cause planes can not enter the restricted air space around the Pentagon and Bolling Air Force Base.

Arlington, Virginia
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for Washington DC
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8. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

I would definitely recommend DCA over IAD, however, Jet Blue is a great airline. It's nice to have the slightly larger seat and personal screen with DirecTV. Since you have a relatively short flight, though, I'd probably still recommend going into DCA.

Jupiter, Florida
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9. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

So flying into Dulles is less scary? How much farther away is it from the city and how much will a taxi cab cost from there?

I use to be fine with flying but had a few bad experiences, one being a take off in a feeder band of a tropical storm. Now I am a little nervous when I fly. It doesn't stop me from traveling though.

Thanks for the information!

Arlington, Virginia
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for Washington DC
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10. Re: Fly into Dulles or Reagan National?

I am not the best flyer either, but I've honestly never noticed a difference flying into Dulles or Reagan. A taxi from Dulles will cost about $50-60 or will take about an hour on public transportation. Reagan is on the metro just a couple miles into the city - about $15 by cab. It's definitely easier, cheaper and more convenient.