Washington Dulles Airport

Customer Reviews

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Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 246 reviews
3/10
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5/10

"sloppy protecting passenger information"

(United States)

Verified Review | Customs is sloppy protecting passenger information. Some airlines (Turkish) hand out custom forms to be filled out prior to arrival. Customs at Dulles doesn’t want/need paper but has set up small trash can for everyone to dispose of their paper copy that now contains names, addresses and Date of Birth. This should be protected (PII) and shredded. Brought to attention of supervisor Officer, she was disinterested in the problem and stopped me from retrieving my paper customs form that she placed in open trash can. Need to establish a Secure disposal of these forms!
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitOctober 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"waited, waited, and waited"

(United States)

Verified Review | My husband and I landed at Dulles airport on Oct. 14 from Morocco on Royal Air Maroc business class flight AT0218 at 7.55 pm and encountered a chaotic and rude 45 minute wait to get through US customs. I've been traveling for 20 years from all over the world and have never encountered this kind of confusion and inefficiency. I was always proud of our customs dept and loved to hear "Welcome Home" from the polite and efficient agents. Not this time! Unlike in the past, when US Citizens were separated from everyone else (including green card holders), and received priority treatment and less wait time, we were herded through a process with green card holders and visitors who did NOT read the signs about where their line was NOR were asked to leave the lines by the kids (if any of them were 21 years old I'd be amazed) who were supposedly manning the line. These T-shirted tots were rude, unhelpful and clearly had no clue as to what they were doing. When I asked for an explanation as to why visitors were in our line they had no answer, when I asked to speak to a supervisor I had to wait 5 minutes for him and he was as young, dumb and rude as the rest of the T-shirt brigade. After snaking through this line for 20 minutes, I noticed some of the T-Shirters letting people through to the front of the line. When I asked about that I was told they had "used the app" so they got to go to the head of the line while everyone else who were uninformed about this app (there were no signs advertising the app) waited, waited, and waited. When I got to the agent at the desk, he was older but just as ill-informed and defensive about the mess as the T-shirt tots. Finally, got through the line/passport inspection and met up with a uniformed official (and a polite adult) who attempted to explain the situation. He acknowledged that the people with the app should not have been shown to the front as it was unfair since there was no signs saying that with the app you could jump the line, and then he explained that for just $100 a year (each) we could avoid all the mess altogether. Wow! We're now supposed to pay a couple hundred dollars (even after paying US taxes) for the privilege of not waiting in lines with these desk agents. A beacon of Democracy or an example of American exceptionalism your name is not Dulles airport!
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
7/10

"things have much improved"

(United States)

Verified Review | Washington Dulles has a long history of problems owing mainly to ongoing construction and an ill-conceived layout that is hostage to the airport's status as an architectural icon. Things have much improved. Flying domestic first class on United gives us privileges not available to all, but even economy check-in was efficient and free of lines at the time we checked-in (admittedly, not at rush hour). TSA Pre-check is efficient, especially for members of Clear; all Washington-area airports have Clear available. Trains to the concourses are frequent and efficient. One serious drawback is the long slog from the Concourse C AeroTrain station and the actual terminal because the train station is where the anticipated permanent concourse will be - some day. There is no train service to Concourse D, leaving passengers to go by the original mobile lounge system the operates reasonably well. Concourse C/D is a "temporary" concourse constructed in the 1980s and not really suitable for the large passenger volume it must handle. Nevertheless, passenger amenities have improved considerably of late, with the addition of several higher-quality full-service restaurants. Passenger amenities in Concourse A/B are much better. Boarding at C/D is cramped, although well-organized by United. As far as field operations are concerned, Dulles is among the country's better airports, with a runway structure and field size that seldom leads to delays. Walking distances on the concourses can be quite long.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMay 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
7/10

"close to 10 pm almost everything was closed"

(United States)

Verified Review | Well I arrived to Washington Dulles airport at 8:45pm April 30th and I was hungry and I need it a place to charge my phone. I was walking in Gate A and B. Gate B had a lot of stores and restaurants but I noticed that most restaurants and stores are about to close. I rushed to get some food at Wendy's and charged my phone. after 30 minutes they kicked me out. Anyway close to 10 pm almost everything was closed. My next flight at 6:30 am. So I finish my sandwich and charged my phone and found place that will be comfortable. This airport at night is basically nothing. Pros - not a lot pf people, free and good WiFi, clean, staff are friendly and a lot of places to charge your phone. Cons - not a lot of food choices (compared JFK, LA, Miami, Atlanta airports) and is very dead at night. Nothing to do. No shopping, no bars.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMay 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
5/10

"Satisfactory airport"

(United States)

Verified Review | Transferred on United. Satisfactory airport. Complete with smoking areas, and many boarding gates. Few seating areas, especially if traveling on large, long-range flights. Terminal was very long, beware, especially if transferring from D to C gates. Wide range to food places available.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitFebruary 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
7/10

"have had mixed experiences with Dulles"

(Austria)

I have had mixed experiences with Dulles. Some times, international arrival was pleasant with no lines at immigration. This time, more than one hour wait at immigration due to small number of officers. Immigration officer was very friendly. After immigration, additional 40 min wait in the queue to get a taxi. A few days later, domestic departure was fine. Check-in in less than 5 mins, no wait at security on a late Saturday morning. Plenty of seats at gate and free wifi worked fine. C/D concourses had adequate food options. Directions/signs inside the terminals are easy to understand.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitNovember 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
2/10

"terrible, stressful, time consuming"

(United States)

The capital of the US deserves a different airport operation for people arriving into this wonderful country. The facilities issues at Washington Dulles can't be fixed quickly but the staff training should be addressed ASAP. The arrival hall is too small for the number of people that need to be processed, the lines are long, the security staff have an attitude that has nothing to do with service and getting the job done, where is the positive psychology needed? They are unclear on what they need you to do, they tell you this is a metal detector and that you should have told someone that you have metal in your body, doing a pat down seems a big deal. There were no supervisors helping this very stressed group of not well trained staff. It's appalling. Please send your operations manager to Heathrow or any other airport to learn how it's done. Dulles needs to get it right as the gateway airport to the US capital. It took us 2.5 hours to get to our connecting flight. Terrible, stressful, time consuming experience, will avoid at all costs.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitOctober 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"most inefficient, poorly run airport"

(United States)

Washington Dulles is the most inefficient, poorly run airport I have been to to date. I landed here after an international flight, and the customs line was a nightmare. Employees were incompetent, did not seem to care about the ridiculous lines that were forming, and did not know how to use the computer systems. It was the most hectic airport that I have been to, there was absolutely no rhyme or reason for anything being done. This not only was very frustrating but does not make me feel comfortable with the safety of this airport. I will be doing everything to avoid the Washington Dulles airport from this point on.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitSeptember 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
6/10

"not great, but not bad either"

(United States)

Verified Review | As some other commenters have noted, Dulles was designed for a different model of operations than most subsequent airports, and the efforts to integrate the design of the airport with current practices can be very awkward. Dulles is a distinctive airport in many ways, so much so that it presents significantly different experiences, based on the particular type of flight you're on, as I'll elaborate on below. For the aspects of travel that are universal regardless of type of flight (check-in, security, parking, etc.), it's decent overall. The new(-ish) train is a big improvement on the old "mobile lounges" (which are still used to concourse D, though), I've had mostly pleasant and efficient experiences with check-in, and have even been pleasantly surprised by the speed at security on some occasions. For getting to the airport via car, you definitely need to be aware of traffic and plan travel times accordingly - I've had many painless experiences, but if it's around rush hour, beltway traffic can be ghastly (though the Dulles Access Road itself is usually fine). For domestic flights, Dulles has the best selection of non-stop long-haul flights of the 3 DC-area airports, and it's generally an acceptable experience, concourse A/B is a lot nicer than C/D, though. For myself, if it's a choice between a non-stop from Dulles or a flight with a connection from another airport, I'll take the non-stop from Dulles; if the choice of flight is otherwise equivalent, though, both BWI and DCA are more pleasant options. For departing international flights, the experience is essentially like that for domestic flights - not great, but not bad either. For arriving international flights with Dulles as the final destination, it's below average. The mobile lounges to get to immigration & customs are always inconvenient and almost invariably crowded. I've had both good and bad experiences with the speed of immigration and customs, but the wait for luggage is usually short (if immigration is slow, there might be no wait at all). Since Dulles has the vast majority of international flights of the DC-area airports, if DC is one's point of origin/destination, there usually isn't a choice about which airport to arrive at. For arriving international flights when DC is NOT the final destination, avoid Dulles at (almost) any cost. The slowness and inconvenience of the mobile lounges, unpredictable time for immigration/customs, and the possible need to then take another train/bus to get to the concourse for your connecting flight must be incredibly stressful. To summarize: Dulles is acceptable for domestic flights and international departures, below-average for international arrivals with Dulles as final destination, and to be avoided if at all possible for international arrivals with subsequent connections.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJuly 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"cumbersome painful to a nightmare"

(United States)

I moved to DC 3 years ago and have used Dulles more than a dozen times. The international operation is the worst I've ever seen in any civilized country. Coming into Dulles from abroad ranges from cumbersome painful to a nightmare. The whole thing is a hymn to inefficiency and unreasonable design: first people are stuck until saturation into the oddest transportation buses I'm aware of to transfer to another terminal. After many hours of traveling the packing and smell and everything is the least welcoming feeling possible. And one wonders if this is just by coincidence, as to GET to the terminal there is a civilized underground train! That apparently only works in one direction! Then the customs! I've spent between 1 (at least) to more than 5 hours to go through customs. Having a H1B usually my interaction time with the TSA officer is about 10 minutes, so the rest is just standing in line. And after luggage collection, another control (for what?) that can take another 5-60 minutes. I never came out of Dulles with less than one and half hour after getting to the gate. Coming and going for 3 years I'm always hoping that this can only be temporary, there is no way the capital of the US can have such an inefficient, outdated and outright disorganized airport (yes, disorganized, the airport people knows how many flights are coming with how many people, why don't they get enough officers to get things working properly?). But nothing changes. Right now I'm waiting for my wife and our 4 month old kid. They landed 4 hours ago, and no one knows what in earth is happening inside. There is people around waiting for 3-4 hours as well. No official or voluntary personnel answers any question, and there are no instances or authorities to recur too. I travel through JFK, Newark, Boston, LAX, Baltimore, and nothing, but nothing, compares to this.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitAugust 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no