View Full Version : Need information about Dulles Airport

05-07-2001, 09:34 AM
We are going to WDW in Oct. We live equally close to both Phila. & BWI airports. Had planned to travel from one of those, but the prices out of Philly for the good traveling times are around 239 & up. Most $187 fares are connecting flights or leaving for Orlando at night. I want to go early in the morning & come home in the evening. I looked at Dulles and almost all of their flights are direct and they have a lot of choices of flight times. Both Delta & USAir fly from there. Right now the fares from Dulles are $201. I was hoping for around $185. I don't know anything about dulles. We are not frequent travellers, so I hate to book now, only to have the price go down. I don't know if we would use the travel vouchers. My SIL says that Dulles doesn't have a good "on time" record. Any other thoughts or advice on this airport, or when I should buy my airline tickets??? TIA.

05-07-2001, 10:41 AM
Not sure about the overall "on-time" record but I can say that on the Boston/Dulles route, both myself and colleagues have experienced pretty regular delays and cancelations.

It's a frequent commuter flight though and I think a lot of times they simply cancel flights that aren't full and combine with the next one. Of course, that's not what they tell you at the gate but it sure is what it looks like;)

That's just one route though so who knows. And Boston's not exactly the model for "on-time" flying so part of the problem could be with the receiving airport as well.

As an airport in general I think Dulles is fine. Nothing fancy but not bad. I would offer one tip though. Allow a little extra time for getting out to the gates. In that regard I think they're slower than most. The "shuttles" that transfer you between gate areas seem to wait a bit too long between departures making for some tense moments if you haven't built in some extra time.

In general, lately I've been flying as early in the morning as possible and its eems to work pretty well to reduce delays. Could just be luck though ;)

05-07-2001, 12:47 PM
The airfare has gone up $24 for the tickets we wanted since January. My DH flies from Dulles constantly. He does not experience delays more often than any other airport. The only delay recently was for a good reason -- an elderly woman fell out of her wheelchair while bording the plane. They had to wait for the paramedics to come help her before anybody could board.

05-07-2001, 01:20 PM
I'm a bit confused by your question. You started off talking about Philadelphia (PHL) and BWI, and then you were asking about Dulles (IAD). I think you meant BWI (Baltimore-Washington Airport). It is important to note that US Airways flights from PHL are US Airways flights, while US Airways flights from BWI are Metrojet flights; that may make a difference to you.

05-07-2001, 01:29 PM
Sorry my post was confusing. I tend to ramble!!! I understand the difference in US Air vs. Metrojet and Phila & BWI. I had only considered flying from those 2 airports b/c that's what I've always used. I am not that much farther from Dulles (IAD), so I started looking there when I wanted to find the cheapest way to go. I know nothing about Dulles & thought I could get some good info from DIS'ers. Thanks.

05-07-2001, 03:28 PM
I don't know about connecting vs. direct flights when comparing Dulles and BWI, but usually the flights are much cheaper out of BWI. My parents live 10 minutes from Dulles, but almost always go to BWI for significant savings.

JandD Mom
05-07-2001, 03:57 PM
If you live closer to BWI, did you look into Southwest? They are usually cheaper.

The problem with Dulles, from someone who has lived in both the Philadelphia and DC areas, is that it is on the FAR side of DC, in Virginia. You have to go through a substantial amount of traffic to make an early flight, or go the night before and stay over at a hotel. DC has a very early and heavy rush hour and you will have to drive through all of it. If I lived north of DC I would not rush to get a flight out of Dulles.

05-07-2001, 04:19 PM
I've found that the best fares usually don't appear this far in advance. Right now the airlines are trying to fill up their seats for the summer. Usually the big "fare sale" for fall travel happens in July and August. That being said, I would definitely choose BWI over either Dulles or PHI. BWI usually has a better variety of discount airfares and is generally a much easier airport to get in and out of.

Beverly Lynn
05-07-2001, 05:32 PM
have you also checked the fares from National airport too? (I know ronald reagen airport) they have non stops from here as well. IAD has no more delays or cancellations than any of the other major hubs for carriers. and remember this one thing too its not always the airport that you are leaving from it can also be due to a problem at the airport that you are to arrive into. if they have a lot of air traffic then that can tie you up from departing on time from where you are. as for buying your tkt for OCT and getting all ansty about the fare...they haven't even finished with the summer fares let along hit the fall sales. if you are that nervous aobut buying a tkt and have to do it now then buy it at the current fare and then get the voucher when it goes down. heck I am flying in sep and haven't bought my tkt yet. and I don't plan on it until jul or aug when the fare goes down to the fare I want to pay. am I nervous about waiting that long? nope, not one bit. I know how they work and how inventory is and I know I still have time. for my flight last dec I waited until oct 17 to buy my tkt and I waS TRAVELING DEC 1...why cause thats when the fare of 145 per person came out. while my friend Dizzydi here went and bought hers before me and paid 241 per tkt for the exact same flights. now tell me who was smarter? and saved more?
you can buy it now in a rush or you can wait a bit more. its your choice. let me know if you need help looking for air, I would be more than happy to help you out.

05-07-2001, 08:16 PM
Beverly Lynn--If I'm leaving D.C. for Orlando Dec. 14th and returning Dec. 21st, will I do better to wait until Fall? That was my plan, but I'm wondering if I'm traveling too close to Christmas.


Beverly Lynn
05-07-2001, 10:17 PM
since you are traveling the 21st return that books sort of early.....I would book that early. the outbound date you are ok on its the return date that would give you the problem!

05-07-2001, 10:37 PM
So I should book a one-way return flight early and then later book a one-way departing flight?

05-08-2001, 10:13 AM
We are going to WDW at the end of Aug, returning 1st Sep. We are flying out of Dulles for 2 reasons, it's closest(we live in Reston) and United offered the best fare. 150.10 r/t., direct. It was/is thier summer fling fare(or someting like that). The next best was USAIRWAYS for 172 r/t. Dulles or national. I haven't checked but I "heard that the fares have gone up a bit, but still 180 r/t isn't to bad.