Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport [DCA] — Ultimate Terminal Guide

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Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is in the minority of U.S. airports that has not seen any growth in passenger numbers over recent years.

DCA is referred to as the short-haul airport of Washington, D.C, due to its 1,250-mile perimeter for destinations. Only flights to domestic destinations and a select few airports in Canada are served from DCA, so the airport does not have any customs or immigration facilities.

Quick Info

Airport: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
Terminals: 2 terminals — A and B/C
Airport Address: 2401 Smith Blvd., Arlington, VA 22202
Distance From Downtown Washington: 4 miles (6.5 km)
Website: flyreagan.com
Phone Number: 703-417-8000
Passengers Served: 23.5 million annually
Destinations: 98 destinations across the U.S. and Canada
Flight Information: Departures and arrivals info can be found here

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Map
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Map. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Airlines Operating From DCA

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Route Map
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport route map. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Terminal A

Terminal B/C

DCA Airport Terminal

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminals
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminals. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

DCA is laid out in the shape of a J, consisting of 2 terminals and 4 concourses. At the bottom curve of the J is Terminal A, with a semi-circle shaped terminal building and 1 concourse.

Terminal B/C is situated up the long side of the J, with the 3 concourses evenly distributed along the full length (inside the secure area). Both terminals are served by public access roads for curbside pick-up and drop-off and have parking garages situated outside.

Terminal A

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminal A 1
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminal A. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Terminal A is the smaller of the 2 terminals with flights operated by Air Canada, Frontier, and Southwest Airlines. The terminal consists of 1 level, and the far end of the curve is where the ticketing desks and baggage areas are situated. Following the curve around, passengers will find a USA Lounge, conference center, and access to the underground walkway to the parking lot.

The concourse is only accessible for passengers as there is a security checkpoint at the entrance. There are 9 gates numbered 1-9 located in the rotunda and a small selection of shops and restaurants just after security.

Hot Tip: Dreading the security lines? Explore our guide on how to breeze through TSA security stress-free. 

Terminal B/C

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminal B/C
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminal B/C. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Terminal B/C is split over 3 levels — level 1 is baggage claim and has access to some ground transportation services outside, level 2 is the departures level with access to the individual concourses, and level 3 is ticketing.

A large parking garage is outside of the terminal with access via a pedestrian bridge on level 2, which also provides access to the Metro station.

Security checkpoints are located at the entrance of each concourse, so passengers must re-clear security again if they choose to move around and utilize facilities at another.

On level 2 outside of the entrances to the individual concourses, there is a huge selection of shops and restaurants that passengers can make use of before clearing security for their flight.

Concourse B

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Gates 10 22
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Concourse B. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines operate from gates 10-22 at the south end of Terminal B/C. Once passengers have cleared security, gates 10, 11, 12, and 14 are to the right, along a passage with moving walkways, a United Club Lounge, cafe, and a bar.

Straight ahead from the security checkpoint are gates 15-22, a Delta Sky Club, and a small selection of shops and eateries.

Concourse B/C

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Gates 23 34
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Concourse B/C. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Concourse B/C (for gates 23-34) is situated off the center of the terminal, with flights operated by American Airlines and JetBlue.

An Admirals Club is located just after security, and the concourse has a good range of shops and restaurants.

American Airlines runs a shuttle service between this concourse and Concourse C for passengers looking to connect without exiting the secure area. The shuttle departs from near gate 23 and operates daily from 3:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Concourse C

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Gates 35 45
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Concourse C

Concourse C is located at the north end of the airport and only American Airlines operates from the 13 gates numbered 35-43, 43C, 44, 44C, and 45.

An Admirals Club is located on level 3, and there’s a good selection of shops and restaurants on level 2. The American Airlines connection shuttle operates from near gate 38, transporting passengers to Concourse B/C without the need to re-clear security.

Inter-Terminal Transport

Terminal Shuttle Bus (Outside the Secure Area)

Passengers can move between the terminals outside of the secure area by riding the terminal shuttle bus. Buses pick-up and drop-off on level 3 outside of Terminal B/C and outside of the terminal building for Terminal A.

American Airlines Shuttle Bus (Inside the Secure Area)

American Airlines operates a shuttle bus between Concourse B/C and Concourse C. Passengers connecting between flights may ride the shuttle and are not required to re-clear security on arrival.

Shuttles operate daily from 3:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. between gates 23 and 38.

Walking

Terminal A and Terminal B/C are connected via a walkway near the conference rooms in Terminal A to near the Concourse B security checkpoint. The walkway is outside of the secure area.

Security and Customs at DCA

DCA has 4 security checkpoints — 1 in Terminal A and 3 in Terminal B/C.

The Terminal A checkpoint opens at 4:30 a.m. and the B/C checkpoints open at 4 a.m. All close at the last scheduled departure.

TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck lanes are available at all 4 security checkpoints for eligible participants.

DCA has a TSA PreCheck Enrollment Center located in Terminal B/C near baggage claim 6, open Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Global Entry Program

DCA does not participate in Global Entry as the airport only has a limited number of international flights, and immigration and customs are conducted at the point of origin.

Mobile Passport

Mobile passport is also not accepted at DCA with a limited number of international flights.

CLEAR

There are dedicated CLEAR Security Program kiosks at all 4 security checkpoints at DCA. These are available from 4 a.m. – 8 p.m with enrollment also possible at all security checkpoints.

A CLEAR fast lane is also available at the Hertz rental car center and is open 24/7, although enrollment is not possible here.

DCA Airport Lounges

5 lounges are available for passengers at DCA, with the 2 Admirals Clubs and United Club offering paid day pass access.

LoungeLocationOpening HoursDay Pass Fee per Person**
Admirals ClubConcourse C, upper level after securityDaily: 5:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.$59
Concourse B/C, upper level after security, near gate 24Temporarily closed
Delta Sky ClubConcourse B, upper level after security, near gate 15Sunday-Friday: 5 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday: 5 a.m. – 6 p.m.
N/A
United ClubConcourse B, opposite gate 11Daily: 5:15 a.m. – 8:15 p.m.$59
USO LoungeTerminal A, opposite lost and found (outside security)Daily: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.N/A

*Hours are subject to change without notice. Lounge access may be restricted at times due to capacity.
**Day pass for any passenger. Lounges marked as N/A only allow entry for eligible passengers in their premium cabins, frequent flyer programs, or participating credit card programs.

Hot Tip: Gain access to lounges without paying the day pass fee with these credit cards that offer complimentary airport lounge access.

Priority Pass Access

There are no airline lounges that accept Priority Pass at DCA, but members may use their membership to receive money off their bills at:

  • American Tap Room, located in Concourse C near gate 38
  • Bracket Room, located in Concourse B near gate 12

If you’re considering membership, then read our guide on Priority Pass memberships and the best credit cards for complimentary Priority Pass access.

Dining and Drinks at DCA

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Shops and Restaurants
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport shops and restaurants. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

It’s unusual for an airport to have so many choices outside of the secure area, but DCA has a huge selection of restaurants, cafes, and fast food in the national hall of Terminal B/C.

Each individual concourse also has a small selection when passengers have cleared security.

DCA Wi-Fi and Charging Points

Free Wi-Fi is provided for passengers in the terminal and concourse areas. To connect, select “FlyReagan” and input your email address and zip code when prompted. For any assistance, passengers may email [email protected]

Charging Stations: Free charging points are available throughout the airport, in restaurants, at the departure gates, and baggage claim areas.

Hot Tip: Not all airports offer free Wi-Fi. If you don’t want to worry about being disconnected, think about investing in a mobile hotspot to keep you connected. 

DCA Airport Lost and Found

DCA’s lost and found office is located in Terminal A outside the secure area and is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Passengers may contact the office by completing this form or phoning 703-417-0110.

If an item is left on an aircraft, then passengers must contact the applicable airline.

If an item is lost at a security checkpoint, then passengers must contact TSA lost and found.

Additional Airport Information

Information Services

Information desks are staffed by Travelers Aid volunteers and are open:

  • Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Sunday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

These information desks can be found at:

  • Terminal A, in between baggage claim and the security checkpoint
  • Terminal B/C, at the south and north areas of baggage claim and in the national hall on the departures level between Concourse B and Concourse B/C

Blue courtesy telephones are also located throughout the airport connecting directly to the information desks.

Children’s Play Areas

Unfortunately, DCA doesn’t have a children’s play area, which is why it hasn’t made the top 10 most kid-friendly airports in the U.S.

Baby Facilities

DCA has 3 nursing rooms located at:

  • Terminal A, just before the security checkpoint
  • Terminal B/C near the restrooms between Tumi and Viaggio (2 nursing rooms)

Traveling with a Pet

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Pet Relief Areas
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport pet relief areas. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

DCA has 5 pet relief areas located at:

  • Terminal A:
    • After the security checkpoint
    • Either end of the overhang
  • Terminal B/C:
    • Near the south entrance of the Metrorail station
    • Near the north entrance of the Metrorail station

Duty Free

DCA has 2 duty-free shops located at Concourse A, after the security checkpoint, and Concourse C, near gate 35X.

Smoking Areas

Smoking is only permitted outside of the terminals, at least 10 feet from the doorways where ashtrays are provided.

Money

ATMs are located throughout the airport, and foreign currency services are available in the national hall near the entrance to Concourse C.

Luggage Storage

Baggage storage is not provided by the airport but is available through an external company BagHop. You’ll find BagHop on the baggage level of Terminal B/C between doors 5 and 6.

Important DCA Phone Numbers

Customer Service: 703-417-8000

Parking: 703-417-7275

Lost and Found: 703-417-0110

Travel to and From DCA

Transport Options

Bus

Greyhound buses don’t serve the airport directly, but passengers can access services from the Greyhound terminal behind Union Station. To reach Union Station, passengers can ride the Metro yellow line directly from the airport.

Charter buses are only permitted to operate from outside Terminal B/C on the upper level, and off-airport shuttles such as hotel shuttles may stop at both terminals. At Terminal B/C, this is in the same location as charter buses, and for Terminal A, this is from the middle curb.

Train 

The Metrorail system serves destinations across Washington, Virginia, and Maryland, including a stop at DCA. The airport station is on an elevated level, connected to Terminal B/C via walkways from the terminal building.

The yellow and blue lines stop at DCA, serving downtown Washington, D.C. and many other destinations across the city.

Taxi

Taxis are available 24/7 from the airport, and a DCA customer service representative will assist passengers. Taxis at Terminal A park up at the closest curb to the terminal, and at Terminal B/C, they can be found outside of baggage claim door number 5. Fares to downtown are around $20, excluding tip.

Rideshare

Lyft, Uber, and Via operate from DCA and may pick-up passengers at these designated areas:

  • Terminal A: from the furthest curb
  • Terminal B/C: at the baggage claim curb (level 1) or ticketing curb (level 3)
  • Rental car center: on National Avenue across from the rental car bus stop

Directions by Car to DCA

Arriving From Downtown Washington, D.C.

Head down 14th Street NW/US-1 S and merge onto I-395 S towards Richmond. Take exit 10B for George Washington Memorial Parkway S towards Reagan National Airport/Mt. Vernon and continue straight on George Washington Memorial Parkway until you reach the airport’s West Entrance Road.

Arriving From Baltimore

Take MD-295 S and keep left to stay on Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Continue on MD-201 and then on to MD-295. Take the right 2 lanes to exit 1B-C towards I-695/Route 395/Downtown and keep right on I-695. Merge onto I-395 S and then take exit 10B for George Washington Memorial Parkway S towards Reagan National Airport/Mt. Vernon and continue straight until you reach the airport’s West Entrance Road.

DCA Airport Parking Information

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Parking
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport parking. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Official Airport Parking

DCA has 4 parking areas around the airport, with over 8,800 spaces available.

Short-Term Parking

The terminal A, B, and C parking garages are located outside of their respective terminals and are connected by walkways. Terminal A garage is connected to the terminal via an underground pedestrian tunnel, and the terminal B and C garages are connected to the terminal via bridge walkways.

The terminal shuttle bus stops outside of each parking lot as well as each terminal.

The 3 parking lots have the same parking fees:

  • Up to 1 hour: Free (while the cell phone waiting lot is closed)
  • Hourly (after the first hour): $6
  • Daily rate: $25

Hot Tip: Electric charging points are located in on the ground level of garages B and C for passengers looking to charge-up while away.

Long-Term Parking

DCA has an uncovered economy parking lot located a short distance from the terminals with shuttle buses transporting passengers.

Daily parking is charged at $17, with no hourly parking available.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Parking

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminal A Pick up
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminal A pick-up area. Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminal A B Pick up
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Terminal B/C pick-up area, Image Credit: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Visitors picking up passengers may pull over on the furthest curb at Terminal A or the second curb at Terminal B/C.

While the terminal roadway construction takes place, the cell phone waiting lot has been temporarily closed. Visitors can park free for up to 1 hour in the terminal parking lots while the cell phone lot remains closed.

Off-Site and Hotel Parking

With daily parking at DCA costing $17-$25, off-site parking lots can save passengers 50% plus.

Parking for DCA starts at $9 per day when booked with airportparkingreservations.com, and these external parking lots usually include courtesy shuttles to and from the airport.

Parking for Passengers With Disabilities

Parking for passengers with disabilities is available at all official airport parking lots. In the terminal garages, these spaces are located closest to the pedestrian walkways and elevators, and in the economy parking lot, spaces are closest to the shuttle bus stops.

The on-airport shuttle buses are equipped with chairlifts or ramps for wheelchair access.

Parking Contact Number

General Inquiries: 703-417-7275

Car Rental at DCA Airport

The rental car center is on-airport property located on the first floor of terminal garage A.

The following companies are located in the rental car center:

Hot Tip: Avoid paying for expensive insurance by checking out these credit cards that include car rental insurance.

DCA Airport Hotels

Hilton Garden Inn Reagan National Airport
Hilton Garden Inn Reagan National Airport. Image Credit: Hilton

There’s no accommodation on airport property, but the closest hotels are only a short distance away. As DCA is situated close to downtown Washington, D.C., visitors can explore all the city has to offer while staying near the airport.

HotelAddress and Phone NumberStar RatingDistance From the Airport (Miles)
Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport1999 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-413-5500

30.4
Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport2399 VA-110, Arlington, VA 22202

703-418-6800

30.4
Hampton Inn & Suites Reagan National Airport – Crystal City2000 VA-110, Arlington, VA 22202

703-418-8181

30.5
Hilton Garden Inn Reagan National Airport2020 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-892-1050

30.5
The Westin Crystal City Reagan National Airport1800 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-486-1111

40.5
Americana Hotel1400 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-979-3772

20.6
Courtyard Arlington Crystal City/Reagan National Airport2899 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-549-3434

30.6
Crowne Plaza Crystal City-Washington, D.C1480 Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA 22202

703-416-1600

40.6
Crystal Gateway Marriott1700 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-920-3230

40.6
Holiday Inn National Airport/Crystal City2650 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-684-7200

30.6
Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport2799 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-418-1234

40.6
Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel2800 S. Potomac Ave., Arlington, VA 22202

703-413-1300

40.6
Residence Inn Arlington Capital View2850 S. Potomac Ave., Arlington, VA 22202

703-415-1300

30.6
Embassy Suites Crystal City – National Airport1300 VA-110, Arlington, VA 22202

703-979-9799

40.7
DoubleTree by Hilton Washington DC – Crystal City300 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, VA 22202

703-416-4100

30.8
Residence Inn Arlington Pentagon City550 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, VA 22202

703-413-6630

31
The Ritz Carlton, Pentagon City1250 S. Hayes St., Arlington, VA 22202

703-415-5000

51.1
Sheraton Pentagon City900 S. Orme St., Arlington, VA 22204

703-521-1900

31.8
Canopy By Hilton Washington DC The Wharf975 7th St. SW, Washington, DC 20024

202-488-2500

42
Comfort Inn Pentagon2480 S. Glebe Rd., Bldg. 2, Arlington, VA 22206

703-682-5500

32
Hotel Pentagon2480 S. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22206

703-979-4400

22
InterContinental – Washington D.C. – The Wharf801 Wharf St. SW, Washington, DC 20024

202-800-0844

42

Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf

725 Wharf St. SW, Washington, DC 20024

202-554-1234

 3 2.1
Mandarin Oriental Washington DC1330 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20024

202-554-8588

52.2
Hilton Washington DC National Mall480 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024

202-484-1000

32.3
Days Inn by Wyndham Arlington Pentagon3030 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204

703-521-5570

22.4
Hyatt Place Washington D.C./National Mall400 E. St. SW, Washington, DC 20024

202-803-6110

32.5

Top 3 Hotel Stays Using Points

HotelAddress and Phone NumberStar RatingDistance From the Airport (Miles)Loyalty ProgramRedemption
Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport2799 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-418-1234

40.6World of Hyatt12,000 World of Hyatt points
The Westin Crystal City Reagan National Airport1800 Richmond Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202

703-486-1111

40.5Marriott Bonvoy30,000-40,000 Marriott points
Crowne Plaza Crystal City-Washington, D.C1480 Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA 22202

703-416-1600

40.6IHG Rewards Club35,000 IHG Rewards Club points

The Hyatt Regency Crystal City is great for Hyatt loyalists and those looking to stay close to the airport alike. The hotel has a free airport shuttle that also connects to the local Metro station. Guests can take advantage of the seasonal outdoor pool with a sun deck and whirlpool, a 24-hour fitness center and 3 on-site restaurants. The hotel is a Category 3 Hyatt hotel and redemptions start at 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

The Westin Crystal City is an excellent choice for those who need to stay near the airport. The hotel offers a free shuttle between the hotel, the airport, and the Crystal City Metro station. Those staying at this hotel are also close to a variety of shops and restaurants, including those found at the Crystal City Shops underground mall and the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City shopping complex. As a Category 5 Marriott hotel, award nights cost 30,000 points on off-peak nights, 35,000 points on standard nights, and 40,000 points on peak nights.

Less than a mile from Reagan National Airport, the Crowne Plaza Crystal City offers a free shuttle to and from the airport, as well as an outdoor pool and fitness center. Guests can enjoy breakfast and lunch at the Veranda Cafe and dinners at the Potomac Bar & Grille. Award nights at the hotel start at 35,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night.

Hot Tip:If you’re looking to top off your points to stay at any of these options, see our guides on the best ways to earn more HyattMarriott, or IHG points.

Final Thoughts

DCA is in the middle of a construction project and will soon replace the 3 security checkpoints at Terminal B/C with 2 larger checkpoints.

Instead of these being situated at the entrance of each concourse, they will be re-positioned to the entrance of the national hall, so ticketed passengers would be able to make use of the facilities without having to worry about leaving sufficient time to clear security.

Developments will also include a new 14-gate commuter concourse at the north of the airport that will have a United Club lounge and fantastic views of the city and its famous landmarks.


Frequently asked questions

Why is Reagan Airport called DCA?

DCA is the official airport code for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Is DCA Reagan airport open?

Fligths from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are operating as usual. Construction is taking place at the airport, which is affecting where ground transportation is stopping and the cell phone waiting lot being closed, but the airport is open and operational.

Does Southwest fly to Reagan National Airport?

Southwest Airlines operates out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport from Terminal A.

Which airport is better to fly into DCA or IAD?

Which airport you should fly out of in Washington, D.C. depends entirely on your requirements. DCA is located closer to the city; however, it only serves destinations in the U.S. and Canada, so if you’re looking to fly internationally, then you’ll need to consider Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Can you walk between terminals at DCA?

Terminals A and B/C are connected with a walkway outside of the secure area. If passengers are connecting between flights, then they can walk to their connection but they need to re-clear security at their arrival concourse.

How far is Reagan Airport from the White House?

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is located approximately 4 miles from the White House in Washington, D.C.

How far apart are Dulles and Reagan airports?

Washington Dulles International Airport is around 30 miles away from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

What time does security open at Reagan National Airport?

The Terminal A checkpoint opens at 4:30 a.m. and the B/C checkpoints open at 4 a.m.

What terminal is American Airlines at DCA?

American Airlines operates from Concourse B/C at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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