#189: Dulles International Airport
I used to hate flying in and out of Dulles. I avoided it like it was doing your taxes on a dentist’s chair. But then I realized that Dulles is actually pretty great if you’re flying out of the country. The name of the place is a dead giveaway, but I didn’t fully realized it until 2015, The Year I Learned To Like Dulles.
Here are a few of the things that I learned:
- Dulles is very far, yes, but with all the new transportation options it’s not so bad. I can UberPool to Dulles from my apartment for $35. There’s also the 5A bus which is not a bad option. For $7 the bus will get you out of Dulles and into Rosslyn or L’Enfant Plaza without having to talk to a stranger for an hour. From there you can easily Uber or take a cab to wherever you’e going.
- Planes in Dulles never appear to land at the airport. They always land and then park somewhere in the middle of nowhere. You then have to go from that parking spot through a tunnel to a bus/shuttle and then another tunnel and some stairs before you get to immigration. The key here is to stay by the entrance to the bus/shuttle which becomes the exit into the tunnel. The whole process is terrible but you can make it better by listening to a good song and trying to see how many people on the bus/shuttle you recognize from the flight/departure airport/real life. This is also a good place to be a good Samaritan and say a prayer that those suckers make their connecting flight because most of them will definitely not.
- They have some ok food options including Chipotle. While I do not recommend that you eat Chipotle before a log flight it’s good that they have one there so you can say goodbye to America.
- From Dulles you can fly nonstop to a bunch of places including Dubai, Doha and Istanbul. Right now Turkish Airlines is the cheapest airline ever, which really means that while you can fly nonstop to a bunch of places you will probably end up flying nonstop to Istanbul and then from there to a bunch of places. If you don’t like Dulles yet, Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul will change that.
- It has free WiFi but then again, what airport doesn’t have free WiFi nowadays? Oh, that’s right. Ataturk International Airport doesn’t.
So those are some of the things that I learned about Dulles. The most important thing about Dulles, which I learned many years ago is never to take a domestic flight out of there. You most definitely don’t want to pay $35 and spend 45 minutes in a car to get to an airport to take a two hour flight to Topeka, KS. If you’re going to Topeka, KS, fly out of DCA. If you’re coming to DC from Topeka, KS: welcome; now please stand the f*** on the right.