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October 13, 2009 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Cheapest/easiest way to get from one DC airport to another?

My connecting flights in DC are at two different airports! What is the cheapest/easiest way to get from DCA (Ronald Reagan National Airport) to IAD (Dulles International Airport)?

Flight logistics:

I land at DCA at 2:06 PM

I fly out of IAD at 5:15 PM

This leaves me with 3 hours and 9 minutes to transfer airports (cutting it close, eeek!), what do you all recommend?
posted by luckyme793 to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (10 answers total)
Taxi. It sucks, but good luck. Probably about $50 with washington flier cabs.
posted by princelyfox at 9:51 AM on October 13, 2009

You can take the Metro from DCA to West Falls Church (45 minutes) and then the Washington Flyer bus (20 minutes) for around $20 total.
posted by jacob at 9:53 AM on October 13, 2009

Easiest? A taxi.

Cheapest? Walk over the bridge from DCA to the subway station, take the blue line to Rosslyn, change to the Metrobus 5A to Dulles. Takes an hour and a half to two hours. $4.
posted by rokusan at 9:53 AM on October 13, 2009

You can get there by metro, but it would be cutting the time pretty close. There's a metro stop at National, and you would take the blue line towards Largo to the Rosslyn stop, then transfer and take to Orange line towards Vienna and get off at the West Falls Church stop. That should take about half an hour. There's a Washington Flyer bus that runs between the West Falls Church stop and Dulles and leaves every half hour. The trip total would probably be around $10.

There's also a metro bus that goes between the Rosslyn stop and Dulles, but it only runs every hour.
posted by amarynth at 9:55 AM on October 13, 2009

Here's the schedule for the Washington Flyer shuttle from West Falls Church metro to Dulles.

And here's the schedule for the 5A metro bus that runs between Rosslyn and Dulles.
posted by amarynth at 9:59 AM on October 13, 2009

In this situation, I would I spend the money to take the cab. I am a fan of the Metro and it is certainly cheaper, but there are too many variables (you didn't say what day of the week you're flying, but there are many, many delays on the weekends) and I personally wouldn't want to risk it. I think even the cab may be cutting it close, depending on traffic, though, but I'd feel better doing that than trying to switch from one line to another and then to the shuttle.
posted by darksong at 10:24 AM on October 13, 2009

Agreed, given the time, Metro would take too long just because of all the changes you'd have to make waiting for two different trains, then making the switch over to the shuttle bus. (They're supposedly running a new metro line out to Dulles, but who knows how long that will take. At any rate, it's surely not there now.)

A cab should be fine. While you'll be dealing with some traffic coming out of National, once you get to the Dulles Toll Road, there's a whole separate highway specifically for airport traffic so you'll blow by while the commuters are parked over on the toll portion of the highway.

In case you find anything useful in it, others have confronted this issue before.
posted by Naberius at 11:07 AM on October 13, 2009

Cab it, cab it, cab it. If you're doing this on a weekday, the afternoon rush hour can start as early as 3pm. If you're doing it on a weekend, Metro will yield nothing but trouble in the form of track maintenance delays. The taxi is by far the safest bet.
posted by somanyamys at 12:39 PM on October 13, 2009

Spend the extra money and get a cab. You have three hours and nine minutes to get off your first plane, get your luggage (if you have any), get to another airport, get through security again, and get on another bus at the airport (you'll see). Metro really isn't an option with that kind of timeframe.
posted by bh at 4:40 PM on October 13, 2009

I live in Crystal City, near DCA. Cab to IAD runs $50-$54, so $60 with a decent to nice tip. Which I do, since if I'm flying out of IAD, it's on business.

Security at either airport tends to be a little more asinine than elsewhere (hooray center of government), so I really don't think you have the time for the little Metro annoyance that pop up from time to time and cost you ten minutes.
posted by stevis23 at 7:44 PM on October 13, 2009

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