Washington IAD arrival advice

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  maxgeorge 23 Jun 2017
at 03:52

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  • first_class_please

    I will be traveling to Washington in a couple of weeks. Not been to the US for 5 years and then I arrived via Canada pre clearance.

    Will be on the BA A380 with a 1245 arrival time, in First.

    Any tips / advice / unknown process that could help the arrival speed would be appreciated.


    did this last month, alas Dulles still uses the rather odd scissor coaches to take you from the plane to the arrivals building, and there is no separate one for first or business travellers, I got the tail end of a Saudia flight that landed ahead of the same BA flight you are taking, and there was a dearth of CBP officers, those with previously used ESTA’s were using the machines, I need a US visa (travelled to Sudan) so was given incorrect information by the person offering immigration assistance, (you can use the machines)so took me about an hour to get through….not one of the US’s best arrival experiences.


    I travelled to IAD at the end of May, on the second daily ( late) BA flight. I used the ESTA machine, and was through pretty quick. All passengers had to go through a manual check as well, but this was done quickly. My bag arrived promptly and I was kerbside in under half an hour.A record for IAD.

    I used a local hotel that night, the shuttle took over an hour to arrive, so i lost the time back, win some lose some.

    Top get downtown i took the bus/metro, and was pleasantly surprised how quick i was in central DC, and how cheap it was.

    My return flight was running 3.5 hours late, so I was able to get BA to transfer me to Baltimore flight that was on time. The outbound check in and security here was a breeze. No sure what immigration is like, but my next trip to DC will be via Baltimore.( it is serviced with a 787, so less passengers)


    The international arrivals passport readers will print out a second slip if you’re taking an onward connecting flight.

    Be sure to keep this handy.

    After you’ve slogged through the ICE arrivals check, that slip will enable you to use a TSA priority lane for your departure. This is not dependent on you’re having “TSA PreCheck” status.

    The priority lane still combines with the regular lane for final check by (sole) standard blue shirted goon before you can get airside, but it will save you a lot of time.

    US arrival hassles make Lagos seem like Zurich. I’ve been checked through FNJ faster.

    BUT – pleasant surprise! – on AA into ORD last month I found a “hand baggage only” immigration check.

    Still the same surly martinet behind his desk, but I was through in no time.

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