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Overwhelmed about having to fly out of DCA.

2 posts
Overwhelmed about having to fly out of DCA.

I have a layover in DC in a little over a week and I'm doing some research on it because I've never flown out of there before. That's the airport I'm dreading the most because my plane will land in DC at 7:50 and the scheduled departure for my other plane is 8:30. I'll be using American airlines my whole trip to make it easier. I've been doing some digging and from what I gather I'll have to go through security every single time I want to enter a different terminal? I've never heard of that before and it seems excessive considering I would have already gone through security at my initial airport. Am I reading this wrong? Or can you walk between terminals without having to go out of security? If I do have to go through security, I'm doomed with this short layover aren't I?

6 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
73,329 posts
49 reviews
112 helpful votes
1. Re: Overwhelmed about having to fly out of DCA.

There’s an airside shuttle between the B and C terminals. You don’t need to clear security again.

2 posts
2. Re: Overwhelmed about having to fly out of DCA.

Thank god. Thank you! I'm not as nervous now.

Reston, Virginia
Level Contributor
675 posts
3. Re: Overwhelmed about having to fly out of DCA.

And there's a good chance you won't have to switch terminals too, the majority of American's flights land in terminal C(American airlines only) and only a few fly from B (which also has Jetblue), so there's a good chance both your flights will go to C and you won't have to change it all.

Also, while that airline shuttle is an option, if you're flying at a less busy time(pretty much always during pandemic) then just running between the terminals and redoing security might be quicker, DCA is a really small airport, so the distance between the exits of the terminals is short, and once you clear security, you're pretty much already at your gate.

You can use something like this: https://www.tsawaittimes.com/security-wait-times/DCA/Washington-Reagan-National- and if it's less than 5 mins, or if you just missed a shuttle then you can consider just redoing security I guess

Edited: March 22, 2021, 6:31 am
Tacoma, Washington
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
17,122 posts
2 reviews
1 helpful vote
4. Re: Overwhelmed about having to fly out of DCA.

Look at the flights you are coming in in and going out from at the same day and time and see where they come in and out from.

Ifthesesre both small American eagle crop dusters you likely aren’t changing terminals.

There are actually 5 terminals

A is separate on the south side as southwest primarily

B delta, United, Alaska

B/C Jet blue and American

C American

Opening next months is an extension terminal off C for crop dusters. It used to be you have to be bused out from 35X for American eagle flights


They are doing xo struction. There are supposed to have inside security terminal connections after thisis done.

Fairfax County...
Level Contributor
3,663 posts
26 reviews
11 helpful votes
5. Re: Overwhelmed about having to fly out of DCA.

If you post your flight numbers for both AA flights, some frequent flyers in this forum may be able to tell you whether these two flights are "usually" at the same terminal. With a 40 minutes connection time, chances are they are in the same terminal. AA does not want too many passengers missing their flights either, much more paper work.

6. Re: Overwhelmed about having to fly out of DCA.

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