Dulles Airport Visitor Guide 2021: Everything you need to know

Published by: Bounce1 July, 2022

While it may be known as the Washington Dulles International Airport or Washington Dulles in short, Dulles Airport is over twenty miles west of the capital's Downtown and falls within the state of Virginia. 

After the site for the airport had finally been chosen in the late 1950s, it took another four years before it was fully operational and the dedication ceremony by the then president, John F Kennedy, was performed. The traffic on the airport's four runways has increased a thousandfold since the 1960s and now accommodates aircraft used by over twenty-four million passengers annually.

There's only one main terminal at Dulles Airport, but it has a staggering one-hundred and thirty-nine gates spread out along five concourses on two different levels. It's a massive complex and to get around in it you need to use either the pedestrian walkways or the Aerotrain. There's plenty to investigate on all the concourses, so leave your bags in a luggage locker at Dulles Airport then set off to explore.

Bag policy at Dulles Airport

There are the same levels of security maintained at Dulles Airport as there are at every airport and transportation hub worldwide. They mean you are unable to leave your personal baggage unattended at any time while you are in the facility. Liquids stored in your hand luggage must be removed before the security check area and placed in a sealable, transparent plastic bag with a capacity of one liter only. All liquid containers must be 100ml in size or less or you will be asked to dispose of them before passing through security and heading to the departure lounges.

Food policy at Dulles Airport

Each individual concourse inside the terminal at Dulles Airport has a selection of cafeterias, restaurants, and stores. There are more shops on concourse B than on the others so go there if you're in the mood for some retail therapy before your flight. For a bigger choice of eateries, go to concourse D where you'll find a gourmet market, a Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Wao Bao, and the Atelier Bistro. Every outlet has its own opening hours and many close for business in the early evening so don't leave it too late before deciding where to go for your dinner.  

Camera policy at Dulles Airport

You can use your camera at Dulles International Airport, though whether or not you'll be able to find a subject interesting enough to encourage you to take your camera out of its case is another thing. Dulles Airport is more interesting externally than it is internally. Taking a shot inside without including an unknown member of the public in it, part of the check-in desks, security areas or gates would be difficult. Save your camera battery until you reach your destination and if you must, take a selfie with your phone. It'll be a lot less complicated.

Rules at Dulles Airport

Dulles International Airport is a pet-friendly airport and dogs are welcome so long as they are kept on a leash at all times. There are specific pet relief areas, but if your pup makes a mess somewhere other than there, you will be obliged to clean it up. General good conduct is expected of everyone using the airport. Any misconduct or harassment of other passengers will be swiftly dealt with by security staff. Smoking is prohibited inside the terminal building as well as ten feet from the entrances. There are smoking lounges after security for the use of departing passengers by the gates on all concourses.

Lockers at Dulles Airport

There are no luggage storage facilities inside the Dulles International Airport terminal building. Unless your airline check-in opens earlier than usual and will accept your baggage, you'll need to store your stuff off-site.

If you want to take a tour around the sights in Washington DC or go shopping in the Dulles Town Center mall before your flight, you'll find the Bounce luggage lockers near Dulles Airport are ideally located. Drop your bags at a Bounce suitcase storage site and you'll pay just a minimal daily charge for each bag. That fee includes comprehensive insurance coverage as well as a security tag to seal your bag with. Once you've left your bags, you'll be free to do whatever you want until it's time for your flight.

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