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Dulles-IAD United crowds

Hi, has anyone flown out/into Dulles on United lately? We're leaving in a week and wondering what the crowds are like. How many hours did you need before the flight for checking-in, security, etc.? We're fully vaccinated and will upload our CDC cards to United 3 days ahead of time as required. As of today, all we need to enter Switzerland is vaccine information and locator forms (completed already).

Posted by
7262 posts

For international flights in this time of pandemic no matter the airport give yourself at least 3 hours.
I base this on my experience flying on United to Zurich from Newark about a month ago.

Posted by
21305 posts

I always allow 3 hours. I'd be allowing more time now if I were flying internationally.

Posted by
4167 posts

3 hours for me too. Depending on what time the flight departs, lines going through security can be long. I find going through security at Dulles to be somewhat hectic and disorganized too, unless you’re TSA Pre. Check-in is no more of a pain than any other airport.

Posted by
65 posts

just got back from a trip using United at Dulles. All was good, went smooth. 2 1/2 - 3 hrs is plenty.

Posted by
205 posts

I had no trouble with the normal two hours in terms of making my flight (Delta out of Atlanta) recently, but for some reason the airport was limiting food options. Literally EVERYTHING closed at 7 pm except McDonalds. There were hundreds of people in the McDonalds line trying to get a meal before an evening flight (not just international flights!) while workers closed up EVERY other food option in the concourse. It was a mess. I got lucky, but anyone who was later than me would have been hard pressed to get a meal before the flight. I didn't need any extra time for security or check in, but I could have used it for the food; with more time I could have gone to the one other option (sit down meal at TGIF), tried another concourse, or at least not been sweating the McDonald's line before my flight. I have never seen that happen in decades of flying out of Atlanta. Even all the Hudson News stores and such were closed, so I couldn't buy snacks.

In short, 3 hours is definitely the best bet. Also, bring your own snacks because I heard a horror story about food options from friends' flights this summer as well.

Posted by
4698 posts

When we arrived into IAD from Europe in late July it was a ghost town.