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BWI vs. DCA (Reagan Nat'l)?

Since our flights did not get booked for our vacation, I'm searching again for a good deal on flights (I searched those for 2 weeks).

We are flying into DC and were originally coming into DCA.  I've found better deals flying into BWI.  How inconvenient is this?  We are staying in the Dupont Circle area and will not be renting a car. 

I don't want to waste a lot of time traveling and I'm not familar with location of these airports. 


Re: BWI vs. DCA (Reagan Nat'l)?

  • I always fly into BWI when I'm visiting family in the DC area. We always rent a car or have our family pick us up, but you can take a free shuttle from BWI to the MARC station (commuter train). Take the MARC to Union Station, and from there you can take the Metro anywhere you need to in DC.
  • Are you arriving on a weekday or weekend? On a weekday you can get from BWI into the city via the MARC train in about an hour to 90 minutes.

    On the weekend it is a lot more complicated (bus to metro, with bus only running once every 30-45 minutes). 

    "We tend to be patronizing about the poor in a very specific sense, which is that we tend to think,
  • How much of a difference in price is it? I wouldn't fly into BWI unless it was a substantial difference, like hundreds. DCA is infinitely more convenient, especially with no car.
    DS 02.10.2008 * DD 04.05.2011

  • image andrea922:
    How much of a difference in price is it? I wouldn't fly into BWI unless it was a substantial difference, like hundreds. DCA is infinitely more convenient, especially with no car.

    Ditto. BWI is 50 minutes from DC on a good day (read: no traffic) which is a rarity when 95 and 495 are involved.

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Thanks. Good to know.
  • I agree, if you're not renting a car, I would go w/ DCA.  Unless you are both arriving and leaving when the MARC train is running, then BWI would be fine. 
  • I live near DC and always fly into DCA. BWI is much farther out and traffic can be a nightmare coming from that direction (hence the reason why its less expensive). If you are staying in Dupont Circle and are not planning to rent a car, save your self some trouble and fly into DCA.

    Enjoy your stay!


  • We do both.  DCA is nice because you can just take metro but BWI and the MARC is not so bad either.  We live closer to DC and still will fly out of BWI when the price is better.  We drive it but we know when the traffic is bad and when it's not.
  • If you aren't renting a car, then I would fly into DCA since it's really convenient to take the Metro (you would have to take the blue line and then transfer to the red line to go to Dupont Circle) unless the price difference was significant. I was just in DC a few weeks ago and flew into BWI; however I rented a car and it took me about an hour to get to my hotel (I was driving in traffic) on the Baltimore/Washington Parkway.
  • Everyone has already given you great advice on the DCA vs BWI position (I completely agree).  If you haven't already, you might also look into IAD (Dulles International Airport).  It's closer than BWI to Dupont & traffic is less of an issue because of a dedicated "airport road."  The cost is generally cheaper than flying into DCA, but more expensive than BWI.  But you'll have to factor in a roughly $40 cab ride.
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