The District of Columbia is served by three area airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). Each airport is fully accessible to disabled passengers and wheelchairs may be taken to the gate and aircraft door. All airlines provide services for the disabled at each airport in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Air Carrier Access Act.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
DCA is the airport located closest to the District of Columbia. It just across the Potomac River in Virginia. The airport consists of three terminals: A, B and C. Terminals B and C are connected by a hallway in the secure airside area, but it is a long walk. A shuttle is available between terminals A and C, but travelers will need to exit the secure area. If you are connecting at DCA, and continuing travel on the same airline, you will not need to exit security. A transfer between Frontier (Terminal A) and Virgin America (Terminal C) would require you to exit the secure zone and pass through security again, in Terminal C.
With few exceptions, flights to/from DCA are limited to a maximum distance of 1,250 miles. There are 40 individual flights that have been given an exemption to this rule, allowing passengers direct, non-stop access to several West Coast cities.
I have compiled a list of airlines and their associated terminals for you here. Your airline and ticket will have the most up-to-date information on your flight’s terminal and gate assignments. Note that American Airlines, DCA’s largest carrier, uses gates in both Terminals B and C.
- Terminal A: Air Canada Express, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines
- Terminal B: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Eagle, American Shuttle, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Delta Shuttle, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, United Express
- Terminal C: American Airlines, American Eagle, American Shuttle, Virgin America
Disability assistance services should be requested through your airline. Airport bathrooms are outfitted with wheelchair accessible stalls. More information is available at the DCA Airport’s website.
DCA Airport also offers a unique tool to plot a course through the airport. The tool is capable of planning an accessible journey, using elevators and shuttle buses.
Transportation to/from DCA
The Washington, D.C. Metro system’s Blue and Yellow lines offer service directly to/from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), the District’s primary and closest airport. More information on riding the metro with a wheelchair is available in the Washington, D.C. Public Transportation Guide.
Wheelchair taxis can be ordered from the taxi dispatcher at Reagan National Airport, but wait times can often be up to 45 minutes. Due to the increased fares from DCA, your trip will be more desirable when either going to or from the airport. More information can be found in the Washington, D.C. Wheelchair Taxi Guide.