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Washington Dulles vs. Newark (

Louisville, Kentucky
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Washington Dulles vs. Newark (

A friend of mine and I are ready to buy our tickets for London (flying Virgin-Atlantic), & good thing we held off coming out of Chicago since VA just ceased operations from that hub for the fall/winter season. We are now looking to fly out of our respective hometowns (Louisville KY and Houston TX) to one of the other hubs Virgin uses, so I have been pricing and realistically checking the schedules of airlines that use Dulles and Newark. Have amazingly found that getting to NEWARK from our locales may be slightly easier as far as scheduling; the prices into either IAD or EWR are approximately the same. We both realize that EWR is quite a tad bit further from KY and Texas, especially compared to IAD, but looking over the scheduling as I coordinate things had me LMAO to keep from screaming when you see how some of the airlines plan out these flights (one airline actually had THREE stopovers between Louisville & IAD!!!) I've used Dulles before: domestically in 2004 and again in 2005 for a Virgin LHR to US trip. The only thing that seemed problematic was the strange setup on my return (the space pods), but the customs agent was polite & pleasant, & all in all it wasn't bad, even with having to pickup my bags, recheck them, & finding a lack of signage & assistance.

So my question is: given we have two airports to choose from, is EWR worth it as far as service, airport amenities, CLEANLINESS, lounges, gate placement, terminal placement, airline transfering of luggage, etc., or do many of you prefer IAD for international travel? We both plan on arriving early to be on the safe side so we're talking a layover of possibly 3 to 5 hours depending on when we get in (Virgin flies out of IAD around 7-ish PM while they fly out of EWR around 8:30 or 9 at night). I have Priority Pass so we can use a lounge for a while. By the way, my friend will likely fly Continental to either airport; me -- I have a wide selection ranging from Southwest & Continental to Delta, United & American.

Sorry to be so wordy, but figured the more I can detail, the more you can understand our situation. Thanks to everyone in advance for any assistance you can offer.

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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1. Re: Washington Dulles vs. Newark (

Hi,

I prefer IAD.. I find that I am subject to fewer weather/ATC delays out of IAD.. I don't mind the "pods" and am sad that they are going away in favor of the new underground that is being built.

Plus, for me, the sooner I can get onto my trans-oceanic flight the better. Why? Normally the aircraft I am going to fly trans-oceanic will have better amenities than the aircraft I will fly domestically, I'd prefer to spend more time in it, than the later.

If I have to sit for that long, I may as well sit in the most comfortable seat/aircraft that I can..

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Washington Dulles vs. Newark (

If you were to fly United it would make your passage through IAD quite a bit easier. United have a midfield immigration and customs facility in the C/D concourse which means you'd avoid taking the moon buggies over to the regular arrivals facility before your connection to Louisville.

I wouldn't read too much into your one arrivals experience at Dulles, e.g. thinking IAD may be a better option because the CBP officer was polite. I've had rude, polite and indifferent officials everywhere. I've flown into Dulles dozens and dozens of times off international flights arriving at all times of day and immigration is a crapshoot, even arriving on the same flight at the same time of day has the ability to yield different results if other flights arrive early or have been delayed en-route.

If I were you I'd go for the one that gives you the best connections to Louisville, and if you are booking separate tickets make sure to give yourself plenty of time for your connections. If you arrive late from London the airline for your IAD-SDF flight (if you were to miss it) has no obligation to get you on.

Louisville, Kentucky
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3. Re: Washington Dulles vs. Newark (

Hello GOPBI:

Thanks for your reply. I honestly didn't mind IAD on either of my trips through there, both in 2004 and 2005. I didn't have any problems; for the most part was able to find my way around, and felt comfortable.

It's just a pain finding a decent flight into there now. In 2004 I flew nonstop on United; that nonstop option is no longer available. In 2005 I was rerouted to Cleveland for 4 hours (and on top of that, Continental changed my flight without advising me; had I not been double-checking my flights a few days before I was to leave, I wouldn't have known until I got ready to check-in online. I told them that they did this without regard to me having a connecting international flight). Now Continental wants to send me to NEWARK and then Dulles. Hey, if I'm already going to be in Newark I'd might as well fly out of it. United AND Southwest both want to send me to Chicago first, but at least with Delta, I'm flying somewhat Easternly (to Cincinnati OR Atlanta).

You know, I didn't mind the pods either. It was kind of Lost in Space-y like. *g* Seriously, after talking with my friend on IM today, I think we both prefer IAD. It's just a matter of getting there. (And on the return flight, I may have to stay overnight and fly out the next morning if the scheduling is too wonky).

Anyway, thanks for your input. I apprciate it.

Louisville, Kentucky
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4. Re: Washington Dulles vs. Newark (

Hello Speedbird223:

And thanks for your response as well. No, wasn't basing one nice customs person at Dulles as my main reason for flying into that airport. You're right in that you never know how any of them will be (and my most bitter experience at any airport was -- and still is -- Denver International in 1999) and I've run into all attitudes on both sides of the Pond and North of the border too.

I appreciate the responses -- and am open to others - because it is incredibly frustrating how many hoops one has to jump through to schedule a flight so as to make both the domestic & international work. My mind's just boggled at how they seem to go out of their way to get you to a hub that has absolutely no logic and reason to what your aim is, but that is a complaint for another forum. But this is why I also asked about opinions on Newark; it makes no sense to be routed there on a stopover when you could simply stay and fly international out of it in the first place.

I liked the suggestion regarding United; am just frustrated at the scheduling though. On our return, we would likely have to stay overnight in DC before heading out the next morning to our individual cities. The schedules would barely give us time to deplane Virgin before the domestic United flights are gone!

Anyway, you've answered my question about why you prefer Dulles so thanks. Will be tweaking and researching for another few days! And I want to hear from any Newark supporters too!

Bangkok
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5. Re: Washington Dulles vs. Newark (

Hi,

That's one of the problems with all the schedule take-downs that all the US carriers have undergone-- service to smaller so-called 'spoke' cities have become even more limited, if any at all..

Since UPS discontinued their short lived overnight passenger service-- you remember that?-- you have a hill to climb to get to IAD.. It looks like UA only serves SDF via ORD-- that's it..

6. Re: Washington Dulles vs. Newark (

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