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.