Nice Holiday Parking Deal at Washington Dulles International Airport

Garage Parking for $12/day in December 2016
Park in Garage 1 at IAD for $12/day during December

Flying out of Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) this coming month?

The airport is offering close-in garage parking for only $12 per day, a $5 discount off the regular rate.

Return home to covered parking now through December 31, 2016 via a special coupon offer!

The regular rate for parking in Garage 1 — near the terminal — is $17 a day.

Economy parking in the remote lots is $10 per day, so this a a nice deal!

Use this link to print a personalized coupon which you must present to the cashier when exiting the garage.

The coupon is valid for a single transaction and may not be combined with other offers.

I Just Blew All My Points for a Trip to Japan

Springtime in Japan, how perfect!
Springtime in Japan, how perfect!

I have been dreaming about a trip to Japan for a long time.

Our family kind of lives moment to moment.  It is hard for us to make long-range plans because we never know what might come up.

Spontanaity has its advantages, though.  Sometimes, when you see an opportunity you can to jump on it.

Other times, it can be frustrating because tickets sell out, you can’t get reservations, and you miss out.

We have been saving miles and points for a trip to Japan for several years.  Between my husband and myself, and a few strategic credit card applications, we had 300,000 frequent flier miles, enough for two roundtrip business class tickets to Japan.

OMG, My Husband Retired!

My husband retired last fall.  I wasn’t really expecting it.

What does “retired” means these days, anyway?  I mean, he stopped going to work every day.  But, what’s next?

What’s more, our daughter graduated from high school in June.  We suddenly have more flexibility than during all those years when we were tied to the school calendar.

So I did exactly what you might expect.  I planned a trip.  To Japan.

All Dressed Up With 300,000 Points and Nowhere To Go

I am totally conflicted about miles and points.

Sometimes I think they’re a total scam.  It seems there is never availability for where you want to go, when you want to go.  Or, the only flights available on frequent flier miles follow ridiculous routings.

Both United Airlines and All Nippon Airlines (ANA) fly nonstop from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Tokyo (NRT).  You can use United Mileage Plus miles for either airline.  It’s a code share thing.  Both airlines offer lie-flat seats in business class on this route.  But I couldn’t seem to find saver seat availability.

Then, miraculously, I found seats in both directions for travel during peak cherry blossom season!  The routing would require an extra 15,000 frequent flier miles apiece.

Suddenly miles and points seem like magic!  We’ll be traveling to Japan on United in business class, and returning via ANA in first class!  The tickets are costing us 165,000 miles and $37 apiece.

That’s unbelievable!  $37 to fly roundtrip to Tokyo in lie flat business class and first class.  It kind of renews my faith in this hobby.

This will be our first trip to Asia.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few things I learned from booking this trip, as well as some deals I’ve run across along the way.  I am beyond excited!

If you have any tips on travel in Japan, I’d love if you could share in the comments!

Dulles Plane Pull, Fun Run, & Family Festival

Dulles Day Plane Pull
Dulles Day Plane Pull

On Saturday, September 19, 2015Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) will sponsor an “open house” for visitors.

This is an all day affair, including:

  • 5k/10k runway run
  • plane pulling competition truck pulling contest for kids
  • moon bounces
  • antique car show
  • vintage airplane display

Admission and parking are free!  Free Silver Line Express buses will operate from Metrorail’s Wiehle-Reston East station beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Proceeds from fund-raising activities such as the plane pull will benefit Special Olympics Virginia.

Run the Runway at Dulles International Airport

5/10K Run at Dulles International Airport
5/10K Runway Run at IAD

Dulles Day kicks off at 7:30 a.m. with a 5k or 10k runway run for registered participants.

The Dulles airport runway will be closed off to provide runners with a flat, fast course alongside the landing strip.

The 10k will run the entire length of the runway!

Runners must be able to complete the course by 9:00 am, when the runway will be reopened for aircraft traffic.  Advance registration is required.  Up to 2,500 runners can be accommodated.

Plane Pull for Charity at IAD

Dulles Plane Pull
Dulles Plane Pull for charity

The signature event is the Plane Pull, an event in which teams compete to pull a full-size jet aircraft in the shortest time.

More than 70 teams are competing this year.

Two aircraft will be pulled —  a FedEx plane and an United Airlines plane.  You can join a team here.

Kids Truck Pull at Dulles International Airport September 19, 2015

Kids' Truck Pull at IAD
Kids’ Truck Pull at IAD

This year, kids can get in on the fun with a truck pull.

Teams of eight will compete to see who can pull a  big red junk truck 12 feet the fastest.

You can register at the festival starting at 11:30 am. There is a $10 donation to participate.  Participants will receive a Truck Pull tee shirt.

Dulles Day Family Fun Festival 2015

At 10:30 a.m., the gates to the airfield open for the free family festival.

Additional family fun activities at Dulles Day include:

Free Bounce House at the Airport
Free Bounce House at the Airport
  • Airfield tours aboard the mobile lounges for $1 per person
  • Kids’ play area with bounce houses, truck pull and dunk-a-cop tank
  • Equipment displays by Airports Authority Police, Fire and Rescue and Maintenance
  • Ride in an Airports Authority fire truck for a $5 donation to Special Olympics
  • Police K-9 demonstrations on the half hour
  • Food and beverages available for purchase
  • Aircraft on display
  • Classic car show

Aircraft on Display at Dulles Day

Look for more than 40 aircraft on display, including:

  • U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo jet
  • U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt (close air-support aircraft)
  • U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey (tiltrotor helicopter-plane)
  • U.S. Navy HT-28 (Bell Jet Ranger helicopter trainer)
  • U.S. Coast Guard Rescue “Dolphin” Helicopter
  • DC-3 “Miss Virginia”
  • DC-3 “Tabitha May”
  • Nakajima Japanese bomber “Kate”
  • PBY Catalina (WWII Patrol Bomber)
  • Bell 429 Helicopter
  • Hughes 500D Helicopter
  • TBM Avenger (WWII torpedo bomber)
  • DHC-1 Chipmunk (WWII primary trainer)
  • L-5 Sentinel (WWII “Flying Jeep”)
  • L-39 Albatross (Czech built high-performance jet trainer)
  • T-6 Texan (WWII advanced trainer)
  • T-28 Trojan (WWII advanced trainer)
  • Yak-3 (WWII Soviet fighter aircraft)
  • Stearman PT-17 Biplane
  • Kodiak, high wing float & cargo aircraft
  • Piper J-3 Cub (WWII utility aircraft)

17th Annual Dulles Day Classic Car and Motorcycle Show

Check out the cars, trucks and motorcycles on display at the Dulles Day car show.  You can help vote on the winners in the following catagories:

CAR SHOW CLASSES

  • “Best of the Brass and Antique” (through 1925, Car or Truck)
  • “Best of the Classic Era” (1926-1948, Car or Truck)
  • “Best of the Chrome and Fins” (1949-1963, Car or Truck)
  • “Best of the Muscle Era” (1964-1971, Car or Truck)
  • “Best of the OPEC Era” (1972-1983, Car or Truck)
  • “Best Import” (Tuner)
  • “Best Custom” (Hot Rod Car or Truck)
  • “Best American Sports Car”
  • “Best Imported Sports Car”
  • “Best In Show” (Car or Truck)
  • “People’s Choice” (Car or Truck)

MOTOCYCLE CLASSES

  • “Top American Motorcycle”
  • “Top Import Motorcycle”
  • “Best Custom Motorcycle”
  • “Best in Show” (Motorcycle)
  • “People’s Choice” (Motorcycle)

Want to enter your vehicle?  Here’s the registration form.

Aviation Fans: View Aer Lingus Airbus Inaugural Flight into Dulles

Aer Lingus Inaugural Airbus Flight into IAD
Discover Dulles: Watch this A330 land on May 1, 2015

The Aer Lingus Airbus A330  is making its inaugural flight from flight from Dublin, Ireland into Dulles International Airport (IAD) on May 1, 2015.  

45 lucky people will be invited to view the landing and get a behind the scenes tour of the Ramp Control Towers and Operations at IAD.

I attended one of these “Discover Dulles” events last summer and it was a blast!

Click here to enter the contest for a chance to be a part of this historical event.

Continue reading —>

Dulles Flyer: $3 per Day Offsite Parking near IAD

$3 per day parking at IAD
$3 per day parking near IAD

If you need long-term parking at Dulles International Airport (IAD), there’s a deal available for offsite parking that discounts the daily rate by 70 percent — $30 for ten days of parking!

Dulles Park Fly is making the offer through Amazon Local, a discount shopping site.

The Fine Print on $3 Parking near IAD

$30 for up to 10 days parking at IAD
$30 for up to 10 days parking near IAD

Dulles Park Fly is located a few miles from IAD at a Fairfield Inn.  They offer a shuttle service to and from the airport twice an hour from 4:30 am to 12 midnight.

Regular rates at the on-site economy parking lot at IAD are $10 per day.

The details:

  • Limit 1 voucher redemption per individual
  • Shuttle to airport runs on the hour and half hour from 4:30 a.m. to midnight
  • Arrive at least 5 minutes in advance of desired shuttle departure time
  • Entire value must be used by same customer within 10 days of first visit
  • Promotional value expires 180 days from purchase date

    Dulles Park Fly Location
    Dulles Park Fly
    23000 Indian Creek Dr
    Sterling, VA 20166

This could be a a good deal if you have a trip of a week or more coming up.

This offer shows up periodically on Amazon Local, but the last time the ran it it sold out the first day.

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks if you choose to use them!  

 

What’s Coming to Dulles Airport in 2015

IAD Flyers
Dulles Flyers: Expect Great Things in 2015

2014 was a great year for Dulles Flyers, with the opening of Metro’s Silver Line and the Silver Line Express Bus to the airport from the Reston station.

Construction has already begun on the extension of the Silver Line to Dulles International Airport (IAD) and beyond.  Completion is slated for 2019 but I’m not holding my breath.

2014 Service Expansions at Dulles International Airport (IAD)

The most exciting development for Washington, DC area budget travelers was the arrival of Frontier Airlines low cost service to Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Cancun, and these additional cities:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago-O’Hare, IL
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Detroit, MI
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Memphis, TN
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • Orlando, FL
  • St. Augustine/Jacksonville, FL
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Tampa, FL

Another welcome service expansion is Southwest’s new daily, nonstop  service to Las Vegas and San Diego.

On December 20, 2014, United Airlines initiated seasonal weekly service to San Jose del Cabo in Mexico, and seasonal service to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

We also saw the inauguration of Air China’s nonstop service to Beijing, with four nonstop flights per week, and British Airways upgraded service to London on a new Airbus A380 aircraft.

What’s Coming to Dulles International Airport (IAD) in 2015

In 2015, we will continue to see expanded service from IAD.

Beginning March 11, 2015, you can look forward to daily nonstop service to Seattle on Alaska Air.

On May 1, 2015, Are Lingus will launch nonstop service to Dublin, Ireland four times a week.

Earn Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying

Southwest, Frontier, and United often offer large bonuses of frequent flyer miles for opening a new credit card account — sometimes enough for two free round-trip tickets.

 

 

Enter Now for Chance to See British Airways Airbus A380 Inaugural Flight into Dulles

Discover Dulles BA Airbus Inauqural Flight
Discover Dulles British Airlines Airbus Inaugural Flight

The British Airways Airbus A380 is making its inaugural flight from London Heathrow into Dulles International Airport (IAD) on October 2, 1014.

38 lucky people will invited to view the landing and get a behind the scenes tour of the Ramp Control Towers and Operations at IAD.

I attended one of these “Discover Dulles” events this summer and it was lots of fun!

Click here to enter the contest for a chance to be a part of this historical event.

Contest entries opened Friday, September 26, 2014 and will close on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:00 am (Eastern Time).

Participants will be randomly selected and notified via email by on September 30.

Hat Tip to Trevor at Tagging Miles.

Dulles Flyer: Tampa Roundtrip for $88…Leaves Tomorrow

Flying Tonight App
Flight Tonight! app, free from iTunes

I’m a sucker for retro graphics so of course I had to download the new Flight Tonight! app available for free from the iTunes store.

This app is for spontaneous travelers who are trawling for cheap flights from their home airport.

It arrays flight information in a new way — by displaying the cheapest available roundtrip flights leaving from your location tonight and tomorrow morning.

Flight Tonight!:  Where Can You Fly This Weekend?

I checked out a number of departure cities to see if there were any deals.

Flight Tonight App
Where can you fly this weekend?

Nothing interesting popped up.

But when I tried my home region (WAS) (for Washington, DC area airports) there was a real bargain:  $88 roundtrip, nonstop to Tampa, Florida!

The app indicated that the fare was available for a number of itineraries — a 2-day, 4-day, 6-day, 7-day,  or 9-day trip.

The flight was on Frontier Airlines, which commenced flying from Dulles International Airport in August 2014.

Thank goodness we finally have a low cost carrier flying out of Dulles.  Maybe we will start to see some real competition for a change.

Flight Tonight Departures from IAD
Flight Tonight Departures to Tampa from IAD

All prices shown are round-trip, and taxes and fees are supposed to be included (but may not be, so double check.)

The Flight Tonight! app displays both domestic and international destinations.

This app isn’t for everyone.  But if you are flexible, and looking for a cheap getaway, this Flight Tonight! arrays possible destinations in a convenient manner.

Who would have thought you could pick up last minute tickets to Tampa this cheap?

Dulles Flyer: On-Site Parking Specials at IAD

Discounted Parking Options at Dulles International Airport
Discounted Parking Options at Dulles International Airport

One of the costs of travel that is hard to offset with credit card points or miles is airport parking.  Even my Barclaycard Arrival credit card, which allows redemptions for most categories of travel expenses, does not routinely cover airport parking.

At Dulles International Airport (IAD) near my home, daily parking fees range from $10 a day in the remote economy lots to $25 – $35 per day for valet parking right in front of the terminal.  The intermediate option in terms of price and convenience is garage parking at $17 per day.

Park Four Days, Get One Day Free

The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) at IAD is running a summer special through July 13, 2014 for the garage parking:  park for four consecutive days, get one day free.  You must apply for a special coupon code online, and present your coupon and parking ticket to the cashier upon exiting,  Even with the special, you’ll make out better with economy parking; but if you’re pressed for time or facing afternoon thundershowers, it may be worth considering.

There are over 8,000 garage parking spaces, and more than 12,000 spots in the economy lots at IAD.  I always opt for the economy parking, and usually wait less than five minutes for a shuttle bus.

Dulles FlexPark:  Monthly Parking for Frequent Flyers

Another special offer from MWAA is for unlimited parking for one monthly payment.

Dulles FlexPark offers several options, ranging from reserved parking in a premium spot to general garage parking.

The cheapest option — at $275 per month — is for unlimited parking in any unreserved space in the garage.

Frequent travelers, or those working at the airport, may save as much as 47 percent off the posted rates (depending on level of program and number of days parked).

See the complete program description and access the online application here.

Express Bus Service from Metro Silver Line Starts July 26

The Metro Silver Line is opening July 26, 2014, and you can bet I’ll be there for the ribbon cutting!

When the Silver Line opens, the Wiehle Avenue station in Reston will be the closest Metro station to IAD.

Silver Line Express buses will carry travelers to Dulles airport for a fare of $5.00 each way.  Express buses will run every 15 minutes during weekday peak hours, and every 2o minutes at other times.  The new buses will be specially configured with spacious luggage racks.

 

Welcoming Air China to Washington, DC in Style

Welcoming Air China!
Welcoming Air China!

I was on hand yesterday for the arrival of Air China’s inaugural flight from Beijing into Dulles International Airport (IAD).

The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) invited some local people to participate in the gala welcoming ceremony as part of their “Discover Dulles” program.

The airport authority sure knows how to throw a party.

The 25 Discover Dulles participants, along with about 50 journalists, were transported to the airfield via IAD’s infamous mobile lounges for a close up view of landing.

It was an exciting moment when the plane touched down.

We were rushed back onto the mobile lounge and whisked closer to the terminal so we could view the aircraft run the gauntlet through the ceremonial water arch.

Air China Lands at IAD
Air China Lands at IAD

Two fire trucks were dispatched to pump a stream of water over the airplane to celebrate the arrival of the inaugural flight.  This is aviation’s equivalent of christening a new ship.

After the plane landed, the Ambassador of China and Virginia Governor McAuliffe were feted by Chinese lion dancers.

Several traditional Chinese musicians played at the reception.

Water Cannon Salute
Water Cannon Salute

 

The speeches heralded the 7,000 mile avionic bridge that had been established between Washington and Beijing, and the cultural, diplomatic, and economic exchanges that would ensue.

Oh, and the swag!  Each participant received a goodie bag with a propellor paperweight, a model of the airplane, and other “stuff.”

Traditional Chinese Musicians
Traditional Chinese Musicians

This was a fun event:   I got to meet some Chinese journalists, airport personnel, and aviation geeks.

Keep  your eyes peeled for other opportunities like this on the Discover Dulles webpage.

Earn More, Burn Less  

In honor of the new service, Air China’s frequent flyer program, Phoenix Miles, is running a promotion on travel between Beijing and Washington, DC.  

You can earn fifty percent more than the regular miles on flights, and award travel will be discounted.  

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