Irish travellers warned of Trump effect on inauguration weekend

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Irish transatlantic passengers heading to the Washington DC area at the weekend have been warned to plan ahead as the US capital braces itself for the inauguration of new President Donald Trump.

Passengers at Reagan National and Dulles International Airports have been warned to be prepared for additional crowds and congestion from Thursday, January 19, until Sunday, January 22.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

The airports’ operator, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said it “does not anticipate any unusual operational issues during this time [but]an influx of passengers may produce longer-than-usual wait times at airline ticket counters and security checkpoints, and congestion on airport roads. If there is inclement weather, passengers should monitor their flight status directly with their airline and follow the airport twitter feeds @Reagan_Airport and @Dulles_Airport or the FlyReagan or FlyDulles websites for update.”

Aer Lingus will be operating a service, EI119, which arrives into the area’s largest airport, Washington Dulles, at 3.45pm local time on Friday’s inauguration day. The return flight, EI118, departs Dulles at 5.30pm. The next EI119 service lands in Dulles on Sunday (3.45pm), with EI118 again leaving at 5.30pm.

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The two airports experienced heavy passenger traffic on the day following the 2013 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. This year, the Airports Authority said it “is working with airlines and airport partners to assist in alleviating any congestion associated with passengers traveling during the inauguration. Flights arriving before the January 20 Inauguration Day may create crowded roadways. Airport police will be on hand to monitor the curbsides and roads to ensure traffic is moving in passenger drop-off areas.” 

Saturday, January 21, and Sunday, January 22, are expected to be a busy day at Reagan National and Dulles International as Inauguration visitors check out of hotels and travel to the airports. While airport staffing “will be optimised” on this date, passengers are asked to follow travel tips, which can be found here.

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