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I am really hoping there's someone out there who will ease my anxiety about this airport. I already called and emailed them, I searched online but I still feel like I dont have the right answer.

I am flying alone with my 14 month old son and will have a stroller (makes things harder, slower and will have to avoid escalators). We are flying from SAV and will arrive to terminal D. We have about an hour to get to terminal B for our flight to Europe. When I look at the navigation, it shows it would take us about 30mins.

Now my questions are - how often do the buses run? Are they stroller friendly? Does it accommodate a lot of people or is there a chance we might have to wait for the next one? Are there elevators by escalators?

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  • Welcome to TSE. I recommend reviewing Short connection at IAD (Dulles international airport) for an overview of making transfers at Dulles. – choster Oct 23 '20 at 5:36
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    Just to be sure, your two flights are on the same ticket/booking, right? – jcaron Oct 23 '20 at 8:10
  • Pre-pandemic, the buses (which are not regular buses, but purpose-built) ran about every 6 minutes. There is a countdown clock at the entrance to the coaches. I would suggest you first look at the coach departure point in Terminal D going to A (not B), and unless in the future, take it to A and walk to B. The alternative is to do the walk to C and take the AeroTrain past the Main Terminal to B. The trains ran between 2½ and 5 minutes apart, in the Olden Days. The stroller will not be an issue. There are elevators to the train platforms. – Andrew Lazarus Oct 24 '20 at 3:55
  • @AndrewLazarus thank you! This was VERY helpful – Kat McNeil Oct 26 '20 at 17:53
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If these are two seperate tickets, you have no chance of making it.

If this is a single ticket, it's doable but tight. Your best shot is probably to take the Aero Train. https://www.flydulles.com/iad/aerotrain-washington-dulles-international-airport

Unfortuantely there is no stop in Terminal D, so on arrival you need to hike all the way to the end of Terminal C and take the Train and exit at Terminal B. The train has level entry/exit, but you will probably need to take elevators to get up/down from/to the train level. Good news: you don't need to go through secuirty again.

Some tips & tricks

  1. Minimize the stuff you carry on. Lugging a a large roll-aboard carry together while pushing a stroller will slow you down and be awkward.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the Terminal. Have a map ready on your phone
  3. Make sure you know your arrival and departure gate in Dulles. These should be displayed on your barding passes but you can also check flight status online for gate info. Make sure you know how to do this: practice the day before
  4. Map out the route using gate info and map. Signage is not always the greatest. Walk from Terminal D towards terminal C, make ure gate numbers on D are dercreasing. Entry to the train is between gates C14 and C18 , etc.
  5. Tell the flight attendent that you have a tight connection. If you are lucky, they bring up your stroller first.

The stroller is not helping. If you want to carry it on, you can drop it off at the airplane door on departure, but on arrival you need to wait at the airplane door until it's brought back up from the cargo hold. You can potentially check it through to your final destination, but then you will have to carry your child for the entire connection and you will only get it back at the baggage claim in Europe.

Good luck.

EDIT:

One more tip: make sure you have the apps downloaded for all airlines involved. Make sure you have accounts are logged in and have the confirmation code for each ariline handy or already stored. Since it's Dulles, it's probably a United ticket: the United app has a very good feature called "Connection Summary" that tells you exactly where you arrive, where you depart, and how much time you have.

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  • I don't think the arrival gate will be on any boarding pass, will it? It will need to be looked up, probably quite late in the first flight. – jcaron Oct 23 '20 at 12:23
  • Hey is it possible to say that you definitely need a golf cart ?? That could be a solution? – Fattie Oct 23 '20 at 15:36
  • To this important list of general advice, i would definitely add 6. When transferring with a small child, no mater what happens keep a chill 'Oh well !' attitude and keep smiling. Ultimately if you miss the connection ..... so what? Everyone is alive and healthy and you have a beautiful child. One just can't get worked up and infuriated when with a child. – Fattie Oct 23 '20 at 15:40
  • @Fattie golf carts are great if you have limited mobility and have plenty of time. They can be very slow (to show up) so it's not a great choice for a tight connection. – Hilmar Oct 23 '20 at 15:56
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    Thank you soooo much! This was definitely helpful. Just to clarify a few things: 1. I have a travel stroller that folds into a bag and can be put in the overhead bin on board. This will definitely make things somewhat easier. 2. I bought the ticket SAV-IAD-VIE on austrian airlines, first flight is operated by United. I am assuming that is considered one ticket? 3. How do I get the golf cart? And lastly 4. when I look on the airport navigation app, it keep saying to take the bus from terminal D to A and then walk from A to B. Which route would be better than? Train or bus? – Kat McNeil Oct 23 '20 at 17:14

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