DCA New Concourse APR 2021:

all the outlets, few of the venues

    DCA, and likely every other civilian airport on the planet, has been experiencing unprecedented downtime during the covid pandemic. The folks at DCA, however, have been moving industriously behind the scenes to evolve Washington, D.C.’s nearest airport into something befitting the 21st Century. The entire plan for this current refresh is dubbed Project Journey

 

    While much of the effort is still a work in progress, the airport reached a milestone April 20, 2021, with the “soft opening” of Concourse E, a k a “the New Concourse.” Wait, where’s Concourse D? Maybe that will be what’s now the North Pier, which is part of Terminal C? And maybe the Center Pier, also Part of Terminal C and Terminal B will become Concourse B? Except for Terminal A, a k a “The Banjo,” on the other side of the complex, it’s all in flux. 

THIS NEW CONCOURSE...

IS PRETTY FLY

    If the New Concourse is an apt representation, however, the flux will all be worth it. This new concourse, eliminating the need for little buses and portable stairs to get people from Gate 35X and onto American’s regional commuter planes, is pretty fly.

 

    I got to take a peek April 22 after a Travelers Aid shift in Terminal A. I didn’t have time to check out what’s become of 35X, but I am assured it is no more.  (I strongly recommend Dan Zak’s very entertaining farewell in The Washington Post, “Goodbye to Gate 35X, cursed portal to the rest of America.”) Please join me for a brief photo tour of its replacement. 

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My first look at the New Concourse! Or, at least, the very long hallway

leading to the New Concourse. Or Terminal E. Or whatever! 

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Much of the New Concourse is ready for prime time!

As of this posting, that does not include the moving walkway.

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If you truly miss the thrill of tootling across the DCA tarmac by bus,

the little shuttle between the North and Center piers remains. 

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Can we get a shout-out for 'Coming Soon'? Obviously, July 2021 is going to be a big month in the New Concourse! In the meantime, please consider the North Pier, which shares the same post-security bubble.

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I didn't visit a New Concourse restroom, but I can assure

that this pair does have operational counterparts nearby. 

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I could not, however, pass by this very inviting Pet Relief Area. My great hope was that there might be some access to the out of doors.  

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My unrealistic dreams were greater than reality could bear. 

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We've arrived at the business end of things! Gates! Construction folks on the roof! And did someone say 'July 2021'?

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Whatever the state of things to come, not only will you get a jetway to your plane, but you are guaranteed some sort of sustenance thanks to Capitol File News and Peet's Coffee temporary pop-ups. Rumor has it they'll be fully installed by, possibly, July 2021. 

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Two styles of swanky new seating await! Sit at a little triangle and enjoy the cupholders and power outlets! Plug into the USB ports – if you dare. The gorgeous, blue wingback chairs would look more appropriate in the promised Terminal E Admirals Club. Here, I fear the punishment of child vomit and spilled lattes they will endure. Speaking of child vomit, there are also new nursing rooms in this new land! I did not enter the nursing rooms.  

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On the Terminal E plans, I'd seen an area reserved for 'information.' I was hoping that meant a new Travelers Aid desk! No such luck. But while we at Travelers Aid are a super-helpful bunch, we can't re-ticket you (to the surprise of the occasional disgruntled passenger). So, possibly more helpful to have this AA customer-service desk. 

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Finally, this will be your view as an arriving passenger heading out of the New Concourse – for now! Remember, Project Journey remains a work in progress, with security checkpoints about to be completely repositioned. For the near future, however, you'll walk – or moving walkway – down the long corridor to National Hall where you will make a choice: Exit the secured area and go about your day, or veer left and continue to the secure gates of the North Pier, or even shuttle over to the Center Pier. So many choices!