If you’re flying Space-A from the Washington, DC area, add Joint Base (JB) Andrews to your list of options. JB Andrews usually has several flights per week to bases within the continental U.S. plus regular flights to Germany.
As a bonus, competition for Space-A seats at Andrews is often less than at the Air Mobility Command (AMC) terminal at BWI airport, making it a great starting point for a Space-A adventure!
Here’s what you need to know about flying Space-A from the JB Andrews passenger terminal.
If you are new to Space-A flying, read this Quickstart Guide to Space-A Military Flights first to get a basic understanding of how the process works.
1. JB Andrews has frequent flights to and from other bases on the East Coast plus regular longer-haul routes.
The military passenger terminals with the most frequent flights to and from JB Andrews include Dover AFB (Delaware), JB Charleston (South Carolina), JB McGuire (New Jersey), and JB Lewis-McChord (Washington).
Andrews also has regular missions to Scott AFB in Illinois, but the Scott passenger terminal rarely has flights with Space-A seats. If you hop there from Andrews, it’s very likely that you will need to fly commercial for the return.
JB Andrews also has regular missions to Ramstein AB (we’ve hopped that route multiple times), often with a stop in Dover on the way.
Visit the JB Andrews page on the AMC website to see their current flight schedules.
2. JB Andrews has one lodging facility.
The Presidential Inn is the only lodging on base. It’s about a mile from the terminal.
Visit their website to check reservation policies and rates, which vary depending on the time of year.
There are also numerous hotels within a few miles of the base. Search here for hotels near JB Andrews.
3. There are three civilian airports near JB Andrews.
The airports and approximate distances from the base are:
- Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA): 17 miles
- Baltimore Washington International (BWI): 37 miles
- Dulles International (IAD): 45 miles
When traveling from DCA, we prefer using the DMV Military Rides service explained in #4 below. For travel from the other two airports, we would use a combination of rail and DMV Military Rides or a one-way car rental if it was more cost-effective.
Note that the DC area’s metro rail system is very convenient and relatively inexpensive, so it is an efficient way to travel part of the way to JB Andrews. However, the closest metro stop to Andrews (Suitland) is still 10 miles from the base, so you will need to catch a bus or get a ride the rest of the way.
Use Google Maps or Rome2Rio to compare your route options and decide which one is the best tradeoff between time and cost.
4. When taking a taxi or rideshare to JB Andrews, find a driver with base access.
Drivers who do not have base access must drop you at the front gate, which is about 1.5 miles from the passenger terminal.
We use the Facebook group DMV Military Rides to find drivers with base access. (DMV is an acronym for DC, Maryland, Virginia but some drivers are willing to go farther, e.g., to Dover AFB).
The advantage of using this group is that the drivers, who are mostly active duty members, dependents, and veterans, earn the entire fare, rather than sharing a cut with a rideshare or taxi company. Read the group rules and pinned posts to learn how the service works.
You can also use Uber to find drivers with base access. When you choose a location on base as your destination, the app will locate a driver who has been vetted to access the installation (read more about this program here).
5. JB Andrews does not have an on-base rental car facility.
There are several rental car companies within a short distance of the base. Click here to search for rental cars near Andrews.
6. The JB Andrews passenger terminal has short-term and long-term parking.
The short-term lot is for stays of up to 21 days and is adjacent to the terminal. (This information was verified with terminal staff 28 July 2023. As of this writing, the JB Andrews AMC page still says short term parking is a maximum of 6 days).
Given the uncertainty of Space-A travel, it’s easier for passengers to park in the long-term lot and not worry about time restrictions. The long-term parking lot is about a block farther than the short-term lot (passenger terminal staff can explain the location). This lot is where service members park when they deploy, and you can park there indefinitely.
7. You must pass through security as soon as you enter the terminal building.
Passenger terminal staff scan all of your bags, and you walk through a metal detector. The process is similar to what you experience at civilian airports and follows Transportation Security Administration guidelines for liquids, prohibited items, etc.
You cannot enter the terminal with containers of liquids more than 3 oz, so keep that in mind when stocking up on snacks prior to your flight. Bring an empty water bottle or buy drinks from the vending machines in the terminal.
8. The JB Andrews passenger terminal does not have any eateries.
Other than vending machines, the passenger terminal does not have any food options, so plan accordingly. (If you are manifested on a Space-A flight, in most cases you can purchase a box meal when you get your boarding pass, but you will not receive the meal until you are on board the aircraft).
The BX and Commissary are about a mile from the terminal. The Freedom Hall Dining Facility is open to retirees, 100% disabled veterans, and dependents. It’s about 0.8 miles from the terminal. Visit their website to see their hours of operation.
Ready to Fly Space-A from JB Andrews?
Now you know how to get to JB Andrews, where to stay, and what to expect at the passenger terminal. The next step is to start tracking the Andrews Space-A flight schedules and seat releases.
Also, many of the missions out of Andrews are in C-17s or other cargo planes. Make sure you have the gear you need for a comfortable flight.
Finally, if you’re new to Space-A flying, make sure you read our Quickstart Guide so that you understand the full process of taking a military hop and can maximize your chances of getting a seat!
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