New US Airways DCA Shuttles Penalize Elites

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The buses at Reagan National Airport’s Gate 35A (now 35X) have been replaced with giant shiny new vehicles. Instead of the old fashioned 2×2 seating with luggage rack in front, the new buses sport large open areas with ~10 seats for passengers needing assistance.

US Airways Shuttle Bus DCA Gate 35X

The downside? Elites are the first to board the buses, which means you’re likely to be the last to disembark for the plane. A few folks can (and do) secure spots on the side near the doors, but if there’s more than a handful of elites, common decency has you heading for the far ends of the bus.

Not really a big deal for carry-on when boarding the puddle jumpers out of 35X since all large bags are gate-checked, but interesting that early boarding is no longer advantageous.


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  1. Ven

    November 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Why not just board the bus later? Nothing forcing you to board with the elites.

  2. Ven

    November 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Also, Shiny new buses were badly needed out of the 35 gate.

  3. Charlie

    November 6, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Same style buses we have out of SKG (but older). In our case, everyone else is taken by bus first and then elites are taken directly from the lounge on a separate bus after everyone else is already on. Best way to secure overhead space in that scenario is selecting the first seat behind business.

  4. Mika Pyyhkala

    November 6, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Maybe then be the last to get on the bus for a prime spot if you want to get on the plane first?

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