DCA Honor Flight Volunteers & Greeters
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much time should I allow to greet the veterans?
A: We suggest that you allow at least two hours for the greeting experience. As with all airline flights, Honor Flights are subject to the same flight delays — weather, schedule, mechanical, etc. The arrival times that we post are provided by the hub and are the best guess of when the plane will arrive at the gate. Once the plane is at the gate, the mobility of the veterans and the number of wheelchairs will determine how quickly they get from the plane to the main terminal. The same time suggestion applies to the veteran’s departure. We can only guess if the buses will be early, on time, or late in their return to the airport. Once off of the bus, the process of getting them to the restrooms and the TSA checkpoint is fairly quick.
Q: I would like to bring my children to greet the veterans. How old are the greeters?
A: We have greeters that are all ages! Our veterans LOVE to meet children, babies, teenagers, groups, adults, ANYONE! However, here are some things to consider for small children —
Are they able to wait for long periods of time? Sometimes we have delays in the airport that are out of our control;
Will they enjoy waving and clapping for the veterans as they walk by?
Q: Do I need to have an ID for my child for an outside greeting?
A: Anyone who greets the veterans as they arrive in the main terminal (outside greeting) does not need any form of ID.
Q: Do I need an ID for my child if I would like to greet INSIDE of security (getting a gate pass)?
A: No, you do not need an ID for any child under the age of 18 in order to get a gate pass. However, please make sure that you sign up each child on the schedule page for the flight you wish to greet on the inside greeting link. You will need to provide their DOB when doing so.
Q: I’ve signed up to greet a flight, now what?
A: Information will be sent to you as follows:
You will see a confirmation screen that tells you that you have signed up;
You will receive a confirmation email as well;
We send out more information regarding parking, where to meet, specific flight information, etc. about 48-36 hours before the flight is scheduled to arrive. We also include the departure information in this email because many of our volunteers want to be able to come back to send the flight off as well.
**Please double-check the information you have entered on the signup forms before sending it. There have been mistakes made on names and/or emails, and we cannot be responsible if the email information is entered wrong and therefore you do not receive information about the flight**
Q: What if I sign up for a flight but I cannot make it?
A: We understand that schedules change. If you have signed up for a flight and you cannot make it, if you can let us know we appreciate it, especially if you have signed up for a Gate Pass because that lets us open that space for someone else.
Q: I just want to be able to greet the veterans when they get to the terminal. What is that called?
A: Outside greeting is the term we use for this. It means you must submit your information on our website and arrive at the airport approximately 30 minutes prior to the flight’s arrival. You will remain outside of the TSA security area in the main passenger terminal. As the veterans come off the mobile lounges into the main concourse, you will be able to greet them there.
Q: I would like to go to the gate to greet the veterans. Is that possible?
A: Inside greeting means you request a Gate Pass (GAP) from the airline by submitting your information on our website under using the INSIDE GREETING entry. (Not all flights have inside greeting possibilities). YOU MUST ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT AT LEAST 90 MINUTES PRIOR to the flight’s arrival in order to get the gate pass from a ground crew member. You will then be able to go through TSA security to the gate to greet the flight when they deplane. You are required to follow TSA regulations, and you will be screened before you can go through. You will be escorted by one of our Ground Crew members.
Q: I don’t see a place to sign up for inside greetings for this flight – how do I get a gate pass?
A: Gate passes are only available for certain flights. It depends on whether the airline is a charter fight just for the veterans or a regularly-scheduled commercial airline flight. The flight arrangements are at the discretion of each individual hub arriving at Dulles. If there is an opportunity for gate passes (GAPS) then there will be two links for signup at arrival and two links at departure. One link is to greet inside TSA security at the gate — one is for greeting outside of TSA security in the main terminal.
Q: If I come to the airport, will I have to pay for parking?
A: The Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority has been very generous in providing free parking to volunteers who greet the Honor Flights. There are caveats to this:
You must request parking when you complete the signup process when registering to greet a flight.
You must park in only Garage #1 and get a paper ticket upon entering the garage.
You must get a parking chaser ticket from one of the ground crew when checking in. You will use this when exiting the garage to pay for your parking. More details are on the “Free parking” tab under the “Greeter Info” menu.