Terminal 1 Arrivals – Southwest and Sun Country

Greetings outside security at Terminal 1– greeters are always welcome to greet our Heroes outside security as the arrive at DCA or depart from DCA.  Please note these times can be influenced by unexpected travel delays or early arrivals.  Please take this into consideration when planning your trip to DCA.  The schedule of arrival times into DCA, and the time the hubs are due back at the airport, are on our scheduling page.

To greet outside security, just show up at the Terminal number listed on the scheduling page. There is no limit to the number of people that can greet outside security! If driving, park in the corresponding terminal parking garage. For arrivals, please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the estimated time of arrival.  You should also be able to track the flight # on a smartphone app such as Flight Aware of Flight Tracker.   For departures, please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled return time to the airport to allow for early arrivals back to the airport. 

Specific greeting information outside security:

  • If greeting a flight arriving in Terminal 1 (Southwest Airlines or Sun Country), come into Door 1 on the right side closest to the SWA ticket counter.  The greeting line is typically held past the SWA ticket counter in the hallway where the Veterans will come out of security. See map below with arrow pointing to door and red square for greeting location.  Look for the Honor Flight pop-up banners!
  • If greeting a flight departing in Terminal 1 (Southwest Airline or Sun Country),  you can either line up outside where the buses return, or line up inside across from the SWA ticket counter and baggage claim area.  See map below. Please keep the sidewalks and passageways clear for other traveling passengers. 

Greetings inside security – Terminal 1

  • Southwest Airlines at DCA typically will provide 20 non-escort gate passes (“GAP”) for each Honor Flight arrival and departure.  Sun Country does not provide gate passes for greetings.
  • Gate passes are provided at the sole discretion of the airline, so please keep in mind that the ability to provide gate passes for flights arriving on Southwest is dependent on the availability of DCA Southwest Airline personnel to process and pass out these gate passes.  Honor Flight Network or the DCA Ground Crew has no control over the issuance or distribution of gate passes. 
  • To request a gate pass for a Southwest Airlines arrival or departure, go to our scheduling page and find the corresponding link “Request a gate pass here” for the flight desired. NOTE: if a link is not visible less than 30 days from the flight date, gate passes are not available for that particular flight.  Gate pass forms typically close 36 hours prior to the flight date, unless the limit has been met before that.
  • Everyone must request a gate pass – even babes in arms.  Once a request is made, a detailed email will be sent about 36 hours prior to the flight date from dca.honorflight.gap@gmail.com with parking options and instructions on picking up your gate pass on flight date.
  • Keep in mind that by requesting a gate pass, you will need to arrive and be parked at the airport at least 1 hour prior to the flight arrival or departure to pick up your gate pass and clear security.  Gate passes must be picked up at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter in Terminal 1 on flight date, upon presentation of a government ID. Each individual must pick up their own GAP.
  • Due to the limited number of GAPs offered, groups are encouraged to greet outside security.
  • Any questions, please email dca.honorflight.gap@gmail.com

Terminal 1 Map (Southwest and Sun Country)

For arrivals – enter Door #1 indicated by red arrow.  Arrival greeting location is indicated by the red square. 

For departures – buses will drop off in the middle lane of circular driveway.  Greeters can greet them on the curb (indicated by green box) as they pull up; and continue on with them as they enter Door #1 until they pass through security (dotted line on map).