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The Independent Travel
The easiest way to arrive in the American capital is by non-stop flight to Washington Dulles airport

Today, true; tomorrow, false. The brand-new terminal at Washington National opens with the first departure at 7am tomorrow. Cesar Pelli's striking construction, which includes an acre of glass overlooking runways and the city, has been built adjacent to the Metro station. So today's 20- minute hike to the station will be replaced with what the airport authority promises is a seven-minute stroll. Because the airport is so close in, passengers with hand luggage only can be in the heart of Washington within 15 minutes of landing; from Dulles the minimum journey time is an hour.

One problem is that the US Congress restricts flights to the new terminal - planes can travel a maximum of 1,250 miles. Even so, the city-centre- to-city centre journey to Washington DC is probably faster if you change planes in Boston or New York than if you fly direct.

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