5 Excellent New Nonstop Flights From the DMV

It’s summer in DC. It’s time to leave DC.

June 30, 2023 7:05 am
Sprawling view of Cape Town and the Mountains that frame it, Table Mountain and Lion's Head.
If you're reading this, take it as your sign to get a direct flight out of D.C. for the summer.
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For most locals, summer in DC means getting the hell out of DC. Since Dulles is now reachable by a Metro train ride — and commuting to BWI from downtown DC can be less than an hour (at least during non-rush hour times) — a flight out of the DMV has never been easier. Happily, a handful of new routes offer easier ways to reach excellent destinations. Now leave. Well, plan to leave, book your tickets and then leave. It’s summer. You don’t want to be here. 

Panoramic high level view of Panama City, high buildings against blue sky, in front blue sea.
Panoramic high level view of Panama City, with high buildings against blue sky in front of a blue sea.
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BWI to Panama City, Panama

Copa Airlines

This route — Copa’s first flight out of BWI — means that you can get from the Eastern Shore to a very, very different shore in just under five hours. Whether you’re interested in checking out the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas, staying at the recently opened and gorgeous Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo or looking for a more of a beach and jungle getaway, a direct flight to Panama City is the first step. Somewhat related: When you’re booking your flight, make sure you’re looking at flights to PTY. You don’t want to accidentally end up in Panama City, Florida. The Panama City in Florida airport code is ECP. 

Illuminated signs on Beale Street in Memphis
Beale Street is the French Quarter — without the end-of-days feel.
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DCA to Memphis, Tennessee

Southwest Airlines

The wanna-get-away airline is offering round-trip, direct flights from DC to Memphis from July 11 through September 4. If you’ve never been to Memphis, remedy this ASAP: It’s the ideal mixture of a more reasonable Nashville and a more reasonable New Orleans. The Tennessee musical history is everywhere, but it’s not as Disney-fied as the other city the state is known for. Beale Street is the French Quarter without the end-of-days feel you get from people drinking hurricanes 24/7. You know what, maybe just book a one-way ticket to Memphis and set up shop. The cost of living is 37.4 percent less than DC, but the dining, drinking, history, music and nightlife are just as good. 

How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Wytheville, One of Virginia’s Most Charming Towns
Come for the history; stay for the craft beers and kayaking
Participate in a safari or go exploring.
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IAD to Cape Town, South Africa 

United Airlines

It’s neither a short flight nor a cheap flight, but you’re not going to find a better way to get halfway across the globe. South Africa is a very fine option for a getaway, whether you’ll be participating in a safari or exploring Cape Town, so we shouldn’t need to sell you on South Africa. In case we do, this flight is a minimum of four hours shorter than any involving a connection. This direct flight is literally saving you a day of travel. Time is money. 

Houses of Parliament, London, England, UK
It’s your chance to take a direct flight from D.C. to London Gatwick.
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Dulles to London Gatwick, London

Norse Atlantic UK

There are more than a dozen airlines offering service from Dulles to London Heathrow, the largest of six airports near the city. As of this month, however, there’s only one direct flight available from Dulles to London Gatwick, a slightly smaller, lower-stress alternative. Is this cheating? Not at all! What airline you prefer is between you and your god/airline loyalty. Norse doesn’t refer to itself as a budget airline but promises “low-price, high-quality offerings,” so expect a budget airline. Which is fine because London is not a budget city. If you’re looking for a lower-cost escape, you may be interested in our next suggestion.

Trees in park against sky,Baton Rouge,Louisiana,United States,USA
Beer fansin the DMV, this one’s for you.
Getty Images/500px

DCA to Baton Rouge, Louisiana

American Airlines

There’s more to Louisiana than New Orleans. If you’re a beer fan, Baton Rouge might be your new favorite city (extremely friendly prices and the award winning Tin Roof Brewing Co. make this an appealing choice). If you’re a college football fan, a pilgrimage to a Tigers game in early September is an excellent way to say goodbye to warm weather/remember when you lived where people care about college football.


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