The USO International Gateway Lounge
"Serving those who serve...and their families"
Did you know? BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is home to one of the nation's largest and most full service USO locations.
The 5,000 square foot, $1.1 million facility serves 99% of the US Armed Forces traveling to and from duty stations in Europe, Southwest Asia, and the United States. Active duty and retired military personnel, National Guard, reservists, merchant marines and dependents can access the lounge with ID. DoD contractors and civilians can also use the lounge. When traveling through BWI Airport they can enjoy many comforts of home, including:
- Hospitality desk staffed by USO volunteers
- Free photocopying and fax services
- Free worldwide VoIP phone calls (sponsored by Verizon)
- Free wireless internet access (courtesy of Cisco Systems)
- Computer lounge & video game room (sponsored by Microsoft)
- TV lounge with 72"screen & DVD library
- Snack bar
- Take-one/leave-one library
- Family room with cribs, toys & TV
- Restrooms with changing tables
- Quiet room for resting with wake-up call service
- Secure baggage storage area
- Ground transportation and lodging assistance
- Laundry facilities
The USO is located on the lower level of the international pier, beside baggage claim 14. Open 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. daily, the lounge will remain open with advance notice of a delayed or canceled military flight. There are 200 USO volunteers who man the lounge, assisting an average of 5,000 service members and their families each month.
The Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) charges the USO one dollar per year to rent the space. In 2008, MAA replaced the furniture and appliances to ensure that the BWI USO continues to provide an inviting environment for our traveling military. Their continual support of the USO lounge is vital to its success.
MAA employees donate time and energy to support the USO and many related efforts at BWI, including Honor Flights (transporting World War II and terminally ill veterans to visit the Nation's Capitol and reflect at their memorials), the Maryland Welcome Center at BWI, and Pathfinders (a group of 153 mostly retired, or semi-retired, men and women who love aviation, have a heart filled desire to assist our military personnel, and provide face-to-face, first class Customer Service to all visitors). In May 2008, MAA received the Governor’s Volunteer Service award for providing an environment that supports volunteer groups at BWI.
For more information on USO programs and services, please visit www.usometro.org.