Service Began in 1941
The Travelers Aid Society of Washington was founded in 1912. The Travelers Aid program at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport began in 1941 as part of the new United Service Organizations, better known as the USO.
Just as the federal government opened the new National Airport on the Virginia shores of the Potomac River in 1941, the USO was there.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited Mary Ingraham, then president of the national Young Women’s Christian Association, to form a group to provide morale and recreation services to U.S. military personnel.This request brought together six civilian organizations: the YWCA, the National Travelers Aid Association, Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Service, and the National Jewish Welfare Board. They were brought together under one umbrella, USO, to support U.S. troops.
After the war, in 1947 as the USO dissolved, the Travelers Aid Society of Washington took over the operations at National Airport.
With the opening of the new Terminals B and C in 1997, the volunteer program doubled in size and has continued to grow and thrive. Reagan National now serves more than 23.5 million passengers each year and in 2016 Travelers Aid assisted more than 427,100 of them with their travel challenges. Last year, our 186 volunteers provided more than 25,000 hours of community service assisting Reagan guests.
Since 1947, Travelers Aid has continued to provide services relying on trained volunteers offering support and guidance to passengers, exploring all possibilities to help them reach their destination.