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Review: British Airways airport lounge, including First Class dining, at Washington Dulles

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This is our review of the British Airways lounge and the First Class dining room at Washington Dulles Airport.

With two daily flights and and a lot of premium passengers between London and the US capital it clearly makes sense to have a dedicated British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles.

In addition to BA passengers it is also open to Aer Lingus flights as well as anyone flying business or first class on oneworld partners or with oneworld status. It is also open to Priority Pass holders between 7am and 2pm – as there are no British Airways flights during this period – although you should expect a different food offering during this time.

Whilst I was flying in World Traveller Plus (my review of British Airways World Traveller Plus from Monday is here), British Airways allowed me to use the lounge and the First Class dining area for review purposes.  Unfortunately, World Traveller Plus tickets do not come with lounge access as a benefit.

Where is the British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles?

The lounge is situated above the B gates, which is where British Airways flies from. It is easily accessible and almost directly opposite the exit from the air train into the terminal concourse, although airport signage does not make it clear.

It is marked by this big entrance (click any photo to enlarge):

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles entrance

…. which leads to a lift that takes you upstairs.

Inside the BA lounge in Washington

Once upstairs you are greeted by this welcome desk where they scan your boarding pass:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles reception

The lounge itself is an elongated shape due to the proportions of the terminal. It is situated directly above the gates:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles

There is one long corridor that flanks the majority of the seating, as you can see. It is widest at the front and back.

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles

Further down is a small cut away featuring drinks and snacks featuring small wraps, sandwiches and some nibbles:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles snacks

and

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles snacks

As well as wine on tap:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles wine

It also leads to the Club World dining room, which features more formal seating as well as a buffet dining options. What I did not realise is that the dining room is closed as soon as the boarding call is made in the lounge, which scuppered my plans to see and photograph it after my dinner in the First Class dining room!

The Club World dining room is a large space, however.  Hazarding a guess I would say it doubles seating capacity in the lounge as a whole.  I assume the entire dining room is re-set after closing before passengers start to arrive for the second flight later in the evening.

A working space is further down the lounge:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles workstation

As well as a literature rack, which was looking a little sorry when I had a look at it after the boarding announcement. Either newspapers are in high demand or the offering is poor, you decide!

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles magazines

First Class lounge dining

It is important to note that the First Class dining room is only for ticketed First Class passengers.  It cannot be accessed with a British Airways Executive Club Gold card or oneworld equivalent.

There is no real separated First Class lounge. What you have is these two armchairs and sofa:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles first

….. before a more formal dining room. It is a remarkably large space, with around 10 separate tables, in a sort of booth-y layout which is very private:

   British Airways lounge Washington Dulles first dining

Each booth has its own USB and US plug sockets:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles connectivity

Whilst the lounge does have large glass windows facing the tarmac, the lounge does not make best use of this, instead obscuring them with the seating booths:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles first dining

On sitting down I was asked what I would like to drink. I asked for the champagne, which was a Paul Clouet Brut NV.

I was also given a menu. There were a couple of starter options, four main courses and a one dessert to choose from. I like living on the edge and decided to put my shellfish allergy to the test and treat myself to the white wine poached scallops, sorrel pesto, Pennsylvania pioppino mushrooms and Gruyere tarragon cream:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles scallops

You’ll be pleased to know that I am not allergic to scallops, it turns out!

The main course options included what looked like a thanksgiving-inspired turkey roulade, but I went for the miso ginger braised beef short rip with crispy ramen noodles and baby bok choi:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles beef

Which was good, although the crispy ramen noodles were too soft to break and too hard to cut with the airside-safe knife provided!

I finally had the star anise and red wine poached seckel pear tart with creme anglaise, blackberry coulis and pistachio crumb:

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles dessert

…. which tasted great, although the pastry was very, very hard and almost impossible to eat since it shattered into tiny pieces every time I wanted to cut or stab it with my fork.

I also opted for some tea with my dessert which – in typical American fashion – was served without milk, which I had to ask for.  They ended up bringing me more milk than I had tea to begin with! Tea is one thing Americans never seem to be able to get right…..

British Airways lounge Washington Dulles tea

Conclusion

The British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles is a good, if oddly shaped lounge. Due to the timings of BA’s two transatlantic flights, the lounge is clearly catered towards serving a pre-departure dinner to maximise guests’ sleep on the flight itself.

The food in the First Class dining room is clearly a step above what you would expect to get in a normal business class lounge, with a decent range of choices. Despite being on an A380 flight it was virtually empty, with only one or two other guests dining during the time I was there, and you should have a relaxing time if you are flying in First Class and have time to visit.

Comments (34)

  • The Original David says:

    Mmm, wine out of a tap… Were you not tempted to try it?

  • Will in SFO says:

    IIRC There is also a small bar at the far end with seating that is the width of the whole lounge (so the corridor and cutaway) that you didn’t photo. Along with another elevator to exit the lounge by- never been clear if you can enter that way.

    • Rhys says:

      I did think there was something but it seemed so hidden away and we were being rushed off to board!

      ….and not exactly user friendly if it’s so secret!

  • Daniel Evans says:

    I thought the 1st class dining room was great, like you say, very quiet and private. I really liked our server, who was friendly, funny and helpful.

  • David says:

    OT but lounges – flying Business for the first ever time this Saturday! Swiss to Delhi via ZRH.

    Best LHR T2 Star Alliance lounge? Don’t mind getting there earlier and walking the walkway between T2a and b (20 mins each way?) as must admit the Lufthansa lounge doesn’t look massively appealing if there’s better options.

    • Matthew Vaughan says:

      United. Although I like the Singapore lounge too.

      • David says:

        Thanks – sorry should have added I will be there for breakfast time if that makes a difference.

        • John says:

          If you haven’t been before then go to all of them, but if flying LX at breakfast time I no longer bother walking 30 mins as the Lufty lounge is good enough.

        • Lady London says:

          United. Excellent bacon, decent coffee and orange juice. Nice atmosphere. Impressive New York style long bar

          SQ next door small but ok (not their best lounge).

          These lounges are a looong way ( even for Heathrow) from the main shopping area
          You need to allow for this both ways. The LH lounge is just off the main area and perfectly ok.

  • Calvin Tarlton says:

    Did they take out the bar (and full service bartender) at the end of the lounge?

    • Rhys says:

      Not sure – it wasn’t clear anything was down there and we were being whisked away to board. I think they clean the entire lounge in between flights so keen to get rid of me!

      • Richard says:

        When I flew out of here on 30 November there was a bartender, though there didn’t seem to be any draft beer. There was a good bottled IPA though which was very tasty, if a little strong (7% plus). He’ll also pour wine if you don’t fancy the stuff out the tap.

    • PAL says:

      Still there, not hidden just walk to the end. Another food small section and bar that opens up.

  • Calvin Tarlton says:

    Also, the chocolate chip cookies are a vastly underappreciated feature of this lounge!

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    Are BA Only 2 daily now to Dulles? Was 3 daily when i used the route earlier this year.

    • Rhys says:

      2 daily in the winter, and was 2 daily when I lived in the area a few years ago….

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        I could of sworn it was three daily when I did it in March of this year. 747, 787-9 and 787-8 flights. perhaps getting confused with BWI

        • Rhys says:

          BWI only gets one flight. 2 to IAD, 1 to BWI, but BA groups them all together when you search for Washington DC

        • Matt Roberts says:

          you are correct. In March 2019 there were three flights, three days a week. A 788, BA231/0, 744 BA217/6 and a 789 BA292/3. This was just for season W18/19.

  • PAL says:

    Though I was let in, entry when connecting onward through the US with BA gold is not allowed according to the dragon. Only long haul apparently.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      As a BA card holder there’s no long or short haul distinction with oneworld lounges.

      I thought that was just AA card holders at AA lounges on domestic flights.