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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


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


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.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (April 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (34)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    OT but lounges, JFK Priority Pass options for T4 now include the Air India lounge conveniently by A5 for Virgin flights.
    Don’t go there please! It rivals a lounge in Kathmandu I experienced a few years ago albeit without the rat. Dirty, unhygienic with doubtful looking food options festering and kept warm. No beer and an open bottle of Ozzie Chardonnay which was dark brown and fizzed when poured and an unopened bottle of the same which also appeared brown, grabbed some sealed bottles of water, checked the seals, and bolted to the perfectly adequate if poorly located Wingtips Lounge and tried some really good craft beer

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      Nothing can be worse than the Alitalia lounge at JFK.

      Powerpoints non-existent. Decor from 1993. Pizza that looks like it’s come from Asda.

      About the only thing that was good was the view

  • Andrew says:

    There are real issues with tea on this side of the atlantic too.

    Whether it’s on the Chieftain, Pendolino or a BA domestic, it’s not unusual to be presented with a hot muddy looking fluid that could be tea, coffee or gravy. I think it’s because they tend to use the same flasks for both tea and coffee that they taint each other.

    On the subject of Pendonlinos… Avanti West Coast appear to have renewed the former Virgin partnerships with major employers so if you had the usual 20% discount on Advance Tickets with Virgin, they should still be there with Avanti.

  • simonbr says:

    Was the choice of wine better/bottled in the First section?

  • Peter K says:

    Somewhat risky and thoughtless to eat shellfish before a flight if a full blown anaphylactic reaction was possible… That’s how Natasha Ednan-Laperouse ended up dying after having sesame!

    • Rhys says:

      Luckily my allergy doesn’t result in immediate anaphylactic shock, just extreme discomfort!

    • Grant says:

      I’m sure you didn’t mean it in such a way, but this reads as if you are implying that Natasha Ednan-Laperouse decided to chance it by knowningly eating a baguette containing sesame. As we all know, the reality was far from that.

      • Peter K says:

        You’re right, my comment wasn’t meant to mean Natasha ate the sesame deliberately, though it does appear to read that way.

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    Data point: lounge staff earlier this year said it could end up being run by a third party in the future.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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