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As American Express is due to open a Centurion Lounge at the nearby Reagan National Airport, Capital One also decided to expand its lounge footprint in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Located not far from the bank's headquarters in McLean, Virginia, the Capital One Lounge Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) opened on September 7, 2023, and we got to take a look during its first full day of operations.
Here's a tour inside the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles so you can know what to expect when visiting.
Capital One Lounge Washington Dulles Hours and Access
Until September 15, 2023, the Capital One Lounge is operating a soft opening, with hours from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. From September 15 onwards, the hours will expand from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card cardholders can bring two guests for free. Each additional guest will cost $45. Children under two years old can enter the lounge for free.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles for Business cardholders are allowed two free visits to Capital One lounges per year. After these two visits, they can enter the Capital One Lounge after paying a $45 fee.
- 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases
- 5 miles per dollar on flights when booking via Capital One Travel
- 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel
Location of the Capital One Lounge Washington Dulles
The Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport is located airside in the main terminal right after the PreCheck security checkpoint. If your travel originates at Dulles and you have PreCheck, this makes the lounge's location quite convenient, as you will see the lounge entrance as soon as you clear security.
Travelers connecting at Washington Dulles International Airport have three ways to get to the main terminal. If you take a mobile lounge (which is essentially a large airport bus unique to Dulles) or the underground walkway, follow the signs for baggage claim. However, if you are taking the airport train, follow the signs for All Gates and then the signs for gates D, H, and Z. These directions will take you towards two up escalators with stairs in the middle. Go up these stairs and turn left.
These stairs are also the ones you will take to reach the Capital One Lounge if your travel originates from Dulles and you do not have PreCheck. Note that it will take at least ten minutes to get to the lounge from most of the gates, so bear this in mind so you have enough time to make your flight or if you wish to stop at the lounge during a layover.
Once you are airside by the PreCheck security checkpoint, you will see a Capital One Lounge sign on one of the columns nearby.
At the entrance of the Capital One Lounge, you're greeted by one check-in desk. After a tap of your Capital One card and a glance at your boarding pass, you are welcomed into the lounge.
Capital One Lounge Washington Dulles Layout
To the left of the check-in desk, you will find a barista on hand, who can make specialty coffee drinks as well as provide pastries to pair with your coffee or tea.
You will also find self-serve cold brew on tap.
Right next to the check-in desk, you will also find a unique perk to Capital One Lounges: the grab-and-go food stations. Behind and to the right of the check-in desk, you will find some tulip tables in the style of Eero Saarinen.
As a person who loves Eeron Saarinen's interior design and architecture of both the TWA Terminal at JFK and the Dulles main terminal, I loved the homage to the architect who designed Dulles International Airport during the Golden Age of Aviation. Due to the lounge's location in the old control tower, the lounge views are not of airplanes but rather the mobile lounges unique to Dulles.
You will also find a playfully shaped table that is perfect for families with children to sit at prior to their flights, and bar seats.
In the back of the lounge lies the majority of the lounge's seating. The warm colors of the back room made the lounge seem fresh, lively, and quite cheerful.
The Capital One Lounge Washington Dulles offers a wide variety of seating, ranging from single seats and tables designed for individual travelers and small groups to large tables with chairs and booth seating for large groups.
On the left side of the lounge, which loops around back to the barista near the entrance, you will find Eero Saarinen-style womb chairs, tables designed for a work environment, bathrooms, and a parent room.
Note that the lounge is on the smaller end, coming in at 8,500 square feet. This makes it smaller than both the already-open Capital One Dallas-Fort Worth lounge and the soon-to-open Capital One Denver lounge.
Food and Beverage at Capital One Lounge Washington Dulles
Similar to its counterpart at Dallas-Fort Worth, the Capital One Lounge Washington Dulles offers absolutely exceptional cuisine that is on par with business class lounges like United's Polaris or American's Flagship lounges. For Capital One Venture X cardholders, gone are the days of having uninspired food at the Priority Pass lounges in Dulles International Airport's A and B concourses.
The food options are self-serve, with a multitude of hot options for breakfast and lunch.
As a vegetarian, I was relieved to find that there were many vegetarian options. Both breakfast and lunch were delicious! Because breakfast is often overlooked by airport lounges and airlines, my expectations for breakfast were rather minimal. However, the Capital One Lounge went above and beyond to provide one of the best breakfasts I've ever had at an airport. I went back for seconds of the cheese grits and grilled peaches!
For lunch, I made sure to grab the cheesy potatoes, two servings of the truffle corn pudding, chips and guac, and goat cheese & spicy cheese crostini. The dessert selection was also fantastic, with vegan and eggless options available.
The lounge also offers non-alcoholic beverages on tap, including water, lemonade, and cream soda.
The bar also featured midcentury-inspired designs and exquisite colors.
The bartenders, who are well-trained, can make a multitude of drink options.
While most of the options are free, you can also pay for premium alcohol.
The bartenders are very nice and are trained to make a multitude of cocktails.
The bartender gave me a unique Capital One Lounge coaster along with my drink. While I am not sure if this is a standard gift given to Capital One Lounge customers or a soft opening treat, I was very appreciative of the bartenders' sentiment!
At the entrance of the lounge, the barista made me a mocha with Capital One-inspired latte art.
In addition to mocha, the barista can also make the following drinks.
Capital One Lounge Washington Dulles Amenities
Due to the lounge's size, the lounge does not offer much in terms of amenities. You will not find any showers here or the fitness amenities offered at the Capital One Lounge Dallas-Fort Worth. Additionally, there are only four bathrooms. While the bathrooms are nice, I can imagine the bathrooms might have a line during peak hours.
The parent room was also quite spacious, with a soothing and quiet environment for a parent to relax with their child.
There are also luggage lockers at the entrance to the lounge, right next to the entrance. The attendants at the check-in desk will help travelers utilize these lockers.
However, one thing I noticed was that the landing page to log on to the lounge's WiFi would often take a minute or two to appear after first connecting to the network. While the WiFi speeds are quick once you are able to connect (I was able to take a Google Meet conference call without any lag), I do hope that the Capital One Lounge fixes the landing page loading issue prior to their larger opening.
The service at the Capital One Lounge Washington Dulles is obviously harder to judge during a soft opening due to the limited hours and limited announcements from Capital One about the lounge's opening. However, every employee I interacted with was not only very nice but also quite eager about the lounge's opening. They went above and beyond to ensure the lounge customers were happy. As the lounge expands its hours and more travelers trickle in, I continue to expect that the service here will be excellent.
Travelers local to Washington, DC, and those who are connecting through the airports in the area will be excited to hear about the new lounge options at both Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport. The Capital One Lounge Dulles Airport is the first to open.
Despite being on the smaller end, its food and drink options and seating variety are top-notch. In addition, the interior design's homage to Eero Saarinen is uniquely tied to the lounge's home airport, and the natural lighting and warm colors are appealing to the eye. Overall, the lounge is a massive improvement over the other Priority Pass lounges that Dulles International Airport has to offer.
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