Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Keri Stooksbury
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After much anticipation, the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is finally open. Capital One opened its first lounge at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in 2021, and it quickly rose to the top of many “best domestic airport lounge” lists. Now, the second Capital One Lounge location is open.
This new lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport opened on September 7, 2023. While it’s smaller than the original location in Dallas, it offers many of the same well-loved amenities like excellent grab-and-go choices and locally-inspired food and beverage options.
I love the Capital One Lounge at DFW, so I was excited to visit the IAD location during its first week in operation.
In this review, I’ll show you everything you need to know about the new Capital One Lounge, including how to find it (it may be harder than you think), how to get complimentary access, and what to expect once you’re in the lounge.
The Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) was located on the ticketing level in the main terminal, just beyond TSA PreCheck security.
Unless you’re coming from TSA PreCheck, the Capital One Lounge can be hard to find.
If you’re arriving from a connecting flight in the C or D gates, you’ll want to take the train to the main terminal, which will just be marked as “terminal.” Go up 2 sets of escalators, and then look for the elevators with the Capital One Lounge logo.
Take the elevator up to level C. Once you get off the elevators, the lounge will be right in front of you.
If you find stairs that are marked “Do Not Enter,” turn around, and the elevator should be in front of you.
Guests arriving from A or B gates can walk to the main terminal or take the train. Guests arriving from the Z or H gates should look for the elevator with the Capital One logo in the main terminal. Go up to level C, and you’ll see the lounge as soon as you exit the elevator.
There were a few ways to access Capital One Lounges. The easiest way was by having a Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card or a Capital One Venture X Business Card (Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One). These cardholders and their authorized users get unlimited complimentary access for themselves and 2 guests at all Capital One Lounges. Any additional guests cost $45 each, while children under 2 were free.
If you don’t have any eligible Capital One cards, you can gain entry to the Capital One Lounge by paying a $65 per person per visit fee. Children under 2 were free.
A same-day boarding pass for a departing or connecting flight was required for entry for all travelers.Hot Tip:
In addition to complimentary access to Capital One Lounges, the Capital One Venture X card also includes access to additional lounges, including Priority Pass and Plaza Premium Lounges.
The Capital One Lounge at IAD was open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Capital One Lounge has become a favorite in the miles and points community based on the success of the first Capital One Lounge at DFW. Because of that, my expectations were high when I visited the lounge less than a week after it opened.
The Capital One Lounge at IAD was decorated in a mid-century modern style that felt more contemporary than kitschy. Maroon, blue, and grey tones exuded a calmness that was a stark contrast to the busy airport terminal. The vertical planks of natural teak wood that lined the back wall added a warmth and architectural element to a view that would otherwise have been stark and uninviting.
Nothing was boring in this lounge. The club chairs looked like they were straight from the West Elm catalog, the angled wood accents behind the bar were striking, and the purple glass lights were modern, high-end, and just plain fantastic. I would love to get my hands on one of these lights for my house.
Even the ceiling was cool — it was covered in rounded diamond panels that made each recessed light appear as if it were a star.
A third Capital One Lounge location is due to open by the end of 2023 at Denver International Airport (DEN). Learn more about all of the anticipated locations in our detailed guide to Capital One Lounge.
At 8,000 square feet, the Capital One Lounge at IAD was smaller than the DFW location, but it did not feel cramped.
The main seating area was at the back of the lounge near the bar. There were cushioned club chairs throughout the lounge. Most seats had access to plugs and a side table.
Big tables could seat larger groups or families in the main area in front of the bar.
The bar had upholstered bar stools with backs, so you’d still be comfortable if you’d prefered to grab a seat there. Plus, there were plugs at every bar stool.
If you’re after some runway views during your layover, head to the right side of the lounge. Tables and work benches were along the windows, and there were cushioned chairs towards the back of the space.
If you’d like a semi-private space to relax while you wait for your flight, there ws a corner section with a couple of chairs next to the lounge’s workspaces.
If you don’t want to stop in the Capital One Lounge, check out these other lounges at Washington Dulles International Airport. Capital One Venture X cardholders have access to 5 additional lounges at IAD.
The food and beverages at the IAD Capital One Lounge were excellent. I had high expectations since the Dallas location is top-notch, and I wasn’t disappointed.
One of the best aspects of Capital One Lounges was the amount and quality of grab-and-go items, which is something we don’t often see at airport lounges. Think fresh salads, sandwiches, açaí bowls, and overnight oats.
Due to the location of the Capital One Lounge at IAD, there’s a large focus on serving passengers who may just be stopping in to grab a snack for the flight.
The grab-and-go items were located just to the left of the check-in desk, so it’s easy to make a quick stop to pick up a snack for your flight.
There were premade sandwiches, salads, snacks, desserts, Bubly sparkling water, and Aquafina still water in aluminum cans.
Even better, the lounge’s coffee bar was in the lobby’s entry area, so you could quickly order a coffee to-go without having to fully enter the lounge.
For added convenience, the lounge provided branded bags for your on-the-go snacks.
While the grab-and-go food section at the Capital One Lounge at IAD was better than most airport lounges, it’s still smaller than the grab-and-go section at the DFW location. However, the IAD location offers the option for coffee and teas to go, which DFW doesn’t have.
The full-service coffee bar was one of the most unique features of the Captial One Lounge at IAD. Located just to the left of the front desk, the coffee bar could serve your beverage in a to-go cup if you were in a hurry.
The baristas who were working at the time of my visit, Dalila and Terry, were delightful. Not only did they make excellent lattes, they were a total pleasure to speak to. I got a sense that they took great pride in their jobs. That positivity, along with amazing pastries and delicious beverages, made this coffee bar the best part of the entire IAD Capital One Lounge, in my opinion.
One of the coolest features of the coffee bar was the latte art machine. This was a fun touch and helped elevate this lounge from ordinary to exceptional.
There were also fresh pastries at the coffee bar. On the day of my visit, there were croissants, cinnamon buns, and homemade strawberry pop tarts. The strawberry pop tart was so divine I had 2 and took 2 more home in a to-go bag.
The Capital One Lounge offered small plates and individually plated snacks instead of offering a buffet like many lounges. These food options were found in the back of the lounge, across from the bar.
Food items were individually portioned.
Some of the breakfast options included a delicious breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese, and bacon on brioche, chia pudding with fresh fruit, grits, and pastries.
Lunch options included asparagus guacamole, goat cheese toasts, cheese tots, and charcuterie skewers.
Don’t forget to grab a cherry blossom-flavored dark chocolate on your way out. These sweet treats, available at the front desk, were from local chocolatier River-Sea Chocolates.
There were tons of beverage options at the Capital One Lounge at IAD. Next to the coffee bar in the lobby, you’d find La Colombe draft latte and cold brew on tap.
You would find even more drink options once you headed to the back of the lounge. There were 4 sodas on tap — cola, zero sugar cola, pineapple cream soda, and agave vanilla cream soda.
Next to the sodas, water, lemonade, and unsweetened iced tea were on tap.
The Captial One Lounge bar offered a curated menu of beverages, including cocktails, local craft beer, mocktails, and wines. There were also specialty bottles of Champagne, bourbon, and tequila available for an extra charge.
Will Patton, the lounge’s beverage director, also designed the beverage programs for Jont and Bresca. Bresca is a D.C. Michelin-starred restaurant that has been nominated for “Cocktail Program of the Year” and has received recognition from Wine Spectator magazine.
Bresca’s signature cocktail, the Bee’s Knees, was available at the Capital One Lounge at IAD. This citrusy cocktail featured Bombay Sapphire gin, Suze, lemon, and kombucha honey cordial. Served in what was perhaps the most unique glass I have ever seen at an airport lounge, this drink is sure to become a hit.
There was a selection of cocktails, wines, and beers available on tap at the bar:
One of the things that really made the Capital One Lounge stand out was its selection of alcohol-free cocktails. With more and more people decreasing their alcohol consumption in recent years, zero-proof cocktails have become a welcome trend for anyone looking for a fun but alcohol-free drink.
There were 3 no-ABV beverages offered on the lounge’s cocktail menu:
The Capital One Lounge at IAD doesn’t have the bells and whistles you may find in other airport lounges. There were no workout rooms, showers, or sleeping pods. However, this lounge offered some nice amenities to enjoy while waiting for your flight.
There were 2 semi-private work areas available. If you’re looking at the front desk, they were all the way to the left side of the lounge, facing the windows.
These spaces each had a long desk and 3 chairs. While they were still open to the walkway, they offered more privacy than any other public spaces in the lounge.
There were 4 individual restrooms. Each was large and stocked with hand soap, lotion, and tissues.
Parents traveling with small children could check out the private parent’s room. This room had a comfortable chair and a changing area.
Be sure to grab one of the complimentary Capital One-branded bibs available in this room.
If you don’t have a human baby, remember these also work for fur babies!
There were lockers available for use at the Capital One Lounge. They were directly to the right of the front entrance.
Travelers will find unique contemporary artworks by Washington, D.C.-area artists displayed throughout the lounge.
One of the highlights of the Capital One Lounge at IAD was the staff. Everyone I talked to was friendly, helpful, and eager to show off the lounge and its amenities. A few staff members told me how happy they were that the location was finally open and what a great place it was to work.
The Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is finally open in the main terminal just past TSA PreCheck. This new lounge is especially convenient for travelers who want to drop in to pick up a coffee or some snacks to take on their flight.
For travelers with a long layover, the Capital One Lounge offers plenty of comfortable seating, delicious small plates, a full bar, and a coffee bar. Semi-private workspaces and a parent’s room make this lounge great for business travelers and families.
Select Capital One cardholders can access this lounge for free, while anyone else can pay a $65 per visit per person fee to enter.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Information regarding the Capital One Spark Miles for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Yes, the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) opened in September 2023.
The Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD) can be tricky to find. It’s located on the ticketing level of the main terminal right past TSA PreCheck. If you’re coming from a connecting flight, head to the main terminal and look for the elevators marked with the Capital One Lounge logo.
Yes, the Capital One Lounge at IAD opened on September 7, 2023. It’s open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cardholders of the Capital One Venture X card or the Capital One Venture X Business card get unlimited complimentary access to all Capital One Lounges for themselves and up to 2 guests. Cardholders of the Capital One Venture card and the Capital One Spark Miles card can get 2 complimentary lounge passes each year. Anyone else can pay a $65 per person per visit fee to access the lounge.
The Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport was open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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