Another excellent domestic lounge option!

Gosh, do I love bmi Gold status. It’s so much better than being an RCC member. Instead of just being able to access RCC’s (which would typically require a $400+/year membership), Star Alliance Gold status with airlines other than United and USAir get you into any Star Alliance lounge when traveling on a Star Alliance carrier the same day. In theory that’s exciting because it means you could access a Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge while traveling on a boring domestic flight, but as of now the cases where that’s possible are limited.

Lately, our options have been getting better and better, though. As I previously reported there’s now a walkway between the domestic and international terminals at SFO, and since there’s a Singapore Airlines Silver Kris lounge, non-UA/US Star Gold members can use that lounge while traveling domestically.

Well, as of a few days we have an even cooler option. Lufthansa just opened their new Senator/Business lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD), which means non-UA/US Star Gold members traveling domestically can access it. While it’s not all that close to the United gates, it can be reached airside. It’s open daily from 1PM to 7PM and is located midfield at Terminal B, so keep that in mind, Star Gold members!

Usually I travel through IAD before noon, but I’ll be sure to plan an afternoon layover there sometime soon so I can check it out. There’s just something I love about using “international” lounges when traveling domestically. Most importantly, the lounge has showers. That’s always a luxury when traveling with United domestically!

Filed Under: Advice, bmi
  1. Well, if I decide to renew I’ll do it by crediting 38,000 miles to them. Before I credit anything to them I want to see if anything happens with them and LH.

  2. SKL at SFO is after security in the int’l terminal. How would you get past it to use the lounge at SFO?

  3. There is now a walkway between SFO domestic and int’l, which takes you to right in front of the int’l RCC. I think it’s about 10 min., depending on which domestic gate you start from.

  4. 38k is hardly a problem if you’re flying UA/US (if you inculde your TATL/TPAC’s as well)

    The advice from the BD forum alas is mixed – some of us believe that Diamond Club will survive, others of us feel that it will be submerged into Miles and More.

    There is one upside to this if we look at what happened when Swiss were folded into Miles and More – SEN Status (*G) for 2 years, followed by FTL for another 2 (*S).

    By that point of course, we could have shoved our 100,000 miles over to Asiana, or gone over to Turkish Airlines…

    Depends what you want out of *G as an international traveller – The “rewards” or “benefits”?

    Or as I’ve said “What’s *G worth to you?”

  5. My understanding is that the new LH lounge at IAD does not require a non-UA/US *G. Meaning as a *G traveling domestically, you should be able to access (similar to the SKL in SFO that I’ve done many times).

  6. IIRC, the new SFO walkway is located next to gate 75. It will be nice to use the Intl RCC or SKL when traveling domestically.

  7. 38k worth of MRs just for RCC access? Those miles won’t count for anything on UA, why don’t you just change your MP adress to somewhere in Asia for RCC access.

  8. Sam, you’re forgetting that the bmi Diamond Club program is a VERY lucrative one with amazing redemption rates. It’s not a matter of “wasting” 38K miles. Also, I don’t believe UA does RCC access for international members anymore.

  9. Great find Lucky! I’ll be excited to try out the LH lounge in IAD. I walked over to SQ in SFO the other week, only to discover it wasn’t open.

  10. Lucky,

    Can’t a *G on UA’s program still get into the SK lounge at SFO. The rules only prohibit access to a RCC when traveling domesticaly

  11. mudba,

    Technically I don’t believe that’s correct. United requires you to be traveling on an international itinerary in order to use a lounge (ANY lounge, be it a US Club or an RCC). In practice, however, I’m betting it’s quite the opposite. Just because United and USAirways have stupid policies doesn’t mean Lufthansa knows about them. 😉

    I’m guessing it’ll eventually stop when United refuses to pay when Lufthansa tries to bill them for lounge access, but for now I think you’re safe. 🙂

  12. Also bear in mind that 38k is a Cash and miles return from Zone 1 to Zone 3 (Most EU/USA).

    Hardly a waste at all …

  13. You can’t access the SQ Silver Kris Lounge at T3. They have a dedicated lounge for Star Alliance Gold Members who are not flying business. Nice, but not as nice as the Silver Kris lounge…that’s just gorgeous 🙂

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