Air France’s New Washington Dulles Lounge Opens (With Pre-Flight Dining)

Filed Under: Air France/KLM

In October 2018 I wrote about how the Air France Lounge Washington Dulles Airport was closing so that it could be renovated. Well, that process is finally done.

Today Air France has opened their revamped Washington Dulles Airport lounge. The new lounge is open to Air France and KLM first and business class passengers, as well as SkyTeam Elite Plus members traveling on an international SkyTeam flight.

Air France operates two daily flights to Washington Dulles (with an A380 and 777), while KLM operates one daily flight (alternating between a 777 and 787). The lounge is near gate A22, which should be near the Air France and KLM departure gates.

The lounge covers a space of 615 square meters (6,600+ square feet), and can accommodate up to 155 passengers. It features updated decor, as Air France seems to be offering in many of their lounges.

While the lounge in general looks like a significant improvement, perhaps the most exciting update is that Air France is introducing pre-flight dining for passengers traveling on the 9:10PM flight to Paris, AF27. This is the second US lounge where they’re offering this, after their New York JFK lounge.

With this new service, business class passengers can enjoy the same meal in the lounge that they’d enjoy onboard, so that they can maximize their rest onboard. This will include a starter, hot dish, cheese, dessert, and wine, including champagne.

For those who aren’t eligible for the pre-flight dining, or who don’t have the time or appetite for a sit-down meal, Air France has also revamped the self serve food selection to highlight French gourmet cuisine.

Air France says that this is designed in the spirit of a Parisian brasserie (which seems like a bit of a stretch to me, but…), and the buffet features cold, sweet, and savory options.

The lounge also has a new bar with a bartender, and Air France notes that for the first time in an Air France lounge, customers can enjoy cold draught beers.

The lounge contains a VIP area for passengers traveling in Air France La Premiere (first class), as well as for Flying Blue Ultimate members.

Note that this lounge is also open to Priority Pass members, though hours are restricted. Priority Pass members can access the lounge daily from 10:30AM until 2PM, and from 6PM until 11:45PM.

Bottom line

The new Air France Lounge Washington looks great, and I can’t wait to check it out myself. I love to see more lounges introducing pre-flight dining, especially for the short overnight flights from the US East Coast to Europe, where there simply isn’t time to eat and also get any decent amount of rest.

Comments
  1. The La Premiere dining area looks more like an afterthought stuffed into a corner. They couldn’t give First Class passengers a more exclusive area in a 6600 sq ft space?

  2. “With this new service, business class passengers can enjoy the same meal in the lounge that they’d enjoy onboard”. So the lounge is open for both Skyteam Elite Plus members and business class passengers, but the dining is only for business class passengers, Lucky can you please verify this?

  3. @Travelingnewyorker

    It is still in PP but hours are limited to outside the peak evening rush, similar to the Virgin and BA lounges. Best is still Turkish, IMO, if it’s not so crazy busy.

  4. It’s been soft open for a couple of weeks — stopped in recently before a flight. Direct boarding available for KLM. It’s not a huge space and is going to be crowded at peak, but it’s otherwise pretty well appointed and resourced. The photos are accurate.

  5. The revamped lounge was already open last month. The dining area was still under construction.
    They had a decent food spread and the liquor selection at the bar is quite good. (They had Hennesy and Glenlivet)

  6. As Kitty Monster mentioned this has been open for almost a month now, I was there on June 24. It seemed like basically the same space as before, just updated, so I worry that overcrowding will still be an issue. That being said, I was in there before a fully booked A380 flight back to Paris and was able to sit, and I did appreciate the increased availability of power outlets. I didn’t get to try the dining, as I was only in premium economy this flight, but that should be a welcome addition.

    Overall, though, there are better lounge options at IAD, such as the Turkish Airlines lounge.

  7. I find it still amazes me how some airlines are “starting” to offer pre-flight dining on East coast to Europe flights in 2019, when VS and BA had this back in the 1990s.

  8. Ben, is the pre-flight dining restricted to AF/KLM premium passengers only, or other sky team Business class passengers can also use this? Thanks!

  9. @ flyingrohit — It’s specifically restricted to those on the late night Air France flight.

  10. Even before it was renovated this was a great value, especially when Delta allowed Sky Club members to use it. I think that was the best kept Sky Club secret since there is no Delta lounge at Dulles. I used to use it weekly. The food was basic, but the champagne was excellent and the pours generous. I even used to arrive extra early to get drunk off the top-shelf champagne.

  11. Having used the JFK Air France lounge about two months ago, if this one is anything like it it’s bound to be great!

  12. Emirates was using this lounge for their daily flight. In addition to PP, is it also affiliated with any credit cards (Diners?)?

  13. Been through IAD 4 times in the past few weeks looking to try out this lounge using PP. The earliest I’ve seen it open is about 1:00pm. Maybe this is a “soft opening” schedule but at least in the near future I wouldn’t plan on being able to access this lounge early in the day, even though PP says they open at 10:30am.

  14. This lounge appears to be the same size that prior to renovation (guess it occupies the same bit of IAD real estate). I used the new one for the first time on Wednesday July 24. It’s a real improvement over the old one with nice decor, and, it now has plugs that really work!. In particular, the food is really very good now and better than the AF-KLM offerings in Europe. It was crowded due to impending flights to AMS and CDG but most visitors seemed to find a seat. I didn’t use the meal option since travelling to AMS on KLM. I did though, wonder how relaxed such a meal might be when the place is crowded. In reply to Eskimo’s question above, no I do not believe that you can double-dip 🙂

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