DCA Gets A Second Priority Pass Restaurant

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Over the past year we’ve seen several airport restaurants and bars in the US join Priority Pass. The concept is that at some airports Priority Pass has a tough time striking a deal with a major lounge due to crowding issues, so when that’s not possible, they instead work with a restaurant.

Priority Pass pays a fixed amount for each guest who enters a lounge, so instead Priority Pass is just paying these restaurants a fixed amount, and then you can spend some dollar amount at that restaurant (typically $28-30). So far in the US, Priority Pass restaurants & bars include the following:

It was just a few weeks ago that Washington Reagan Airport got its first Priority Pass restaurant, and now it’s getting a second Priority Pass restaurant.

Priority Pass has just added American Tap Room at DCA to their network. The restaurant is open daily from 5AM until 10PM.

American Tap Room is located airside in Terminal C at DCA, which is where gates 35-45 are located. DCA has three separate security checkpoints, and the area where the restaurant is located is where American flights depart from (the other Priority Pass restaurant is located in Terminal B).

Here’s how the restaurant describes its food:

American Tap Room is a full service, sit down restaurant offering a casual atmosphere with contemporary American food, liquor, beer and wine.

You can find the American Tap Room menu here. The menu mostly has soups, salads, and sandwiches, and looks pretty decent.

Priority Pass members will be entitled to $28 worth of food & drinks per person. In order to be eligible you need to have a same day day confirmed boarding pass, though there’s no explicit requirement that it needs to be an outbound boarding pass (so in theory you could visit on arrival). You’re also limited to bringing in one guest per Priority Pass card, for a total credit of up to $56 for two people.

The Priority Pass member will be responsible for any overage beyond the $28 credit, and that credit can’t be applied towards gratuity (and personally I think it’s appropriate to tip, as a Priority Pass membership is just a form of payment here).

As a reminder, the following are some of the popular credit cards that come with Priority Pass memberships (I’ve also listed the respective guesting privileges):

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express2Yes$300 Per Person
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card2Yes$75 Per Person

Bottom line

Now Priority Pass has gone from no restaurants to two restaurants at DCA in a matter of weeks, which is awesome. It’s great that the second restaurant is in a different pier, so this will be great for American passengers, since otherwise it’s not easy to move between piers at the airport.

Are any American flyers based at DCA planning on checking out this new Priority Pass restaurant?

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Comments

  1. This is a great addition to the B terminal in DCA – This terminal tends to get jam packed, so it will be interesting to see how crowded A.T.R. will get. They used to have a full service location in nearby Clarendon which was very very good, so I am optimistic the airport version will be halfway decent.

  2. Good, its great to have more options. We went to Bracket Room at Washington Reagan Airport and found it to be fine despite the terrible yelp reviews.

  3. This is likely a dumb question, but do we just sit down and flash the card for payment to the waiter/tress or show the PP card to whomever seats us?

  4. Copy and paste to fast: American Tap Room is located airside in Terminal C at DCA, which is where gates 35-45 are located.

    Bracket Room is located airside in Terminal B, which is where gates 10-22 are located.

  5. Very nice.

    This eliminates any need to run the gauntlet of security at B only to get miserable food and worse service at Bracket Room.

  6. Still nothing in Terminal A — I fly Air Canada quite a lot and they’re in A. A is cool in that it’s the old terminal with the classic design, but I also realize there’s very little space.. not even room for a sit-down restaurant.

  7. I’m glad in this post, you’ve simply referred to the airport as “DCA.” The official name of the airport is “Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.” It was re-named by an act of congress ignoring the opinion of the people who live in the area, their leaders, and the airport authority who didn’t want to honor the president who fired all the traffic controllers by giving him our airport. Only republicans or non-locals call it “Washington Reagan.” The airport itself uses the short form “Reagan National,” while most residents call it “National.” You could do a whole blog post on the naming controversy.

  8. Just an FYI, regardless of your departure terminal/gate you can get to all secured areas with a departing boarding pass. This didn’t used to be the case but has been for about 18 months.

  9. @Andy 11235
    There’s a post somewhere on OMAAT about ATL airport naming, so I think a post about DCA naming is a good second one.

  10. @Andy 11235

    Um, shut up.

    I’ll let Lucky call it whatever he wants so long as it identifies the airport in an undestandable fashion. But you are remarkably sullen about a 20 year old name change. As for the name sticking only with Republicans and non-locals who call it “Washington Reagan”, I submit that the name Reagan Airport alone (without “Washington”) is gaining currency. See, e.g.:

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/03/us/girl-abducted-from-reagan-airport/index.html

  11. I’m local. When I tell cab driver DCA, they have no clue what its. If I say National Airport, they sometimes ask Reagan or Dulles. But they understand Reagan National every time. You are right, no locals use Washington Reagan. And no one uses the full name “Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport”, its way too long.

  12. I hope there are improved pre-made/take-away options. This place always seemed crowded before PP; I can only imagine how bad it will be with PP….

  13. This is technically easily available to about 50% of AA passengers since AA flies out of both C and B/C. Which is the dumbest naming convention ever.

  14. Downside is this place is slammed at all hours as it is. Will be interested to see if you can actually use the PP benefit.

  15. This is no substitute for more actual lounges in DCA. I actually attempted to work from the terminal one time and it was a challenge to say the least crowded, noisy, and few outlets. This restaurant is always packed when I have seen it. I can’t image how difficult it would be to actually use this benefit.

  16. On the naming “controversy”…

    I have lived in DC/NOVA for 5 years and fly a lot. People in the area call the airport many things so to say “locals” call it something specific is just wrong.

    People (and I am talking friends, co workers, taxi/uber drivers, airport staff, ect) will call it all sorts of things because it has so many names – DCA, National, Reagan, Reagan National.

    He was the president for 8 years and got an airport named after him it isn’t that big of a deal. The fact that the name sticks must mean people like the sound of it or something. No one calls BWI “Marshall”, everyone just calls it BWI.

  17. I think all the comments about security piers will be history. Won’t project journey lead to full access to all piers?

  18. Lucky – can you clarify the policy on using the PP Select card at more than one restaurant on the same day? I was in Sydney recently and had no problem using my PP card at two separate restaurants on the same day in the domestic terminals, but was flat out refused at Better Burger in International because Peroni Bar had already stamped my boarding pass. The employee insisted she wasn’t allowed to give me the credit and that I’d be charged by PP anyway. I’m assuming she was completely wrong?

  19. Reagan didn’t just fire all the airtraffic controllers. They went on an illegal strike, refused to back down and he called their bluff.

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