Review: Emirates Lounge Dallas DFW Airport

Filed Under: Emirates

Emirates is an airline which is very focused on controlling as many aspects of the customer experience as possible, which includes the ground experience. They operate nearly three dozen of their own lounges around the world, even at airports with only once daily service. In the US they have their own lounges in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

While they also have once daily A380 service out of Dallas, this isn’t an airport out of which they operate their own lounge… well, at least not really.

On Saturday I flew Emirates first class from Dallas to Dubai. I was connecting from Tampa that morning on American, so headed to the American Express Centurion Lounge first, thanks to a simple credit card with lounge access.

We hadn’t yet checked in for the Emirates flight, so at around 10AM headed down to the Emirates gate to get boarding passes. Emirates operates out of gate D16 at DFW Airport, which is a very short walk from the Centurion Lounge. One of the Emirates associates quickly issued our boarding passes to Dubai, and invited us to use Emirates’ lounge.

Emirates gate DFW Airport

The D Concourse at DFW Airport is by far the nicest terminal in the airport, and has three lounges. There’s the American Admirals club, the American Express Centurion Lounge, and then The Club at DFW.

Terminal D DFW Airport

The Club at DFW is located near gate D22.

Terminal D DFW Airport

As you can see based on the entrance, this lounge serves several airlines — virtually all airlines except American.

Airline Clubs DFW Airport entrance

Airline Clubs DFW Airport signage

The lounge also has the cheesiest signage imaginable. “Who has access to our Airport VIP Lounge? YOU!” And then you can look at yourself in the mirror. Oy!

The Club at DFW cheesy signage

The lounge has a couple of couches on the ground floor ahead of the elevators that take you up two levels to the lounge.

Airline Clubs DFW Airport entrance

Airline Clubs DFW Airport elevators

But there’s something really unique about this lounge. Rather than just being a single contract lounge used by all airlines, the lounge actually houses several lounges within the lounge. In other words, each airline operates their own mini-lounge inside the lounge.

So when you get to the reception desk you present your boarding pass and then are pointed towards the correct lounge.

Emirates Lounge DFW Airport reception

In this case, the Emirates lounge is located all the way down the hallway to the left.

Walkway to Emirates Lounge DFW Airport

Immediately across from the entrance to the Emirates lounge was a shower.

Entrance to Emirates Lounge DFW Airport

Emirates Lounge DFW Airport shower

Then inside the lounge was a reception desk with another agent who took down our boarding pass information. Interestingly she wasn’t in an Emirates uniform (for what it’s worth, typically all Emirates employees have the “unique” Emirates uniforms, even at outstations).

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport reception desk

She offered to give us a tour of the lounge, which we gladly took her up on… though there wasn’t much to see.

Immediately to the right of the entrance was some seating, though there were no windows there.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport seating

Then by the entrance are some high-top tables as well as some more traditional lounge chairs.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport seating

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport seating

And then the lounge consists of one long room with four rows of chairs.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport seating

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport seating

On one hand I appreciated the amount of natural light in this part of the lounge, though on the other hand I wish there were a few more partitions or a bit more privacy. If someone was on the phone then everyone could hear the conversation, basically.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport seating

Then off the side of the lounge was another small room with some more seating. It’s almost as if it was intended to be a lounge within a lounge within a lounge (perhaps a first class section, in theory), but in practice it didn’t seem to be differentiated in any way.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport seating

The lounge also had a small food buffet, which was a bit underwhelming. There were three hot dishes — scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, and beef shawarma.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport buffet

Then there were some finger sandwiches and veggies.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport buffet

Then there were three types of cereal — bran, corn flakes, and granola.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport buffet

Lastly there was some fruit, yogurt, and cake.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport buffet

To drink there was Arabic coffee, an espresso machine, and a cooler with beer and soft drinks.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport buffet

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport coffee machine

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport fridge

In addition to what was available at the buffet, there was a small a la carte menu, with the following choices:

  • Mixed berry smoothie
  • Yogurt parfait
  • Bagel with smoked salmon & cream cheese
  • Fruit & cheese plate

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport a la carte menu

Lastly there was a list of over a dozen spirits which could be ordered from a server.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport drink menu

Perhaps the best part of this lounge were the views. The lounge directly overlooks American’s “heavy” gates, so there’s lots of 777 action there. You can also see the runways in the background.

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport view

Emirates Lounge Dallas Airport view

That being said, we didn’t actually stay in the Emirates Lounge, but rather headed back to the Centurion Lounge, given that it is significantly nicer.

Our flight was departing at 12:15PM, and boarding was scheduled for 11:40AM. So at 11:35AM we headed down to our departure gate. Unfortunately the single A380 gate at DFW Airport has an obstructed view, so you can barely make out the whale jet. Perhaps the most amusing part of the gate setup is that there’s a regional jet gate right next to the A380 gate… that’s quite some contrast!

Emirates departure gate DFW Airport

Boarding for Emirates at DFW is a bit of a cattle call, as they line all passengers up at the same time, and then start boarding.

Emirates departure gate DFW Airport

At around 11:45AM they began premium boarding, with a call for first class, business class, and elite members all at once.

Emirates departure gate DFW Airport

Emirates Lounge DFW Airport bottom line

The lounge setup at DFW Airport Terminal D is unique. It seems like there’s not enough real estate available for airlines to operate their own lounges, so instead they used the shared contract lounge.

And that contract lounge setup is interesting as well, because basically each airline operates their own lounge within that shared contract lounge. The decor, furniture, etc., seems to be the same in virtually all the lounges, regardless of airline.

That being said, I was also quite disappointed in the catering, an area of the lounge experience which I assume Emirates does have some control over.

Regardless, the AmEx Centurion Lounge DFW Airport is infinitely better than the Emirates Lounge, given that it has better food, drinks, and even complimentary spa treatments. I can’t imagine returning to the Emirates Lounge.

If you’ve visited the Emirates Lounge DFW Airport, what was your experience like?

  1. One of my favorite things about traveling is visiting new airport lounges. For me it’s like a new playground and just seeing what they offer and overall lounge amenities. While they are some lounges out there that need a complete renovation they are some out there that I would like to spend plenty of time at – one of them is the centurion lounge. I’ve always wondered what the airline clubs look like at dfw though the concept is unique but it sure could use a renovation of some sort. Unlike The Emirates lounge at TBIT, that’s a whole other ball game 🙂

  2. I love the photo of the whale jet behind the barbie jet. Too bad about the obstruction. It’d be a classic if you could see them both clearly. Is there any way to get the shot from above, maybe from the lounge or from the overhead walkways for international arrivals in D?

  3. Well, at least the food culturally fits in with Emirates. But, shawarma for breakfast?

    That still looks like a better spread than what you usually find in US carriers premium lounges.

  4. Interesting that they serve both JW Red and Black. I wonder if there has been a single person that looked at the menu and ordered the JW Red. Pointless to have it if you’re going to offer the black.

  5. @lucky – Not related to this post, but are you going to write anything about the AA mistake fares on their Brazilian (and Chilean) site(s)? Not a single blogger wrote anything about this. Just curious…

  6. @Luis
    Actually, Red and Black have very different flavor profiles, with Red being far more “peaty.” In the absences of a decent Islay, I’d pick Red over Black. Of course, considering if I was about to be getting on Emirates First, I’d just wait for the Blue 🙂

  7. Doesn’t DFW have more than one a380 gate (D14 & D16) because there have been times when both the Qantas and Emirates a380 were at DFW at the same time?

  8. @Dave – DFW only has one A380 gate. The Emirates A380 leaves at 12:15 and the Qantas A380 arrives at 1:35 before leaving at 10:40pm.

    Ben, I have flown Qantas out of DFW and have used The Club, and I remember it being over gate D23 because I could look over the 777-300ER. Plus, I compared the pictures I have of the room, and they look the EXACT same. Do Qantas and Emirates use the same room? Thank you, Ben!

    – Follow my Instagram account, @dallasfortworthspotter Thanks!

  9. My experience was okay. Because Qantas leaves so late, the spread wasn’t that great. The only real dish was some chicken, which was sub-par at best. I enjoyed the tarmac views. I’m hoping to go out of Terminal D in the daytime so I can spot for my Instagram account.

    – Follow my Instagram account, @dallasfortworthspotter Thanks!

  10. Its bizarre that Qantas and BA don’t use the AA lounge. Hopefully if the rumors of Qantas starting Melbourne to Dallas in 2018 are true they will open their own lounge.

  11. Which of the airline lounges can you use with a Lounge Club / Priority Pass card once you’re inside the group lounge area?

  12. Emirates Lounge DFW food/beverages is exactly the same menu that is served for BA (contracted) DFW lounge. Enjoyed your review.

  13. The best part of this lounge is the two sofas downstairs. 🙂 seriously, it’s the only quiet area of the lounge in my experience, and the wifi works down there.

    BA has a similar setup, with a partitioned area for first class/OWE. The only reason I stayed in the BA lounge vs Centurion was to change my Club World seat to 64K with the BA rep, as I knew they would need to op up a few passengers.

  14. @Angel

    Maybe they all made a pact to keep stuff like this between them (and their select friends) so it doesn’t get too much online chatter and the airlines cancel those tickets?

  15. Flew Qantas from DFW-SYD in January – we also used lounge #5. We got there around 1630 (flight didn’t leave for a long time later). It was being used as a BA lounge immediately prior – when we got there, they were busy putting away the BA menu and bringing out the QF menu. I think Qantas first had their own separate lounge.

  16. It seems anyone can use those couches and the wifi without having lounge access because they are located on the first floor and lounge check in is a level up on the elevator.

    I’ve only been to the DFW Centurian lounge once. It was packed. People were sitting

  17. In the hallways. People were attacking the buffet. The staff seemed overwhelmed. The overall appearance was unpleasant.

  18. Hey Lucky! Awesome review again, as usual! (: I just wrote a review of the Emirates Lounge at Singapore and wanted to share it with you!

    I saw that you wrote a review of it in 2013 on your website as well. I hope nothing too drastic has changed from 2013 to 2015. Haha!

    Cheers, mate! Continue writing awesome trip/lounge reviews. It’s always a pleasure to read them!

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