The Turkish Airlines lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport is accessible to anyone with Star Alliance Gold flying on a Star Alliance operated flight, as well as if you are flying on a Star Alliance international business or first class flight. In addition, you can gain lounge access with Priority Pass (which you can get for free with many premier travel credit cards such as the AMEX Platinum, or Chase Sapphire Reserve). The lounge being a Priority Pass lounge is good and bad at the same time. It’s great that I was able to access such an amazing lounge while flying on a regional flight with United, but due to this accessibility, many people also have access and it is often crowded. You may not always get in. Once I showed up at the lounge to find a sign stating no Priority Pass access. Fortunately it was which removed when I got to the front of the line.
The lounge is accessible for all terminals airside meaning that you can get to the lounge no matter which terminal you fly out of. You just need to give yourself enough time to get to your terminal as the AeroTrain can sometimes take a while. If you are flying on a United regional jet flight or many international airlines, such as Emirates or British Airways, then you are most likely going to be able to access the Turkish Airlines lounge without having to go on the AeroTrain. It is located in the B concourse, which is attached to the A concourse. After clearing security I used the underground pedestrian walkway to get to the A gates, but you could have used the AeroTrain. From the pedestrian walkway, when you walk down the A gates, it is on the left hand side facing the iconic check-in area at Dulles. The lounge easily stands out and is easy to find.
The design of the lounge was great. After check in, to the right there are storage lockers to hold your belongings while you are in the lounge. When you walk into the lounge, to the left is the main sitting area, which is where the food and drink are located. There were many seating options but close to none of them were available. Just as I was walking in, somebody left. I look that seat before anyone else could get to it. I got lucky and got a window seat which allowed me to view some of the widebody long haul jets taxing by. One side of the room had the food and drink sections, and on the opposite side there was a surplus of TV’s. Walking farther into the lounge, which definitely was not that big, towards the windows, and right, there is a short hallway that had the restrooms and showers on the right and straight ahead was the main bar area. There was a line to use the bathrooms but not the showers. The bar area was also extremely crowded and there was not one seat available. It was very crowded so I felt too uncomfortable taking a picture. Do you notice a recurring theme aka being extremely crowded? The entire lounge was definitely sleek, but it showed its wear and tear. The lounge allowed a lot of light in through its enormous windows, which were remarkably clean. As I was leaving, I noticed people coming from a hidden staircase that apparently led to an upstairs that does not have anything but seating. Overall a good design that had once been a lot cleaner, modern and sleek, but definitely still a great lounge design. It would have been significantly better if it had been bigger. It is Priority Pass’s fault for making such a good lounge access card that so many people use. However, the lounge did become significantly less crowded when the Turkish Airlines flight began boarding.
Food and Beverage:
The food and drink at the lounge is without a doubt the best part. There was the customary coffee machine that made everything from hot chocolate to espresso. There was a full service bar and every soda you would want. There was also freshly squeezed orange juice. Most of the food was on the island, not the counter against the wall. There were a few cheese choices and desserts on the counter. The desserts included bread pudding and rice pudding, neither of which I really liked. The cheese and other small snacks such as pretzels were good though. The main food bar included chicken, rice, lamb meatballs, squash and a cold selection with salad as well as two soups. The cold food selection included tahini, hummus, eggplant hummus, olives, fruit, arugula, as well as three grain based salads. The hummus was really good with the pita they had. I also enjoyed the chicken with tahini and rice. It melted in my mouth, and I’m definitely not exaggerating. I got some olives and cheese as well. The plates were ceramic and the utensils were metal, which added to the experience. There was plenty of food, and they always refilled everything. There were a number of waiters asking if they could get me anything and take any of my used dishes. Overall, the food was the best I have ever had in any airport lounge and it was truly a highlight.
The Turkish Airlines lounge at IAD was great. After I ate, I took the opportunity to take a shower before my flight. After waiting in line for a while, I asked the personnel running the bathroom section how much longer he thought the wait would be for the showers. Apparently, I was waiting in line for the bathroom. I then was able to go into the shower room, where he brought me one towel. It would have been better if the shower suite had its own toilet, as well as a floor mat, and other towels other than a body towel, which was very small. I cannot complain, it was clean and I was able to shower in an airport before getting on a one hour flight. When I went to the bathroom, I was surprised that the toilets had a bidet function. The lounge was great, the food and view amazing, but it was crowded. I cannot wait until I revisit the lounge with my family during January to see if there have been any changes. There is a reason this lounge is regarded as one of the top Priority Pass lounges in the US, it is great.
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