I was excited to start my adventure to the Maldives and Tokyo so headed to Washington Dulles (“IAD”) 2-hours before my flight to Doha. Qatar uses the Turkish Airlines business class lounge at IAD, which is also a Priority Pass lounge. Upon arrival I was warned that the lounge was crowded. When I walked around there wasn’t a single seat available.
I left and immediately headed to the British Airways Galleries lounge, which I had access to since I was traveling in business class on a One World Alliance airline. I would have also been entitled to use the lounge based on my One World Sapphire status if I were traveling in economy.
This was my second visit to the BA lounge at IAD. I visited the Concorde Dining Room in the lounge last summer. Since I was traveling on Qatar Airways in business class I didn’t have access.
Opening Times and Location:
The lounge is located in concourse B and is open from 7am-11:15pm . It operates as a Priority Pass lounge, but after 2pm Priority Pass members aren’t entitled to visit. The lounge is fairly easy to spot. An elevator delivers you to the check-in desk on the second floor of the terminal.
Check-in and Layout:
I was greeted by a friendly BA agent and I presented my Qatar business class ticket. She quickly checked me in and reminded me that they don’t announce Qatar flights so to keep track of my time.
The lounge features sit down Club World dining, which occupies the first room to your left upon entering. I attempted to access the dining section, but was politely turned away since I wasn’t flying on British Airways.
The main section of the lounge consists of pairs of chairs facing each other, which are ideal if you’re traveling with a companion. There’s also larger tables with office style roller chairs. The pathway that spans the lounge is extremely narrow. It’s so narrow that you need to take care when walking past other people so you don’t bump into them.
The second section consisted of buffet style dining options including small sandwiches, fresh fruit and chips. There was also a variety of non-alcoholic beverages on offer. The fresh food items didn’t look particularly appetizing so I opted for a bag of Pop Chips.
The food in the buffet area was lackluster compared to other BA outposts I’ve been to. I’m guessing this may be due to the fact that they offer Club World dining at this location.
For those looking for alcoholic beverages there’s a manned bar in the back of the lounge. They had a nice variety of beer, wine and liquor to choose from. I ordered a Tanqueray and tonic; however, the bartender proceeded to fill the glass with 80% gin making it undrinkable.
It was very warm in the bar area, which may explain why it was so empty during the duration of my stay.
Overall Verdict – 3.5 / 5
The BA lounge was certainly better than the Turkish Airlines lounge, but the lackluster food and poor performance of the bartender negatively impacted the score. If I had access to the Club World dining section this may have improved my score.