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Burn, United (Miles), Burn: United Global First Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)

United Global First Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
ANA First Square Class Washington Dulles to Tokyo Narita
ANA Suite and Business Class Lounges Tokyo Narita (NRT)
ANA Business Class Tokyo Narita to Beijing
IBIS Beijing Capital Airport Hotel
Air China First Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
BGS Premier Business Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Business Traveler’s Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Lufthansa A380 First Class Beijing to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa B747-400 First Class Frankfurt to New York JFK
United PS Business Class New York JFK to San Francisco

I’m not going to cover my domestic flights to get to Dulles, so I’m going to start off the trip report with the United Global First Lounge at Washington Dulles airport (IAD).

I generally don’t expect much from domestic lounges, but I was interested to see what a United Global First lounge was like, as one might assume that they’d have to be on par with international lounges since the only way to get access is to the lounge is to fly a Star Alliance flight in first class.

Entrance to the lounge, near the end of the C terminal around gate C2
Entrance to the lounge, near the end of the C terminal around gate C2

When I entered the lounge, the lounge attendant told me that the ANA lounge was open (by which she meant the Lufthansa lounge that ANA passengers use), and that while I was welcome to use the United First lounge, I should consider going to the B gates to go to the ANA lounge. I would normally take this to mean that I wasn’t really welcome, but after poking around the lounge, I think the attendant was trying to do me a favor because she knew that the United Global First lounge was a pretty disappointing lounge, particularly since it’s supposed to be for first class passengers.

At 8:30am on a Saturday, I was the only one there, and for the 15 minutes or so that I poked around, only one other person even attempted to come in (and he was denied access).

Completely empty lounge
Completely empty lounge

The food offerings were sparse for a first class lounge, although good compared to a domestic business lounge, which isn’t saying much. There were no hot options to be seen, and the continental/cold options for breakfast seemed a little sad to me. I did appreciate that there were some berries in the fruit plate instead of the conventional melon and unripe banana assortment. The drinks were self-service, but I wasn’t interested in trying anything after coming off a red-eye.


I'm assuming this fridge is usually fuller?
I’m assuming this fridge is usually fuller?

DSC03184 DSC03185

The lounge is small, although since the only way to get access is to fly first class on a Star Alliance flight, it should never get that crowded. There was a storage facility for luggage and a small business center where you could make copies, but there were no showers or other amenities.

Business center
Business center

After a quick walkthrough, I decided to leave for the Lufthansa lounge in Terminal B, mostly because there was nothing compelling to make me stay. I wanted a shower, which I couldn’t get in this lounge, there weren’t good views of the tarmac, and the food wasn’t particularly appetizing. Overall, disappointing for a first class lounge, but it’s a step up from your typical United Club.


  1. Disappointing…my parents enjoyed the UA GFL at SFO last year (thanks, cocktail shrimp!), and I think they now think all lounges are like that.

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