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Burn, United (Miles), Burn: Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)

Introduction
Planning
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


The Lufthansa lounge is the lounge for non-United Star Alliance flights, including my ANA flight, as those seem to mostly depart from the B gates, which is where this lounge is located. There’s the business class part of the lounge which is downstairs (and has a shower), while the senator lounge is located on the same floor as the entrance, which is where I was directed to as a first class passenger. There’s not a separate first class lounge, except for a roped off area in the senator lounge which is supposed to be reserved for Lufthansa first class guests and not first class passengers of other airlines.

Entrance to the lounge

Entrance to the lounge

Small roped off seating area for Lufthansa first class passengers

Small roped off seating area for Lufthansa first class passengers and HON circle members

My first order of business was to take a shower, having just gotten off a red-eye. The attendant at the entrance told me to go downstairs to the Business lounge and find someone dressed in all black who could help me, but when I wandered downstairs, I only saw one person who worked there, and he was focused on clearing dishes. Eventually, he came over to try to help me, but someone had been in the shower and it needed to be cleaned, so it was probably 30 minutes from the time I went downstairs to the time I was able to take my shower.

Business Lounge seating

Business Lounge seating

The shower room itself was fine (better than my most recent lounge shower in Shanghai), except the water temperature consistently oscillated between cold and scalding hot. I’ve definitely had better showers in most lounges that have showers, and it was inconvenient that they only have a single shower.

Shower room

Shower room

The food in the business class section was mostly limited to snack foods, and I found it interesting that there were signs saying that “the local liquor authority does not allow any self-service” when the United Global First Lounge was completely self-service. Can anyone shed light on this difference?

Snacks in the Business lounge

Snacks in the Business Lounge

More snacks

More Business Lounge snacks

Not self-serve alcohol

Not self-serve alcohol

After my shower, I headed up to the Senator Lounge. I was expecting more from the food offerings, but when I was there, there weren’t any hot options unless you wanted to make instant noodles or instant miso soup; in fact, the offerings seemed largely comparable to the Business Lounge downstairs. This didn’t matter a lot to me as I was holding out to eat during the flight, as I was super excited to try ANA’s Japanese kaiseki meal on board.

Senator Lounge snacks

Senator Lounge snacks

Very similar snacks to Business Lounge downstairs

Very similar snacks to Business Lounge downstairs

I think these are supposed to cater to the passengers on the ANA flight

I think these are supposed to cater to the passengers on the ANA flight

Pastries and jams

Pastries and jams

A benefit of the Senator Lounge as compared to the Business Lounge or the United Global First Lounge were the windows and tarmac views. It was definitely a much nicer space to spend time in given the light.

Senator Lounge seating

Senator Lounge seating

Overall, the Lufthansa Senator Lounge seemed like a nicer lounge than the United Global First Lounge at IAD, if only because of the windows and tarmac views, so I’d definitely head there if I had a long layover. You’re not going to find great food options in any of the lounges, and if you want to take a shower, you have to head to the Lufthansa Business Lounge.

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

Introduction
Planning
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.

DSC03183

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.