My Club options at Dulles this Saturday
I absolutely love hanging out in airport lounges when compared to sitting in a random gate area with no amenities. In order to enhance my overall travel I value club access relatively highly. I like to have free wifi, snacks, drinks, and power before I take off on a flight. On Saturday, I am traveling on a Ethiopian Airlines flight from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Addis Ababa (ADD). This is an approximately 14 hour direct flight, and since I am traveling for work, I am stuck in Economy–making pre-flight lounge access even more vital.
Luckily I have several options this Saturday at Dulles–and only one of them is from actually earning miles by flying!
So, first, due to several work trips earlier this year, I earned United Star Alliance Gold status, which will give me access to any of the Star Alliance Clubs at Dulles since I am on an International itinerary. While there are United Clubs in both C and D Concourses, Dulles also has Lufthansa Senator & Business lounges near gate B49 that are accessible from the rest of the terminal. Believe it or not, any Star Alliance Gold member can walk right into the Senator Lounge with nothing other than their boarding pass and Gold card. By the way, you do not have to be on an international itinerary for Lufthansa Lounge access, but you do for United access as a United Gold member.
My second option is the Air France-KLM Lounge at gate A-22. I have not flown Air France since I was a teenager, but I have access due to my Priority Club membership, which comes free with my Citi Prestige Card. While this card has a hefty $450 annual fee, it is offset with $250 in airline purchase credits, Priority Club and American Airline Admiral Club lounge access and many other benefits. This card is currently also offering a 50,000 point sign up bonus, but more on that later. To apply, check out this link: Citi Prestige Card
My third option is the British Airways Lounge in Concourse B. Although this lounge has some restricted hours (0700-1400 daily), that will certainly work for my 1100 departure. Again, I have access to this lounge via my Priority Pass membership.
I may actually try to check out more than one. Either way, lounge access is not only for an Airlines “Elite” passengers. Anyone can get lounge access, and it is even possible to get it included in certain credit card sign ups with other high value uses, essentially making club access virtually free. Now, that is how you maximize value with a points/miles addiction!