I originally planned to visit the Priority Pass Turkish Airlines Lounge during my long layover at Dulles. The line stretched out the door, though, so I decided to look for something else. I noticed the Lufthansa Senator and Business lounges next door, so I decided to try my luck there.
See also: James’ and Rohan’s previous reviews of the lounge.
Note: this post is part of my trip report covering my trip to Germany in March, 2019. Click here for the introductory post and trip report index.
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Washington Dulles
The Lufthansa Senator Lounge Washington Dulles is in the B Concourse, near Gate 51. When walking over from the main terminal, turn left after reaching the B Gates. The lounge is immediately to your left. Lounge hours are 8:15 am to 10 pm daily.
Lufthansa permits the following passengers to access Senator Lounges:
- Lufthansa and SWISS First Class passengers departing or arriving the same day.
- Other Star Alliance First Class passengers departing the same day.
- HON Circle and Senator members on any Star Alliance flight in any class departing or arriving the same day.
- Star Alliance Gold members on any Star Alliance flight departing the same day.
Date of Visit: Sunday, March 10, 2019
Since I rarely fly Star Alliance airlines, I wasn’t familiar with Lufthansa’s access rules for arriving passengers. Nevertheless, I decided to take my chances. The desk agent initially seemed confused, but verified that arriving Lufthansa First Class passengers can use the Senator Lounge. She then quickly checked me in and welcomed me inside.
Important note: when I entered around 5:30, I found an insanely crowded lounge. Like, so crowded I couldn’t find a seat, with noise levels at a dull roar. Both Lufthansa’s and Austrian’s flights depart in rapid succession about an hour later. Thankfully, at that point, the lounge emptied out completely. (I took most of the photos below after the lounge emptied.) In fairness, I should note that I had the lounge literally to myself for about 20 minutes after the flight to Frankfurt boarded. A reader below also reports that the lounge is fairly empty late evenings.
The Lufthansa Senator Lounge Washington Dulles basically consists of one large room with three sections. The lounge opens into a small dining area and buffet. Unfortunately, the dining area isn’t very large at all, with just a communal table and a couple of individual tables to the side. The table does contain plenty of plugs, though, both US and Euro spec.
At least Lufthansa provides a decent buffet spread. The selection included both hot and cold items; cold items included salads, both pre-made and build-you-own, and wraps and sandwiches. I found the sandwiches particularly tasty.
There were also a few hot options, including two types of rice, green beans, and I believe chicken stew. Though the stew didn’t look particularly appetizing, it was fairly decent.
Next to the main dishes and salads was a small dessert tray.
Also available is a self-service coffee machine.
The bar, located to the side of the communal table, offers a reasonable selection of beer, wines, and spirits. However, local law prohibits self-service, so the bartender must serve you. I imbibed plenty on the flight from Frankfurt and needed a break, so can’t comment on the quality of offerings.
Meanwhile, continue past the bar to find the main seating area. It’s basically a giant blob of lounge chairs, with no partitions for extra privacy. The open seating arrangement also contributes to the high noise levels during peak times.
At least the floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light, providing a bright, airy feeling. And of course, provide great planespotting if you’re lucky enough to grab a window seat.
Also along the wall is a work bench with stool, along with a few more armchairs. Notice the stanchion about halfway down; that separates the First Class area, which I’ll describe later. At the end of the corridor is a unique feature, a dedicated boarding gate. If you’re flying Lufthansa, you can board directly from the lounge.
Meanwhile, along the interior wall of the seating area is another communal bench beneath some world clocks.
I mentioned the First Class section a little earlier. Next to the entrance is a dedicated area for First Class and HON Circle passengers. It’s nothing special, especially for those used to the First Class facilities in Frankfurt. But there is a separate dining area, along with a few reserved seats along the wall workbench. I’m not sure if this area is technically available to arriving passengers, or only departing. But I had a seat here, and nobody said anything. James mentioned waiter service in this area, but I didn’t notice that on my visit.
You can enjoy some fine ramp views from the workbench, as you have a clear view of planes coming from the main taxiway to the B-gates. On this day, the selection included an Etihad 787, a South African A330, and an Alaska (former Virgin America) A320.
If you’re looking for showers, unfortunately you must go downstairs to the Lufthansa Business Lounge. Expect long waits at peak times, judging by the overcrowding in the Senator Lounge. WiFi was pretty fast, and stable enough to handle a half-hour long Facetime call with the family.
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Washington Dulles – Final Thoughts
The Lufthansa Senator Lounge Washington Dulles provides a solid food selection for a US-based lounge, and the ample natural light provides an airy feel with excellent ramp views. However, overcrowding is a significant issue during peak times, it appears. Bring a pair of headphones, and don’t expect much relaxation. If you can visit outside of the evening crush, though, you’ll find a perfectly nice domestic lounge with good food and drink.
This wraps up my Germany trip report series. Thanks for reading, and watch my Instagram and Twitter feeds for my next adventure beginning this Saturday!