Dulles gets a bad rap as an airport, IMO, especially if you travel out of the B terminal where American, JetBlue and Southwest call home (and most of the international flights). C and D are a different story, a dark hole that United occupies (though the food choices are getting better).
When I walked down to the US Airways/American gates for a recent flight, I found this mini “Emerald Club Lounge” sitting in the middle of the terminal.
This was right after gate B67 as you come down the ramp past Chipotle and the massage stand. When I walked around to the other side there were 4 seats with iPads and Wifi at a tabletop and two lounge chairs along with iPads and a couple of TVs.
It’s a free lounge like a bunch of variations I’ve seen over the years. And, though this one is small, I like it better than recent ones, like the Courtyard Marriott version at Denver last year. I don’t necessarily need the iPads, but the seats at the tabletop were spaced out far enough to comfortably work and the lounge chairs were quite comfortable.
Once you get past the British Airways lounge in the B terminal, there’s nothing other than standard airport seats and a few power stands. Plus, most of the lounges in the B terminal are for international guests only or those with the right status. So, this is a nice plus.
It’s free for anyone to sit down, though the very friendly employee did ask if I was an Emerald Club member as I left (I am). I didn’t do a speed test on the Wifi they have but the terminal Wifi is pretty horrible, so it can’t be worse than that.
I haven’t seen National roll out one of these mini-lounges in any other airports. They generally have less visibility than Hertz or Avis at airports given they usually don’t have the primary placement, so this is a reasonable enough effort to score customers. Not sure how many incremental rentals this brings them, but it’s a good place to kill some time between connections.
Unfortunately, no champagne service…..