Review: Washington Dulles United Club – A Handy Work Spot At A Busy Hub

Following my trip to Washington D.C. for Thanksgiving, it was time to return home. With a belly full of turkey, I made my way to Washington Dulles Airport to board a United Boeing 777 back to London Heathrow.

United Club Washington Dulles Lounge
Just like this lounge, United is going through great changes to cater to new business segments. Photo: Sumit Rehal / Simple Flying

Holiday rush

Since I had a Polaris seat, I was eligible to check out the United Club lounge by gate C17. This particular lounge is just one of four United Clubs at the airport. After checking in, I made my way to security, which was expectedly busy due to everyone traveling during Thanksgiving week.

Despite finally clearing security, it wasn’t time to sit back as passengers at this airport have to take the AeroTrain. This is is an automated train system that transports passengers to their gate’s concourse after check-in and security.

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United Polaris Seat
Access to the lounge was included as part of the Polaris seat on my flight to Washington. Photo: Sumit Rehal / Simple Flying

Grand entrance

After making it to Concourse C thanks to a short train journey, I made my way to the lounge by gate 17. The reception leads to an elevator, next to a flight of stairs, allowing for access to the lounge on the floor below. With a bag full of Black Friday deals, I opted for the elevator, which reminded me of a classic type that would be found in vintage hotels in United States-based metropolises.

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On exiting the lift, I instantly noticed something that was different in the sonics of this lounge. There was a lot of chatter in the background.

As I turned the corner, I noticed what was adding to this extra noise. The business desks were occupied with people trying to get work done on their laptops and negotiating deals on the phone.

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United Club Dulles Business
Despite all the phone calls, the business desks offered sufficient privacy for people to do work. Photo: Sumit Rehal / Simple Flying

Making my way through to the main lobby, there were also plenty of passengers occupying the casual seating and bar areas. I can imagine that this lounge isn’t as busy as this on a standard week. However, since it was the Thanksgiving period, more people were traveling after seeing their loved ones.

Furthermore, there were several reports of bad weather causing delays. Therefore, many businesspersons were using the lounge’s resources to catch up on work.

Best for business

This lounge is set up perfectly for workers. There is an abundance of desks and cubicles for some serious work sessions. However, there are also many comfortable lounge seats in which to sit back and work at a casual pace.

There were even plenty of ports for mobile devices at the dining table that I was seated at, where those around me were cramming in some tasks.

Dulles United Club
Before calls for boarding, nearly every seat was occupied. Photo: Sumit Rehal / Simple Flying

The ambiance at this United Club branch was completely different from what I felt at the on my outbound trip at London. The Heathrow Terminal 2 lounge had an easy-going yet professional feel about it.

The food & beverage options, open space, and decor had given a balance between business and pleasure in my previous visit. However, the experience I had in Washington felt that it is more suited for those who need to tend to important responsibilities before boarding.

Dulles United Club Dining
There was a section that offered a TV viewing, along with a range of magazines. Photo: Sumit Rehal / Simple Flying

This point is highlighted within the cuisine that was on offer. At Heathrow, there was an array of hot and cold food available over several counters. There was a buffet of hot full English breakfast selections available, backed by cereal, fruit, and pastries.

At the Dulles C17 lounge, there were mostly only options available from a salad and cold cuts counter, with the hot choice being tomato soup.

United Club Dulles Food
The salad offering was enough to give some fuel before boarding. Photo: Sumit Rehal / Simple Flying

Quick turnaround

Subsequently, it occurred to me that the majority of passengers in this lounge must be traveling on regional services, so they don’t have time to sit and tuck into a full meal.

Dulles United Club Seating
There is a great variety of seating options. These chairs here were the most comfortable of the lot. Photo: Sumit Rehal / Simple Flying

However, those at London Heathrow would mainly be flying on international routes, needing their stomachs to be full before a long journey. Furthermore, this is why the design of the lounges are so different.

United Club Dulles Bar
There is no extra charge for select drinks, including beer and wine at the bar. Photo: Sumit Rehal / Simple Flying

This lounge is great for a short rest on a layover or for a moment to get some business done before the journey. This year, United has been doing a great job at meeting the demand set by emerging business markets. This lounge is evidence that the carrier’s mission of tending to these passenger segments is becoming a reality.

United Club Dulles Lounge Area
Even though it was quite busy, there is still a lot of room for movement across the lounge. Photo: Sumit Rehal / Simple Flying

Altogether, it was a different but pleasant experience at Washington Dulles. Nonetheless, the staff did a great job of keeping things in order among the festivities.

Have you had a chance to visit any of the United Club lounges at Washington Dulles? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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George

I stopped by a United Club at IAD a few months ago (I think that exact one), and “well liquor” was free as well. I think Evan Williams was the bourbon they had.

Scott Schultz

I think I have visited all of the United Clubs at IAD. Some are better than others, but they are all usually very crowded. The food selection isn’t all that great, but it’s OK for a snack. It’s too bad the Polaris lounge hasn’t opened up at Dulles yet. My wife and I are working our way through those. We’ve got a couple left to visit at SFO and IAH

Droopy

Of all the UA lounges at IAD, this one is my favourite because I get to see my friend, Max the Mouse, who hangs out in the corner near the bar area.