Review: Chase Sapphire Lounge, Washington Dulles Airport

The Chase Sapphire Lounge Washington Dulles airport was impressive this week.

I was working in Washington, D.C. this past week and decided to fly home to Austin from Washington Dulles instead of my usual National airport. I also turned up at the airport early, to get a chance to visit several lounges that I hadn’t been to in awhile and to see the Chase Sapphire lounge that I hadn’t checked out yet.

Washington Dulles Airport Entrance

The Chase Sapphire lounge Washington Dulles airport is small, but I was there in the morning – from around 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. it wasn’t super busy and there was plenty of available space. The lounge is well laid-out, food is good, and staff are friendly. The exterior of the lounge is branded Etihad (it’s a joint Etihad and Chase lounge but the exterior signage doesn’t mention Chase) and I wonder if that limits awareness and thus crowding.

Location, Hours, And Access

Chase’s Washington Dulles airport lounge opened in early March. It’s the old Etihad Airways lounge, it still functions as the lounge for that flight, and the signage outside the lounge is still Etihad. A Chase cardholder might not know it is a Chase lounge unless they read about it online, on the Chase website or looked it up in the Priority Pass mobile app.

chase sapphire lounge washington dulles

Located near gate A14, it’s on an international concourse though all concourses are connected at Dulles airside. It’s right above the A train station, so easy to hope to other locations in the airport. Don’t feel like you can’t use this lounge just because you’re flying out of a different terminal.

I was flying American Airlines, which is one of the highest B gates, but that just means the far side of the same structure.

  • Opening hours 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Approximately 5,200 square feet (small)
  • Made to order food and buffet items as well as a full beverage program
  • Access is available 3 hours prior to departure (earlier if connecting)

Chase Sapphire Reserve, J.P. Morgan Reserve, and Ritz-Carlton cardmembers can access the lounge via their Priority Pass card. Other Priority Pass cardmembers can access a U.S. Chase Sapphire Lounge once per calendar year complimentary, and pay $75 for subsequent visits. Pay-in without Priority Pass is $100.

Two-Story Lounge Makes The Most Chase Sapphire Lounge Washington Dulles Space

There’s a small check-in area for this lounge. It’s not a lot of space is several people are coming in at once. That’s probably for the best since to do anything else would have taken space away from seating areas in the lounge.

Staff at the desk were friendly, scanning Priority Pass cards and checking boarding passes. They’re happy to explain the lounge but it really does seem pretty self-explanatory.

There are several downstairs seating areas, including along a window line and by the bar.

Downstairs there is a family room, and that’s also where you’ll find bathrooms and shower as well as the ‘reflection room’ (which had been Etihad’s Muslim prayer room).

The dining room is downstairs and features a small buffet and several tables. However you can order food from anywhere in the lounge – scan the QR code, order from your phone and food (and cocktails from 11 a.m. onward) will be delivered in about 15 minutes.

Upstairs is more seats, and I rather liked this space. There are couches and tables, which isn’t a very dense format (which surprised me given the small size of the lounge) but there were even fewer people upstairs. There’s also a coffee machine and water as well as on tap items up there as well for self service.

Here’s the view of the lounge downstairs from the top of the upstairs deck:

Physically if I had a complaint it would be that there aren’t enough outlets. I’ve come to expect an outlet at every spot, and there isn’t that. However they pull a lot of power through the furniture which is good, and given that the lounge wasn’t at capacity there was no problem sitting by power.

The lounge’s wifi access even identifies itself as the Etihad lounge and not as a Chase lounge. The network was called ‘Etihad Airways Lounge’. It worked great, however.

Chase Sapphire Lounge Washington Dulles Food Options

I arrived in the lounge a little after 8 a.m. so they were serving breakfast. The buffet had curry potatoes, brioche french toast, yogurt, overnight oats and a cheese plate.

I actually went upstairs, found myself a couch with chairs and coffee table and side table to myself, and scanned the QR code for the menu:

I placed an order for the salmon benedict and breakfast bao, and got a confirmation of my table number where the food would be delivered and a message to expect it “in 15 minutes or less.” I failed to time the delivery but it was definitely the under of the estimate.

The smoked salmon benedict was good except honestly the english muffin was pretty mid. The bao was quite sweet, many will like it, but I took just a bite.

Now, the lounge stops serving hot breakfast items at 10:30 a.m., and changes the buffet and hot item offerings over to lunch at 11 a.m. I left this lounge to explore some others but returned figuring I could get a look at lunch items, too.

My flight was scheduled to start boarding at 11:15 a.m. out of gate B73 – 59 gates away! – so I stayed for the buffet changeover to have a look at what they were serving, but didn’t have time to order off the menu.

Here was the lunch buffet:

And this was the lunch menu:

It was similar to their lounge in Boston in that there was the Sapphire Burger and a noodle dish, so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything (the dishes in Boston were good, I just mean that I wasn’t missing out on trying something terribly unique).

What This Lounge Used To Be Like

Chase’s New York JFK lounge is also the old Etihad lounge there. Etihad opened its Washington Dulles lounge in 2013, and I was a frequent visitor (flying Etihad first class) until I moved to Austin in fall 2014 (for instance reviewed here and here). For comparison this is what it used to look like. The fixtures and furnishings have been updated, but the overall structure was kept. There are fewer power outlets than you otherwise might expect.

As the airline tried to stop the financial bleeding, they sold lounge access starting in 2017. And at $50 per visit, the Etihad lounge at Washington Dulles – which offered both a buffet as well as a la carte dining – was actually worth considering.

The Dulles Lounge Game Is Strong

With the Capital One lounge also open at Washington Dulles the airport’s lounge scene is improved. You’ve got that lounge right after PreCheck before heading out to airport gates, and between that and Chase there are really nice options at the airport.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary
    I have multiple priority pass accounts from multiple cards. I am probably going to downgrade my reserve. Would it be one admission per account or one per person regardless of the number of accounts. I would think it would be the former but I don’t want to assume

    I was there about a month ago and the staff was excellent as was the service.

  2. Thanks for all the pictures, it looks great! I’ve only seen it in person from the outside. My friend went the other day and got the made to order ramen (maybe the noodle dish listed?) Hope to check it out at some point with my annual complimentary visit!

  3. They have large battery charging stations available at the check-in desk for the tables without power – it can power multiple devices via usb-a or usb-c, which is nice. When I visited, the waiter brought my food asked if I needed one, and grabbed it for me since I didn’t pick it up when I checked in.

  4. Wife and I flew out of Dulles a little over a week ago but didn’t know about this. I have the Venture X card so we visited the Capital One lounge, which was nice. Wife has the CSR, however, so it would have been nice to check out Chase’s lounge.

  5. In January, I was at the Sapphire Lounge HKG and was surprised to learn that my CSR would not get me in, but the Priority Pass that I got with the CSR would 🙂

    Word was that a fix was under way that should enable entry with either…

  6. Now if only your home airport would put one of these in, replacing that ridiculously useless “Chase Sapphire Terrace” they now have (that doesn’t even open until 10AM, ruling out using it during the time when the weather outside, where 90% of the Terrace sits, is halfway decent).

  7. There is NOTHING good about that nightmare known as Dulles airport. Try making a connection with the stupid buses that run when they’re in the mood. And then walk a couple of miles.
    I thought that SEATAC was the worst until I was exposed to the horror of Dulles

  8. @Tim Vincent

    Wow! Seems like walking 15 minutes is a “nightmare” and a “horror” for you. So is waiting 10 minutes for a bus.

    Well, now it looks like there is something good in Dulles… the lounge!

  9. I agree, that”bus” service at Dulles is atrocious, who ever thought that one up should be sent to an institution.
    Coming off an Emirates first class A380 flight this was my worst experience ever of seeing how shoddy US airports are.

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