Washington DC is the capital of the United States and the airport closest to the city is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport or DCA. Is Washington DC the birthplace of bland? You’d think so, judging by the state of the smaller American Airlines Admirals Club that serves Terminal B.
I have had the pleasure – or misfortune, depending on how you look at it – of spending many hours in this lounge, thanks to friends who live in DC. There is a larger Admirals Club serving Terminal C, but the decor and amenities are similar. This is the first time I have reviewed the Terminal B club, so let’s have a look.
A Warm Welcome
Now don’t get me wrong, while the lounge is an extravaganza of beige, the lounge staff are quite nice. Once through security, the lift to the Admirals Club is right in front of you. Up you go and you then get let in by the desk attendant.
Happily the agents recognised that I was Sapphire with British Airways and not a member of AAdvantage. This means two free premium drinks tokens, so it was a cocktail for me.
Made To Order Guacamole
Well, here’s a twist! There is now fresh made to order guacamole available every afternoon. A lady stands at a little stall with all the fixings and you just pick what you want in it.
All of it is mashed up in the mortar with the pestle and voila, a little bit of ambrosia for your tastebuds. A very nice addition to the Admirals Club in DCA and I daresay appreciated by many.
How About That DCA Admirals Club Decor?
Imagine being at a genteel dinner party. I guess the polite way to describe the Admirals Club decor would be to opine, “It could do with a bit of a refresh in some areas.” In this instance, that would be a very restrained way to put it.
A circular “light feature” dominates the ceiling and underneath are chairs and tables arranged in a sort of circular way to match. It’s not particularly private and everyone can see everyone else. Charging ports are provided down near the floor.
In the same room is the bar, which is great except for the fact it is difficult to get to when barflies perch on the stools and camp out for the day. There are other separate areas, such as one which is used as the office with printer and computers, and one with the TV around behind the bar.
There are two things I really despise though. First, the fact the chairs by the window are set out facing in so you look at the lounge rather than the outside view. Second, the luggage rack. Who uses a luggage rack? Take it away!
Admirals Club Food and Drink
Entering the lounge proper and before the luggage rack is the water and nibbles area. Lemon infused ice water or just plain water is so welcome when you get to the lounge after the TSA experience. There is also trail mix such as Blueberry Thrill, Mini Yoghurt Pretzels and Cajun Harvest.
Cheeses, carrots, olives, beans, tomatos are among the other things you can nibble on. Cookies are also available which is always a popular item on American Airlines.
Soup is usually offered in the Admirals Clubs and DCA is no exception. Tomato and Basil or Lemon Chicken Orzo were on offer and they tasted excellent as they always do. You can also make coffee and tea as you like.
Not much to say about the toilets except they are small. There is a single basin for people to use, one cubicle and one urinal. I get it, space is at a premium.
There are no other pictures because it was a constant flow of people in and out – not that I was hanging around, mind you – but probably because of that I couldn’t get more, but really, you’ve seen one toilet, you’ve seen them all. Unless you go to parts of Asia…
Considering the type of people that must come through here with Washington DC being the capital of the USA and all, it’s surprising that the lounge is so very bland. It is screaming for a refresh and a better use of the space.
You can see that additions such as the guacamole station, the placement of the water jugs and so on are where they are because there just isn’t anywhere else to put them. It’s the same with the seating facing into the room rather than out to the airport – there just isn’t room to turn them around.
While the furnishing and design is dated, this is fairly easy to rectify. The division of space is the real issue here, plus the amount of people using the lounge. It is always near full. Money needs to be spent on reconfiguring the space and updating it.
Have you visited the DCA Admirals Club? What do you think? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.