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I flew first class from Washington Dulles to Rio de Janeiro yesterday (full report to come soon) and as a ticketed first class passenger, I got access to the International First Class Lounge. Overall, the lounge was quiet, empty and well stocked. There were a number of  decent food items that were more than enough to tide us over until our 10:30pm departure.

My favorites were the shrimp with cocktail sauce, spanakopita and beef with caramelized onion wraps. I would not recommend the sushi or fruit, which was pretty dried out by the time I got to it. Below are some pictures- I also really liked the self serve bar and wine choices, including the Taittinger champagne.

Possibly better than the food, was the people watching. While there were only a handful of people, each one was a character. I can only guess who they were, but in my mind we had: a prominent national politician’s mistress using his frequent flyer miles for a New Years shopping trip in Paris, an obnoxiously Skyping hedge fund guy flying to Frankfurt to close a deal and the most interesting of all was some sort of rock star with his entourage who sat in front of me on the way to Rio (the entourage had to slum it in business class). He looked like a younger, more muscular Gene Simmons. Anyone famous performing in Rio this New Years?

While it was nothing like the British Airways First Class Concorde Lounge, it was a nice change from regular over-crowded, snack-only,  domestic US lounges.

Empty United First Class Lounge
Substantial Self Serve Pantry
Plain and Cajun Shrimp
Wraps, Cheese, Fruit, etc
Soft Drinks Galore
Top Shelf Bar

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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