From exercise bikes to elevated dining: 5 things to know about Capital One’s new airport lounges
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At TPG, a new airport lounge is the type of thing that gets us excited. And an announcement of a whole new network of lounges? Well, that’s our idea of frequent flyer heaven.
Capital One is the latest entrant into the airport lounge world — with the first one launching later this summer at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The credit card issuer has announced that its lounges will provide a variety of premium amenities, from restaurant-quality dining to shower suites and wellness rooms and much more.
Based on initial renderings, these lounges look to be modern, light and airy. Hopefully, they’ll also be a respite from the terminal’s hustle and bustle, providing an opportunity to unwind (or stay productive) pre-flight.
Here’s a first look at everything that we know about Capital One’s upcoming lounge plans.
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A network of lounges is coming
Last year, Capital One had announced intentions to open its first-ever lounge at Washington’s Dulles Airport (IAD). That made sense since the company is headquartered just a few miles down the road from IAD.
However, the first lounge will actually be located in an airport that already has an issuer-branded premium space — Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
Capital One will go head-to-head with American Express’s Centurion Lounge when it opens its DFW location later this summer, in Terminal D near Gate 22. In fact, it will be in the very same terminal, just steps from the Amex lounge. Capital One appears to be occupying the space that formerly was a Priority Pass-accessible lounge, The Club at DFW.
Meanwhile, the McLean, Virginia-based company will delay its lounge opening at Dulles until 2022. Once open, that location will be in the main terminal directly after the TSA PreCheck security line. A spokesperson with Dulles Airport told TPG that construction has yet to begin and is still in the design phase.
Food and beverage will be top-notch
The Capital One lounges will offer a premium “in-lounge dining experience.”
One unique food and beverage feature we do know about will be a high-end grab-and-go selection. Choices will include curated menus from local chefs, regionally sourced ingredients, cold brew on tap and sustainable packaging that Capital One says “will make sad salads a thing of the past.”
This will particularly be a welcome addition for travelers who are short on time. Often, if I have only a few minutes before a flight, I’ll skip the lounge if I know to-go options aren’t available, such as at most Amex’s Centurion Lounge locations.
For those who can have the opportunity to take a seat, other catering highlights include craft cocktails on tap, local beers and regional wines, dining stations (with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options) and a full-service coffee and espresso bar. We don’t yet know if that means a la carte waiter-style, a buffet similar to Amex lounges or perhaps a blend of both options.
Wellness is a big part of the experience (including bikes)
Wellness seems to be a key part of Capital One’s lounge strategy and differentiation. In fact, you’ll even be able to get a full workout in before your flight with a cycling and yoga room that will be equipped with exercise bikes. And you can freshen up in one of the shower suites with luxury bath amenities.
If something zen is more up your alley, there will also be relaxation rooms — and these won’t simply be comfy chairs to sit in. Capital One says they’ll be stocked with blankets, eye masks and earplugs, too.
Mothers will appreciate the private nursing rooms, outfitted with lounge chairs and footrests, bottle warmers and mini-fridges with beverages and extra counter space for diaper changes. Finally, a soundproof multi-faith room is also part of the lounge experience.
It will cater to both families and business travelers
In addition to the nursing rooms, the lounge will feature a dedicated children’s area and lower tables and chairs for kids.
On the business traveler front or for those who always need to stay plugged in, you’ll appreciate ample working space with individual power outlets at every seat and high-speed Wi-Fi.
There will likely be a fee to enter
Although Capital One has yet to announce lounge access and eligibility, there is evidence that access will come at a cost. According to its press release, cardholders will be “eligible for special entry rates depending on their card.”
Capital One offers a variety of products, from the $95-per-year Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to the no-annual-fee Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. A lounge entrance fee isn’t particularly surprising, since Capital One’s flagship product is the Venture card — and the annual fee is pretty modest.
The timing of Capital One’s lounge announcement is especially interesting with Amex’s new plan to charge $50 for most Centurion Lounge guests who enter with a cardholder starting in 2023.
In recent years, American Express transformed the lounge landscape with the launch of its own Centurion Lounges. Now, Capital One is looking to play in this space too. And from what we know so far, it seems like Amex will have stiff competition. This is great news for all cardholders, especially those who value travel perks.
While Amex’s Centurion Lounges are exclusively accessible to select cardholders, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, we don’t yet know who exactly will have access to Capital One’s new lounges and at what rates.
As soon as we know more, we’ll share it here along with a review of the lounges once they open.
Featured photo courtesy of Capital One.
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