Capital One Lounge DFW: A new standard for US airport lounges

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In 2021, Capital One launched a salvo into the airport lounge arena with the opening of the first Capital One Lounge in DFW airport. Capital One Venture X cardholders have unlimited access to the lounge, while Venture Rewards cardholders have two lounge passes per year.

The lounge has been getting great reviews since the it opened last year, but I hadn’t been able to stop by yet. Recently, on a short layover in DFW, I was finally able to check it out. I had high expectations going in, and all I can is “wow.” This sets a new standard for domestic airlines lounges in the US.

Entrance to Capital One Lounge DFW

Lounge Details

  • Open daily from 6am to 9pm
  • Capital One Venture X Cardholders and authorized users have unlimited visits for the cardholder and up to two guests. Additional guests are $45 each.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards and Spark Miles for Business Cardholders receive 2 free visits annually. Additional visits are $45 each.
  • Children under 2 can enter for free and are not considered one of the two guests.
  • The general public is allowed to purchase day passes for $65 each.
  • Cardholders can only use the lounge within 3 hours of departure. Access is not allowed for arriving flights.

In addition to the usual lounge offerings, the Capital One Lounge offers the following (most of which can be reserved at the front desk):

  • Exercise room with Peloton bikes and yoga mats
  • Relaxation room with day beds
  • Shower suite (Yes, singular. There’s only one and it was in use when I was there)
  • Prayer Room
  • Nursing Room
  • Individual Restrooms with changing tables

Inside the Lounge

The lounge is located in Terminal D right next to gate D22, which is primarily used by AA (in fact, the AA Flagship Lounge is right next door), along with some international airlines like British Airways and Qantas. It’s right across from the SkyTrain, offering easy access from other terminals. There is a small foyer with an elevator that goes up to the lounge on the second floor.

Upon entering the lounge, the first impression is of spaciousness, especially for those of us used to the more tightly-spaced (and crowded) Amex Centurion Lounges. The entire space is just over 10,000 square feet and it’s designed in a way that makes it feel incredibly open.

Community table with to-go boxes of cookies

The seating is a mix of tables, sofas, easy chairs and variety of different individual seats. Almost all of the seating that I saw had charging ports or outlets in the immediate area.

It was over 100 degrees in Dallas, so the shades were down, but the lounge offers floor-to-ceiling windows with tarmac views.

The food and beverage options are incredible. As opposed to having one, centralized area, there are several distinct stations that each supply unique offerings. As soon as you enter, there is a coffee station that features hot and cold coffee (as well as cold brew on tap).

Coffee Station at the entrance to the lounge with drip, espresso and cold options
Iced draft lattes and water filling station

Across from that, is a cooler heavily stocked with a huge variety of drinks and food: yogurt, sandwiches and wraps, salads, fresh juices and cold drinks.

Cooler with packages foods and cold drinks

It’s quite the offering and it’s completely acceptable to grab goodies to take with you on your flight. I had a boxed sandwich that was delicious

Boxed Turkey Sandwich and Turtle Creek Spritz cocktail

There is also a hot/cold buffet, but it’s organized in an ingenious way, wrapped around the central bookshelf-like area in several different places.

There were loose themes to each part: one area had hummus, pita and falafel; another had meats and cheese, another had Creole-themed small plates, yet another had barbeque and brisket sandwiches. Again, the variety was incredible.

Dessert and pastry station. The baklava was surprisingly good.

Everything was individually portioned, giving it more of a tapas feel than a traditional steam-table buffet.

The buffet also had cold drinks on tap: soda, iced teas and kombucha. Not having to get these from the bar was a great touch.

Draft self-serve sodas

In the back is a lovely bar area that has even more seating.

Separated bar area in the back of the lounge

All of the drinks are complimentary except for the super-premium liquors. There is an extensive menu, or you can order any cocktail you’d like (I had the Turtle Creek Spritz, which was delightful).

There is beer and hard seltzer on tap, six wines by the glass and a granita-like frozen Irish Coffee machine that several folks were waxing poetic about

The acclaimed frozen Irish Coffee machine

Final Thoughts

I must say, I was absolutely blown away by the Capital One Lounge in DFW. To me, it sets a new standard for US airport lounges, and there’s really nothing that I’ve been to domestically that’s close (I haven’t yet been to an AA Flagship Lounge, however). The space, design, food and beverage is all a pretty substantial step above what’s offered in Amex’s Centurion Lounge or Delta Sky Clubs…and without the severe overcrowding that’s common in each of those. Capital One hit a home run here. There are 2 more locations opening up this year in 2023 (Washington-Dulles and Denver) and I’ll be interested to see what they’re like. If they’re anything close to the DFW lounge, Capital One will be the head of the class when it comes to US lounge offerings. Amex better watch its back.

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Brian

Thanks for the writeup, Tim. I just saw this article indicating that the Dulles and Denver lounge openings have been pushed to 2023, unfortunately. (Being Denver-based, I’ve been keeping tabs on updates.)

AztravelGuy

It’s also getting crowded quickly. 4 individual bathrooms doesn’t cut it. Got tired of waiting, literally walked out and to the flagship lounge recently just to use a toilet, then returned.

I also find it amusing AY use this as their business lounge even though pax have access to the flagship lounge.

JW in GA

Was here a few weeks ago and totally agree, it’s heads and shoulders above Centurion, Sky Clubs and most Priority Pass lounges (in that order). It was quick but was able to sample the nicely sized portions and a couple grab and go items. Bummer I missed the frozen Irish coffee but the draft cold latte was solid and took a cup to go! The only knock, and you really have to dig for one, is that the few bathrooms (3 maybe IIRC?) are for one person at a time — I wonder how that will scale as the word gets out about the high quality experience!

ReconScott

Excellent review Tim! DFW is my home airport, so I frequent both the Centurion and Cap 1 lounges. In my opinion, Centurion has better food buffet, better cookies, and better comp top-shelf scotches (classic laddie and port Charlotte). Cap 1 has friendlier staff, better coffee drinks (lattes and espressos made to order at the bar), more inviting lounge that overlooks the tarmac rather than airport security, private rooms for relaxation, meditation, or excercise if that’s your thing, outstanding frozen Irish coffee (it’s like a slushy White Russian – very tasty), and grab-n-go sandwiches and snacks. Finally, since amex has been aggressively promoting the plat cards, the cent lounge is usually crowded. This should improve in 8 months when amex no longer allows free guests in the lounge. Although cap1 had done a a lot to promote the VX card, it seems to still be pretty rare among travelers, so the cap1 lounge is rarely more than 1/2 full.

Tony

I am flying Business on Air Canada from the airport. Would that get me free entry to this lounge ?

Robert

Of course not. What gets you in is the Venture X card or one of the Venture/Spark passes.

whocares

guess u haven’t been to the Star Alliance lounges at LAX? Or OneWorld at LAX. Though those are International…ok…DOMESTIC. Should emphasize that. But…

What about that new Delta SkyClub at LAX? OK..maybe that’s too new.

Ur from Seattle-area, you’re saying this is better then the Seattle Delta SkyClub?

It doesn’t look like it. Better then Alaska lounges – yeah. Perhaps better then most AA Admiral lounges. Not tough to beat a United Club. Only been to 3 Centurion lounges, but the Las Vegas one is nice. Maybe the spacing is better at this C1 lounge though. Maybe the new Seattle Amex lounge will give it a run for its money.

I imagine SLC and ATL SkyClubs are nice – but no experience with those.

whocares

yeah..my last visit to SEA SkyClub was very crowded…but that was a holiday weekend. I did get a seat right by the bar.

prior visits lots of space usually. my very first visit was early 2021? when not too many people were traveling. it was nearly deserted. Had the whole place almost to myself. evening.

ok…well if the C1 lounge is Priority Pass, maybe I can visit someday. If not and it looks like it isn’t, never have gotten a C1 card (tried – failed)…so I guess I will never know! [Though I read bus/1st on some airlines have access..maybe Finnair business again someday]

well..not transiting much through DFW these days…so wouldn’t have much of a chance anyway. DEN almost never, and IAD – don’t think I’ve ever been.

August 2022..supposedly for new ~14,000 sq ft Amex SEA lounge. Let’s see if it really happens.

Last edited 6 months ago by whocares
Peter

Access to DFW’s Capital One lounge is granted to Business and First Class passengers flying on Finnair, Luftansa and Korean Airlines (per each airline’s own website). Not clear about Emirates passenger access.

Christian

It looks awfully empty in your pictures for such an outstanding lounge. Or maybe you’re just that good at photography.

Reno Joe

Even compared to the new Delta lounges? That’s saying something.

DSK

For what it’s worth–we were absolutely blown away by the C1 lounge at DFW–so much that we skipped the Centurion Lounge in the same terminal (I’ll often check out two different lounges if I have time just out of curiosity). As far as other domestic lounges, I’ve been to a few Centurion Lounges in multiple cities, and each time I want to be amazed but don’t see them as much more than OK. To me, Admirals Club food offerings are pathetic. Just really sad. United Club may be a bit better than Admirals Club food, but not much (better than normal experiences at the United LAX lounge). Delta can be OK at times. Star Alliance lounge at LAX has decent food but still a notch below C1. I have really enjoyed my visits to the AA Flagship Lounges in JFK, Chicago and Miami–I’d put them at the same level as C1 or perhaps even better. Never been to Polaris and would like to check one out, but as long as United is asked 4-5x points for international business compared with economy, that may be awhile (I’ve flown international business on United, but that was before Polaris lounges when it was 2x which is a whole lot more reasonable).

JMS

Was also there yesterday as a guest. Fantastic lounge. Now if only I could get approved for the Venture X…

sdf

I was here in June…very enjoyable!

joremero

You guys need to advocate on behalf of churners that always get rejected by C1. We want the venture X!!!

Lynn

Yes, wish I knew how to get one!!

M P

Normally I won’t bother with a lounge with less than an hour layover but since they have a food-to-go option, I’ll check in, then grab a prepackaged sandwich, snack, and canned drink for my connecting flight, then head to my gate. I love this feature.

Siegel Jeffrey

We were there yesterday. Outstanding. Staff, space, food. All of it. Head and shoulders above the FlagshipFirst AA lounge next door which I was at 2 months ago