It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s about to become a staple of the Dallas travel experience.
Capital One is officially opening its first airport lounge space in Terminal D of the Dallas Fort Worth Airport, marking a new era in the never ending race to offer customers the best possible airport lounge experience.
In the case of Capital One’s new offering, with refinement and quirky amenities. For example, oat milk lattes are on tap, and incredible grab and go food with tote bags to make you feel like you’re really allowed to leave with a few goodies.
American Express dominated the credit card lounge game for years, but for the moment, its Capital One one making moves, with two new spaces opening in short order. The Dallas DFW location is the first of its kind, and the Washington Dulles IAD and Denver DEN space will follow shortly.
There’s a lot to love in this bright and airy new airport refuge, much of which goes beyond the hyperbole often used about “working with local suppliers” and other feel good sentiment. That stuff actually happened here.
So here’s what to expect, and a few cool things Capital One is doing to try to innovate in this increasingly bubbly space.
Capital One DFW Lounge Location
The Capital One Lounge at DFW is expected to open soon, and it’s located nearest the Grand Hyatt security checkpoint in Terminal D. From there, just find your way to Gate 22, or more specifically, between 21 and 22. It’s hard to miss, once airside.
Lounge rules, access policies and other information from Capital One is forthcoming. For any DFW regulars, it’s a left into the Capital One Lounge, and what would’ve been a right into a Flagship Lounge.
Capital One Lounge Access Policy
Capital One cardholders carrying the new Capital One Venture X Card are eligible for complimentary entry to any Capital One Lounge, with two additional guests. Any of the authorized users on an account also count for complimentary access.
Access to the new Capital One Lounges will be $45 for other Capital One cardholders and $65 for the general public.
The Capital One Lounge Space
The Capital One Lounge begins with a Concourse level entrance, before a short elevator ride upstairs. It’s worth the trip. Inside, there’s gloriously large floor to ceiling windows with nearly unobstructed runway and tarmac views.
A Japan Airlines 787 was just rolling down the runway as I arrived, making me instantly yearn for future trips to come.
So what makes this lounge cool? Frankly, quite a few things. Power ports at literally every seat — for one. That’s not wild, but it’s important. Speaking to project designers, alleviating the stresses of finding a comfortable seat, but needing to plug electronics in elsewhere was at the center of planning in regards to the space.
People should feel fully connected and comfortable in the lounge, wherever they are. There’s nowhere in this space where someone shouldn’t.
Creating areas for different moods was also clearly at the heart of the project.
There are plush “sink in and relax” chairs all along the windows, offering a place to sit back, relax and enjoy the magic of flight; as well as some more group centric areas, not too far from the bar and then workstation and hot desk kind of areas.
A series of spacious, fully private bathrooms also give a really premium feel. Really, you just can’t under appreciate these things when transiting. Space to change can feel like a huge luxury — and group loo’s rarely accomplish that with any joy.
And of course, scattered throughout this modern travel haven are plenty of nooks to lay low, be productive or stuff your face. Oh, or exercise. Yes, Capital One added a “one of a kind” Peloton and wellness area, which even features runway views too.
Art in the lounge is legitimately from Dallas artists, both major and lesser known.
Since shower suites accompany these workout areas, the idea of a pre-flight burn is a nice one. There are certainly less productive ways to spend flight delays.
But staying on topic of all things unique and delicious before a flight, the stuffing your face part is an area where the Capital One Lounge isn’t messing around one bit. It’s an area I didn’t expect to see so much instant success, but it’s there in droves.
The Capital One Lounge team went beyond traditional airport supplier relations, where ingredients come from who knows where, and items are made in some decentralized kitchen.
Instead, a team of local chefs and sous chefs, with ingredients sourced largely from the Dallas and Texas area preside over a genuinely exciting menu in a bespoke 1,000+ foot kitchen.
The bites are varied for all tastes and moods, from bacon mac n’cheese to bipimbap. The desserts, including real honey baklava are also worth a stop.
What I found quite cool though, was the grab and go concept, a relative first in the lounge space, where the idea of grabbing anything from the lounge and taking it with you was always frowned upon.
Just about every lounge I’ve ever been in has actively discouraged people from bringing items along on their journeys, yet Capital One is actively encouraging it.
Capital One has created what can only be described as a Whole Foods market deli shelf, with freshly prepared sweets, salads and sandwiches. Speaking to a member of the team, they said these are all created “on the day — and only for the day”, because there’s nothing worse than “sad salads and sandwiches”.
The idea is that people don’t always have time to sit down and indulge, so the lounge instead offers a fully stocked quick grab, and even gives out free tote bags to take your treats to the plane. You just load your bag and up and can leg it, sans guilt.
Cocktail Bar And Wine List
Capital One has a very premium vision with this lounge, and that’s probably most evident when it comes to cocktails and booze. They’re giving Amex Centurion Lounges a real run for their money. They might even win the race, if this is an indicator.
A top notch team of Miami hospitality gurus sourced the wine menu, cocktails and beers, almost all of which, minus the wines, are incredibly local. A bock beer was also included to big up Texas. I’m just going to say three words and let you imagine all the rest: frozen Irish coffee.
The cocktails are smooth, and some are batched, which makes for less of a chaotic bar environment. One nice touch: the coasters have the cocktail recipes printed on them, so you can take a picture and recreate at home, if you fancy.
For those looking for things like cola, oat milk lattes or water, there are taps all over the space, which make for added fun and amusement. Draft iced lattes.
Keep em coming.
Now here’s an area where Capital One managed the improbable: good “house” wine, with better wine on offer. Capital One’s house pours for the menu are really stellar for a domestic airport lounge, but there’s choice too. Even Caymus.
Capital One is offering “business” and “first class” upgrades to special half bottles, including a variety of champagne’s and premium wines. Like I said, as a wine snob myself, they pulled off something improbable and delightful here.
There’s very drinkable and nice house wine which I’d have happy, but also wines which would tempt me to swap up for a more memorable imbibing session.
If This Is What’s To Come…
If this is an indication of what’s to come, Capital One is really onto something.
There’s more to learn about who will be able to get in, and how, but this space feels very-very premium. It’s certainly better than any other pay as you go lounges I’ve seen in the US, and without a doubt better than most airline branded lounges too.
I’d say the food is at the very least, up there with an American Flagship, but with a lot more soul and focus on local and well sourced ingredients, which at least to me makes it better. Some people won’t care.
The drinks are kinda like the best of Delta, with premium upgrade options on wine, but generally a better baseline for the house pour too. So on margin, better than Delta.
Will we be able to use points to pay for premium drinks?
I’m now genuinely excited to see what comes to Denver and Dulles, and hopefully many more to follow. This is an airport lounge designed with enjoyment in mind, but done with a sense of the modern traveler, rather than the postcards of old.
Details in this space are just really well considered, as are the amenities.
Travel isn’t what it was 10 years ago, and that’s not by any means bad. It’s just different, and when it is, this is the kind of place you want to escape. Just be careful with the frozen Irish coffees when you do, because they’re way too easily enjoyed.