*A lounge in DCA, when flying with AC?

Old Oct 15, 10, 3:00 pm
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*A lounge in DCA, when flying with AC?

Hi folks,

It has been a while since I have flown out of DCA, and I understand there have been some terminal changes.

I am flying to YUL (Jazz flight) in a few days from DCA. Which lounge do I have access to, and how far is it from the AC gates?
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Old Oct 15, 10, 3:06 pm
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Flying out of Terminal A at DCA is like taking a trip back to the 60's. Great on the nostalgia front, but terrible for amenities. There's no lounge of any kind at Terminal A, and I suspect reaching a Star Alliance lounge at a different terminal (unless you're arriving at that terminal airside) would be difficult at best.

-RS.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Cyan View Post
Flying out of Terminal A at DCA is like taking a trip back to the 60's. Great on the nostalgia front, but terrible for amenities. There's no lounge of any kind at Terminal A, and I suspect reaching a Star Alliance lounge at a different terminal (unless you're arriving at that terminal airside) would be difficult at best.

-RS.
Seriously? I wish I knew that earlier. My plan was to spend a few hours catching up on some work and simply relaxing in the lounge, as my meeting ends at 1300, and my flight is not until 1700.

How easy is to to go to a Concourse that has a *A lounge, while flying on AC?
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Old Oct 15, 10, 3:44 pm
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It is not possible, sorry. I suggest camping out somewhere else before making your way to DCA.

Brian
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Old Oct 15, 10, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by aircanada_loyal View Post
How easy is to to go to a Concourse that has a *A lounge, while flying on AC?
I haven't tried, but Terminal A is nowhere near the other terminals. I'd suspect that the control procedures in place at the other terminals would prevent you from getting behind security for a flight that doesn't depart from that terminal. If you do decide to try, please let us know how it went.

There's not so much as an airside inter-terminal train/bus/etc, so that's not an option, either.

My advice to you would be to find somewhere else to hang out for those few hours. Perhaps our fellow FTers would have some recommendations?

-RS.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 4:48 pm
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I wrote them about this last year and they said it wasn't their choice to move to terminal A, but that the MWAA had them do so to accomodate CO and UA being together (or was it NW and DL, I can't remember).

I haven't flown AC to DCA since that change since on Jazz there isn't much difference between UA and AC, and the UA flights depart from a rather decent terminal still.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by aircanada_loyal View Post
Seriously? I wish I knew that earlier. My plan was to spend a few hours catching up on some work and simply relaxing in the lounge, as my meeting ends at 1300, and my flight is not until 1700.

How easy is to to go to a Concourse that has a *A lounge, while flying on AC?
You can go to the CO lounge and then walk. It is about a five minute enclosed walkway between the terminals; however, you do have to clear security twice. When they first switched, I had to a meeting from the airport and it worked fine. At the time the AC people were asking for angry letters to help them lobby for taking over the old NW lounge.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by yyzgigi View Post
You can go to the CO lounge and then walk. It is about a five minute enclosed walkway between the terminals; however, you do have to clear security twice. When they first switched, I had to a meeting from the airport and it worked fine. At the time the AC people were asking for angry letters to help them lobby for taking over the old NW lounge.
Thanks yyzgigi. I do not mind clearing security twice.

Would you mind elaborating how I would go? I presume enter through Terminal A, and then....

Thanks very much, and I will surely be reporting back on my experience.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by aircanada_loyal View Post
Thanks yyzgigi. I do not mind clearing security twice.

Would you mind elaborating how I would go? I presume enter through Terminal A, and then....

Thanks very much, and I will surely be reporting back on my experience.
For the lounge, go to Terminal B and the security area for gates 10-22. After security hang a hard right and down a long corridor and upstairs to the CO lounge.

When you are ready to leave head out of security and turn left toward Terminal A. There is along internal corridor that connects Terminal B to A.

Here's a map:
http://www.mwaa.com/image/DCA_Map_de...09_2010rev.jpg
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Old Oct 16, 10, 7:46 am
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The only other airlines departing from Terminal A besides Air Canada are AirTran, Spirit and Frontier. Sadly, that should give you an indication of what to expect in terms of amenities...
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Old Oct 20, 10, 7:48 am
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How will it work arriving on AC and connecting to US Air? (also, vise versa) Is there a lounge available? If so, where?

Thanks
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Old Oct 20, 10, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by sharkshooter View Post
How will it work arriving on AC and connecting to US Air? (also, vise versa) Is there a lounge available? If so, where?

Thanks
Exit the sterile area, make your way to/from the US Airways pier, go through security.

US Airways has a lounge behind security. You can visit it before and after your US Airways flight, remembering that on your way to your AC flight you have to leave time to walk to the Air Canada gates and go through security.

-Brian
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Old Oct 20, 10, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by DeltaNYC View Post
The only other airlines departing from Terminal A besides Air Canada are AirTran, Spirit and Frontier. Sadly, that should give you an indication of what to expect in terms of amenities...
and in terms of possible wait times at security - lots of VBIT; this line can move very slowly
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Old Oct 20, 10, 9:46 pm
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Thank you all very much for your input. I would like to report back, and offer my feedback on *A lounge when flying from DCA.

Terminal A is completely disconnected from Terminals B and C, and the *A lounges are in DCA. Beyond the lack of a *A lounge, Terminal A has minimum amenities.

I checked in at the airport (Terminal A with AC) about 2.5 hours prior to the flight. I inquired if there was a *A lounge I could access, and was pointed to the CO lounge in Terminal B, saying it should only take 10 minutes one-way to get to Terminal B, but was warned I would have to clear security twice (to enter Terminal B, and then to enter Terminal A)

The 10 minute time frame is very inaccurate. The trek took almost 25 minutes (even though I walk fast), including clearing extensive security at Terminal B. From there, I made a sharp right, and the CO lounge is at the very end of the hallway. The lounge was very disappointing to say the least (chips, soft drinks, tea/coffee, and some apples). Anyway, it was good to relax for a short while.

I stayed for approximately 45 minutes, and then headed to Terminal A....same route (there is no internal connection). I re-cleared security, headed to the gate, and boarded the flight at the appropriate time.

My recommendation is:

1. (Passengers) Do not rely on the lounge if you have to change terminals, and if are departing on an AC flight from DCA. The CO lounge does not have extensive amenities, and nothing special. MLLs are far superior.

2. (AC) Flights to and from DCA are mostly business. I have never seen a sale for flights on AC to/from DCA or IAD, and there are no other *A carriers on these routes (UA has limited flights). Therefore, AC has a captive market, and can charge whatever they want, while businesses are willing to pay. Presumably, they are making money on this/these route(s), and should therefore consider offering better lounge access to their premium passengers (ideal option: move to Terminal B or A, to allow passengers to use the existing *A lounge in those respective terminals)
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