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AF/KLM Lounge at IAD — AF & DL Conflicting Access Info!

AF/KLM Lounge at IAD — AF & DL Conflicting Access Info!

Old Sep 19, 19, 4:39 pm
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AF/KLM Lounge at IAD — AF & DL Conflicting Access Info!

Spousal Unit-1 and I just arrived on KL651 AMS > IAD — about 4 hours before our IAD > ATL connection. Flew J from AMS, both SU1 and I are DMs.

I call DL and they state that we are entitled to access to the AF/KL lounge in Terminal A because their policy says that access is based upon “same-day” travel.

AF turns us away and says we are NOT entitled to access as their lounge is specifically for international departures only.

Assuming AF knows more what they’re talking about, we politely thank them and take our leave. I call the Diamond Desk and they say AF is wrong. Not willing to make a stink about it, I drop the matter.

The policy is conflicting and really needs to be harmonized. If DL had the correct info we wouldn’t have bothered going to A (our connection is at B74).
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Old Sep 19, 19, 7:32 pm
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Was your IAD - ATL flight on the same ticket? The Skyteam access rules (which would apply since it's not a DL Sky Club) make clear that if you are on international Skyteam Business and connecting on domestic or international onward flight you are entitled to access.

"Lounge access will be provided only at your departure airport and not on arrival, unless you are connecting to a domestic flight or other qualifying international flight."

So the only excuse I could see is if they weren't aware of the IAD-ATL onward flight. DL Sky Club access rules are somewhat different and do not require connecting onward flight from international J. But those rules wouldn't apply since it's not a Sky Club.

Last edited by xliioper; Sep 19, 19 at 7:47 pm
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Old Sep 19, 19, 10:24 pm
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
Was your IAD - ATL flight on the same ticket? The Skyteam access rules (which would apply since it's not a DL Sky Club) make clear that if you are on international Skyteam Business and connecting on domestic or international onward flight you are entitled to access.

"Lounge access will be provided only at your departure airport and not on arrival, unless you are connecting to a domestic flight or other qualifying international flight."

So the only excuse I could see is if they weren't aware of the IAD-ATL onward flight. DL Sky Club access rules are somewhat different and do not require connecting onward flight from international J. But those rules wouldn't apply since it's not a Sky Club.
Separate tickets doesnt matter. Having an onward same day flight on ST does. As long as AF lounge knew they were flying on DL they were wrong. However OP post doesn't make that clear.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 10:27 pm
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Originally Posted by TheHorta View Post
Spousal Unit-1 and I just arrived on KL651 AMS > IAD — about 4 hours before our IAD > ATL connection. Flew J from AMS, both SU1 and I are DMs.

I call DL and they state that we are entitled to access to the AF/KL lounge in Terminal A because their policy says that access is based upon “same-day” travel.

AF turns us away and says we are NOT entitled to access as their lounge is specifically for international departures only.

Assuming AF knows more what they’re talking about, we politely thank them and take our leave. I call the Diamond Desk and they say AF is wrong. Not willing to make a stink about it, I drop the matter.

The policy is conflicting and really needs to be harmonized. If DL had the correct info we wouldn’t have bothered going to A (our connection is at B74).
DL had correct info. You were connecting (albeit on separate tickets) to a onward ST flight. As long as you showed them your DL BP they were in the wrong.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Separate tickets doesnt matter. Having an onward same day flight on ST does. As long as AF lounge knew they were flying on DL they were wrong. However OP post doesn't make that clear.
I've always interpreted the "same day SkyTeam international itinerary" rule to mean that the flights are on the same PNR. IIRC these are SkyTeam lounge rules for ElitePlus (DL GM+). It could be different is the agent thinks that OP is trying to access the lounge based on the business class TATL ticket.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:53 pm
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Same day can be on separate tickets as long as they are on Skyteam flights. The main problem here is AF/KL staff at IAD. They use the rules at their discretion and calling DL does not really matter since they feel in a position of power over any Skyteam rules.

I will be traveling IAD-JFK-CDG on separate tickets in a few months and will report back about my experience.
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Last edited by SDQBound; Sep 20, 19 at 1:28 pm
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Old Sep 20, 19, 12:48 am
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We were on KL651 AMS>IAD, then on a separate DL Metal itinerary IAD>ATL>HSV. We had a ~4 hour layover at IAD, so the lounge would have been nice, but we didn’t make a stink and the AF agent had a thick French accent and wasn’t having any of it. Too bad you can’t HUCA when face-to-face.

Then the wheels came off the cart when our plane decided to break, which tacked on an additional 2+ hours, causing us to miss our ATL>HSV leg, as it was the last one of the night.

So, 6+ hours in IAD with no lounge access was taxing. Now we’re at the ATL Hilton on a voucher and about to syncope after 24+ straight hours of travel with no sleep.

Through this all, DL has been very accommodating.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 6:44 am
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I've been in the AF lounge at IAD and have overheard other passengers in the same situation being turned away. I think the core issue is overcrowding in the late afternoons. Even after the recent renovations and expansion of the lounge, it can still get really crowded, especially in the time leading up to the departure of AF65 (sometimes it feels like half the people on that 380 have a platinum tag hanging from their luggage). Indeed, before they expanded it, I had been turned away from the lounge as an AF plat flying on on the AF flight because it was full (at least in that case I got a restaurant voucher to use in the terminal).
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Old Sep 20, 19, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by TheHorta View Post
We were on KL651 AMS>IAD, then on a separate DL Metal itinerary IAD>ATL>HSV. We had a ~4 hour layover at IAD, so the lounge would have been nice, but we didn’t make a stink and the AF agent had a thick French accent and wasn’t having any of it. Too bad you can’t HUCA when face-to-face.

Then the wheels came off the cart when our plane decided to break, which tacked on an additional 2+ hours, causing us to miss our ATL>HSV leg, as it was the last one of the night.

So, 6+ hours in IAD with no lounge access was taxing. Now we’re at the ATL Hilton on a voucher and about to syncope after 24+ straight hours of travel with no sleep.

Through this all, DL has been very accommodating.
With separate tickets, it would look to AF like you were trying to use their lounge as an arrivals lounge, which isn't permitted and AF tend to be very strict about this. I suspect the refusal was an automatic reaction based on the departures versus arrivals lounge distinction that certain airlines, including AF, think is a big deal.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
With separate tickets, it would look to AF like you were trying to use their lounge as an arrivals lounge, which isn't permitted and AF tend to be very strict about this. I suspect the refusal was an automatic reaction based on the departures versus arrivals lounge distinction that certain airlines, including AF, think is a big deal.
This. AF/KL not allowing their lounges to be used as arrivals lounges get very strict about it even when passengers are connecting because they believe once the passenger is not on an AF anymore, they should be treated as arriving vs. connecting. If a passenger with no status flies in Business to AMS or CDG and then has a connection in Y, they are not allowed to access the lounge unless a supervisor is called and can confirm that the passenger should not be treated as arriving but connecting. I was in this situation many times when I was a Silver.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 2:34 pm
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The Delta rep misinformed the OP. ST rules apply in this case. The OP had onward domestic travel, thus access to the DL lounge. The OP no longer had anything to do with AF/KLM and was not connecting on an international itin with them, thus no access.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by CanuckInParis View Post
I've been in the AF lounge at IAD and have overheard other passengers in the same situation being turned away. I think the core issue is overcrowding in the late afternoons. Even after the recent renovations and expansion of the lounge, it can still get really crowded, especially in the time leading up to the departure of AF65 (sometimes it feels like half the people on that 380 have a platinum tag hanging from their luggage). Indeed, before they expanded it, I had been turned away from the lounge as an AF plat flying on on the AF flight because it was full (at least in that case I got a restaurant voucher to use in the terminal).
Which flight is AF65, the early or late night one? When I search that flight number it brings up LAX>CDG. I assume it's the earlier one, because I've taken the 9pm flight and the lounge wasn't that crowded. That would also make sense because I think the earlier one is the A380, whereas the later one is the 777.

I've flown the KLM flight many times from Dulles and like that they allow boarding through the door in the back of the lounge. The time I took the AF flight we had to leave the lounge to board, is that normal?
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Old Sep 20, 19, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by bankops View Post
The Delta rep misinformed the OP. ST rules apply in this case. The OP had onward domestic travel, thus access to the DL lounge. The OP no longer had anything to do with AF/KLM and was not connecting on an international itin with them, thus no access.
100% incorrect. OP flew same day ST international flight and as a STE+ passenger gets lounge access to ANY SKYTEAM (not just of the carrier being flown) lounge as they were connecting onward to another ST flight. If there was an Alitalia lounge they could've gone there, if a China Airlines lounge they could've gone there, etc... ST rules dont limit you. In fact some of us pop between lounges if in a city with multiple and have longish layovers.
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Last edited by flyerCO; Sep 21, 19 at 9:12 am
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Old Sep 20, 19, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
Which flight is AF65, the early or late night one? When I search that flight number it brings up LAX>CDG. I assume it's the earlier one, because I've taken the 9pm flight and the lounge wasn't that crowded. That would also make sense because I think the earlier one is the A380, whereas the later one is the 777.

I've flown the KLM flight many times from Dulles and like that they allow boarding through the door in the back of the lounge. The time I took the AF flight we had to leave the lounge to board, is that normal?
It's actually AF55. That's the early one. The late one is AF27 and indeed the lounge is not as crowded as earlier.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
100% incorrect. OP flew same day ST international flight and as a STE+ passenger gets lounge access to ANY SKYTEAM (not just of the carrier being flown) lounge as they were connecting onward to another ST flight. If there was an Alitalia lounge they could've gone there, if a China Airlines lounge they could've gone there, etc... ST rules dont limit you. In fact some of is pop between lounges if in a city with multiple and have longish layovers.
In theory, this is correct... but in the practice, Good luck with AirFrance following SkyTeam rules with regards to lounge access.
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