Ecosystem: Capital One
Approximate Wait Time: Less than one minute
Time Visited: 5:30 PM
Special Occasion: Two Days After Christmas
Table of Contents
About the Capital One Lounge
One of my favorite banking institutions in the US (and my favorite for travelers) has officially entered the airport lounge market, joining stiff competition with the new Sapphire lounges (only available for Sapphire Reserve holders), the American Express Centurion Lounges, and the numerous other Priority Pass and other lounge groups.
Their first lounge, located at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (an American Airlines Hub), was acclaimed by many during their opening. After all, a regional cuisine menu focuses on locally sustainable goods, a grab-and-go cooler, and Peloton Bikes meant luxury was accessible to many in the Midwest.
Now, it took me some time to visit the Capital One Lounge, as I had no stop-overs in Dallas for some time. But eventually, my luck turned out and I eagerly booked my trip, awaiting what was in store for me. Right now, the planned lounges are Dallas, Denver, Dulles International (Washington DC), and Las Vegas. However, more should be opening through the 2020s and beyond.
Credit Card Rules
Now, as a rule, there should be some things known. This lounge is specifically reserved for Capital One customers, and as of this time, there are only three different cards that allow you entrance to the lounge.
- Capital One Venture X (Unlimited Visits Per Year)
- Capital One Venture (2 Visits Per Year)
- Capital One Spark Miles Business (2 Visits Per Year)
(As more people adopt the Venture X, I do expect these lounges to become crowded. This DFW lounge was 10,000 square feet, and I did visit at dinner time. Although we never ran out of food, the seating was a bit close.)
Priority Pass and other credit cards are not eligible for this lounge. However, this lounge is actually run by the Plaza Premium Group.
How to Access This Lounge From the Sky Link
If you have traveled through Dallas, you know how big of a headache it can be. So, whenever I learned that I would have to be switching terminals to access this lounge, I was immediately concerned.
Would I be able to access this lounge if I only had a 1.5 hour layover?
How long do I have to walk from the Sky Link?
Etc. Etc. Etcc.
Thankfully, my concerns were put at ease as I walked up to the facility.
You will want to exit the Sky Link in Terminal D, walk down the escalator, and face towards Gates D22. Then, just walk about ten seconds. It is near Gate D22.
After walking through the doors, you will talk an elevator to the third floor. Turn left and you have arrived.
Upon arriving, I had to wait a little bit (less than a minute), as there were approximately three people in front of me. However, after assisting them, I quickly was helped into the lounge with my Capital One Venture and Boarding Pass in hand.
The lounge itself is gorgeous, as it is a 10,000 square foot space, designed with modern furniture, ample seating with a variety of seating options, plenty of greenery, and art. (A win in my book.) As a bonus, there were excellent (but limited) seats overlooking the D Terminal, and you could watch planes unload and board.
Also, almost each seat had a charging station. (More on the Wi-Fi below.)
My only complaint was the luggage storage. It seemed quite small considering the amount of people that the lounge was expected to hold.
Now, it would not be a lounge without food. And since I visited over dinner time after Christmas, I thought I should try every unhealthy food possible before I get back to my regular diet. (Spoiler Alert: Everything was good but the carrots.)
Now, the menus in these lounges are actually designed with local producers, and each menu at the lounges should vary depending on the region. This is good news to me, as you pick up lunch in Washington DC, and then have something completely different for dinner in Denver.
The spacing for the food is an excellent idea too, as the food is portioned out in very generous sizes, and it is very much belonging to the grab and go concept. I never saw more than twenty items out at a time, and the food was hot.
Dinner: Link to Menu
- Spicy meatballs with Cornbread: Good / Meh
Personally, I found the Spicy BBQ meatballs excellent, although I did hear rumblings of people from around the lounge chatter that the meatball was in fact, too spicy. The sauce gave rumblings of ketchup/bbq with a kick. Meanwhile, the cornbread it was served with was not memorable.
- Macaroni and Cheese: Very Good
The Macaroni and Cheese was the star of the show in regards to dinner. So much so, I had to go back and try the
- Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon: Very Good
It was good. The same exact recipe as before plus bacon.
- BBQ sandwich: Very Good
I found the BBQ Slider to be excellent, especially with the pickled red onion.
- Carrot: Meh.
Yeah, the carrots were the disappointment on the dinner menu.
There were a few other desserts such as blueberry scones, three different versions of cookies, and others. But I went straight for the calorie counters.
- Gluten-Free Brownie
I found the gluten-free brownie to be excellent, and I certainly did not expect it to be gluten-free after tasting it. There was no grit, and it was moist.
Now, I am very picky in regards to baklava. As it needs to actually have more pistachio and honey than this had. (I would prefer pine honey.) The balkava was edible, but you could remove the cinnamon, too. I don’t think most people would even notice.
Bar & Drink Menu
Now, I don’t frequent bars (nor drink alcohol), but the bar seemed to be pretty well-stocked. Almost everything was included but the top shelf liquor. However, you could purchase that or a few other options.
Additionally, there were a few non-alcohol options which I did sample. (Thanks for Capital One for doing that!)
- The First Drink: Kathleen and Winnie
A Good Lemon Citrus drink to pair with dairy or pasta. I highly recommend this one.
- The Second Drink: Honey, I’m Home.
Almost a bit too sweet, especially if you are pairing with BBQ.
Grab and Go
Wow! This is what really impressed me in a lounge, and I really think all cafeterias, lounges, or anything related to the food industry should take notice! (If you’ve been to England, this is very reminiscent of a Pret.)
Right after entering the lounge, you faced the Grab and Go counter, which offered a variety of mixes, the main dishes (a combination of parfaits, sandwiches, salads), a desert, drinks, and smoothie bowls! Also, they had fruit!!!
I took a photo of every single thing available at the station, so here it is.
There was one thing I wish that Capital One offered a bit more in regards to the food, and it was the inclusion of marking well-known allergens. They did offer some things such as the gluten-free brownies, gluten-free granola blends in the smoothie bowls, and some items that were obviously dairy free. However, nothing was marked well.
Internet Speed Test
Now, besides food, another important characteristic of great lounges is fast wifi. And the Capital One Lounge did offer some wifi. But it was not the greatest in the world. I tested it in two different places, (both with a VPN focused in the Dallas area).
I found download speeds/upload speeds to measure approximately 25-30 mbps.
This is fast enough to steam Netflix and take video calls. However, if too many people join on the wifi at one time, it will slow down.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Airport Wifi measured at an astonishingly 100 + MB/S. This was plenty fast, and I can personally speak that it won’t take too long to upload a Youtube Video!
The amenities are often underutilized in lounges, but not this one. If you plan on using anything, I highly recommend placing your name on the list the moment you arrive. They only have a limited amount of options for the following:
- Shower Room
- Relaxation Room
- Multi-Faith Room
- Peloton Room
- Family Privacy Room
Besides replenishing the food (Thank you for doing that!), there was always somebody either cleaning or clearing plates. It was really a pristine place despite being open for a year, and they were doing a great job. This includes the bathrooms!
Finally, we need to mention handicap accessibility. This lounge is located on the third floor, and it is handicap accessible from the departures floor via elevator. The lounge does have ample space for a wheelchair, including special seats. And the handicap bathroom measures approximately 7.5 feet by 5 feet.
Now, I have approximately three takeaways from my experience at this lounge. One of which might shock you, the other two shouldn’t.
Surprisingly, I felt like this lounge was much more geared (and welcoming) of families than other airport lounges. There were numerous children under the age of five, and a couple of small families. Plus, there was the Family Privacy Room.
However, this lounge also felt classy and welcoming, too, for all people. The bar was set aside from some seating, there were different sections with a variety of seating options.
I mean… yeah.
Finally, the staff were super kind during my time there. They let me take photos of everything that was not being used at the time, answered my numerous questions, and were super attentive to all guests. Even for just waiting thirty seconds, they immediately apologized for my wait.
Obviously, I loved my long layover at the Capital One Lounge despite the carrots. And would highly recommend it to anyone traveling through Dallas. 10/10
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