This is a continuation of a multi-part post about flying Emirates Business Class. The parts are:
Part 2 – Emirates at Dulles International Airport featuring the Air France Dulles Lounge (this post)
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The last post ended with me using the reliable Emirates’ Chauffeur-Drive limousine service to get to Dulles. And I did in fact get to Dulles beating out DC Monday morning rush hour traffic.
Check In. The Emirates check-in counter at Dulles looks like any check-in counter, but considering Emirates has only one flight a day from Dulles I did not expect anything special.
What was noticeably different is the customer service.
I do not know what the person who directs people to the correct line for check-in is called. Whatever this role, as I approached the check-in area she gave me a great big smile and welcome to Emirates airline. She looked at my confirmation and directed me to the business class check-in, where I received the same warmth. The check-in agent efficiently but pleasantly checked my documents, gave me my boarding pass and bag claim, and specifically pointed out my “invitation” to enjoy the Air France lounge prior to the flight.
A380 Pulls Into Gate. I cleared security and made my way by foot to the gate which was right across from the Air France Lounge. [Anyone who has ever flown out of Dulles should know why I mention “by foot”.]
A small group had formed by the gate looking onto the tarmac. The photos and video do not do justice to its size.
The cleaning and maintenance crew gathered before entering the plane for a second security wanding – good to see. The passengers exiting the plane were a beautiful mix of nationalities – they looked rather put together and content for a 14 hour flight.
Air France Lounge. I was getting hungry and decided to see what the Air France lounge was like. I have always enjoyed flying Air France. They get my award for the best bread and pastries of any airlines I have flown, so perhaps that consistency was in their lounge also.
The lounge was pleasant, a reasonable spread of food and beverages, great red colors, and a nice view through floor to ceiling windows of the side of the tarmac that Emirates was not on.
Breakfast was tasty and fresh – it hit the spot without filling me up too much as I knew Emirates would offer abundant food.
My bottom line impression of the Air France-KLM lounge is that is it pleasant and clean, stylish and well designed, great views and a good variety of tasty food. The food is significantly better than any Admirals Club lounge I have been to. The lounge was not at all crowded which made me wonder how few passengers were in Business Class. In the end, business class was fairly full but I guess they chose not to use the lounge.
And then the announcement: “You are now welcome to board flight 232.”