For the past several years, I've had a Capital One Venture credit card. I like it because the annual fee is lower than similar travel rewards cards, and it's easy to redeem points for travel expenses including flights and accommodations. I recently discovered an additional perk: I get two free visits per year to Capital One's airport lounges.
As of April 2022, the only Capital One Lounge is at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW). Lounges are scheduled to open at Denver International Airport (DEN) and Washington D.C.'s Dulles International Airport (IAD) later in 2022. Lounge access is available to all travelers for $65, and after they've used up their free visits, Venture cardholders can purchase additional visits for $45.
The Capital One Lounge at DFW is located in Terminal D near Gate D22. Check in is easy: show the front desk attendant the lounge pass in your Capital One mobile app (or your Venture card) as well as your boarding pass, and you're good to go. I used one free visit for myself and Josh used the other one as my guest (not relevant in our situation, but children under 2 get free access with a supervising adult).
The lounge is quite expansive, with several seating areas. There are a few different styles of armchairs, tables, counters, and a bar area, all with convenient outlets and high-speed WiFi. The decor is sleek and modern, and most areas offer a view of the runway.
The lounge also features private spaces, including a shower suite, nursing room, cycling and yoga room, relaxation room, and multi-faith room. You can reserve these spaces at the front desk.
Unsurprisingly, my favorite perk was the free food. At the entryway, there's a grab-and-go cooler filled with salads, sandwiches, juices, and sparkling water. There are also dispensers filled with items like mixed nuts, snack mix, and chocolate covered-raisins—you can enjoy them in a bowl in the lounge or fill up a bag to eat later.
A self-serve buffet was stocked with several varieties of baked goods, including muffins, croissants, and baklava. There are also hot entrees in small snack-sized portions, such as quinoa salad, mac 'n cheese, roasted vegetables, chicken pot pie, and lentil dal. Finally, there's a selection of desserts and snacks, like miniature macarons, brownie bites, hummus with pita wedges, and charcuterie cones filled with cold cuts, cheese, and pickles.
I appreciated that everything had a label indicating if it was vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or contained nuts or pork. It was also nice that most items were in small, reusable containers to minimize packaging and food waste.
The quality of the food was decent—the baklava, macrons, brownies, and chocolate croissant I tried were fresh and well-made, and the entrees were satisfying.
The Capital One lounge also offers a plethora of beverage options, including sodas, coffee, sparkling water, cold brew, and a draft latte (I highly recommend the draft latte). There's also a full bar, with complimentary beer, wine, and cocktails. Although the food and non-alcoholic beverages are self-serve, staffers circulate throughout the lounge to clear your dishes, and they may offer to get you a refill.
We had a four hour layover at DFW and spent nearly all of it in the Capital One Lounge. It was far more comfortable than the main concourse, with cozy chairs, a great view, lower noise levels, and tasty snacks. I often aspire to get work done in transit, but rarely get much accomplished—this time, I actually did.
As the sun set over the runway and I finished off a plate of macarons, a staffer approached with a tray of champagne flutes—every evening, the lounge offers a complimentary sunset toast. That touch of luxury sums up the Capital One lounge experience. Is lounge access a necessity for travel? Absolutely not. But it sure does make it nicer.
The takeaway: Unless you have a very long layover, I don't think it's worth paying $45-$65 to access the Capital One lounge. However, if you're a Venture cardholder and have free access, check it out! I'm already looking forward to luxuriating in airport comfort in 2023.
This isn't a sponsored post—I pay my Capital One Venture credit card fee out-of-pocket.
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