The Air France/JAL Lounge was once my least favorite lounge at Dulles airport due to its reliance on stale, industrial food in single-wrap plastic. The coronavirus pandemic, however, is the great equalizer, as even the vaunted Turkish Air Lounge hung up its platter of börek and jiggling technicolor masses of eponymous delight in favor of the ubiquitous sepia tones of wraps and grain cups.
The Air France/JAL Lounge is in the A terminal, midway down the concourse. They accept Priority Pass and FlyingBlue/JAL status. It’s relatively close to the Turkish Airlines Lounge, so choose wisely and allow us to be your guides.
The gaudy Air France-JAL Lounge looks inspired by a child’s vomit after eating cotton-candy birthday cake. In the midst of the pandemic, however, the gaudy color scheme offers a whimsical contrast to the ongoing collapse of western civilization.
The lounge has never been terribly crowded, even as it is one of the only lounges open in the Dulles airport.
The food is nothing spectacular, but it gets the job done. It is comprised mostly of plastic-wrapped carbohydrates, some fruit and an interesting selection of instant noodles. Despite having a very nice space for the buffet, it rarely contains much to write home about. You’re unlikely to replace a meal here, unless you were already planning on eating a bread sandwich.
The bartender is unimpeachable. Well, they do seem to fake it when you ask about the wine, but they will pour generous glasses, mix you a spritz, or do whatever it takes to keep you boozed up and happy.
While we didn’t get any direct measurements of the connection, we did manage to attend a video conference with dozens of attendees without a hiccup.