An Alitalia Airbus A330-200. Delish!
Alitalia is one of those airlines that I have always watched closely but have never had the chance to fly. While its business matters are complicated and ever evolving, Alitalia continues to run a solid operation with a highly regarded business class product and service standard. I was happy to join the airline for a flight in Magnifica Class on its newly added Dulles to Rome route, one of a small handful of new routes Alitalia has added to its map this year.
Alitalia does not have its own lounge at Dulles and instead leans on Skyteam partner Air France, but that lounge is currently under renovation so Magnifica passengers have access to the nearby Turkish Airlines lounge in the meantime. After a few lounge drinks it was time to board EI-EJL, an Airbus A330-200. Alitalia’s longhaul fleet is made up of 14 Airbus A330-200s, 11 Boeing 777-200s, and one single Boeing 777-300ER. Why does its fleet contain a single 777-300ER? Well, nobody really knows, actually.
As the main international gateway for America’s capital, Washington Dulles is served by a ton of foreign carriers. Many offer lounges for their premium cabin passengers, and a few of them are part of the global Priority Pass network. Dulles’ slice of that network got a new addition last year: the Turkish Airlines lounge, which opened in 2016.
I’ve visited Turkish Airlines’ insane flagship lounge at its hub in Istanbul; definitely check out that story, if you haven’t already. While its Dulles lounge obviously can’t compare in terms of size or perks, it’s still solidly above average for airport lounges in the U.S. The food scene is solid, there are showers for travelers looking to freshen up, there are great views of the ramp, and the decor is pretty stylish. However, the crowd factor can be very high. But even so, it does well enough overall to get a thumbs up from me.
Read on for our detailed take on Turkish Airlines’ Washington D.C. lounge.
View of the Udvar-Hazy Center – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter
Everyone has heard of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC (at least if you read this site, you likely have). The museum’s main location, prominently located on the National Mall, has long been a favorite stop for tourists exploring the nation’s capitol. Less well-known, however, is the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located 25 miles to the west, adjacent to Dulles International Airport (IAD). I recently took the opportunity to spend a few hours before a flight exploring this amazing facility, and I was not disappointed.
The museum, which opened in 2003, consists of two massive hangars housing over 3,000 aircraft, spacecraft, and other historical items. All told, there is nearly 300,000 square-feet of floor space in the museum. The collection includes the space shuttle Discovery, an SR-71, an Air France Concorde, and the B-29 bomber Enola Gay among many other fascinating pieces.