alcoholic drink being poured into glass with ice
Source: Unsplash (@arobj)

Updated Virginia Law Required to Allow Alcohol at Capital One and Chase Lounges

Last month (February 2023), there was a write-up in the Washington Business Journal about a law change that would be required before (certain) lounges at Washington Dulles (IAD) and Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) airports could serve alcohol. Both of these airports reside in Virginia (VA) and the law currently states that only airlines, trains, buses, and boat operators can obtain mixed-beverage carrier licenses. Since Chase and Capital One are financial institutions, the law needed to be expanded to include them as well.

The bill has now been approved by the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate to allow serving alcohol to ticketed air passengers in designated areas. The legislation is now waiting for approval by Gov. Glenn Youngkin before it will become enacted. The good news is that once the bill is signed, it will have immediate adoption since it was submitted with an emergency clause.

Once approved, this will benefit two upcoming Washington area lounges that are planned to open this year. The first is the Capital One Landing at Regan National (DCA). This lounge is planned to be 5,482 square feet and will be located in Terminal 2 - Concourse D. The second planned lounge is the Chase Sapphire Lounge at Dulles (IAD) airport. This lounge is estimated to be 5,200 square feet and be located in Concourse A. Opening dates for the lounges have not been shared, but I assume they will be opening in the first half of this year.

Closing Thoughts

I have never thought about this being a problem with lounges. But, it does appear this is being fast-tracked through the legislature. I am super excited to visit both of these lounges when they finally open. Not mentioned in the Business Journal article is the Centurion Lounge that is planned to open at Regan National (DCA) this year. I am assuming since this is an American Express lounge, the same rules apply, so this law change will benefit the Centurion lounge as well.