Lounge review: Dublin Airport 51st & Green Lounge

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  • PatJordan

    In the words of Dublin Airport Authority:

    A place where Ireland & America connect
    The lounge is truly unique as it’s under US jurisdiction yet still on Irish soil. The name, 51st&Green, is inspired by this theme of intersection. It represents the place where Ireland and America connect – the 51st State of America and Green for Ireland and Dublin Airport.

    51st&Green is an exciting new lounge concept by Dublin Airport for passengers travelling to the United States.
    Located after US Preclearance in Terminal 2 and beside the US departure gates, it is a ‘world’s first’ as it is the closest airport lounge to an active runway.
    The lounge is 750 sq m with the capacity of seating 180 people. It is located at ramp level and the design maximizes the natural light and the views of the runway activity. The layout of the lounge is inspired by Newgrange and the 32m entrance corridor slopes into a bright open space acting as a decompression zone and enabling customers to instantly relax on arrival.
    Complimentary access for Aer Lingus passengers is restricted to Business Class ticket holders and Prestige & Elite Gold Circle Club members. The entry fee of 39euro is substantially higher than the DAA lounges which adds to it’s exclusivity.

    51st & Green is located beside gate 406, and is clearly signposted. Entry is through sliding doors, down a gradual slope where a very pleasant lady welcomed us as Aer Lingus Business Class Passengers, and explained that food and drink were self service and complimentary. No mention was made of the additional menu which is chargeable.
    First impressions are of a bright, white almost clinical area, The white paneling on the walls is very similar to that used in industrial kitchens (mainly for hygiene purposes). The lounge is very large, bright and offers great views of the apron and the aircraft parked thereon.

    Soft drinks and a selection of salads, soups, bread rolls, smoked salmon, duck terrine are nicely displayed on the counters, along with some baked goods and biscuits paid out in wooden serving trays. Some of the biscuits look very like those served in the DAA lounges (in packets). A small range of beers, wines and spirits is available from an attended counter which doubles as a coffee bar.

    DAA state that the coffee is specially ground for the 51st & Green lounge by “Cloud Picker”, a micro-roastery located 9kms from the lounge. It is good to see local businesses being supported in such a way, and I can confirm that the espresso I sampled was excellent.

    I asked at the bar/coffee server if it was possible to have some champagne. I was amazed to be told that the lounge did not stock champagne. Surely a premium lounge should carry champagne? I would have been quite happy to pay for it, but was unable to do so.

    The newspaper rack contained two (used) copies of the Irish Independent newspaper. Nothing else whatever being available, this is a poor reflection on DAA, and most unsatisfactory from a customer perspective.

    There is a wide range of seat types, some facing runways, some in quiet clusters. Numerous power points are in place to charge mobile devices.

    However there is no business area, no computers for guests to use (to take advantage of the advertised “printing facilities”). In fairness, the receptionist was quick to offer to print any documents which I could email to her. A very nice gesture, but surely a premium lounge should have at least one or two PCs for guests to use and print whatever they need without having to resort to emailing the receptionist?

    During the course of our (two hour stay) we sampled some of the foods on offer. DAA publicity describes the food :

    Our food ethos
    We offer a wide range of healthy and nutritious dishes, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal produce. Our dishes have been specially selected to showcase Irish food with an American twist.
    Dishes include Kenmare Smoked Salmon, New England Clam Chowder, Irish Coastline Fish Pie and Macaroni & Cheese.

    Pea and ham soup was hot and flavoursome, but served in a narrow mug is less than ideal.

    The cakes were quite pleasant, but there seemed to be a distinct shortage of bread rolls. For over half an hour, the basket was virtually empty. Given the relatively low numbers of guests in the lounge, this was disappointing.

    Also disappointing was the lethargic approach taken to clearing tables.

    My wife visited the ladies, and was most surprised to find one cubicle out of order already!

    One grave omission during the two hours we spent in the 51st & Green was the failure to display the menu of cooked to order hot meals mentioned in DAAs’ publicity(which are chargeable), or to make any mention of their availability during the several interactions we had with many of the staff on duty.

    Once our flight was ready for boarding, it was a very short walk to the departure gate (406).

    We have mixed views about the 52st & Green Lounge. The views of the runways are excellent, and the lounge itself is a very pleasant place to wait for a flight. The pricing structure ensures that there will be ample seating for all guests.

    However, the negatives are many:

    • Lack of newspapers or alternative reading material
    • No business centre
    • Toilets out of order
    • Slow replenishment of basic food items
    • Slow table clearance
    • Complete failure to offer any of the meals described on DAA publicity.

    The burning question is whether I would visit this lounge again…..

    As a paying guest, it is highly unlikely that I would do so, given the issues raised earlier. The 51st & Green is an excellent concept, but badly let down by poor service delivery.

    My Aer Lingus Gold Circle Club status grants me access to the 51st & Green instead of the Gold Circle Lounge. In view of my experience, I would be happier if I was offered a choice of lounges, rather than being directed to the 51st & Green.


    39€ and the menu is extra?

    They’re having a larf, aren’t they?


    Pat, if it’s under US jurisdiction, does that mean the minimum drinking age is 21?

    Also, do business class passengers of other airlines using the pre clearance gates, have access to the lounge?



    The salads, soup, cakes, etc are free, but hot meals cost extra.


    Not sure about the drinking age, but l suspect you are correct. Youngsters would have to make do with cans of coke, or the (very decent) coffee.

    Tom Otley

    Thank you for that – you can view some pictures here

    Dublin airport opens US Preclearance lounge


    I forgot to attach these photographs with my original review. These show the lack of bread rolls and reading material.


    We used this lounge as a family during August on our way to a family holiday in the US. We had access as we were flying business class on American (which on their A330’s I have to admit was pretty good). Anyone travelling in a premium cabin on American, Delta or Untied is entitled to access, and I think that elite cards are also accepted where they grant lounge access.

    Our experience was exactly the same as Pat’s – it has a lot of potential as a lounge (especially the view) but:
    1. Lack of champagne is disappointing – always enjoy a glass to start the holiday off
    2. Speed of service from the attended bar is slow especially if people in front are ordering coffees
    3. We had to clear an area for ourselves – the plates and glasses we moved stayed uncollected for another 30 mins
    4. Like Pat the meals to be ordered were never mentioned nor advertised
    5. Gents toilet was not in the particularly clean – not sure how often they are monitored.

    Having said that I would happily endure the above to enjoy clearing US immigration and customs in under 20 mins as we did on a fairly busy summer Saturday morning and the resulting ability to arrive as a domestic passenger in the US. Perhapsas it has just opened they will learn some lessons and improve the offering.

    Tom Otley

    Great information, thank you. I hope to see it this week

    Tom Otley

    I think the provision of food must depend on the time of day, because there is a fair selection of buffet food here for lunch (I have taken some photos and will include it in the review). The only hot food is soup, and I haven;t seen a menu for hot food beyond this (chargeable or not).

    As you say, the price of admission is Euro39.

    It is very busy outside, but quiet in the lounge (possibly there is a lot of boarding going on, so the passengers who were in the lounge have now left).


    Hi Tom,

    it was around this time of day that we were in the lounge, however I’m glad to see that the availability of food has improved.

    Have a pleasant and safe trip. By the way, who are you flying with?


    A few days after I visited the lounge, I contacted Dublin Airport Authority to raise my concerns. It took almost three weeks for a reply to issue:

    Thank you for reviewing the our new US CBP lounge and for your very positive comments which we very much appreciate.

    We have taken on board the areas you highlighted which require specific attention namely:

    · Lack of newspapers or reading material – initially we did have a problem with the supply of papers to the lounge. This has been corrected and a larger newspaper/magazine stand is coming so we can offer more choice for customers.
    · No business centre – at the beginning of the planning process research indicated that customers would prefer lots of sockets and opportunities to use and charge their own devices and we did this in lieu of a traditional business centre. All table further has USB charging ports. We will review this decision based on customer feedback.
    · Toilets that were out of order have been fixed.
    · Slow replenishment of basic food items – this is unacceptable to us and has been highlighted to our service provider.
    · Slow table clearance – again this is unacceptable and has also been highlighted to our service provider.
    · Complete failure to offer any of the meals described on daa publicity – unfortunately it seems menu cards were not displayed.
    Hot food is available to order and prepared fresh on demand by our on-site Chef.
    · No champagne – champagne will be introduced to the lounge soon.

    Many thanks for the positive and constructive comments hopefully you’ll see an improved service and offering the next time you use the lounge.

    Having read some of the comments from other posters, it seems that only some of these issues have been resolved. Indeed Tom was there yesterday and saw no hot food menus. What a pity to see such a facility not reach it’s full potential.


    What I forgot to add to the above post is that DAA are working with the lounge operating team to ensure that the expected standards are met.

    On another note, is it possible to edit a post, rather than adding a subsequent comment as I have done?

    Tom Otley

    Hi PatJordan,
    I believe it’s possible to edit for a short period of time (perhaps 5 minutes) but after that, not. It’s to stop people editing their comments afterwards which then causes other problems when people have responded to it.

    Tom Otley
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