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American Express Lounge at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá [Review]

Ryan Smith's image
Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith's image

Ryan Smith

Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 197U.S. States Visited: 50

Ryan completed his goal of visiting every country in the world in December of 2023 and now plans to let his wife choose their destinations. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publicat...
Edited by: Jessica Merritt
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Jessica Merritt

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Countries Visited: 4U.S. States Visited: 23

A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
& Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

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Countries Visited: 25U.S. States Visited: 22

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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I’ve been to huge lounges, and I’ve been to small lounges. And now I’ve been to a lounge that likely holds a world record for the smallest lounge.

The American Express Lounge at Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport (BOG) caught my eye while I was looking for a lounge to visit, having exhausted the 3-hour visit maximum at the Avianca Lounge Bogotá during a multi-hour layover.

As you might expect from its extremely small size, the offerings were nothing special. This lounge is offered by American Express but is not part of the Centurion Lounge network. And it definitely doesn’t offer what you might see at other lounges that are part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection.

But I got a bite to eat and complimentary drinks, and I didn’t have to hunt for seating near my crowded departure gate. Let’s look at what you’ll find if you visit this lounge.

Location

The American Express Lounge is in Terminal 1, near gate 45 in the international departures area. You’ll find it on the same side of the hallway as the boarding gates, opposite the shops and bathrooms lining the other side of the main hallway.

American Express Lounge Bogota BOG welcome desk
The lounge’s check-in desk.

The location makes it convenient if you’re departing from nearby gates. However, it could be far from other gates, and it’s not worth going out of your way to visit this lounge if your gate is far away.

Gaining Access

You can access this lounge if you have a Platinum or Centurion card from American Express. That includes personal cards — such as The Platinum Card® from American Express — and business cards such as The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Staff at the check-in desk had a binder with pictures of Platinum and Centurion cards from multiple countries. They asked which country my card was from and flipped to the “USA” section of the binder. There, they checked that my card matched the photos of eligible cards for entry. I also had to show my boarding pass for an upcoming flight.

Hours of Operation

During my visit in early August 2023, the lounge was operating from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. If you have a late-night flight, this lounge might not be available, so it’s worth verifying before heading toward gate 45 for a visit.

First Impressions

“This is it?” It’s impossible that anyone could have any other first impression.

This lounge redefines “small.” Even the traditional green wall at the check-in desk was greatly scaled down. I enjoyed my visit, but let’s not pretend this lounge isn’t tiny.

American Express Lounge Bogota BOG view from rear
View of the mini lounge from the back side.

Beyond my shock at the size, my shock extended to the fact I simply stumbled on this lounge while heading to my gate and looking for another lounge. Why hadn’t I known there was an American Express Lounge at BOG? That’s because it didn’t appear on page 1 of the lounge finder within the Amex mobile app.

American Express Global Lounge Collection locations BOG firrst page
The Amex lounge didn’t show on the first page of results in the Amex app. Image Credit: American Express

Thus, you’ll be forgiven for not noticing it in the next-to-last position on page 2 of lounge results — only listed above its twin in the domestic departures area.

American Express Global Lounge Collection locations BOG showing Amex lounge
It was near the end of page 2. Image Credit: American Express

I noticed another thing immediately: the open layout. The lounge only had half walls, and I regularly noticed people craning their necks to figure out what I was doing or wondering what this weird waiting space was near the gates. If you’re self-conscious about things like this, get a seat that faces away from people and toward the wall.

Bottom Line:

This peculiar lounge draws the attention of other travelers. Plan for people to gawk.

Seating

There were 2 types of seats, all to the left of the check-in desk. A handful of tables with 2 chairs each provided a cafeteria-style option. This was the majority of the lounge’s seating that could accommodate roughly 15 people.

American Express Lounge Bogota BOG chairs
Seating filled what space was available.

Along the back wall, booth-style seating could fit 4 people. The wooden armrest in the middle of this bench also had outlets for charging my electronics.

American Express Lounge Bogota BOG benches
Bench seating in the mini lounge.

Food and Beverage

Food

The lounge offered finger sandwiches and miniature desserts during my visit. Nothing was self-serve. Instead, I indicated what I wanted, and an employee brought it to my seat.

Offerings included ham and cheese sandwiches, pigs in a blanket, sliders, miniature quiche, and pão de queijo (traditional Brazilian cheese bread). You could get baklava, cupcakes, muffins, and several types of sweet bread for desserts.

American Express Lounge Bogota BOG food and drinks
The lounge’s drink and finger food options.

When I asked for a poppy seed roll, the friendly employee heated it in the oven before bringing it to my seat. She did the same when I asked for another later. Toasting items before serving them elevated the experience, rather than providing lukewarm sandwiches to visitors.

Beverages

The lounge had bottled water, Pepsi products, apple juice, and iced tea in a pair of mini fridges under the food bar. It was also possible to order alcohol, and I saw beer, wine, and whiskey available.

Amenities

It will come as no surprise that there weren’t many amenities available at the American Express Lounge in Bogotá.

Wi-Fi

The lounge had a private Wi-Fi network, separate from the public network in the terminal. I struggled to reliably use the internet connection and couldn’t get a speed test to run. Websites kept timing out.

American Express lounge Bogota BOG speed test
The speed test (and some internet sites) wouldn’t work without a VPN. Image Credit: Speedtest by Ookla

However, the network became stable and usable once I connected to a VPN. Speeds weren’t great, though: just 7.6 Mbps download speeds and 4.4 Mbps for uploads.

American Express lounge Bogota BOG speed test with vpn
A speed test using a VPN for stability. Image Credit: Speedtest by Ookla

No Bathrooms

There weren’t bathrooms within this space. If you need a toilet, head to the public toilets across the hall. Going out and coming back in wasn’t a problem here.

Service

There were 2 employees working during my visit, and I got the impression I was the first visitor for several hours. Thus, they had nothing else to do and were happy to chat with me about the lounge. We discussed its opening in October of 2022, after being in a previous location with fewer amenities, its stark differences from typical Amex lounges, and the fact they turn away most people who come up to the desk. They usually encounter curious people with questions or those thinking they can pay to enter.

The food and drink service was friendly. At most lounges, I’m used to serving myself from a buffet. Here, the employees insisted on serving me after I indicated what I wanted to eat and drink. And they did so with friendly smiles at all times.

I also liked their recycling and compost bins near the buffet station. There was ample space for wheelchair seating, allocated on the right side of the lounge (the side opposite all the chairs) to provide accessibility for all guests.

American Express Lounge Bogota BOG trash and recycling bins
Trash and recycling bins in the lounge.

Being the only guest in such a small space, I could have as much or as little of the employees’ attention as I wanted. They did a great job of chatting when I wanted to and not hovering when I was happy to occupy myself with other things.

The situation and the environment definitely lent themselves to several jokes, both on my part and from staff, about getting lost in the lounge and ironically struggling to find a seat on arrival due to imaginary crowds. I really liked the staff here. Full marks in the service category.

Final Thoughts

It’s not worth extra effort to seek out the American Express Lounge at the Bogotá airport. However, if it’s near your gate, it can provide comfortable seating, complimentary internet access, and food and drinks. And you can find a friendly conversation with great employees.

However, if we consider this space against an average airport lounge, it definitely doesn’t measure up. It lacked things like a quiet space away from boarding announcements (one of my favorite features of an airport lounge, if I’m being honest), and it lacked dedicated spaces for luggage storage, sleeping, or a children’s playroom. The size constraint meant the lounge simply couldn’t offer much beyond smiles, drinks, and mini-size foods. Consider it a great place to wait for your flight if you don’t want to stray from the gate. But if you’re looking for a typical lounge experience or more robust dining, you should head elsewhere.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an American Express Centurion Lounge at the Bogotá airport?

No, there is no Centurion Lounge at BOG. However, there is a very small American Express Lounge. It doesn’t offer everything you might expect at an airport lounge, but it has food, drinks, and friendly employees.

How is the American Express Lounge in Bogotá different from other lounges?

The size (and therefore what it can offer) are very different. This lounge is extremely small, offering seating for less than 20 people at a time. It doesn’t have showers or extra amenities, offering just light bites and drinks while waiting near your gate.

Should I go to the American Express Lounge in Bogotá?

If it’s near your gate, this lounge is worth a visit. However, given its lack of amenities, it’s not worth walking very far to visit this lounge. “We’re in the neighborhood” is the best attitude for visiting this lounge.

Is the American Express Lounge in Bogotá a pop-up location?

This isn’t a pop-up lounge. It’s a permanent fixture.

Ryan Smith's image

About Ryan Smith

Ryan completed his goal of visiting every country in the world in December of 2023 and now plans to let his wife choose their destinations. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publications including AwardWallet, The Points Guy, USA Today Blueprint, CNBC Select, Tripadvisor, and Forbes Advisor.

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