Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Stella Shon
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Depending on your lounge membership, what’s in your wallet, and what elite status you hold with airlines, there is a smorgasbord of lounges you might be able to visit at the El Dorado Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento International Airport in Bogotá (BOG). I visited the Avianca Lounge Bogotá in the international terminal near the central terminal area during a recent layover. It was much better than the Avianca VIP Lounge in El Salvador, which I visited earlier in the day.
This lounge was spacious, had a huge selection of food and drinks, and multiple spaces were allocated to different activities. However, the Wi-Fi left a bit to be desired. Let’s look at what this lounge offers to visitors.
The Avianca Lounge Bogotá in the international terminal is immediately after duty-free and passport control, located in the central terminal area. There’s another lounge with the same name in the domestic terminal. If you just cleared passport control, you’ll see the “Avianca Lounge | Sala VIP” sign staring you in the face just past the shops.
If you’re coming from a connecting flight, the lounge is near gate 32. Signs outside made finding the entrance easy and advertised the various forms of gaining entry. Within the small entryway, there was a set of stairs to the left or an elevator to the right.
The elevator could hold 4 people if they didn’t have a lot of luggage.
The lounge’s central location is both positive and negative. It’s easy to find but could also be a long walk from some gates. If your departure gate is 21 to 26 or 43 to 46, allow sufficient time to get there — up to 15 minutes of walking.
I was confused when I arrived on the second floor because Avianca had 2 lounges up there. To the left, there was an exclusive lounge only for Avianca elites. To the right, I saw a sign indicating access for Plaza Premium and American Express guests. Most of us will have access to the lounge on the right side.
The Avianca Lounge Bogotá is part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection. That means you can access it with The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, or the Centurion® Card from American Express.
If you don’t have any of these cards, it’s possible to access the Avianca Lounge Bogotá in a few other ways.
The lounge accepts guests from Club LifeMiles, Plaza Premium’s Smart Traveller program, DragonPass, and Visa Airport Companion. Guests with premium cards from Bancolombia, Scotiabank, and Colpatria also have access. Avianca also sells access to this lounge for Col$128,000 (~$32) or 1,800 LifeMiles. Paying in miles is the better deal. And both of those prices beat the $40 Plaza Premium Smart Traveller charges.
The Avianca Lounge Bogotá in the international terminal is open daily from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
On arrival at the top of the stairs, I was confused about which way to go: left or right? The sign to the right mentioning Plaza Premium and American Express gave me a hint. A friendly agent at the desk confirmed that the lounge to the left was reserved for premium cabin passengers and Avianca elites.
The spacious layout and open-air design made it feel even bigger. The lounge was open to the next floor, with skylights that bathed it in natural light.
The employee at the front desk also made a great first impression. She was friendly, calm, and professional while other guests argued with her about admission. They thought their credit card should provide free access, but it wasn’t on the list, and they didn’t want to pay for access. She impressed me with her positive attitude and professionalism while I waited and while checking me in for a visit.
The Avianca Lounge Bogotá is larger than I thought it was at first glance. The first area I encountered after entering had a restaurant vibe.
Tables had both chairs and booth seating, and I was a big fan of the options this presented.
In the far left corner, the lounge had lounge chairs in a semi-circle around a TV.
While the plastic chairs at the tables weren’t very comfortable, the booth-style benches running across the lounge’s main room were very comfortable. I stayed for the lounge’s maximum 3-hour visit and never got that “sore butt” feeling.
This lounge is a winner in the food department. That applies both to quantity and quality.
At the far end of the lounge was a buffet with a build-your-own-salad bar, fresh juices, and employees who could quickly whip up paninis on the grill, made from ingredients guests could select.
There were also 2 hot soup options. During my visit, there was a hearty vegetable soup and a chock-full-of-pieces chicken tortilla soup. Eating these soups with a spoon was a challenge. I almost needed a fork because they had so much jammed inside. That’s a compliment, for sure.
Nearby seasonings, croutons, and tortilla strips allowed visitors to customize their soups as desired.
The buffet had fresh juices (watermelon and orange) and water with lemons inside. The 2 drink stations in the corners of the lounge also offered bottled water, sodas (Coke products), and iced tea. There were coffee machines, as well. The cabinet doors on one of these drink stations were broken, unfortunately.
The drink stations had stir sticks, tea bags, and packets of sugar and sweetener. That final “whoosh” from the coffee machines was a bit too powerful and splashed coffee onto the counter.
This lounge was on the larger side, providing space for extra amenities. Here’s what I found during my visit.
The lounge had a private Wi-Fi network rather than using the airport’s public Wi-Fi. While that typically leads to better connections, that’s not what I found in the Avianca Lounge Bogotá.
I got download speeds of around 2 Mbps on average, with average uploads of just 0.10 Mbps. Anything other than text-based services was difficult. Sending some pictures via WhatsApp was a struggle; streaming was out of the question.
There were countless locations for charging your devices in this lounge. Of those were 2 Movistar charging stations, offering both 2-prong and USB charging points on both sides of the pole.
There were additional outlets (universal style) at multiple points on the long benches in the restaurant area. These were located near our feet, spaced out every few tables. Other outlets were available in the children’s room, the work area, and the wall near the bathrooms.
There were spacious restrooms on the right side of the lounge (away from the atrium). The cleaning staff kept these immaculately clean throughout my 3-hour stay, despite the lounge being full near the time I left.
There were 2 showers available, located in separate cabins near the restrooms. Staff at the reception desk had the key for these.
A Samsung-branded work area was located in the rear of the lounge, furthest from the reception desk. There were 4 desks with glass dividers along the wall, along with a handful of tables and chairs.
This room had multiple charging points for your laptops and phones, but it also had a table full of wireless charging points, tablets for use, and rolling chairs lining both sides of these tables.
A large children’s play area was between the restrooms and the entrance, along the right-side wall. This brightly-colored room had several tables and chairs, a padded floor, objects to climb on, and even a small playhouse with a slide. There were also tablets encased in holding stations along the wall; these weren’t turned on during my visit.
The room had lounge chairs near the entrance and a wall full of cubbies to hold your stuff. If parents need to charge their phones while watching their kids, I noticed several outlets near the lounge chairs.
I was thoroughly impressed with the service here, from start to finish. Upon arrival, I thought the employee at the reception desk did a great job interacting with 2 upset travelers. And she quickly transitioned from dealing with them to welcoming me to the lounge once they departed.
The cleaning staff in this lounge were phenomenal. Dirty dishes disappeared from tables quickly, and staff moved through the lounge regularly to ask guests if they were done with their plates or needed anything additional. Plus, the bathrooms were spotless at all times. That’s no small task in a lounge with dozens of people moving in and out regularly.
Staff at the buffet were very friendly and were willing to answer questions. They spoke varying degrees of English, but it was enough to make the paninis or fetch drinks for customers who didn’t speak Spanish. And the buffet was consistently stocked with ingredients. None of the trays sat empty for long.
Grade A staff at this lounge.
I had assumed the Avianca Lounge Bogotá would be just a place to kill a few hours during a long layover in Bogotá. Instead, I really enjoyed my visit. The Wi-Fi was nothing to write home about, but I got some work done and had a great meal, and the staff was friendly and efficient. This would be my default choice if I pass through BOG again.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The Avianca Lounge Bogotá in the international terminal is open from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.
The Avianca Lounge Bogotá in the international terminal is located near gate 32. It’s upstairs immediately after passing passport control and the duty-free shops. There’s an elevator to get upstairs.
The lounge has a buffet, food and drinks, a children’s playroom, bathrooms, showers, and a separate TV room. There’s also a workspace with desks, charging stations, and dividers to help you focus.
Yes, you can. The lounge is accessible for Avianca and Star Alliance elites, those flying in Avianca’s premium cabins, and those with numerous lounge memberships, including Plaza Premium and the American Express Global Lounge Collection.
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Ryan has been on a quest to visit every country in the world and plans to hit his final country in 2023. 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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