Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Keri Stooksbury
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I found myself on a long layover at São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) on a cheap LATAM economy ticket that did not include lounge access.
After roaming around the terminal for a while, I quickly realized that if I wanted to visit a “sala VIP,” I would need to pay.
So, despite my best efforts to save money by booking that cheap plane ticket, I ended up paying for luggage (a silly mistake on my part) and lounge access. The moral of the story — just fly in business class!
The good news is that the LATAM VIP Lounge was quite good and I really enjoyed my visit.
Let’s take a look at the details.
The LATAM VIP Lounge, also known as Sala VIP LATAM, is a solid lounge owned and operated by LATAM Airlines at GRU.
This lounge is often referred to as one of the best lounges in São Paulo, so I was excited to finally check it out.
With a modern design and open layout overlooking the international terminal, the space calls attention as you walk by and is just as impressive when you walk in.
The LATAM VIP Lounge is located in Terminal 3 at GRU, on the second floor, after you pass through security and immigration.
After a quick peek at the duty-free shops, you can take the escalator up to the mezzanine level, where most lounges (sala VIPs) are.
The entrance to the LATAM VIP Lounge is immediately on your left when you reach the top of the escalator and stairs, so it is hard to miss.
The LATAM VIP Lounge is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
At first, I attempted to visit the Espaço Banco Safra Lounge with my Priority Pass membership but was told that it only accepts Priority Pass after 11 p.m. Since that was after my flight was due to depart, I moved on. Note that W Lounge Guarulhos in Terminal 3, another Priority Pass lounge, was not participating in the program during the time of my visit in October 2022.
I headed over to the LATAM VIP Lounge to see my options. Flying in economy from GRU to JFK on LATAM (with no elite status), I knew there would be a charge to get in.
The LATAM VIP Lounge is complimentary for Black Signature LATAM Pass cardholders, LATAM passengers flying Premium Business or Premium Economy class, Delta passengers flying Delta One business class, Dragon Pass, and Visa Airport Companion Pass members.
For other LATAM or Delta passengers, there are paid options to get in; $120 for a full visit or $60 within 3 hours of your flight.
Since I had just under 4 hours until my flight, I opted to walk around the airport a bit and then went back to pay $60.
I have a Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to applicants) that includes Priority Pass with “non-lounge airport experiences” such as restaurants, but I opted to get some steps in instead. If you are looking for an available card that includes a Priority Pass membership with restaurants, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a solid option.Hot Tip:
If you have a Priority Pass membership that includes restaurants, you can access 4 restaurants that accept Priority Pass at GRU, including 3 in Terminal 3. Not all of these options were participating in Priority Pass when I visited GRU in October 2022.
I entered the LATAM VIP Lounge with tempered expectations because Brazil isn’t necessarily known for its fancy lounges. That said, I was quite impressed as I walked in.
The space is clean, modern, and very spacious. The open-air ceiling that overlooks the terminal makes the lounge feel bigger than it is — and it is large at almost 20,000 square feet.
Before getting settled, I walked around the lounge to get my bearings and figure out where I wanted to sit.
No matter what you were planning on doing at the lounge, whether it be work, eating, drinking, playing video games, or watching a sporting event, there were seating options for all.
There was plenty of seating throughout the lounge, starting with sofa and bar stools at the bar near the entrance.
In the dining room, there were small 2-top tables and benches.
Meanwhile, there were plenty of seats and sofas in what felt more like a living room area, thanks to the TVs. And, if you wanted to catch a soccer match, there were special seats for that, too.
Or, if you prefer people-watching, grab a chair overlooking the terminal below.
I took a bench in the dining area, as that provided me with a nice mix of tables for work/eating and access to outlets.
The food and beverage offerings were good — nothing outstanding as you might find in a United Polaris Lounge or a Singapore First Class Lounge — but they were above-average compared to other airport lounges I have visited in Brazil.
All of the food options were self-service, and there was plenty of staff who were constantly cleaning and replenishing anything that needed attention.
There was a little bit of everything, hot and cold items, healthy and not-so-healthy options.
For cold and healthy, there were some chicken Caesar salads available.
There were a few different options for premade sandwiches.
I also found fruits and pastries off to the side.
If you were looking for something more filling, there was also a hot buffet station.
The chicken and beef options were smothered in thick sauces, which I passed on.
And there were 2 options for pasta, including some stuffed shells, which looked pretty decent.
However, a Brazilian airport lounge isn’t complete without some stale cheese bread (pão de queijo)!
There weren’t many dessert options, but there were some mini cheesecakes and dulce de leche cups.
Since I wasn’t too hungry, I grabbed a sandwich and chips.
I was quite impressed with the drink selection at the LATAM VIP Lounge.
I found a wide variety of coffee and water.
There was also a fresh-squeezed orange juice machine.
A full bar featured self-serve Heineken on tap.
The lounge had a pretty solid wine selection, including Chandon sparkling wine — which is not inexpensive in Brazil.
There were also plenty of refrigerators stocked with sodas, beer, and more.
Needless to say, you won’t go thirsty here.
The LATAM VIP Lounge is big, spacious, and well-executed. Everything you need is available.
That said, on paper, it is a relatively simple lounge. No Fireside Lounge or signature cocktails, but there was plenty of seating, and the food was decent.
Like any lounge, one of the best perks is using a clean bathroom instead of the crowded ones in the main terminal.
Showers were available on a first-come, first-served basis.
And all bathroom stalls had their own sink, which is nice if you want to freshen up before a flight.
While some might consider this a kid’s room, I didn’t see any kids in this area. It was pretty full of adults at one point playing video games.
With FIFA, Xbox, and free beer, this is not a bad place to hang out with friends!
One of the most critical parts of a lounge nowadays is the wireless internet. The LATAM VIP Lounge did not disappoint.
During my 3-hour visit, I consistently had a strong signal on my phone and computer with speeds over 30 Mbps, which is more than enough for what most people need in a lounge.
Overall, I only had positive interactions with the staff.
Most of the food and beverage was self-service, and the staff constantly refilled and cleaned the entire area.
I also appreciated the desk agent who told me that if I waited 30 more minutes before paying to get in that I would save 50%. Easily worth $60 to stroll around the terminal for a bit!
All said and done, I had a great visit to the LATAM VIP Lounge.
Although I would have preferred not to pay and use my Priority Pass next door, the LATAM option was easily worth $60 for my 3-hour visit.
The lounge was spacious, there was plenty of seating, the Wi-Fi was strong, and the food and drinks were solid. If I were in a similar circumstance, I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again!
The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The LATAM VIP Lounge is complimentary for Black Signature LATAM Pass cardholders, LATAM passengers flying Premium Business or Premium Economy class, Delta passengers flying Delta One business class, Dragon Pass, and Visa Airport Companion Pass members. For other LATAM or Delta passengers, there are paid options to get in; $120 for a full visit, or $60 within 3 hours of your flight.
The LATAM VIP Lounge is open 24 hours per day.
Yes, there are showers available inside the lounge.
Yes, all food and beverage options are complimentary inside the lounge.
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