Every so often we get an email from a reader about a highly unusual lounge, airline or travel-related experience. This one is from Graeme, who was flying with LATAM on an Avios redemption from Iguazú Falls to Buenos Aires.
(South America is, on the whole, an excellent place to make Avios redemptions thanks to LATAM’s coverage of the region. Last week we ran an article on reward availability to the Galapagos, the Falklands and Rapa Nui – Easter Island.)
There are two airports at Iguazú Falls, one on the Brazilian side and the other in Argentina. According to Graeme, the small Argentinian airport at Iguazú Falls (IGR) is complete chaos:
“90 minutes to check in, another 30 minute line for security and you can’t clear security until your plane is sitting at one of the 2 boarding gates.”
This makes the Aeropuertos VIP Club at the airport an attractive proposition, since it is available with Priority Pass (free with the American Express Platinum Card) or to paid visitors. It does not appear to accept oneworld or SkyTeam status. It does, however, require a bit of negotiating to get in, as Graeme explains:
“After asking the security officer if we could visit the lounge, as it is airside and we were not allowed through as our plane had not yet arrived, he told us to return to customer services at check in. So back downstairs we went, and we had to ring the lounge to tell them we were in the airport. They then sent staff down to check in to meet us, walk us through security and take us to a door at the back of gate 2.
The lounge itself is tiny. In fact, we think it could be the smallest Priority Pass lounge out there! It has two seating areas (enough for just 10-12 people if they got cosy), a fridge and a coffee machine. That said, given there was nowhere to sit in the airport Graeme was happy just to get a seat!
On the upside:
“We were then walked to be first boarded on the plane and we were away. Very much a VIP experience!
We were dreading having to waste 5 hours at this airport due to the way our trip was planned but this added a pleasant twist. In the 2 1/4 hours we were in the lounge no one else visited and the reception desk attendant never left her seat!”
If you are travelling to see the Iguazú Falls soon. Graeme’s tip might make an otherwise unpleasant airport experience quite enjoyable …..
If you have experienced a similarly bizarre or unique airport lounge we’d love to hear about it in the comments. Rob recently experienced this interesting outdoor lounge experience (NOT available via Priority Pass, for clarity!) on a family holiday in Scotland, used by tourist boats on a Scottish Loch:
Of course, sometimes your Priority Pass membership lets you hit the jackpot. Here is reader Andrew’s story about Ohrid in Macedonia where the Priority Pass lounge is the VIP terminal!
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list. Additional visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.