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Is this the smallest Priority Pass airport lounge in the world?

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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.”

iguazu falls airport chaos

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.

iguazu falls vip lounge seating 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.

iguazu falls vip lounge snacks

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.”

iguazu falls vip lounge seating

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:

Grubby Scotland loch lounge sofas

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.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit 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 1,500 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (60)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • LewisB says:

    IT’S BACK!

    • Stu N says:

      Someone must have forgot to top up the 50ps in the meter at HfP towers. 🙂

  • Bill says:

    Here we go !

  • Grainne says:

    Looks even smaller than Knock, which I didn’t get to visit…

  • Bill says:

    No so much lounge related but entire airport. Is it Hilo that’s all outdoors? That was strange being outside all the time

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Koh Samui airport was fascinating.

      • Rhi says:

        I was at Koh Samui airport recently and loved that it was all so open. We had an early evening flight so the heat wasn’t too bad. It could have been quite unpleasant a few hours earlier!

        I’ve always taken the bus to/from Iguazu. A long old trip, but a real experience on the over-night buses from Buenos Aires. Sparkling wine delivered to your seat and all!

    • Sinclair says:

      No you mention it I don’t recall any sides to the building! It had a wooden roof but was quite substantial!
      Even Honolulu at the walkways between buildings is open at the sides!

    • David says:

      Kona Airport is open air check-in and security. Both are on Hawaii Big Island, so Hilo could be too.

      (Oh, for the days when you could fly UK to Hawaii for 40000 AAdvantage, with stopovers in LAX and ORD!)

  • Stu N says:

    That looks on a par with the old lounge at Bordeaux.

  • Lev441 says:

    I assume this was the Argentina side of the falls as when I was there last year I couldn’t find a lounge on the Brazil side Iguazú airport which was horrendously busy. No WiFi at the airport and couldn’t get my roaming to work. Was a very boring 2 hours waiting for that flight!

    I also went to an aeropeurtos VIP lounge in Salta, Argentina which was smaller and had no one come inside the entire time we were there also!

    • David says:

      Yes this is IGR on the Argentinian side.

      For the benefit of anyone else, there are 2 airports serving the Iguazu Falls, and LATAM fly to BOTH of them.
      IGR in Argentina,
      IGU in Brazil.

  • Mingus says:

    My worst airport lounge prize is tied between Bishkek and Ouagadougou. The latter is the only lounge I have ever left because the plastic benches in the terminal were more attractive.

  • Paul says:

    I reckon domestic lounge Lima airport has less square footage, but way more people

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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