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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 1,300 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.

  • Barbara Robertson says:

    Adelaide is pretty small, and unstaffed. A guy came in and said if we wanted breakfast they would be stopping service soon. This was a toaster and some bread which we operated ourselves.

    • Peter K says:

      I love this story 😂

    • Anna says:

      Fresh, hot toast must have been great – so much better than the cold chewy stuff normally served for a lounge breakfast!

  • Mike says:

    Knock Airport is literally a cupboard off the departure area. It had maybe 3 sofas and 2 chairs. The food supply was taken by a Thomas Cook wet lease crew who were stuck in Ireland.

    They even use the old manual card carbon copy machines for PP! Don’t have any pictures but it looks smaller than one in the article!

  • Magic Mike says:

    Been here! This is IGR on the Argentinian side. There is a ridiculous dance calling customer services to get them to take you through security to the lounge, but it’s very pleasant when you’re in there and the lounge host was nice and friendly (and spoke great English).

    Capacity is more even more restricted than LGW South Terminal, in peak tourist season don’t expect to get in…

  • Hannah says:

    I’m currently travelling around South America and also have BA silver status but LATAM have a very limited number of lounges and none in domestic terminals. I’ve not used one yet although my priority pass has come in handy!

  • Dimitri says:

    I think that the DSA lounge is smaller than this!

    And btw it’s NORTH Macedonia the country’s name. We went through decades of conflict to get it renamed so let’s use the correct term..

  • AJA says:

    Bangkok Airways Biz Class lounge in Koh Samui takes some beating for location and service. The lounge is relatively large for the number of passengers. There were 5 of us in early March. Capacity must be at least 10 times that. Wonderfully airconditioned view of the runway and got waitress served won ton soup and a beer while waiting for the short flight to BKK. Inbound flight was delayed so told to just sit back and relax, would be told when boarding commenced. Consisted of a lovely v short ride on a mini golf cart sized conveyance.

  • Nick OCallaghan says:

    I recently visited Yogyakarta Airport in Indonesia. The lounge there fitted approx. 12 people and even had a tiny smoking room attached. Not sure if its Priority Pass or not (as I used my Krisflyer Gold Card) but definitely the smallest lounge I’ve ever been in.

  • Big Dave says:

    The one in the Old Gibraltar airport used to be tiny too – and if you asked at reception it was a £10 to get in in the old days….

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

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