Introduction: The Long Way To Spain
Review: Avianca 787 Business Class Los Angeles To Bogota
Review: Avianca Diamond Lounge Bogota Airport
Review: Avianca 787 Business Class Bogota To Madrid
Review: Marriott Madrid Airport Auditorium Hotel
Review: Sala VIP Cibeles Terminal 1 Madrid Airport
Review: Aeromexico 787 Business Class Madrid To Mexico City
Review: Aeromexico Lounge Mexico City Airport
Review: Amex Centurion Lounge Mexico City Airport
Review: Aeromexico 787 Business Class Mexico City To Los Angeles
We pulled into the gate at Bogota Airport at around 6:45PM, while my connection to Madrid was at 9:43PM.
On the jet bridge there were two Avianca employees waiting for me. They didn’t speak any English, though fortunately I speak a little bit of Spanish. They explained they’d take me to the lounge.
I’m not sure whether I was getting this treatment because I was connecting to one of their “premium” flights in business class (everyone else in business class seemed to be staying in Colombia, based on observing everyone else taking an immigration form), or if they figured out I was reviewing the flights (if that’s the case, I figured the service would have been significantly less bitchy on the Los Angeles to Bogota flight). Anyway, just passing on thoughts, and you guys can decide.
The friendly Avianca employees walked with me towards the security checkpoint. There was a long queue there. Unlike my Air India first class experience, there were no line cuts here, but rather they just waited in line with me. That was almost a bit awkward, since they didn’t speak English, and I don’t speak Spanish well enough to (voluntarily) have a conversation.
Fortunately the lady got some sort of a notice that another transit security checkpoint had opened up, so we jogged over there, as there was no queue. We were through in a matter of minutes. From there we found ourselves in Bogota Airport’s international terminal.
The Avianca Diamond Lounge was just a few steps away. For what it’s worth, I believe the Diamond Lounge is open to business class passengers as well as LifeMiles Diamond members, while the other lounge is open to Star Alliance Gold passengers and Priority Pass members.
There was an agent on the ground floor who scanned my boarding pass, at which point I was directed upstairs to the lounge, which could be accessed using stairs or the elevator.
At this point my escort bid me farewell. I still wasn’t sure exactly what that was all about.
I should note that I had low expectations of this lounge before visiting. I recently visited Avianca’s domestic lounge at Bogota Airport, which was pretty underwhelming, I also recently visited the LAN international lounge at Bogota Airport, which was significantly nicer. So I was curious how this lounge compared.
Given my expectations of Avianca lounges coming in, I was very pleasantly surprised. Upon arriving on the second floor there was a cool wall with world clocks, as well as a display which I assume was intended to represent Avianca’s route network to some degree.
The lounge wasn’t huge, though did have several sections to make it feel more private. Near the entrance were a bunch of tables, as well as a self serve area with liquor, wine, coffee, and light snacks.
Then the lounge narrowed out, with some single seats along the walls.
Past that was some cool furniture, including some semi-private couches, much like you’ll find in an Amex Centurion Lounge.
In practice most people seemed to be using the couches for naps.
Then there were a couple of relaxation areas, with comfortable chairs and ottomans.
Along the windows overlooking the tarmac was a long counter with plenty of high-top seating.
The main buffet area was located at the far end of the lounge, and there were some dining tables near it.
I had very low expectations of the food given my previous experience, though this lounge had decent food.
There were a couple of types of packaged snacks.
Then there were several room temperature appetizers and dessert items.
There was also tomato soup.
And then there was a self serve salad bar with tons of options, which I thought was a great setup.
Soft drinks and beer were available from fridges along the walls.
Back near the entrance was a setup with the wine and liquor.
There was also a coffee machine, along with several types of sweets.
The restrooms were located back near the entrance, and were in fairly good condition. Apparently the lounge has showers, though I didn’t have a chance to check them out.
Wifi in the lounge was usable, but by no means high speed.
According to my boarding pass the flight to Madrid was scheduled to board at 8:43PM (an hour before departure), so I headed to the gate at around 8:30PM.
My flight was departing from gate 29, which was about a three minute walk from the lounge.
As I got to the gate there were tons of people lined up, which I was a bit confused about. As it turns out, they were checking everyone’s passports to make sure they had proper travel documents. I presented my passport, and the lady asked where my visa was. I explained I didn’t need a visa for Spain with a US passport, which she was confused by. After consulting her colleague, she cleared me.
The flight began boarding at 8:50AM, starting with passengers requiring assistance, followed by business class.
Avianca Diamond Lounge Bogota Airport bottom line
I had very low expectations of the lounge based on my previous experience with Avianca’s lounges, so I was pleasantly surprised. The lounge decor was nice enough, and the food selection was pretty good. No, this lounge isn’t anywhere close to being among the best in the world, but it’s certainly serviceable.
I’d say it’s roughly comparable to the LAN lounge next door…