Review: Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport

Filed Under: AviancaTaca

We checked out of the Sofitel at 2PM, and then headed to the airport for our 3:42PM flight to Bogota. Once again we were flying economy on Avianca for the quick hour-long flight.

While Bogota Airport is modern, Cartagena Airport is a bit past its prime, and also lacks amenities. Fortunately the check-in and security process was quick, so we found ourselves in the departures area about 15 minutes after arriving at the airport, with 30 minutes to go until boarding was set to commence.

Avianca has a lounge in Cartagena which belongs to Priority Pass, which we were able to use. It’s open daily from 4:30AM until 11PM. While the lounge in Bogota was rather underwhelming, in this case the terminal wasn’t as nice and was also more crowded, so by comparison I figured lounge access would be more valuable.

The lounge can be accessed by business class passengers, Star Alliance Gold passengers, as well as Priority Pass members. If you wouldn’t otherwise have access, this is a great benefit of a credit card with lounge access, since it often represents a better value than paying for a membership outright, in my opinion.

The lounge is to the far right of the boarding gates (all of which are remote stands, as there are no jet bridges).

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Cartagena Airport terminal

The lounge is one level up from the main concourse, so you can access it either by elevator or stairs.

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport entrance

The associate in the lounge didn’t say a word to us when we entered, and simply invited us in by bobbing her head in the direction of the lounge, to suggest it was okay for us to enter.

The lounge’s decor was very similar to the one in Bogota. I don’t know what their budget for furniture is, but the finishes all seem horrible to me. All the seating is white and looks cheap, with the primary contrast coming from the cheap, plastic-looking translucent walls.

There was one main area of the lounge with a bunch of tables.

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport seating

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport seating

Then there was a narrower area of the lounge leading to an entertainment center (if you’ve stayed at the Andaz West Hollywood, those orange dogs in the distance may look familiar).

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport seating

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport seating

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport seating

Then there was a business center with some tablets.

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport business center

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport business center

There was also a TV room with a large “U” shaped couch.

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport seating

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport TV area

The self serve food & drink area (if you can even call it that) was similar to the one in Bogota.

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport buffet area

There was a beer tap, only available after 4PM.

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport beer tap

Then there was a coffee machine.

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport coffee machine

In terms of food, there were some packaged nuts.

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport buffet area

Then there were tiny pastries and one hot mystery dish.

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Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport food spread

Fortunately the Wi-Fi in the lounge worked quite well, which was the only redeeming quality of the space.

The other decent thing about the lounge is that it only has views of the interior of the terminal, so you can actually see when your flight starts boarding. Once we saw boarding was underway for our flight we headed downstiars for the quick trip down to Bogota.

The airport doesn’t have jet bridges, though they manage to park the planes close enough to the gate area so that you can walk there, rather than having to take a bus.

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Avianca A321 to Bogota

They boarded through both the forward and rear doors, so since we were seated towards the very back (we were trying to score an empty middle… and succeeded), we boarded through the rear.

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Avianca A321 to Bogota

Avianca Lounge Cartagena bottom line

Any lounge is better than no lounge, I suppose. Furthermore, I have pretty low expectations of Priority Pass lounges. Still, Avianca’s domestic lounges are as bare bones as they get. The decor reminded me of a hospital waiting room, and the food selection wasn’t much better either…

  1. The tables and chairs look a lot like the ones in the Centurion Lounge in DFW. The food certainly is better at DFW, but looking past the snazzy decorative touches of the Centurion Lounge, the lounges look pretty similar to me. Funny how a wall of hanging plants at DFW changes one’s perception of what are really just cheap plastic tables and chairs. Or maybe the Centurion lounge paid a lot of money for them, which makes them expensive, poor quality plastic chairs. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed by the Centurion lounge decor. I’ve sat in more comfortable chairs in Priority Pass lounges. Forget the storehouse of expensive liquor. A cup of coffee and a comfy chair, and I’m happy. (Do I earn a Devil’s Advocate brownie point?)

  2. “While Bogota Airport is modern, Cartagena Airport is a bit past its prime”

    Lucky, I generally enjoy your blog and find it informative, but I’m afraid these posts on Colombia are somewhat lacking in terms of research and accuracy. The international terminal at CTG is brand new. Domestic was partially redone at the same time; that’s when the brand new AV lounge was added upstairs. It seems you also missed the separate room at the back of the lounge with full length chaise longue – very nice for stretched out relaxing.

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