Start Alliance Lounge – São Paulo (GRU)

After having an adventurous weekend, it’s time to go back to the real world. I arrived at São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) more than 3 hours before my flight. The check-in counter was not even opened. Luckily the self-check-in kiosks were open. Since I didn’t plan to check my bag, I was able to scan my travel documents and had my boarding pass printed. I cleared the security and proceeded to the immigration hall.

I am fairly new to the Star Alliance Gold and still familiarizing benefit. I love having Oneworld Emerald lounge access with my American Airlines Executive Platinum status. Sadly, after I decided to break up with American, I will only have a few months left until my status runs out. With Star Alliance Gold, members can access Star Alliance “branded” lounges regardless of the ticketed cabin. You will have access to these lounges even if you fly on a non-revenue or employee tickets.

At terminal 3, the lounge is actually called Start Alliance Lounge São Paulo. It’s located right after the passport control. Turn left and take the escalator up to the mezzanine level.

The lounge opens daily from 7 AM to 3 AM. Please note that this lounge can also be accessed using a Priority Pass membership. Although, the hours might be different.

Main amenities include:

  • Food Selection
  • Hot and Cold Beverages
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Snacks
  • Magazines
  • Flight Information
  • Internet and WiFi Access
  • Telephone and Fax Access
  • TV Area
  • Handicap Accessible
  • Business Center
  • Toilet and Shower Facilities

I presented my boarding pass and my Turkish Miles and Smiles Elite membership card. Check-in was easy and quick – I was promptly welcomed.

The lounge consists of a large open space. There are several sections throughout the floor.

There is also a closed section – which I believe reserved for VIPs.

In the middle, there is a bar where you can order drinks from the bartender. They have good selections of liquors, wines, and beers.

Towards the back, there is another section with sofas and TVs.

The food selections are quite extensive. It’s definitely better than most Star Alliance lounges I’ve been to.

Sandwich, appetizers, and finger foods are also available.

There are also several cappuccino machines and sweet stations throughout the floor.

This lounge also has a few shower rooms that you can use. You may need to put your name on the list, especially during evening departure time where most international flights depart.

I ended up spending a few hours working. What I meant by working is checking the upgrade list. At that time, I was getting very antsy because there were only a few business class seats open. I can’t wait to tell you the story of how I ended up on a sleepless flight back to Washington.

Conclusion

This is one of the nicer Star Alliance Lounge I’ve been to. It’s modern and spacious. There were still sitting spaces available, even during peak departure time. The food and beverage selections were good as well. If you have an hour or two to spare before your flight, I would enjoy some wine and dinner before heading to the gate.

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