American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class New York to Sao Paulo
Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo
American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo
GOL Smiles Lounge Sao Paulo
American Airlines Admirals Club Sao Paulo
Delta 767 BusinessElite Sao Paulo to Detroit
Delta 767 BusinessElite Detroit to Sao Paulo
Hotel Caesar Park Sao Paulo Airport
American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Sao Paulo to New York

To be on the safe side we left plenty of time to get to the airport, given that our ride from the airport to the Grand Hyatt took 2.5 hours. We were lucky that our drive from the Grand Hyatt to the airport only took 40 minutes, so we arrived with plenty of time to spare. We first checked out the American Express Centurion Lounge, which is located landside. While most lounges are located past security, the Centurion Lounge is in terminal one on the upper level, just above the check-in desks.

Sao Paulo Airport departures hall

We received complimentary access to the Centurion Lounge on account of the American Express Platinum Card. The associate at the front desk was friendly and after entering my card number into the system promptly admitted us.

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport entrance

So the lounge was really nice… for a DMV waiting room. In all honesty, the lounge was extremely underwhelming. It was tiny and overcrowded, with seating for maybe a bit over a dozen people.

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport seating

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport seating

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport seating

There was a tiny business center with a few PCs.

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport business center

And there was also a children’s play area which was completely empty. It sure seems like that space could be better utilized, given how overcrowded the lounge is otherwise.

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport children’s area

The food spread was pretty pathetic as well, and just consisted of some finger sandwiches, tarts, and one dessert option.

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport food spread

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport food spread

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport food spread

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport food spread

There was a coffee machine and a cooler with soft drinks, though the lounge didn’t have any alcohol.

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport coffee machine

American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo Airport drinks

Look, ultimately any lounge is better than no lounge, but of the lounges I visited at Sao Paulo Airport this was the worst (and there’s a lot of competition for that title, trust me!). While I realize all lounges operated by American Express are called “Centurion Lounges,” I feel like they’re not doing themselves any favors with this one. The new Centurion Lounge in Dallas/Ft. Worth is spectacular, for example, but do you really want a lounge like this named after your most prestigious card?

Anyway, after snapping a few pictures of the lounge we headed for security to check out the airside lounges.

  1. January 12th, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Gary said,

    “do you really want a lounge like this named after your most prestigious card?”

    The American Express logo is a Roman Centurion. Cards are issued by American Express Centurion bank. The card and the lounge have a name stemming from the company’s branding. ;)

  2. January 12th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Abidjan said,

    Stunningly bad. Looks like a sitting area for a Trailways bus from the 80s.

  3. January 12th, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Mike said,


    Clearly you haven’t been to a Trailways bus station in the 80s…it’s missing 3 homeless guys, two pimps and a mugger.

    Just sayin’ ;)

  4. January 12th, 2014 at 10:29 am

    PL said,

    Wow I’m surprised how bad that is given how outstanding the DFW Centurion lounge is. Ok that’s good to know next time I’m ever in Sao Paolo.

  5. January 12th, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Brazilflyer said,

    I think all the international airline lounges at GRU are embarrassingly small and outdated. I imagine space is completely maxed out in the existing terminals, but the construction of a new, state-of-the-art Terminal 3 is underway and will be partly open for June. Not sure which lounges will get space there, but I’d bet hometown Gol and Tam get first dibs.

  6. January 12th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    wwk5d said,

    Low ceilings, no natural light, no booze, and extremely limited food options. I think this qualifies for one of the worst loungers you’ve ever visited Lucky, no?

  7. January 12th, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Abidjan said,

    @Mike – - ha, good point. i do miss the trailways days. ;)

  8. January 12th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    lucky said,

    @ wwk5d — Yep, I’d say it’s certainly in the running.

  9. January 13th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    David said,

    Looks like a Walmart.

  10. January 15th, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Ken said,

    This is amazing! Except for the kids play area, this looks the same as the Pam Am lounge in Rome in 1990; right down to the clocks on the wood paneling. The lounge in Rome was small and crowded to the same extent. I thought that it was deplorable at the time and that vivid memory stuck with me. AMEX needs to change this so that they don’t create the same lasting impressions on a new generation of flyers.

  11. January 16th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    tivoboy said,

    This looks like a priorty select lounge that got a make over and turned into a Centurion lounge. Clearly if one was starting from scratch and doing build out it wouldn’t look like THIS!

  12. April 6th, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Hong Kong Airline News said,

    Whenever you go back to saying you’re not taking lounges/premium products for granted, I know that the lounge/premium product is so bad, you’re pissed.

  13. April 14th, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Jon B said,

    Are you aware of any place to store baggage? We would like to explore sao paulo on a layover, I heard rumors that there may be baggage storage in the centurion lounge?

  14. April 15th, 2014 at 6:42 am

    lucky said,

    @ Jon B — Don’t believe it’s possible in the lounge, though per this page it does appear like there’s baggage storage available at the airport:

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