Review: VIP Lounge/Copa Club – Juan Santamaria International Airport

Introduction: Pandemic Trip to Costa Rica
Review: American Airlines CRJ-700 (First Class) – Oklahoma City to Dallas
Review: American Airlines 737-800 (First Class) – Dallas to San Jose, Costa Rica
Review: Marriott Costa Rica – Double Bed Suite
Review: VIP Lounge/Copa Club – Juan Santamaria International Airport
Review: American Airlines 737-800 (First Class) – San Jose, Costa Rica to Dallas
Review: American Airlines A321 (First Class) – Dallas to Oklahoma City

We enjoyed our quick, overnight stay at the Marriott Costa Rica. We had two options to get to Juan Santamaria International Airport: 1) hotel shuttle, or 2) Uber. The shuttle to airport had to be booked in advance, $35 USD/per passenger, by contacting the front desk. The $105 price tag was more than a bit ridiculous for three people. The Uber for the 10 minute ride was $12 USD.

The bag check-in process at the airport left a bit to be desired. I say this because the agents working the kiosks needed to verify our VeriFly paperwork and negative COVID tests prior to tagging our bags. One of my friends did not check a bag and his information was not verified.  After about 15 minutes, we dropped our bags and quickly processed through the security checkpoint.

The terminal was unexpectedly busy so we headed to the VIP Lounge aka The Copa Club which is a Priority Pass Lounge. I last visited the VIP Lounge in 2019 during my last international trip before the pandemic. The lounge was located across from Gate 5. It could be accessed by using the elevator or stairs.


Three agents manning the front desk welcomed us to the lounge. My friend and I promptly provided our boarding passes and digital Priority Pass cards (Business class passengers on Copa Airlines are granted complimentary entry). I informed them that our friend was shopping and he would be joining us momentarily. The agents assured me there would not be an issue when he arrived.

We quickly settled in at a socially distance cubicle towards the entrance (since we were waiting for someone).

I decided to make my way to the bar for a beer. As I turned the corner into the main seating area, I could not help but notice how quiet the lounge was. All of the guests were in their own little areas, without masks. I decided to don my mask as I would be transiting some of the other guests’ bubbles. I do not know if wearing the mask mattered since we were all collocated in a small space.

The bar was located at the very back of the lounge. It was still very small. There were at least five people working in the tight quarters.

Alcohol is a fee for Priority Pass members visiting the lounge. I purchased an Imperial Light beer for $5 USD, while my friend (the one we were waiting on) bought a shot if Johnny Walker Black for $8 USD. Sheesh.

There were complimentary, individually wrapped desserts and fruit located to the left of the bar. It seemed as if every guest had some of the cookies at their tables. I did not try any but the masses seemed to appreciate the patrias. A limited food menu could be found at the bar.

We spent an hour or so in the lounge chatting about our trip and what the future held for each of us. Before too long, it was time to head to our gates. I made a quick run to the restroom, which was located on the left side of the main sitting area. The restroom was virtually spotless.

Final Word

The VIP Lounge is as “no frills” as a lounge comes. I like it because it offered a retreat from the noisy, overcrowded terminal. While the drinks are for a fee, this was insignificant. I will always visit the lounge on my return trips to the United States, it is the best option in the airport…if there is such a thing.

What was your experience at the VIP Lounge?

Post navigation