When it comes to lounging around on São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores, you are not spoiled for choice. The airport only features a single lounge, which is run by the Azores’ flagship carrier, SATA Airlines. As with many smaller airlines, SATA allows for holders of Priority Pass to access their lounges – which makes sense, since there is plenty of free space, even when SATA flights are departing the airport. Perhaps the lack of traffic explains the lack of basic amenities – indeed, the SATA lounge earned itself a distinction by having neither water nor coffee during our last visit. For the full SATA Lounge Review – Ponta Delgada, Azores (PDL), read on!
The Facts – SATA Lounge Review – Ponta Delgada, Azores (PDL)
The only lounge at Ponta Delgada’s João Paulo II International Airport is a small space run by SATA Airlines. To access the lounge, turn left after security and you will find an inviting entrance located to your left. You will have no trouble entering with your Priority Pass. Inside you will find a number of large leather chairs laid out against the walls, many of which are wood paneled. The lounge’s single room is kept dark, with no windows, and only accent lighting to help you guide your way to the minimal bar located somewhat behind the check-in desk.
The lounge is largely empty and, as a result, quiet. You’ll have your choice of seats, and the few people who are these seem to keep to themselves (though it only takes a child or two to ruin that.) While the main terminal of the airport is anything but chaotic, the calm in the lounge is certainly noteworthy. The wooden paneling and darkness lend the feeling that you have entered a sauna before the coals were heated (though the lounge can be a little on the warm side, though not uncomfortably so.) The only commotion you are likely to experience is that of the staff, which seems to be constantly cleaning up…or at least trying to find something to clean. The lounge is, as a result, extremely clean.
Internet speeds are acceptable, given the nature of the space and its location in the middle of the Atlantic. You won’t be doing any gaming, but it sufficient for basic uses, and perhaps even video calls. The wifi password ends in ‘2014,’ which is further confirmation that they don’t update things much around here.
The Negatives – SATA Lounge Review – Ponta Delgada, Azores (PDL)
Food and drink
The food and drink options here are unacceptably poor, particularly given that this is a flagship lounge for the island chain’s major carrier (Flagship lounges aren’t always good, though). The “food” consists of a few packaged cookies and shrink-wrapped apples. The beverage selection, at least when we visited, was limited to sodas, tonic, and various types of boxed milk – if you’re into low-fat chocolate milk, today’s your day. If you’re looking for water or coffee, you’re completely out of luck – try the cafe outside. The staff did not seem apologetic about this – they simply affirmed that yes, there was no water in the lounge today. It is safe to say that the lounge is not reliably catered.
Alcohol, on the other hand, is more generously stocked, but only if you like liquors. Beer lovers will have to go outside in search of a tipple, just like the water drinkers. It appear to be rare for the fridge to be restocked with Super Bock or water.
There is no restroom inside the lounge; you will need to head back out into the terminal for this.
Final Grades for the SATA Lounge
Overall Rating: 12/30