Dan and I flew our of the Porto Airport (a/k/a the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport) to Newark, NJ earlier this year after some wedding planning in Lisbon! We had flew out of the Porto Airport once before, and the Porto Airport was exactly as I remembered it – very close to Porto and extremely clean and modern!
Located only 6.8 miles from the center of Porto, we arrived at the Porto Airport a bit later than expected after our Uber driver could not seem to find the airport… In any case, we finally made it with plenty of time to spare!
The fist thing that any frequent flyer will notice about the Porto Airport is that it is super clear, modern, and efficient. Nothing at all like Newark, JFK, or … Laguardia! The staff are nice and there are no crazy lines! We made it through security (round one, see below) without incident and proceeded straight to the Porto Airport Lounge (yes, there is only one!). If you do not visit the lounge, the Porto Airport has a lot of shops and restaurants in the main terminal. However, if you are flying out of the EU (i.e. to Newark, I think that may be the only non-EU flight…), you have to clear customs and, often, a second round of security prior to boarding your flight. The Porto Airport’s offerings drop off significantly post-customs, and even more after entering the waiting area for your flight (i.e. the second security clearance). Definitely get your shopping done pre-customs, and certainly pre-entering your flight waiting area.
Like the Porto Airport, the Porto Lounge is pretty awesome. Clean, modern, and just really great. The Porto Lounge is located post-security, pre-customs on the second floor of the Porto Airport. There are signs clearly marking the entrance. We entered using our Priority Pass card but some airlines, including TAP Portugal, use the Porto Lounge as its own lounge.
The Porto Lounge is not huge, but it was certainly sufficient for the traffic that we saw on a Sunday morning. I imagine it gets more crowded during the work week.
The Porto Lounge is mainly split into two parts – an inside and “outside” (don’t get too excited, its not actually out doors) part. The inside portion of the Porto Lounge is set up like a typical lounge – plenty of seating with certain chairs arranged in areas so that groups traveling together can enjoy a bit of privacy.
The second, “outside” portion of the Porto Lounge is located on the overhang overlooking the main terminal. While its not actually “outside,” it is nice to be able to people watch in open-air! The space in this portion of the lounge is set up similar to the interior portion of the lounge, grouping chairs to afford an element of privacy.
Since our flight was in the morning and we missed breakfast, we hit the food pretty quickly. For a morning flight, the Porto Lounge had a nice spread. For breakfast, a self-service buffet was set up offering fruit, crackers, cheese, cereal, fruit, chips, nuts, and selections of sandwiches, fried savory goodies, and sweets! There were also lots of toppings for bread based foods, including honey and jam. The only thing that I did not love about this set up is that there was hardly anything that I could take with me for the plane…#toughlife.
In terms of drinks, the Porto Lounge had all sorts of non-alcoholic beverages in self-serve refrigerators. In addition, the Porto Lounge, even early in the morning, had set up a self-service bar offering hard alcohol, beer, Douro Valley wine, and port wine, including white port! Since it was so early I sadly skipped the alcohol and instead went with a cappuccino. Pro tip – there is an espresso machine behind the buffet/bar area and the barista will make you complimentary espresso beverages!
Both the food and the cappuccino that i had were excellent. In addition to the food and the seating, the Porto Lounge offers complimentary reading material, free wifi, and a business center, which could be useful if you did not bring a laptop but need to access a computer. If you did bring a laptop, plugs are at almost every seat and the wifi worked very well.
The one thing that I did not like about the Porto Lounge is that you have to leave the lounge to use the restroom. That being said, it is just outside of the lounge near the check-in counter, but I did not like that and especially would not have liked it if I were a solo traveler. Otherwise, the Porto Lounge is pretty great! While not as nice as the ANA Lounge in Lisbon, the Porto Lounge is a solid option and certainly better than waiting in the main terminal with the general public!
STEAL OUR LOUNGE
Porto Lounge: Airside (post-security, pre-customs) in the mail departure lounge. Open 5:00 – 23:00 daily. Complimentary access provided to Priority Pass members. Unclear if you can purchase access to the Porto Lounge.