Review: Plaza Premium Lounge, Domestic Departures Terminal “B”, Vancouver, BC
Plaza Premium has a strong foot print in Canada, serving many of the Canadian airports in its larger centres. As one of the newest lounges in it’s network, I set out to review the Plaza Premium Lounge Domestic departures in Terminal “B” at Vancouver International Airport. I was expecting an average location but I was actually quietly impressed by what this place had to offer.
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge, Domestic Departures, Terminal “B”, Vancouver, Canada
“The Plaza Premium Domestic Lounge is a worthy competitor to the nearby Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Domestic. The Plaza Premium offers a quieter environment, a less worn environment and a more relaxing experience”
Plaza Premium operates a network of lounges around the world. There are currently thirty six cities they are in operation, including at four cities in Canada. The Canadian Lounges are located at at Vancouver (Domestic Terminal “B” and Terminal “C”), Transborder and International, Edmonton Domestic, Winnipeg Domestic and Toronto Domestic Terminal 1 & Terminal 3, US Transborder at Terminal 1 & Terminal 3, and Toronto International at Terminal 1 & Terminal 3.
This review focuses on one of their newest lounges at Vancouver Domestic Terminal “B”. It’s also worth nothing that Plaza Premium also offers a mini lounge that seats about 25 people at the Vancouver Domestic Terminal “C”. I have also reviewed the Plaza Premium Transborder Lounge Vancouver International Airport.
Locating the Lounge:
The Plaza Premium lounge is located in the domestic terminal at Vancouver International Airport. The airport is split into three fingers. This version of the lounge is located in terminal “A” and “B”, currently occupied by the non Star Alliance domestic carriers that service Vancouver; Flair, Air North and Westjet Airlines. The lounge is located immediately after security screening near Gate 14 as circled in the map below.
The lounge itself is very easy to locate as it occupies an obvious storefront area immediately after you descend a half level of escalators from the security checkpoint.
Accessing The Plaza Premium Lounge:
There are several ways to access the Plaza Premium Lounge.
The Plaza Premium Lounge accepts reservations for entry on it’s website. The reservations are split into blocks of time ranging from two, three and six hours and are priced at the time of writing at $39, $46.78 and $63 USD.
The Plaza Premium Lounge network also partners with several credit cards to provide access. This includes many credit cards worldwide, which include DragonPass, LoungeKey, LoungeClub, Priority Pass and the Club. You do not need to make a reservation while using these systems.
In North America, the lounge is also part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which offers a suite of lounges available for access with it’s premium American Express Platinum and Centurion Cards. Access can be granted by presenting one of these cards.
I typically access this lounge using the Priority Pass membership. There was no one at reception today as I was travelling during the recent pandemic. As a result, there was a small sign inviting customers to proceed upstairs (by elevator or stairs) to the bar where the check in formalities would take place. The check in is usually handled at the reception desk downstairs.
Inside the Plaza Premium Lounge:
I checked myself in at the bar. Typically the bar has stand up cocktail tables with high chairs where you can relax. As I was visiting during the pandemic, these had all been cleared out and replaced with small circle discs on the floor recommending the various standing and waiting points.
Immediately, off the front elevators and the top of the reception stairs is a small work station area. In all my visits through here, I’ve never seen anyone actually use these tables as a work station. It’s sort of well designed dead space between the elevator and the lounge itself.
Inside the lounge is a pleasant and quiet seating area which overlooks the concourse down below. The primary seating area has a row of 2-2 loungers that face each other. I find this lounge to be much quieter and has a substantially lower traffic count than the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Domestic in Concourse C. Ever time that I’ve visited, I’ve always been able to find a bank of 4 seats and not have to share with any other party.
The Lounge Seating wraps around the lounge area towards the back. All the seats offer atrium views, making it a pleasant and airy place to relax.
Food and Beverage:
In addition to comfortable seating, the lounge also offered a generous seating area with tables and chairs for dining. I have found this to be the busiest feature of the lounge and is generally the hub of it’s activity.
There is regularily a small buffet and made to order food available at the lounge. The made to order food consists of pasta dishes and occasionally made to order sandwiches. There are also typically salads, hot soups and a hot stir fry item. While some have really enjoyed the food, I’ve found it to be particularly Asian in it’s orientation. The buffet appears smaller today as a result of most items being on made to order as a result of the health pandemic.
The hot buffet is an enjoyable feature of this lounge. It’s a competitive offering compared to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge around the corner since they typically only offer cold salads when it’s not during key meal hours.
This Plaza Premium Lounge quietly surprised me. While it wasn’t “over the top” when compared with many lounges around the world, it did offer a nice and quiet place to relax before your flight. There are always plenty of places to sit. The environment is typically much more relaxing than the neighbouring Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge which is always packed with business travellers. This particular Plaza Premium Lounge is the best of their lounges at Vancouver International Airport. The lounge is a first choice if I’m in the mood for a quiet place on my way out of Vancouver and easily worth the 5 minute walk from the “C” Concourse, even if I’m flying Air Canada.