Review: Plaza Premium Lounge – Transborder, Vancouver, Canada
The pandemic allowed Plaza Premium Vancouver to conduct a full “tear down to the studs” renovation of the Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver – Transborder. After being closed for two years, the lounge recently re-opened to a resurgence in pent up travel demand. The new Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Transborder is a much more functional space and does a better job of using the available space. Read on to see what awaits you, on a visit to this new lounge.
This post is one chapter on my brief trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Air Canada’s Aeroplan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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✈️ Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: A Mileage Run to Scottsdale via Air Canada Business Class
- Plaza Premium Lounge – Vancouver Transborder
- Air Canada Business Class: Vancouver – Phoenix
- My Experience Renting as a Hertz President’s Circle Member at Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport
- The JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, Arizona, USA
- The American Express Escape Lounge – A Centurion Studio Partner, Phoenix, USA
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge – Transborder “E” Gates, Vancouver International Airport, Canada
This review is of the Plaza Premium Lounge Transborder Vancouver. For the only other lounge in this transborder part of the airport, please see our review of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Transborder Vancouver
The Plaza Premium Lounge Transborder at the Vancouver International Airport recently underwent a large expansion and renovation. With the property shuttered for most of the pandemic, the property recently re-opened. If you want to check out what the lounge looked like before the renovation, please see our earlier review of The Plaza Premium Transborder Lounge Vancouver
Checking In to Air Canada Priority Business Class:
I was headed off today on an easy and short Air Canada Business Class Vancouver – Phoenix flight. I arrived to Vancouver International Airport and passed by the Air Canada Priority Check in Area for Transborder flights.
Air Canada has recently upscaled their Priority Check In space to make it more spacious. The check in area was a bit more opulent than the usual check in ranks across the concourse.
I quickly passed by the Air Canada kiosks to get a boarding card re-print. There was no wait at the kiosks and I headed straight through to the secure side.
Locating the Plaza Premium Lounge:
The Plaza Premium Lounge Transborder Vancouver International Airport is located within the Trans Border area of the gates. The Vancouver International Airport operates a United States of America Customs and Border Services Pre-Clearance Facility. This allows all flights landing within the United States to arrive to Domestic Departure gates, and allows passengers to easily connect to other flights.
After passing through the air security screening and US customs and Border Protection Global Entry, I found myself on the secure side. I wandered down the concourse to the Plaza Premium Lounge, which is easily located next to Gate E88.
The new Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Transborder lounge has moved it’s entry over one retail storefront to the left from it’s prior location. It’s fair to say that the Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Transborder is quite a popular place. I had a short queue in order to get in. Like a popular nightclub, there seemed to be a line to get into the lounge, throughout my entire stay.
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. As of the time of writing, the prices was as follows:
- Two Hours = $41.36 USD or $55.63 CAD
- Three Hours = $50.59 USD or $68.04 CAD
- Six Hours. = $67.47 USD or $90.72 CAD
The above pricing including applicable taxes and fees.
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, and the Club. You do not need to make a reservation while using these systems.
Plaza Premium recently split with it’s affiliation from Priority Pass. As a result, if you’re attempting to get in using Priority Pass exclusively, you’ll likely not be permitted access.
Within 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 Card and American Express Centurion Cards. Access can be granted by presenting one of these cards.
I gained access as a result of my American Express Platinum Card as part of the American Express Global Lounge membership.
There was a short line to gain access access today. There were many US travellers that seemed to not know whether they had access or not, which often involved the hosts explaining everything on a repeated basis. This led to quite a few delays.
Inside The Plaza Premium Lounge:
The new Plaza Premium Lounge Transborder is a vast improvement over the previous space. Occupying almost double the space as the old lounge, the new lounge offers a brighter and more comfortable seating environment.
At the centre of the lounge is a large bar that offers seating on both sides of the lounge. The bar acts as a natural divider between the two sides of the lounge. The lounge seating flows around each side of the lounge, with tables and chairs located closest to the bar.
Given heavy demand, the lounge was configured with a lot of table and chairs seating. This means that there are few chair loungers in this version of the Plaza Premium Lounge and most of the seating is on high density seating. There are also a few American Express Centurion Lounge styled communal tables thrown in for good measure.
I eventually located a mini lounger in the far corner of the lounge. Many of the lounge seating spaces are partitioned with small dividers for privacy.
The lounge footprint fronts into the terminal and has views over the Vancouver Airport’s International Arrivals’ customs’ clearance hall. While you’ll never mistake this for apron views, its’ nice to have windows to somewhere.
The lounge also featured showers available for use. This is a unique feature that we don’t always see in North American lounge. We never see them in the United Clubs, and as far as I am aware, the only other lounge showers in Vancouver International Airport lounge facilities are over in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver – Domestic lounge.
While there wasn’t any additional charges listed for shower suites on the Plaza Premium website, this is an area we have seen some lounges charge for usage.
Food and Beverage:
The Plaza Premium Lounge networks are pretty generous on food. On today’s visit, they had much more hot and cold food than the nearby Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Transborder that I also had access to.
The food and beverage station is set up right next to the entrance. It features a combination of a rail countertop serving hot items, a stand up cooler of refrigerated items. During my breakfast hour visit, there was also a few items set up on the bar.
The breakfast items appeared tasty and appealing.
The bar offered some additional items. In this case, the toast and cereal towers were located on the bar.
In terms of drinks, the full service bar offered a limited amount of free “house” drinks, and a number of premium paid drinks. These included house spirits and top shelf spirits.
In a first to for me, the lounge also offered a bubble tea menu. While bubble tea is pretty popular in Vancouver, I didn’t see anyone actually ordering any during my lounge visit.
I was able to charge up with a coffee and some scrambled eggs over toast, prior to heading off to my Air Canada Business Class Vancouver – Phoenix flight.
My Thoughts on the Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Transborder:
The new and updated Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Transborder is a vast improvement over the older lounge space. The re-configured lounge offers a proper bar, plenty of high density seating options, and a much more open seating arrangement.
Will this lounge be a place I strive to get to the airport early? Probably not, but it’s a much better place than waiting out on the concourse while you wait for your flight.