Quick Review - YVR Plaza Premium Lounge - Domestic Terminal
Updated: Feb 22, 2022
After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, I recently boarded my first flight in about a year and a half. Since I haven't been flying, I have also been missing airport lounges. Unfortunately, this was a relatively early morning flight so, given my love of sleep, my arrival at the airport gave me precious little time for a lounge visit. As a result, this will be a quick review simply giving my impressions from a 15 minute visit to the lounge rather than our normal, more fulsome, lounge review with ratings.
In this article, we will be reviewing one of the Plaza Premium Lounge's in the domestic terminal at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). If you are looking for a lounge at YVR, be sure to also check out our reviews of the Plaza Premium Lounge and the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, both located in the international terminal.
The domestic terminal at YVR has two Plaza Premium Lounge locations. The first is a small lounge right after security near gate C29 and is cordoned off from the main concourse. It consists of a relatively small seating area with tables and chairs. That was my intended destination given that it was closest to my departure gate and I only had about 20 minutes to spare. It is small, but from previous experience, it is easy to access and perfect for a quick morning bite before heading to the gate. That plan quickly went out the window once I arrived at the lounge.
The staff member who greeted us, while friendly, did not speak a lot of English. While it wasn't entirely clear why we could not access the lounge, the best we could understand was that we needed to wait for another staff member to return who could sign us in. After waiting for a few minutes it became apparent that nobody was around who could provide us with access to the lounge. The staff member then encouraged us to go to the other Plaza Premium Lounge in the domestic terminal telling us that it was "much better". With little time until our flight was scheduled to board, and no prospect of immediately accessing the lounge, we abandoned the small lounge and headed off to the other Plaza Premium Lounge which was in the exact opposite direction from our gate and a few minutes walk away. It was not ideal given that we had little time to enjoy a lounge in the first place and now we had to go further afield to the next lounge.
The second Plaza Premium Lounge in the domestic terminal is located near gate B15 and is in a separate space, unlike the smaller lounge located on the concourse.
The lounge is upstairs, so upon entering you must head up a winding staircase in order to check in. Previously one would check in at the main floor before heading upstairs but, for whatever reason, that has changed.
Access to the lounge is another topic we should touch upon. Until very recently, Plaza Premium Lounges were included as part of Priority Pass. However, on July 1, 2021, Priority Pass and Plaza Premium terminated their relationship. Accordingly, if you only hold Priority Pass that will no longer grant you access. However, provided you hold the Canadian American Express Platinum card you can still enjoy access to Plaza Premium Lounges by simply presenting your card.
We attended at the check-in desk, presented our Platinum Card and were granted access to the lounge. The lounge was not very busy when we visited. This was likely due to the fact that it was an early morning domestic flight and the general lack of travel taking place, though that is certainly starting to pick-up.
Food Service and Beverage Bar with island seating
The lounge serves hot food. The options for breakfast were adequate for our purposes, but underwhelming. The food counter is a long bar area with food items displayed from which you indicate to staff what items you would like and the staff member then plates it for you. The main breakfast options were scrambled eggs, hash browns and pork sausages.
When I was choosing my breakfast, I asked for scrambled eggs and was informed by the staff member that they were out of scrambled eggs but that she would bring some out to my table as soon as the eggs were replenished. A couple of minutes later, the staff member served the freshly made eggs to me at my table, as promised. The food was simple but tasty enough. Again, adequate, but nothing special.
To the left of the food service area is a beverage bar with the normal assortment of drink options, such as juice, coffee, tea and soda. There was an automated espresso machine with a plethora of options. It seemed to work well for the first couple of beverages for our travel group, until it stopped working completely in the midst of making my wife's tea latte, which was unfortunate. It could have been a particularly unfortunate travel day for me as my wife is Australian and requires her "cuppa" in the morning - let's just say she is in a much better mood in the morning when she has her cup of tea. Luckily there were tea bags and hot water available, so crisis averted.
I must add that the food service staff were very friendly and helpful. In addition to bringing the eggs out to me, she also made my wife's toast and brought it to the table with a variety of condiments.
In the end, the breakfast food in the lounge served it's purpose for us, which was to provide a quick, decent breakfast before boarding the plane.
In terms of seating areas, the lounge is a good size with several options. There is raised island seating just off the food service area with stools, followed by tables and chairs behind the island seating, perfect for enjoying your meal.
There is also more comfortable seating available with a view of the concourse.
As well, there is a small workspace area for those who need to get some work done. While it's helpful to have a dedicated workspace area, the workspace area is right beside the lounge seating, which is not entirely conducive to a quiet and productive work environment. I understand that there are also private seating areas where one could work, but I wasn't able to explore that on this visit.
With the bank of windows overlooking the concourse most of the lounge is bright with good light. The lounge was also very clean and presented an overall welcoming environment.
While, as noted, this is not our typical in-depth lounge review with ratings, I can say that the lounge is much better than the Plaza Premium Lounge at Gate C (as promised by the staff member at that lounge). Indeed, I also found it to be an improvement over the Plaza Premium Lounge in the USA Departures Terminal at YVR. I would say that of the four Plaza Premium Lounges at YVR, this one is the best. In terms of dining, at least for breakfast, it provides a simple, but adequate, meal in a welcoming and clean environment with friendly staff.
Since I only had about 15 minutes in the lounge, I didn't get an opportunity to check out all the amenities such as the wi-fi or shower facilities. Also, given it was an earlier morning flight, I wasn't able to check out the bar options. Next time, I hope to have more time to spend in the lounge to provide a full in-depth review. I also look forward to visiting at a time when there are other food options than the typical breakfast food in order to be able to see whether there are any interesting lunch or dinner options.
Overall, I would say that if you find yourself in the Domestic Terminal at YVR, the Plaza Premium Lounge is a solid choice.