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Introduction: From Cold To Hot and Checking The #1 Country Off of My Bucketlist
• Review: Plaza Premium Lounge; Toronto (YYZ) Airport
My latest trip report originates from Toronto. I had booked a positioning flight from Atlanta with a 4-hour layover in Toronto and would then continue on to Stockholm (via Paris) on Air France (a lot of flying in one day, yeah!?)
Immediately after arriving and clearing immigration, I headed for the departures level of the Toronto (YYZ) airport. The Air France check-in counter was located at the far end of the terminal at Check-In Area 5.
An attendant was “present” to direct Sky Priority passengers to the business class counter but she appeared to be busy on her phone so I walked passed and directly to the counter.
After a fast and seamless check-in with a personable agent, I was directed to the fast-track line for business class passengers. I was the only passenger in the fast-track line so I was able to clear security within seconds.
Access to the Air France / KLM lounge is included in my business class ticket so I followed the overhead signs that lead directly to the lounge. The lounge is located near C32 in Terminal 3 and (ironically) my departure gate was C31.
At the moment that I arrived, a Hainan Airlines 787 Dreamliner was located at the gate.
After snapping a few photos, I headed to the elevator as the lounge is located one level up from the concourse. It’s fairly easy to determine where to go once you arrive in the elevator.
Once you exit the elevator, the layout can be a bit confusing. There is a Plaza Premium Lounge to your left (below)…
…a different Plaza Premium Lounge directly in front of you (below)…
…and the Air France / KLM Lounge to your right.
When I arrived at The Air France-KLM Lounge, the line stretched beyond the door so, I briefly stopped by the Plaza Premium Lounge (why not get another review while I’m there, right!?).
I decided to enter the latter Plaza Premium Lounge as it appeared nicer from the outside. However, I was informed at the reception desk that it was only for British Airlines business class passengers so I returned to the former Plaza Premium Lounge.
Plaza Premium apparently has seven locations at Toronto Pearson Airport of which four are in Terminal 3 so I’ll only be reviewing one of the international Plaza Premium locations this time.
The lounge is open daily from 4:30AM until 1:30AM and several airlines use the Plaza Premium Lounge as their contract lounge. However, I was able to access the lounge through Priority Pass.
After check-in at the front desk, you will turn to the right to access the lounge.
My immediate thought as I entered the lounge was that it was rather small. There were, approximately, 40 comfortable, grey and blue chairs on either side of the aisle.
I’m not sure if this lounge becomes busy at any point in the day but in my experience, it doesn’t take many people for a lounge to feel claustrophobic. Fortunately, there were not many people in the lounge when I arrived.
FOOD AND DRINK
On the left side of the lounge (just beyond the first sitting area), there was a small self-serve buffet with a soda dispenser fountain, and a juice dispenser machine, and a small refrigerator that had small assorted desserts.
Opposite the soda counter was another counter that had some French Onion soup, crackers, chips and pretzels.
As I proceeded past the small nook towards the rear part of the lounge, there was another dining area with over a dozen tables, seating two to six people each.
On the left side of the dining area there was a barista espresso machine and just beyond that you will find the remaining food options.
They had several hot and cold self-serve dishes including:
Hot – Meatballs with Marinara Sauce, Seasoned Penne, and Seasoned Broccoli
Cold – Red Beet Salad, Quinoa Salad, Fruit Salad, and Potato Salad
Additionally, they also had a Vietnamese-style beef ball pho station, however, they had just run out and said it would be a few minutes before they would have more.
BATHROOM AND SHOWER
The bathrooms were located at the very rear of the lounge, and there was a single stall and urinal in the mens bathroom. There was also an individual restroom in the back that doubled as a shower room.
Overall, this Plaza Premium Lounge is adequate.
At first, it appeared small but it had quite a bit of seating upon further inspection. However, I can also see this lounge becoming a lounge to avoid if at any time it became busier than it was during my visit.
One of the biggest downsides I saw to this lounge was the lack of any natural light or views of the tarmac. I appreciate natural light but this lounge had no windows.
However, if I had the choice of going to this Plaza Premium Lounge that had adequate seating and snack options or sitting in the gate area, I would definitely choose this lounge.
Fortunately, I had access to the Air France-KLM Lounge across the hall so I decided to head that way and spend the majority of my time there.
Have you visited this (or any other) Plaza Premium Lounge at Toronto Pearson Airport? What was your experience?