This opinion piece is part of a series by Narcity Media. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
You don’t have to be an elite traveler to step into a swanky lounge next time at the airport, you just have to be willing to drop some cash. Vancouver Airport has its own Plaza Premium Lounge where you can do just that, but be warned it may not be everything you expect.
The lounge is open to the public for a fairly reasonable price, but when I tried it out on a recent trip to Halifax from YVR, it didn’t impress me as much as I expected.
In preparation for my red-eye flight, I felt like relaxing in luxury for a few hours. I was willing to give it a five point rating in four different categories: service, food and drink, facilities and value for money.
In some ways it exceeded my expectations but overall I wouldn’t go back. Here’s a breakdown of each one so you can decide for yourself if it’s worth the $61 for two hours.
How to get to the Plaza Premium Lounge
Despite a year full of chaotic airport visits, this year went smoothly. I pulled into Vancouver International Airport three hours before takeoff, put my bag down and stormed through security.
When you go through security for Gates A, B and C, you are basically right there. Just go left and you can’t miss the exclusive looking lounge.
Plaza Premium Lounge at YVR.Morgan Leet | narcity
I have to say the lobby alone was impressive. It looks super slick, and while $60 is a fair chunk of change, it’s not bad for an airport lounge.
The lobby of the lounge had me ready to step into the lap of luxury. Instead, I walked into a room full of people and struggled to find a seat.
Inside the Plaza Premium Lounge.Morgan Leet | narcity
I landed in a comfy armchair with a power outlet, which was nice, but it wasn’t a La-Z-Boy by any means. I had heard these lounges had shower rooms and spa areas but there was no access to them.
I went to check out the bathroom and it was disappointing too. It was pretty average and kinda tiny.
Bathroom in the Plaza Premium Lounge.Morgan Leet | narcity
Overall the only benefit was a easy more padded chair than your standard seat at the gate.
Food & Drink: 3/5
Airport food is generally expensive, but with the lack of amenities, I needed something to make up for the $60 I spent. Unfortunately not.
The quality of the food was actually great, but the options were limited. For the vegetarians out there we have a pasta option and some salad. For all vegans you have to stick to the salad bar.
salad bar Morgan Leet | narcity
The food was very good quality and tasty, but a few more options would have been appreciated.
Vegetarian food from the Plaza Premium Lounge.Morgan Leet | narcity
I would probably spend at least $30 for food outside of the lounge, but at least I have a choice there.
That said, if you eat everything and aren’t too picky, it would be worth a lot more.
As for the drinks, I got a free house wine which was great! They also have a premium drinks menu that you could pay for.
Drinks menu in the Plaza Premium Lounge at Vancouver Airport.Morgan Leet | narcity
The service was hands down the best. There were a lot of staff all going out of their way to help. Plates were cleared immediately and overall I could tell everyone was taken care of.
Inside the Plaza Premium Lounge at Vancouver Airport.Morgan Leet | narcity
Friendly service is a big asset in my books!
For me the value just wasn’t there. I spent $60 and I really got a plate of pasta, a glass of wine, and a decent chair.
Outside the lounge, I could have bought dinner and a drink of my choice for less. Yes, I would sacrifice the seat, but to be honest some restaurants have decent seating options.
Seating in the Plaza Premium Lounge at Vancouver Airport.Morgan Leet | narcity
I really love going to the Pacific Farms Market which has tables with a view of the planes (the lounge lacks the view) and lots of food options. I got a nice meal there for about $30 and had to choose from a whole menu.
This is just an example, but it shows that your money is better spent elsewhere.
The two points I gave the value was because of the great staff and the good quality of the food.
All in all I would not go to this lounge again. For what it costs, I’d rather just get a good meal of my choice and struggle through an uncomfortable chair.
If there were an open shower room or a wellness area to relax in or even more space in general, it would be different. However, as of now, I say skip the lounge and save your money on your travels.