Over the next several weeks, I’m going to alternate between Alaska posts and “classic” trip reports. These cover trips I took pre-pandemic, but postponed writing about. Why? While these reports likely won’t represent products available now, or anytime soon, they provide a snapshot of the prior “normal” world. Maybe you’ll find it interesting reading today if you’re bored. Or perhaps it’ll provide a comparison point to the “new normal” in a year or so. And in any event, in the words of my friend Matthew at Live and Let’s Fly, I want to write about it. Today, I’ll pick up with my Canada trip report from last October that I started back in February. We’ll take a look at the Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Domestic Terminal, in the “B” Gates.
Disclaimer: you’ve been warned above, but this report covers a trip from October, 2019. It does NOT represent the product available today. Feel free to provide info on the current state of the lounge in the comments. Or if you have any current photos, etc. to share, feel free to send and I’ll update the post.
Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Domestic Terminal (B Gates)
In the “B” gates near Gate 15. When clearing security at the B gates, the lounge is basically directly in front of the checkpoint. If clearing at the C gates, follow the connector to the B gates, about a 5 minute walk.
You can access the Plaza Premium Lounge with Priority Pass, or by purchasing a day pass. Current pricing is $39 for a 2-hour pass, $46.98 for a 3-hour pass, or $65 for a 6-hour pass. If you’re a dinosaur like me with a Diners Club card, that also gets you in to this lounge. Current hours are 8 am – 3 pm daily. Note that you CANNOT access this lounge if departing on a transborder flight. Plaza Premium offers a separate lounge (currently closed) in the transborder (E) gates for those flights.
Date of Visit: October 19, 2019
I arrived around 11:30 am for my 1:15 pm flight to Toronto, and spent about 45 minutes here. There was no line upon arrival, and an agent checked me in quickly.
Immediately after check-in is a row of desktop computers to the right with high-top seating. Previously, the lounge offered a newspaper/magazine rack opposite the computers; that reportedly disappeared post-pandemic.
Just beyond the computer stations is the bar – an open, decent looking space overall. The bar offers a rudimentary selection of beer, wine, and liquor. Nothing top shelf here, but acceptable for a contract lounge.
Past the bar is the main seating area, basically split into two sides. On the left is a small dining area. Seating here is actually pretty tight, especially given the lunchtime crowd on this Saturday. You can find both table seating, as well as a couple of communal tables on the left.
The lunch buffet consisted of a few hot items, fresh vegetables, and some salad. Reportedly, food offerings today consist of pre-portioned servings at a self-serve counter. I tried a couple of items and found the offerings OK, though nothing special. Nevertheless, the fact you could even find several hot options put this above most contract lounges. Allegedly, pre-pandemic, the lounge offered made-to-order paninis at dinnertime.
Also available in the buffet area are self-serve coffee and juice machines.
Meanwhile, the lounge consists of one large seating area, from the right of the dining area and extending on back. As mentioned, the lounge was quite crowded on this Saturday afternoon, though I did find a seat in the back. Most seating consists of lounge chairs in a 2×2 configuration. Privacy isn’t great, but I did find plenty of power ports throughout.
The sight of this crowded lounge sure provides a sad commentary on how much things have changed since then.
Though the lounge itself has no windows, there is plenty of natural light thanks to the surrounding terminal windows.
At the back of the seating area are a handful of cubicle-type seats. This area is reasonably quiet compared to the rest of the lounge.
Plaza Premium provides free WiFi, which I found reasonably fast. The lounge advertises showers, but I did not have the chance to check them out during my visit.
Note that if you search available Priority Pass lounges at YVR, the website shows a second Plaza Premium Lounge in the C gates. On my way to the gate for my Toronto flight, I passed by this “lounge”. In reality, it is little more than a roped off seating area with a small food and drink selection. Seriously, if your flight departs from the C gates, just walk down to the main lounge; it’s just a few minutes away. At least this “lounge” isn’t crowded…
Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Domestic Terminal – Final Thoughts
Though crowded, this particular Plaza Premium Lounge isn’t horrible. The hot food options in particular were more than usual for a domestic lounge, at least pre-pandemic. The Plaza Premium isn’t worth showing up early for, but I found it acceptable for a short visit.