Reviews and Guide: Priority Pass Lounges at YVR – Vancouver International Airport

Reviews and Guide: Priority Pass Lounges at YVR – Vancouver International Airport

May 25, 2018 Plan 0

Priority Pass has a network of 1,200+ lounges worldwide that are accessible for members. You can obtain membership by signing-up directly with Priority Pass or as a benefit from certain credit cards (American Express Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve, etc.). At YVR – Vancouver International Airport, there are 5 lounges accessible to Priority Pass members and in this post, we will provide reviews about them.

Gray Monk Odyssey Sparkling Wine

Gray Monk Odyssey Sparkling Wine at the SkyTeam Lounge

Overview:

The 5 Priority Pass lounges at YVR are located as follows:

  • 2 lounges for Domestic Departures at A, B, and C gates. Some C gates are “swing gates” which means they also service International flights sometimes.
  • 2 lounges for International Departures at D gates and sometimes C gates (see Domestic departures).
  • 1 lounge for US Departures at E gates. After 20:00, US departures depart from D gates at International departures

Each lounge will be reviewed by the following criteria: seating/space, amenities (i.e. showers, washrooms, computers, and magazines), food options/quality, and bar offerings.

YVR Main Terminal Map

YVR Main Terminal Map

All lounges are only accessible post-security.

For a printable terminal map in PDF format, click here.

Domestic Lounges:

Plaza Premium operates two lounges for passengers traveling domestically; the large full service lounge by the B gates and the express lounge by the C gates.

1 – Plaza Premium Lounge near Gate B15 – Domestic Departures:

The full-service lounge by the B gates is usually referred to as the “WestJet Lounge” but you can access this lounge regardless of which airline you are flying on. Guests to this lounge can go through B or C gates screening points; the screening point for the B gates closes at 19:00 so after 19:00, you need to go through security for the C gates and walk over (about a 5-7 minute walk). If your flight is leaving from gate C39-46, plan for 15 minutes of walking time to reach your gate. Insider Tip: If B gate screening is open, we usually chose to go through here as opposed to the C gate screening point because it is usually faster.

Plaza Premium B gates

Plaza Premium B gates

Seating/Space: 4/5

The lounge is very spacious and designed to give guests a variety of seating options; there are high bar chairs and tables by the bar, dining seating by the buffet, and lounge chairs with coffee table style seating. It can get crowded first thing in the morning and around 16:00-18:00 but we have never had any problems finding somewhere to sit.

Seating by the bar

Seating by the bar

Amenities: 4/5

This is the only domestic lounge at YVR that as a shower but we have never used it. This shower could come in handy if you’re arriving on a red-eye from Hawaii and continuing on to another destination within Canada. There are also 3 women’s bathroom stalls in the washroom that are clean and well-maintained.

There are 3 computer stations that run on the airport-wide free Wi-Fi and are not worth using since they’re so slow. They usually have copies of the award-winning Canadian general interest magazine The Walrus, a few random magazines and the WestJet in-flight magazine.

Food Options/Quality: 4/5

The food servings vary and this lounge offers a buffet with hot and cold options as well as a few a-la-carte made to order options. For dinner, there is usually a protein based hot option with a starch and examples include, tilapia cooked with green curry and rice, beef bulgogi with rice, black bean chicken with rice, meatballs and noodles. Overall, the food is decent and there is good variety, hence why some of those who also have access to the Maple Leaf Lounge come here instead.

Menu for made-to-order

Menu for made-to-order

Cold buffet

Cold buffet

Bar Offerings: 4/5

The bar is full-service, not self-serve and has hard alcohol, draft beer, red wine and white wine. The draft beer selection is local craft brewery Steel & Oak’s Royal City Ale, a 5% 20 IBU lightly dry hopped ale that is a welcome surprise to craft beer lovers and a not so welcome surprise to those who prefer beers like Coors and Budweiser. As for the red wine, it’s a Peller Estates Cabernet Merlot and the white is a Red Rooster Pinot Gris. We appreciate how they feature products from local producers.

2 – Plaza Premium Lounge by Gate C29 – Domestic Departures:

This express lounge is easily accessible to those flying out of the C gates, which are mostly Air Canada flights. You can use this lounge regardless of which airline you are flying on. We usually use this lounge after we have left the full-service lounge at B gates and end up with a flight delay.

Plaza Premium Express Lounge C gates

Plaza Premium Express Lounge C gates

Seating/Space: 4/5

The lounge is not very spacious and has limited seating options; there is dining seating and lounge chairs with coffee table style seating. We have never seen this lounge crowded.

Amenities: N/A

There are no amenities here; it’s a food and beverage lounge. There is also no washroom; you need to exit the lounge and use the public ones about a 1 minute walk away.

Food Options/Quality: 3/5

This lounge offers mostly cold and a few hot dishes through a full-service setting; you order at the counter and take a seat. They have soup, sandwiches, salads, and deserts served as small appetizers.

Bar Offerings: 4/5

The bar is full-service, not self-serve and has hard alcohol, draft beer, red wine and white wine. The draft beer selection is local craft brewery Steel & Oak’s Royal City Ale, a 5% 20 IBU lightly dry hopped ale that is a welcome surprise to craft beer lovers and a not so welcome surprise to those who prefer beers like Coors and Budweiser. As for the red wine, it’s a Peller Estates Cabernet Merlot and the white is a Red Rooster Pinot Gris. We appreciate how they feature products from local producers.

3 – Plaza Premium Lounge near D gates – International Departures:

This full-service lounge is located near the D gates screening point; once you are done with the security checks turn right and walk towards the duty-free shops.

Plaza Premium D gates

Plaza Premium D gates

Seating/Space: 5/5

The lounge is very spacious and designed to give guests a variety of seating options; there is dining seating and lounge chair with coffee table style seating. Compared to the other lounges, you can sit by the window and see outside. Some of the seating is reserved for passengers on some airlines, which can limit the seating options at different times of the day. This lounge can get crowded between 10:00-14:00 and 22:00-00:00 but we’ve never had any issues finding seats.

Dining area seating

Dining area seating

Amenities: 4/5

This lounge does have a shower but we have never used it. There are also 2 women’s bathroom stalls in the washroom that are clean and well-maintained.

Magazines

Magazines

They usually have copies of the award-winning Canadian general interest magazine The Walrus and various Chinese/Korean/Japanese publications.

Food Options/Quality: 4/5

The food servings vary and this lounge offers a buffet with hot and cold options as well as a few a-la-carte made to order options. For dinner, the menu is usually Asian inspired; there is usually a protein based hot option with a starch and examples include, tilapia cooked with green curry and rice, beef bulgogi with rice, black bean chicken with rice, noodles and fried rice. They also have a noodle bar where you can get made-to-order soups like laksas and offer dim sum. Overall, the food is decent and there is good variety. In addition, they have some of the small appetizer style sandwiches and salads similar to those available from the express lounge at domestic departures.

Green curry chicken with rice

Green curry chicken with rice

Bar Offerings: 4/5

The bar is full-service, not self-serve and has hard alcohol, draft beer, red wine and white wine. The draft beer selection is local craft brewery Steel & Oak’s Royal City Ale, a 5% 20 IBU lightly dry hopped ale that is a welcome surprise to craft beer lovers and a not so welcome surprise to those who prefer beers like Coors and Budweiser. As for the red wine, it’s a Peller Estates Cabernet Merlot and the white is a Red Rooster Pinot Gris. We appreciate how they feature products from local producers.

4 – SkyTeam Lounge near D gates – International Departures:

This full-service lounge is located near gate D53. Since it’s a SkyTeam Lounge, passengers who are departing internationally on AeroMexico, Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, KLM, and Korean Air can also use the lounge. In addition, passengers travelling to the US on flights that depart out of D gates after US CBP closes down can access this lounge. So far, they have not placed limitations on when Priority Pass members can use the lounge but we would expect they will as the airport gets busier in the summer months. Based on the flight schedule, this lounge gets busy around 10:00-15:00.

Bar area

Bar area

Seating/Space: 5/5

The lounge is very spacious and designed to give guests a variety of seating options; there is dining seating, lounge chair with coffee table style seating and full lie flat lounge chairs that are secluded. We have only used this lounge for red-eye departures and it has never been crowded; in some cases, we had the place to ourselves.

Loungers

Loungers

Seating

Seating

Amenities: 4/5

One key feature is that it has a shower but we have never used it. There are also 3-4 women’s bathroom stalls in the washroom that are clean and well-maintained.

They have various newspapers and magazines and a computer workstation area.

Food Options/Quality: 4/5

We think Plaza Premium operates the lounge so some of the food options are similar but there has been more of a European focus on the food offerings; there is always a cheeseboard and smoked fish, hummus, salad, sandwiches, and usually a pasta dish. Since they leave the smoked fish out for too long, it tends to get dry. For their a-la-carte offerings, they offer noodles and dim sum that you place an order for. We are big fans of the fish ball noodle soup which you season yourself.

Fish ball noodles

Fish ball noodles

Condiments for the noodles

Condiments for the noodles

Cold buffet

Cold buffet

Noodle and dim sum bar

Noodle and dim sum bar

Bar Offerings: 5/5

This is a self-service bar with hard-alcohol, canned beer, and a wine sampling bar that usually has 6 red wines, and 6 white/rose wines featuring British Columbia wines. In addition, there is always a chilled sparkling wine bottle of brut, usually Gray Monk Odyssey. As for beer, they have a selection of local and international beers: Phillips Blue Buck Ale, Howe Sound Brewing Lager, Red Racer Pilsner, Stella Artois, Heineken, and Tsingtao.

White and rose wines

White and rose wines

Red wines

Red wines

5 – Plaza Premium Lounge near E gates – USA Departures:

This lounge feels more like a hybrid between an express and full-service lounge. It is located near gate E87.

Seating/Space: 2/5

This lounge is very small and has limited seating; there is dining seating, lounge chair with coffee table style seating, and a few bar-style seats. It is very hard to find a seat in this lounge and when you do, you are always in very close proximity to other guests. This lounge can get crowded between 16:00 to when it closes at either 18:00 or 19:00 (depends on the day of the week). If you can access the Maple Leaf Lounge, we would recommend visiting that lounge as opposed to this one.

Amenities: 3/5

There are 2 women’s bathroom stalls in the washroom that appear to need more servicing due to how busy the lounge is.

They usually have copies of the award-winning Canadian general interest magazine The Walrus and the WestJet in-flight magazine. There is also a storage area for luggage and coats due to the small size of the lounge and a separate area if you have to make a call and need privacy.

Food Options/Quality: 3/5

The food servings vary and this lounge are more limited than other lounges and we don’t usually eat a lot here. There is always 1 soup, chopped pepperoni sticks and cheese, bite-sized sandwiches, a hot item like chicken, meatballs, or fried rice.   They also have jars filled with cookies, pretzels and marshmallows.

Bar and snack area

Bar and snack area

Bar Offerings: 3/5

The bar is self-service for hard alcohol and wine. Beer must be ordered through a staff member and the beer they serve here is canned and from local brewery Fuggles & Warlock; they usually have the Pixel Pils which is a pilsner and the Destiny IPA, a west coast style IPA. When the lounge is busy, it can be difficult to get a beer which is why I changed the score to 3 from a 4.

Fuggles & Warlock IPA

Fuggles & Warlock IPA

Summary:

So there you have it, all you need to know about Priority Pass lounges at YVR – Vancouver International Airport and how to access them. For all Plaza Premium Lounges, the food and beverages are very similar and repetitive. The one day that we visited 4 of 5 lounges for this post, all lounges were serving the tilapia in green curry and rice as the hot option (except the SkyTeam Lounge). While I can’t give away my secret publicly, you can email me to find out how you can visit 4 of 5 lounges using an international boarding pass. If we had to pay to access these lounges, we’d consider it for all the lounges except the one for US departures and the express lounge for Canadian Departures.

Have you visited any of these lounges? Am I missing any important information in my review? Do you disagree with some of my comments?

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