I paid $60 to use the Vancouver Airport Plaza Premium Lounge and would not recommend it

This Opinion Article is part of a series by Narcity Media. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

You don’t have to be an elite traveler to get access to a fancy lounge the next time you’re at the airport, you just have to be prepared to put down 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 pretty reasonable price, but when I tried it on a recent trip from YVR to Halifax, it didn’t surprise me as much as I thought.

In preparation for my red-eye flight, I was giddy to relax in luxury for a few hours. I went in to score it out of five, in four different categories: service, food and drink, facilities, and value.

In some ways it exceeded my expectations, but overall I wouldn’t go back. Here’s a breakdown of each 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 well. I pulled into Vancouver International Airport with three hours left before departure, dropped off my bag, and rushed through security.

If you go through the security checks for gates A, B and C, you’re basically good. Just walk to the left and you can’t miss the exclusive-looking lounge.

Plaza Premium Lounge at YVR.Morgan Lee | Narcissism

I must say, the lobby alone was impressive. It looks super chic and while $60 is a hefty chunk of change, it’s not too bad for an airport lounge.

Facilities: 2/5

The lounge lobby had me ready to walk into the opulence. Instead, I walked into a room full of people and struggled to find a seat.

Inside the Plaza Premium Lounge.

Inside the Plaza Premium Lounge.Morgan Lee | Narcissism

I ended up in a comfy chair with an outlet, which was nice, but it wasn’t La-Z-Boy. I had heard that these lounges had shower rooms and wellness areas, but there was no access to those.

I went to the bathroom and it was also disappointing. It was pretty average and rather small.

Bathroom in the Plaza Premium Lounge.Bathroom in the Plaza Premium Lounge.Morgan Lee | Narcissism

In general, the only benefit was one slightly seat with more cushions than your standard gate seat.

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 that didn’t happen.

The quality of the food was actually great, but there were limited options. For the vegetarians out there, we have a pasta option and some salad. For vegans, you should stick to the salad bar.

Salad bar. Salad bar. Morgan Lee | Narcissism

The meal was very good quality and tasty, but some more options would have been appreciated.

Vegetarian meal from the Plaza Premium Lounge.Vegetarian meal from the Plaza Premium Lounge.Morgan Lee | Narcissism

I’d probably spend at least $30 on food outside the lounge, but at least I get choices there.

That said, if you eat everything and aren’t too picky, it would be much more rewarding.

As for drinks, I got a free house wine, which was great! They also have a premium drink menu that you can pay for.

Drink menu at Vancouver Airport Plaza Premium Lounge.Drink menu at Vancouver Airport Plaza Premium Lounge.Morgan Lee | Narcissism

Service: 5/5

The service hands down was the best part. There was a ton of staff on duty all very eager to help. Plates were cleared right away and overall I could see everyone being taken care of.

Inside of Vancouver Airport's Plaza Premium Lounge.Inside of Vancouver Airport’s Plaza Premium Lounge.Morgan Lee | Narcissism

Friendly service is a big win in my books!

Value: 2/5

For me, the value just wasn’t there. I spent $60 and I really will get 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 money. Yes, I’d sacrifice the seat, but honestly, some restaurants have decent seating options.

Seating in Vancouver Airport's Plaza Premium Lounge.Seating in Vancouver Airport’s Plaza Premium Lounge.Morgan Lee | Narcissism

I actually like going to Pacific Farms Market with tables overlooking the planes (the lounge lacks a view) and lots of dining options. Got a good meal there for about $30 and got to choose from a whole menu.

That’s just one example, but it shows that your money might be better spent elsewhere.

The two points I gave to value was because of the great staff and good quality of food.

Total: 3/5

All in all I wouldn’t go back to this lounge. For what it costs, I’d just rather get a proper meal of your choice and suffer from an uncomfortable seat.

If there was an open shower room or wellness area to relax in, or even more space in general, things would be different. But from now on I say skip the lounge and save your money for your travels.

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