Planning your 2020 vacation out of Toronto Pearson already? There might be one small aspect of your flying experience that you’ve overlooked – airport lounges. If you’re someone that finds the whole airport experience somewhat traumatic, you’ll be pleased to read that it doesn’t always have to be that way. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, airport lounges are the perfect hideaway from the helter-skelter nature of departure gates and walkways once you’ve cleared security.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a spot of indulging or relaxation during a lengthy layover, airport lounges give you access to exclusive amenities that no-one else in the departures terminal can benefit from. Some specialize in complimentary food and drink, while others offer high-speed Wi-Fi and entertainment. You might also be able to find an airport lounge that has shower facilities installed, perfect for freshening up before a connecting flight.
Some may question whether the cost of unlimited buffets, drinks, or showers is worthwhile, seeing as you can only eat and drink so much in the time between getting through security and boarding your plane. But it’s difficult to put a price on escaping the stress and torment of the airport terminal. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune either. That’s because there are some Canadian credit cards that will give you free airport lounge access as a reward for spending. Some of these cards have eligibility criteria, requiring you to pay an initial fee or to have a minimum personal income to obtain these benefits.
So, whether you are convinced enough to pay for a pass to an airport lounge yourself or you already have a credit card that could grant you direct entry, let’s take a look at the leading lounges on offer in Toronto Pearson Airport that can pamper and spoil you before a lengthy flight.
Plaza Premium Lounge
Established in 1998, Plaza Premium Lounge has rapidly become the world’s biggest independent network of airport lounges. Available to all travellers that desire it, Plaza Premium Lounges are offered to travellers in Terminals 1 and 3 of Toronto Pearson, with access for those flying domestically, across North America, and also further afield.
Within their lounges exist ample comfy sofas and leather-bound swivel chairs, giving you a relaxing, contemporary environment to switch off in, whilst enjoying a plethora of hot and cold beverages and freshly served food. Shower facilities are also available, while USB charging stations are scattered around the lounge, giving you a chance to power up those mobile devices as you power down.
Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge
Toronto Pearson Airport boasts three Maple Leaf Lounges, operated by the national carrier, Air Canada. There are six core benefits to entering one of the Maple Leaf Lounges ahead of your flight out of Toronto. First and foremost, there are cell phone-free areas, guaranteeing you some peace and quiet and no digital disruptions. There are also complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks, as well as leading newspapers and magazines and business centres that allow business travellers to stay connected.
The lounges are also highly regarded for their invigorating showers that can help keep jetlag firmly at bay. A couple of years ago, Toronto Pearson also launched a Signature Suite, designed to complement Air Canada’s existing lounges in Terminal 1. The concept is being tested here in Toronto first, with a distinct focus on dining, including a sit-down restaurant. Here’s the catch – you’ll have to be flying business class with Air Canada to get an invite into the Signature Suite. However, the food and the quality of service are worth their weight in gold.
American Airlines’ Admirals Club
If you are flying with American Airlines, you can also avail yourself of AA’s Admirals Club in Terminal 3. Those who fly frequently with AA may consider applying for annual membership of all AA lounges within the airline’s network. However, this membership reportedly costs north of $550, and you also need to be an AAdvantage Executive Platinum cardholder. Even if you aren’t a member, it’s possible to gain entry to Toronto Pearson’s Admirals Club. Providing there is available space at the time, the lounge will permit walk-up guests for $59 per person.
The Admirals Club is usually open by 5am in plenty of time for the morning’s first flights out of Toronto, and isn’t closed until 8pm most evenings. Although there are no lie-flat sleeping facilities, the Admirals Club does offer free Wi-Fi, workstations, and printing facilities, as well as personal assistance with reservations. A small but well-tendered bar also offers a good choice of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages away from the terminal’s hustle and bustle.
Air France KLM Lounge
The Air France KLM lounge is the only available airport lounge at Toronto Pearson’s Terminal 3 for non-US international flights. Located airside, just a stone’s throw from Duty-Free, the lounge is open a little longer than AA’s Admirals Club, from 8am until midnight daily. The main stipulation in this lounge is that you cannot stay for longer than three hours. There is plenty of social and private seating here to cater for all types of travellers. It does not offer shower facilities, however, but buffet facilities are on offer for food and beverages, including hot and cold dishes and self-serve alcoholic drinks. The usual complimentary facilities; such as Wi-Fi, television, newspapers, magazines, and flight information are also afforded to all lounge users.
With a quartet of airport lounges to choose from at Toronto Pearson, no matter where in the world you are flying from, you can be sure of having a place to escape the intensity of the terminal when you need it the most.