After a one-way adventure on VIA Rail’s “Canadian” train between Vancouver and Edmonton, I had the opportunity to check out the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge before my short flight home. Although I have been underwhelmed by Plaza Premium’s lounges in the past, I was hoping this stop would offer a little redemption. Spoiler, it does not.
In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the lounge and explore everything you need to know about it. We’ll cover how to access the lounge, what the service is like, and most importantly, whether it’s worth the cost.
Whether you’re a frequent flyer or just looking for a one-time splurge on a trip to escape the cold, this post will help you decide if the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge is the right choice for you.
In This Post...
Where is the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge Located?
The Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge at YEG International is located in the Departures area of the airport, directly across from Gates 54 and 56. After clearing security, turn left and either follow the signs to the lounge or ask an airport staff member for directions.
You can also look for signage for the Maple Leaf Lounge as the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge shares the same entrance. The door is at the gate level however the lounge itself is located one floor above. Once up the stairs or elevator, the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge is on the right and Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge is on the left.
How Do You Access the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge?
There are several ways to access the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge. Depending on what credit cards you carry, access may be free of charge.
- Purchase a lounge pass: You can buy a pass directly from Plaza Premium Lounge’s website or at the lounge’s reception desk on the day of your visit. The pass provides access to the lounge for a set period, typically 2-4 hours.
- Lounge membership: Plaza Premium Lounge offers membership programs that provide access to their lounges worldwide. Memberships can be purchased annually or as a one-time payment, depending on the program selected.
- Credit card membership: Some credit cards offer lounge access as a perk or benefit. Will break down which ones get you free access below.
Overall, the easiest way to access the Plaza Premium Lounge is to purchase a lounge pass or membership directly from them or carry a premium credit card. It’s important to note that access to the lounge is subject to availability, and some lounges may have restricted access during peak hours or other times.
It’s also important to note that the Priority Pass program no longer gets you access to Plaza Premium’s network of lounges. You can now access the lounge with the Dragon Pass program.
Credit Cards That Get You Complimentary Access to Plaza Premium Lounges
The list of credit cards that gets you free access to Plaza Premium Lounges is lengthy. I tend to carry a mix of American Express and Visa premium cards so am always covered.
Below is a quick summary and sample however be sure to check in advance through the lounge’s official site for the latest info on complimentary access.
- American Express Platinum Card®: Unlimited included visits plus one guest.
- American Express Business Platinum Card®: Unlimited included visits plus one guest and a 90,000 points sign-up bonus!
- American Express Gold Rewards Card: 4 included visits per year.
- TD Visa Aeroplan Infinite Privilege Card: 6 included visits per year
- American Express Aeroplan Infinite Privilege Card: 6 included visits per year and a 90,000 points sign-up bonus!
- Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card: 6 included visits per year
- Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card: 10 included visits per year
- CIBC Aventura® Gold Visa* Card: 4 included visits per year
- CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card: 4 included visits per year
- BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard: 4 included visits per year
- BMO World Elite®* Business Mastercard®: 2 included visits per year
Plaza Premium Lounge Edmonton Hours
The Plaza Premium Lounge at Edmonton International Airport is open daily from 0430 to 1930.
These hours may vary due to flight schedules, holidays, and other factors. It’s recommended to check the lounge’s website or contact them directly to confirm their hours of operation before your visit.
As you will find under my Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge Review section, when I downloaded the Visa Aiport Companion App for access I found the hours listed there conflicted with what is on the lounge’s official site.
Keep in mind that some amenities, such as food and beverage service, may have limited hours of availability within the overall operating hours of the lounge.
Plaza Premium Lounge Edmonton Cost
The cost of accessing the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge can vary depending on several factors, such as the length of your stay, the time of day, and the method of access. However, as of March 2023, the lounge’s website lists the following rates for a lounge pass:
- 2-hour lounge pass: CAD $60.00 per adult
- 3-hour lounge pass: CAD $75.00 per adult
- 6-hour lounge pass: CAD $100.00 per adult
Plaza Premium Lounge also offers annual memberships, which provide access to their lounges worldwide. The cost of membership varies depending on the area selected (Americas, USA, Global etc…) and can range from CAD $100.00 to CAD $400.00+
Once again, it’s important to note that the cost of accessing the Plaza Premium Lounge may change over time, and other factors, such as promotions or discounts, may also affect the price. Therefore, I recommended checking the lounge’s website or contacting them directly for the most up-to-date pricing information.
Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge Seating
Overall, the Plaza Premium Lounge in Edmonton offers comfortable seating options for travellers looking to relax or get some work done before their flight. At 4,500 sq. ft. with a seating capacity of up to 80 guests, the lounge features a variety of seating options. This includes plush armchairs, dining tables and chairs, and bar-style seating.
The lounge’s seating areas are well-lit and feature power outlets and USB ports to keep your devices charged. My preferred seats on my visit were along the lounge or on the lounge’s “open air” balcony. Both of these options have a birdseye view of the gates typically reserved for flights to Toronto and Vancouver.
Overall, the Plaza Premium Lounge’s seating is designed to provide comfort and convenience to travellers, whether they’re looking to relax, catch up on work, or enjoy a meal before their flight. With a variety of seating options to choose from, you’re sure to find a comfortable spot to wait for your flight.
Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge Amenities
Amenities and services at the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge are on par with other Plaza Premium Lounges which, from my experience, falls short when compared to its competitors when it comes to quality. More on that under my personal Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge review section.
Here are some of the amenities and services you can expect to find at the lounge:
- Food and Beverages: The lounge offers complimentary hot and cold food options, including sandwiches, salads, soups, and snacks. A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages is also available, including beer, wine, spirits, coffee, and tea.
- Comfortable Seating: The lounge features a variety of seating options, including plush armchairs, bar-style seating, and dining tables and chairs.
- Wi-Fi: Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the lounge, allowing you to stay connected and catch up on work or entertainment.
- Business Facilities: The lounge provides a range of business facilities, including workstations with PCs and printers, fax machines, and telephones.
- TV and Reading Materials: The lounge has TVs and a selection of reading materials, including newspapers and magazines, for your entertainment.
- Flight Information: The lounge has flight information screens to keep you up to date on your flight status and any gate changes.
Overall, the Plaza Premium Lounge at Edmonton International Airport offers a range of amenities and services to ensure a comfortable and stress-free pre-flight experience.
Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge Food & Drink
The Plaza Premium Lounge at Edmonton International Airport offers a range of complimentary food and beverage options for travellers to enjoy during their visit.
The lounge’s food and drink options are “designed” to cater to a variety of tastes and dietary preferences. I put designed in quotes as you will find in my Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge review section, the food offering really falls short.
Still, for those looking for a quick snack, the lounge offers a variety of packaged snacks such as chips, cookies, and nuts. The lounge also has a selection of fresh fruits and salads.
Travellers looking for a more substantial meal can enjoy a variety of hot and cold dishes, including sandwiches, wraps, soups, and pasta.
The Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge also provides a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, spirits, coffee, and tea. Complimentary soft drinks and juices are also available.
It’s important to note that the lounge limits which alcoholic drinks are free of charge and actually charges extra for certain items considered to be “premium.” This is on par with other Plaza Premium Lounges and certainly cuts into the value that they offer.
On the positive, they do feature local craft beer which is something I really appreciated at the Vancouver Plaza Premium Lounge.
Overall, the Plaza Premium Lounge’s food and drink options are designed to provide travellers with a comfortable and satisfying pre-flight dining experience. With a range of options to choose from, travellers are sure to find something to suit their tastes and dietary needs.
Edmotnon Plaza Premium Drink Policy
Oddly, the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge has a policy regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverages that limits passengers to four alcoholic drinks per person. This policy is in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers, as excessive alcohol consumption can lead to disruptive behaviour and potential health risks.
The four-drink limit policy applies to all passengers, regardless of their travel itinerary or status. The lounge staff will monitor the number of drinks served to each passenger and may refuse service to those who have reached their limit.
It’s important to note that the four-drink limit policy is subject to the laws and regulations of Alberta and Canada. That said, I did not notice this policy in the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge. 🤔
My Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge Review
Now that we have covered all the ins & outs, let’s look at what the experience is actually like and, more importantly, if the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge is worth it.
Before diving in, I should specify that I was hanging out in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge prior to checking out its competition. Although the service and amenities are largely the same, the quality is not.
I arrived at an empty check-in counter and waited several minutes before someone in plain clothes arrived to greet me. I would later see her getting a talking-to for not wearing the company jacket so I think I was right to be a little confused if she worked there or not.
While I waited I noted the elevator music playing in the lounge was on a short loop and thought to myself how that would drive me crazy working there. I would later overhear a group at a table saying the same thing.
After looking at the list of accepted cards for free access, I handed over my TD Visa Infinite Aeroplan card. The attendant then directed me to download the Visa Airport Companion App on my phone. This took several minutes to set up but once done, I was able to use it to redeem one of 6 annual passes my credit card provides.
Interestingly, as I was looking at the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge hours in the Visa App I noticed it was completely different than what is listed on the lounge’s website.
After checking in I dropped my carry-on bag at a seat next to the window and toured the lounge.
Minimal Food & Drink Offering
The first thing that caught my attention was the proper espresso machine behind the bar counter. I asked the bartender for a cappuccino to which she gruffly replied that the machine doesn’t work and pointed me around the corner to the self-serve coffee station. Strike one.
On the short walk around the bar, I noted the food offered was pretty minimal. There was a display case of sad-looking sandwiches and some sweets with their signs knocked over. Further down was a salad bar and a plate of spring rolls under a heat lamp.
The coffee machine is on the end and, on my visit, was very dirty. I reluctantly selected a macchiato which somehow came out watery and sweet. I added a shot of espresso which came out looking like brown water. None of this was passable for coffee. Big strike two.
I stuck with water and I had to ask the bar staff to fill my bottle behind the counter. The self-serve jar was empty and remained empty until my departure.
Since I had a decent meal at the Air Canada Lounge I continued my stroll around the lounge. In the back corner on the way to the washrooms, there is a nice terrace area that overlooks the gates below.
This area is noisier as it is open air but a great spot to people watch or keep tabs on your gates boarding if you are travelling to Toronto or Vancouver.
From there I used their washroom and found that there was no paper towel in the dispenser. Similar to the unfilled water jug, this remained empty until my departure ~15 minutes later.
So, Is the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge Worth it?
Whether or not the Plaza Premium Lounge at Edmonton International Airport is worth it depends on your travel needs and preferences. That said, from my experience, the Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge is not worth it, especially if you are paying a one-time fee. That money could be better spent at one of the terminal lounges or restaurants.
Even if you get free access, I would select the Edmonton Maple Leaf Lounge over the Plazza Premium Lounge. The service was very poor and the food (especially the coffee) was a huge disappointment. Then there’s the odd alcohol menu and policy.
This, of course, is my Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge review and experience. I could have caught the lounge on a bad day – likely not based on my other Plaza Premium review but I remain optimistic.
If anyone has had a better experience or a similar one to mine, I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
What say you?
Thoughts on this Edmonton Plaza Premium Lounge Review?
Let’s hear it!