Review: Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) Terminal 1 American Express Lounge

In Toronto, I knew that I had access to the American Express Lounge (formerly known as the Plaza Premium Lounge?) in the international departures area of Terminal 1 (located upstairs near gate E77) through Priority Pass. Recently, though, this lounge can also be accessed if you’re an Amex Platinum cardholder, which is a better way to get into the lounge as you then get 3 free guests.

Entrance to the lounge

Entrance to the lounge

My first thought when I walked into the lounge was that it’s small. It’s one of the smallest lounges that I’ve been in. But even though it felt a little bit crowded, there was still plenty of seating.

Seating area #1 (with food at the back)

Seating area #1 (with food at the back)

Seating area #2

Seating area #2

The lounge attendants were friendly and regularly restocked food and cleaned up plates. The food selection is better than most domestic lounges as there were two soups (chicken noodle and vegetarian chili), two plates with hot food (when I visited, there was fried fish in a Thai sauce, roasted potatoes, and rice with vegetables), a selection of cold dishes like salads and sandwiches, and stuff for a continental breakfast (muffins, croissants, cold cereal). There was also the expected drink selection of sodas, beer, wine, and cheap liquor.

Cold foods

Cold foods

Hot foods

Hot foods

Soda and beer

Soda and beer

Liquors

Liquors

The biggest problem with the lounge, though, was the lack of wifi. The lounge doesn’t provide its own wifi and instead depends on the free wifi provided by the airport, which I couldn’t get to work. But there were computers to use with internet access and numerous outlets, so it wasn’t too inconvenient.

Computers available for use

Computers available for use

Working cubbies

Working cubbies

Overall, it was a decent lounge to use for a couple of hours, and you can’t beat “free” (after the $450 annual fee) access via the Amex Platinum card. You can also buy your way in for $35 CAD for 2 hours, $45 CAD for 3 hours, or $65 CAD for 6 hours (children aged 2-11 still have to pay 70% of the fee), although I don’t think I would pay that much for lounge access, especially since they don’t have their own wifi.

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