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.
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.
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.
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.
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.