Passengers flying from Vancouver to the United States will pre-clear customs and immigration already in the Airport in Vancouver. This has one big advantage, easier to connect to another flight after you land in the United States or to get out of the airport. However, the time you save at your first airport in the United States, you need to spend probably extra in Canada. In my case, I got super lucky. There was no line for passport control, immigration, and customs. I was always the first one. However, if it comes to use Global Entry in Canada, they have a stupid rule. You need the physical card to actually use the lane. Otherwise, they send you to the regular security checkpoint. Which was ok during my visit, as there was no one in line. This is a really stupid policy as Global Entry Cards are not sent out anymore. Another downside at the security checkpoints is the lack of TSA Precheck lanes. You have to remove your shoes, laptops and everything from bags. Laptops have even to come out of a cloth cover/pouch. When I asked a supervisor after I got through security, he told me that if I am selected for secondary inspection, they have to come out. It was the exact opposite. The officer at the x-ray made me take it out of my cloth cover and I forgot the second one I had in my bag, as I am so used to TSA Pre. The second one is in an even heavier cover with metallic zippers. However, when the agent opened my suitcase, they didn’t remove it from the pouch.
Once through security you go through passport control, where they actually allowed me to use my Global Entry. Right after that you go through sliding doors into the International Terminals departure hall for United States flights. All flights in this part of the international terminal leave towards the states. The other part of the international terminal is across of the walkway you get on, once exiting passport control. When I checked my Priority Pass app for lounges in the International terminal, I saw a few but didn’t realize that only one is actually located in that part of the International Terminals designated for US flights.
The lounge is pretty easy to find. Just keep on walking straight down the walkway and follow the signs to gates E67-88. You will see some shops and the lounge entrance is located to your left between Desigual and Eddie Bauer.
Once I walked in, the receptionist let me know that the lounge was pretty full and if I wanted to have a look first before actually checking in to the lounge. I denied and checked in right away. She wasn’t wrong about the lounge being crowded. Overall the place is pretty small and I only counted three open seats.
The floor to ceiling windows that runs along one side of the lounge gives you a view of the international arrivals area, where you will use the kiosks to fill out your „paperwork“ before actually proceeding to passport control and baggage claim.
There are a lot of seats for the size of the lounge area. Mostly comfy chairs and some have small tables in front of them while others just have a little stand between the seats.
Power outlets are extremely limited throughout the lounge. There are a few along the bottom of the window and in different corners of the lounge. You really need to search to find them.
Everything in the lounge is complimentary. There were a few hot food choices like lamb ragout, mashed potatoes, and minestrone soup. The fridge holds different salads and dressing and along the wall, you find spirits as well as bread and butter. Another fridge holds soda cans and a dispenser for juices and a coffee machine is available as well. Alcoholic beverages are served after 11 a.m. daily.
Right in front of the food buffet is a high table with chairs, which is the best spot for eating any food from plates with silverware. All other tables in the seating area are pretty low and you won’t seat comfortable enough to eat, especially if you are tall.
Overall the visit to the Plaza Premium Lounge was pretty good. Originally I only had about 20 minutes to spend here, but my departure got delayed which gave me even more time to enjoy the lounge. About 15 minutes after I checked into the lounge, lots of guests left to board their flights and I was able to snag a spot next to the window close to a power outlet.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.