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Review of the ‘new’ BA lounge in Toronto, now managed by Plaza Premium

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In October last year British Airways closed its lounge at Toronto Pearson International airport. Eight months later the lounge opened again – under Plaza Premium management.

Reader Dawn asked us if we wanted a review.  As we have no plans to head there ourselves in the short term we were happy to accept.  Here is what she found.

The lounge consists of two parts.  As you enter, there is the First Class lounge to the right and the Business lounge to the left. Dawn and her husband initially went to see the First Class lounge and later on the Business / Club lounge.

It is important to note that the lounges have NOT been fully refurbished.  Some of the furniture and much of the decor is unchanged and it is unclear why the space was closed for so long.

The real change is that the lounge is now managed by Plaza Premium who also run the adjacent lounge, and not by British Airways.  One upside of this is that you can now have a shower as long as you don’t mind being escorted to the main Plaza Premium lounge.

You can see details of the Plaza Premium lounge on their website here.

BA lounge Toronto

British Airways First Class lounge at Toronto

The First Class area was quite small and comprised of a long corridor area. There were bench type cushioned seats on the right and the bar area on the left.

The seating area had winged armchairs with power sockets on the floor (you had to pick up the flaps to access them!) with great views onto the tarmac.

It was a bit crowded as there were three London flights that day with the two Heathrow flights being delayed which resulted in not enough seats being available.

BA Lounge Toronto

There were only two types of white wine – Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay (American). The Nicolas Feuillatte champagne was served by the staff.  Dawn didn’t look at the red wines, but there were two choices here too.

BA Lounge Toronto

The bar had a couple of whiskies, gin, vodka etc. There was also a fridge filled with soft drinks and water and a standard coffee machine.

On the left hand side was a paltry selection of snacks – some crisps, cold mini quiche lorraines, deserts including large chocolate covered strawberries and some antipasti type offerings with celery and peppers.

BA Lounge Toronto

and

BA Lounge Toronto

and

Toronto BA lounge

There is a separate restaurant-style dining area.  However, this is only open to First Class passengers and not Gold Card holders.

The First Class dining area was quite narrow with approximately 12 seats. Unfortunately Dawn was not able to see a menu. It’s worth noting that there is no First Class on the British Airways Gatwick flight from Toronto.

Instead, Dawn was told that she could take food from the Business Class section next door and bring it over!

British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Toronto

The Club section was actually, in Dawn’s opinion, a more comfortable space than the First Class lounge. There was a PC station (is that still necessary these days?):

BA lounge toronto

and plenty of seating…..

BA Lounge Toronto

….. and a hot buffet with a variety of dishes.

BA Lounge Toronto

The lounge also had a “live pasta cooking station” which comprised of two choices of pasta – a vegetarian choice and a seafood pasta cooked to order.

BA Lounge Toronto

There was also a good selection of salads, hot food and several desserts.

BA Lounge Toronto

The self service bar was well stocked and had the same two red and white wines the First Class lounge was serving.

BA Lounge Toronto

The staff were all very helpful, but obviously getting to know the ropes. There were several disgruntled Gold card holders who weren’t happy about not being able to avail themselves of the a-la-carte dining option in the First lounge and the staff weren’t entirely sure how to handle the situation.

All in all Dawn said that the that the reopened British Airways lounges at Toronto are decent, but not outstanding.  The Business Class dining area is certainly an improvement on many other lounges even if the food selection in the First lounge for Gold card holders is meagre.

If you don’t have access to the British Airways lounge, you can book the adjacent Plaza Premium lounge for cash via their website here.

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Comments

  1. Mark2 says:

    When we flew out of Toronto in F a few years ago we ate in the lounge before take off.
    I am disappointed tat they are not serving the excellent wines from the nearby Niagara region.

  2. Volker says:

    “There was a PC station (is that still necessary these days?)”

    You would think, indeed, that travellers would prefer using their mobile devices including laptops these days… and yet, I always see people sitting at those desktop PCs.

    I suppose it’s just a matter of time until they disappear from the lounges given BA’s constant quest for cutting “unnecessary” expenses…

    • Mark2 says:

      I would always use a PC if available, but then I am old.

      • My kids use them, I must say …. if you know what Friv is

      • RussellH says:

        Quite. Much less hassle than unpacking a laptop. Tablets and internet phones are useless for me – I need a proper keyboard and mouse, not a touch screen where I never know which character, if any, is going to appear on the screen.

        • the real harry1 says:

          +1

          Sitting at (the only) one now @ No1 T3! I much prefer a proper PC/ monitor/ mouse, it’s like 1000 times better than a bloody iPad let alone a mobile 🙂

          I ‘inherited’ my daughter’s iPhone when she traded up a couple of models and had a very unhappy 30 mins this week trying to order something at Sports Direct just to get 20% off. How the hell you get the letters/ numbers right on those tiny touchscreens is way beyond me.

      • the_real_a says:

        I really hope you are not logging into any banking sites or frequent flyer sites using public computers. There is a mini industry for fraudsters to install key loggers and other nasties on communal PC`s. I recently ran an antivirus on a PC in a hotels business center (to prove a point to a colleague) to find 23 Trojans.

    • Lady London says:

      I haven;t understood for the past 8 years or so, why any airline is investing in fixed on-board entertainment systems (as compared to having a few tablets around to hand out to First Class if needed). The trend is for everyone to carry their own these days. Most of us just want to be able to charge our devices and a way to download the content we prefer, not to have a fixed offering on an airplane.

    • Harry – a couple of months ago I found myself urgently needing to cancel and then re-book 3 redemption flights (long haul with connections!) when my travel plans changed. I only had my iPhone available to do all the various transactions – I eventually managed it but have never quite recovered from the trauma LOL.

      • Booking flights on mobile phones, I once booked 3 tickets from Lima to Cusco on Star Peru, just before I clicked buy, my phone auto filled over the other 2 names with my name so I ended up with 3 tickets on the same flight all in my name.

        I ended up having to go to the airline office in Lima and they made me write a handwritten letter explaining what happened in order to get the names changed!

  3. Gumshoe says:

    “Decent, but not outstanding”.

    BA in a nutshell?

  4. Adrian says:

    seems like there have been no changes at all.

    Sometimes the PC’s can be useful (ive printed some work stuff before so i was able to read on the flight)

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