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.
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.
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.
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.
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?):
…. and plenty of seating:
….. and a hot buffet with a variety of dishes.
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.
There was also a good selection of salads, hot food and several desserts.
The self service bar was well stocked and had the same two red and white wines the First Class lounge was serving.
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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)