Upon arriving in Winnipeg after a flight from Vancouver, I took some time to check out the only two airport lounges available in the airport. After a brief visit to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge down the hall, I made my way over to the Plaza Premium Lounge.
I was feeling a bit peckish, and since this lounge has a wider hot food selection than its counterpart, I decided to pop in for a quick bite before heading downtown.
Plaza Premium Lounge Winnipeg – Access
The Plaza Premium Lounge, which opened in 2015, is located airside in the departures wing, on the second level of the main terminal.
The lounge is situated right across from Gates 5 and 6, and is easily identifiable by its name prominently illuminated at the entrance.
The check-in counter is directly through the entryway, and the lineup could easily spill out into the hallway on a busy day, as there isn’t all too much space here.
The lounge is open from 4am–7pm daily, with the exception of Saturdays, when it’s open from 4am–5pm. Due to the lounge’s location, those travelling on transborder flights to the US won’t have access to the lounge, but anyone on a domestic or international flight will.
Plaza Premium lounges are now affiliated with DragonPass, which allows access to holders of an eligible Visa or Mastercard product. I enjoyed complimentary access from my American Express Platinum Card, which provides cardholders and one guest with unlimited entry to Plaza Premium Lounges, both before departure and upon arrival.
Even without a credit card or membership that offers access, you have the option of purchasing a day pass for the lounge, which starts at $52.50 plus tax per person for two hours.
Plaza Premium Lounge Winnipeg – Seating
The lounge’s décor boasts a classic Plaza Premium aesthetic, with a range of brown hues and other warm tones. The open-concept lounge has several seating options scattered throughout, and can accommodate up to 100 guests.
It’s worth noting that this is an open-air lounge, so it isn’t entirely secluded from the rest of the airport. Instead, its glass walls simply act as a divider, and therefore it may not be the quietest of spaces, as noise spills over from the terminal.
Heading to the right from the check-in desk, there are a handful of four-person dining tables. These tables feature hanging reading lights and easily-accessible charging outlets and USB ports, if you need to charge a device or get some work done.
A cluster of hexagonal nooks is just past these tables, which is a feature seen at many other Plaza Premium Lounges. Nestled inside are soft brown seats and a small desk fitted with charging ports and a reading light.
These are likely the best seating choices for a solo occupant, as they’re quiet, private, and perfect for working or relaxing in your own individual space.
Further inside the lounge, there are numerous rows of brown plush armchairs, which are great for lounging. There is a departures screen nearby, where you can check the status of your flight.
To the left of the armchairs are comfortable two-person and three-person seating areas, with smaller tables.
The lounge features a small business centre with two computers, which is somewhat hidden in the back corner of the lounge,. This area didn’t appear to be particularly active, as at the time of my visit, it was also being used as a storage area for children’s high chairs.
It’s also worth noting that there are no bathrooms located inside this lounge. Rather, you’ll have to venture outside into the departures concourse to access the facilities.
Plaza Premium Lounge Winnipeg – Dining
The self-serve buffet-style food selection is located along the left side of the Plaza Premium Lounge Winnipeg.
The lounge offers a selection of hot dishes, which, at the time of my visit, was teriyaki chicken accompanied by rice and buttered vegetables.
Additionally, there was a modest salad station, including some pasta salad. Lastly, there were a few options for desserts.
Although I had visited the Maple Leaf Lounge before this, I opted to eat lunch here in the Plaza Premium Lounge before going into town, as I was more enticed by the hot food selection.
Despite my enthusiasm, however, I was ultimately a bit let down. I found the teriyaki chicken to be only passably edible, and the rice and green beans were also disappointing.
It must be recognized that the dining inside Plaza Premium Lounges isn’t spectacular, at least in North American locations. Rather, it’s usually adequate for passengers who only want to satiate their hunger before leaving the terminal, and it’s usually better than what’s served in economy class on many airlines.
The beverage station is also self-serve, and features soft drinks and a Nescafé coffee machine.
In the centre of the lounge is an aesthetically pleasing marble-clad bar, with six bar seats.
Complimentary alcoholic beverages are available at the bar, including draft and canned beer, red and white wine, and basic spirits – although with a maximum of four drinks per visit.
There’s also a selection of paid premium drink options to choose from if you wanted a wider range of spirits.
The Plaza Premium Lounge at Winnipeg Airport is a modest and unassuming airport lounge, but it’s adequate for unwinding, catching up on work, or grabbing a quick bite.
As I’d anticipated, the lounge is a scaled-down version of the other Plaza Premium Lounges at Canada’s larger hubs. The interior is well laid out, although the food and drinks are run-of-the-mill.
If you have access via your eligible American Express, Visa, or Mastercard, it’s nice to be able to take advantage of this lounge at no additional cost, but I don’t think it’d be worth the price of entry otherwise.
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