Home | Dominican Republic | Write a Review | Blog | Advertise

Using airport lounges ($)


#1

We’ve taken advantage of the VIP lounge, in Varadero, for years, but only the last few years in our departure city of Vancouver. We decided to try out the Plaza Lounge when we received a discount coupon from Air Transat. Wow…first thought was “why haven’t we done this before?”. Comfortable seating, quiet, food, pour your own drinks. It’s even better in Varadero as you get personal service and escorted through security to the lounge and, yes, food and drinks and comfort. For 25CUCs pp, well worth it.
Both lounges beat the hard as rock, can’t get comfy seating in the general departure lounges.
So, just curious how many others use them.
If you do use them, please note which particular (Maple Leaf, Plaza Premium, etc)
For us, we’ve used the Plaza Premium (Vancouver) and VIP Varadero. We’ll be using the Maple Leaf when we depart in Feb. as it’s included in our ticket.


#2

I have used the VIP in Santiago and Holguin - always put aside 25 CUC with your 25 CUC departure tax, and then you can enjoy the VIP. Last time we drank our faces off and ate lots of grilled cheese sandwiches. Fabulous!


#3

The VIP lounge in Varadero is fabulous–relatively new as I understand. It is tastefully furnished, comfy and offers good drinks/sandwiches. Being escorted through all the lines truly like a VIP is wonderful. ;D Agreed: well worth the money!

We were disappointed in the Cayo Coco lounge on our most recent trip, however. First off, it needs a remodeling and refurbishing now. It was quite tacky after having been in Varadero’s. We received grilled ham and cheese sandwiches which were great and my dh enjoyed the Cristal. One thing I have to mention is that since we were the first bus at the airport for departure, nothing and no one was ready. Therefore, we had no real special treatment as per the escort. And not even the Customs (Aduana?) agents were ready in their “boxes” It was so disorganized, we could not believe it. That’s the first time in all the many trips we have made to Cuba in which we were surprised at the lack of readiness by everyone at the airport, from ticket agents to Customs officials. Wild…

P.S. We have only used the Maple Leaf lounge in T.O. once. It was very nice but we didn’t get to enjoy any of the drinks as we had a morning flight. I don’t think that would have been a problem for others, but we didn’t indulge… :wink:


#4

We haven’t used any of the departure lounges but if we were flying out of Varadero at a busy time we might consider it. The last few years our departure flights have been late at night from Holguin and the airport was almost empty, so no line ups and lots of comfy chairs and cheap drinks and food at the snack bar.


#5

I have used the Plaza Premium Lounge YYZ on 2 occasions. Sunquest offered a free voucher one year and we were quite impressed.

Sunwing offers it as an add on at $25 plus tax. A meal and a drink and you are pretty much break even in Toronto.

I had an office get get-away with a couple buddies and we definitely came out ahead. When we got to our gate the flight was delayed. We still had 30 minutes left on our 3 hour lounge privilege. We went back with no questions asked and had a few more drinks.

I will be in the lounge again this Thursday on my way to the RPT . The flight leaves at 4:05 should be there by 1pm or so. Woo hoo! :sunglasses:


#6

Have never used them for Cuban flights thus far because we are lucky to have only had to spend an hour or so in the waiting area before boarding return flight.

The major renovations to the airport in Québec City are fantastic, with lots of comfy leather chairs along the long, windowed wall looking out over the tarmac.

We DO, however, reserve our seats to and from each time 24h before we leave so we don’t have to run like mad when the flight’s called for departure. It’s allllllllllllllllllllll good.


#7

Well, we’ll definitely get plenty of use out of the Maple Leaf lounges in Vancouver and Calgary since, between the two airports, we’ll be killing 4 hours. Fingers crossed they have Bailey’s at the YVR lounge that I can toss into a coffee at 6am :slight_smile:


#8

I used the VIP lounge in Varadero and enjoyed it and would not hesitate to book it again the next time I am visiting that area.

Had a terrible experience at Cayo Coco airport VIP. No special line, no guide, no line for departure tax, essentially was the same process for those who had not paid the $25 as it was for those who had.

Now once we got to the lounge it was nice, but not as nice as Varadero and the line ups at the Cayo Coco airport were so slow.

Used the Maple Leaf lounge at the Montreal airport on a free pass from a buddy. Nothing can beat it. Anything more than a hour stuck waiting would be worth the cost, especially when you factor in the cost of any food or beverage at an airport. The luxury seats and quietness is just a bonus!


#9

Maple Leaf Lounge, basic Canada only, membership is $365/year/pp, isn’t it?
Booking Executive Class gets it free for that itinerary included in the $600 additional seat cost per couple.
Nice touch, though.


#10

You’re right, Spunky; it’s one of the perks included in our ticket and, believe me, we’ll make the most of it - as in get our money’s worth :wink:


#11

I’ll take some Doggie bags, Steffie, if you can get them, LOL.
Thankfully, our layovers are gone. We booked Marriott the last 2 years for the overnight 6 hours rather than try to sleep in the quiet lounges upstairs. A private lounge for $142.00.


#12

Spunky, are the doggie bags for the goodies in the lounge? We haven’t been in a Maple Leaf lounge so don’t really know what to expect. Our flight out of Vancouver is at 7am so I’m guessing we’ll be able to spend about 1 hour in the lounge there. In Calgary, we’ll have about 3 hours in the lounge where we’ll meet up with our friends. A few pastries slipped into in a doggie bag would go down a treat on our first morning on the balcony with a cup of Cuban coffee :slight_smile: Thanks for putting the idea in my head :wink:


#13

I have TD Visa Infinite first class travel card so I used the TD lounge at Trudeau Airport for free everytime on my international flights (not US departure). But since last July the lounge is taken over by National Bank Mastercard Travel Class. Only found out last week on a trip to Pesquero Holguin.


#14

I’m told that if I buy a refundable Business Class ticket, I can use the Maple Leaf Lounge up to 24 hours before that flight. Might be a good way to try them out, eh? :wink:

Has anyone used the TD lounge at YUL Montreal, operated by Servisair? Is it still $35 and out by Gate 53?


#15

Hey we were there at the same time… I think…

We were at the National lounge on our departure 3 hours before the flight to take full adantage of our 35$ ;D ;D ;D

Did you sty at the Playa Pesquero resort for the week of November 24th to Dec 1st. Did you fly with Sunwing?

If so we might of chatted at the pool bar or lobby bar.


#16

[quote=@spunky]I’m told that if I buy a refundable Business Class ticket, I can use the Maple Leaf Lounge up to 24 hours before that flight. Might be a good way to try them out, eh? ;)[/quote]Um, I don’t think you’ll have any way of getting to the lounge way before your flight. While you can check in online as early as 24 hours beforehand, I don’t think security will let you through that soon, and I’m not sure baggage check will take your bag. And you certainly can’t just go to the airport to visit the lounge without flying. Even if you did get in that early, the lounge is not open 24h/day. I actually did get kicked out once at Pearson around 1am while waiting for a several-times-delayed flight that was eventually cancelled.


#17

[quote=@steffiej]We haven’t been in a Maple Leaf lounge so don’t really know what to expect. Our flight out of Vancouver is at 7am so I’m guessing we’ll be able to spend about 1 hour in the lounge there. In Calgary, we’ll have about 3 hours in the lounge where we’ll meet up with our friends.[/quote]Keep in mind they don’t generally make boarding announcements in the lounge. Back in 2009 I posted something about the Maple Leaf lounges in particular:[quote]There is another point… There are several categories of people who have access to the Maple Leaf lounges: Aeroplan [Super]Elite members, people paying full business class airfare, people who have a lounge pass given to them by an Aeroplan [Super]Elite member, people paying for one of the expensive economy class fares (Lattitude Plus, maybe?), people flying on package deals that include lounge access, and those who have bought an annual lounge pass or related credit card for around $400.

While all these have access, whatever the official policy may be, there is no question that the lounge attendants treat the SuperElite and Elite members quite differently from the rest, and treat those with passes or other one-time access as though they don’t really deserve to be in there. If you are a [Super]Elite member, they will do anything for you, including reminding you when your delayed flight is leaving, finding you a newspaper from their secret stash, helping with any rebooking matters, etc. etc. etc. If you are in there on any other basis, you basically get a few free drinks and a place to sit and that’s it.

This all makes complete sense from AC’s point of view, but it’s annoying if you are one of the lower orders and you get that “Well, hrumph! I suppose you can come in if you really must” look, while the next person is getting a smiling “welcome back Mr Smith - what can I do for you this evening?”[/quote]


#18

Thanks for the heads up about announcing flights in the Maple Leaf lounges. I noticed in the Plaza Premium lounges that they have arrival and departure boards so I’m guessing ML would have similar.
As for getting “attitude” from the employees, I say, bring it on. Hubby loves chewing up and spitting out service provider employees with “attitude”. :wink: If you are paying for a service, you should be getting it without being made to feel “lesser”. That’s outrageous >:(


#19

Hi Ald1. I was at PP the same time with you. I flew with Air canada. The weather was bad for the last 3 days. Too bad I do not how do you look like. You can not miss me because we were only Asian couple at the resort…


#20

OMG :smiley: LOL …Is that you? Where you staying at the Paradisus Rio De Oro and diving at the Giovita Dive Centre (sp?) at Playa Pesquero Beach? if so, and that is you …we dove 3 or 4 times together :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: