On this trip, I ran into two terrible lounges. This is one of them.
On the surface, this lounge is fine. The seating is comfortable, there are decent food options, there’s free booze as well as magazines and newspapers. The thing that absolutely destroys my opinion of this lounge is how busy it is. These pictures were from 9:05pm … not something you would expect.
I love going to lounges because it gives me a quiet reprieve from the throngs of people that hang out at the departure gate. It is supposed to be a sanctuary, a place to relax. When a lounge is this full, I would almost prefer to find an unused gate to hang out at.
We had to wait about 15 minutes to get a seat somewhere and when we finally got an opportunity, it was for 1 seat and we needed 3.
I later found out that ANYONE that has the National Bank World Elite Mastercard can access this lounge and bring in a guest. Their card normally has a $150 annual fee but the current promotion has the FIRST YEAR FREE, which means that anyone and their dog can access this lounge. Couple this with the fact that you can access this lounge with Priority Pass (which we did) AND it serves as the overflow for Star Alliance, One World, Air Transat and others, this lounge is constantly a nightmare.
If my wife and daughter hadn’t left the lounge to go shopping in Duty Free and left me with all the bags, I would have certainly left the lounge.
I’m all for having lounge benefits for premium card holders, but at the very least limit the number of times they can access the lounge based on the size of the facility.
Bottom line, don’t come to this lounge and expect anything but pure chaos.