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Priority Pass Membership Plans & Lounges in Canada

Luisa Rollenhagen

Luisa Rollenhagen is a journalist and investor who writes about financial planning for Wealthsimple. She is a past winner of the David James Burrell Prize for journalistic achievement and her work has been published in GQ Magazine and BuzzFeed. Luisa earned her M.A. in Journalism at New York University and is now based in Berlin, Germany.

Look, we’ve all been that person at the airport. The one who arrived 30 minutes before their international flight is supposed to take off, and who ends up tearing through the airport at breakneck speed while their name is already being called over the intercom. But no one aims to be that person, no one aspires to it. You know what people aspire to? They aspire to be the kind of person who shows up to the airport three hours before their flight, checks in, leisurely goes through security, and then strolls into a fancy airport lounge for a relaxing pre-flight glass of Prosecco and a small snack before grabbing the latest copy of The New York Times for a bit of quiet before you continue your travels. Doesn’t that sound way more relaxing? Well that's the type of experience you could expect if you happen to get your hands on Priority Pass.

What is Priority Pass?

Usually, you have to be a member of a specific carrier’s airport lounges in order to gain entry to the airport’s version of the 1%, but not with Priority Pass. 

Their membership program that allows you, the traveler, to reap the benefits of airport lounge membership without having to limit yourself to a specific carrier. So if you usually end up in the American Airlines lounge but the Etihad lounge is looking extra enticing for your four-hour-layover, you can stroll right on in. And while some lounge memberships will only let you in if you have a specific ticket class, Priority Pass lets you use the lounges with even your budget economy ticket. 

Enjoy free Priority Pass membership on us when you invest $100,000 or more with Wealthsimple Black. We'll create a personalized investment portfolio to suit your needs that comes with access to airport lounges access around the world.

Priority Pass membership fee

There’s no such thing as a free lounge lunch and Priority Pass comes at a price (unless you get it free from a financial institution). Priority Pass has a tiered membership system that allows you to choose from three different membership levels that require an annual fee. The fees on the Priority Pass website are listed in US dollars, so we’ve listed both the USD prices and converted them to Canadian dollars:

Standard membership—USD $99/CAD $132

With the standard membership, you pay USD $32 (CAD $43) per lounge visit, and any guest who wants to come along will also pay CAD $43. This option makes sense if you’re only planning on visiting a lounge five times a year or less—so basically if you don’t travel that much to begin with.

Standard Plus membership—USD $299/CAD $398

This membership gives you 10 free lounge visits, after which you’ll pay CAD $43 per visit. Guests continue to pay CAD $43 per visit. Upgrading to this plan is probably a good idea if you travel six times or more per year.

Prestige membership—USD $429/CAD $571

As the name suggests, this is the membership for those elite fliers who usually find themselves in the vicinity of a lounge at least 12 times a year. Prestige members get unlimited free visits, but guests still have to pay CAD $43. 

How to get Priority Pass lounge access for free

So remember how we said there are three Priority Pass memberships? Well, technically there are four—the fourth one being completely free. Many credit card companies or financial institutions will offer a free Priority Pass membership if you meet certain qualifications.

Wealthsimple Black is one such service. It’s a premium investing service for those who have $100,000 or more to save or invest. In addition to perks like lower fees and tax-efficient features, Wealthsimple Black also provides you with access to Priority Pass

Here's how it works. Cross the $100,000 threshold on any of your Wealthsimple accounts, and you’ll get an email from us welcoming you to Wealthsimple Black and prompting you to sign up for Priority Pass with a code and a link to a registration page. And that’s it! The pass is valid for 12 months from the date of issue, and you can use the lounges for free. It’s basically like the Prestige membership, without the annual price tag. Bring on the Prosecco and free WiFi! 

Is Priority Pass membership worth it?

If complimentary drinks and snacks, comfy seats, reliable WiFi and charging stations, and even pre-flight spa treatments in select lounges, then a membership might be worth it. Particularly if you travel at least twice a year and always end up kicking yourself for spending a small fortune on mediocre airport food!

Speaking of airport food: If you’re not feeling the selection of snacks at the lounge or just really want a greasy burger and a beer from that airport diner whose siren song you can’t resist, then you might be eligible for serious discounts. Priority Pass has also added airport restaurants to its list of perks, and you can get some pretty significant credits at participating restaurants that are high enough that you might even eat for free if you don’t go crazy.

A Priority Pass membership is particularly appealing if you don’t actually have to pay for it. So if you get Priority Pass as part of a credit card rewards program or through other services, you save yourself the cost of membership, and get free access to lounges. Sometimes you can bring guests in for a low fee. 

Priority Pass lounges in Canada

Priority Pass lounges are available in seven Canadian cities, including Winnipeg and Edmonton. Here’s a rundown of each of them, including their features, any special amenities, and opening hours. Unless otherwise noted, all of these lounges have alcohol and refreshments, flight information, newspapers and magazines, air conditioning, and WiFi.

Priority Pass lounges in Toronto

The Toronto Lester B. Pearson International airport has three Priority Pass lounges in Terminal 1, and five in Terminal 3.

Terminal 1

Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic Departures) 

Hours: 05:00 to 22:30 daily

Amenities: This is a pretty straightforward lounge, with showers, refreshments, WiFi, and TV and computer access. It also has disabled access. International calls and fax services may be subject to a fee, and children under two enter for free. Smart casual dress is required at all times.

Plaza Premium Lounge (International Departures)

Hours: 05:00 to 00:30 daily

Amenities: Unlike its sibling in the Domestic Lounge, this one doesn’t have showers or TVs, but otherwise the amenities and conditions are the same.

Plaza Premium Lounge (USA Transborder)

Hours: 05:00 to 20:30 daily

Amenities: There are no fax or telephone services, but there are showers and TVs at this location. It also has disabled access.

Terminal 3

Air France - KLM Lounge (International Departures)

Hours: 08:00 to 00:00 daily, but there is a 3-hour maximum stay

Amenities: All the usual suspects, including drinks, newspapers, and WiFi, as well as disabled access, TVs, and access to fax and Internet services.

Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic Departures) 

Hours: 05:00 to 22:30 daily

Amenities: This lounge has a conference room you can use in case you need to get on a Very Important Business Call, as well as telephone and fax services (that are subject to fees if they are international). It also has disabled access.

Plaza Premium Domestic Departures T3

Plaza Premium Lounge (International Departures)

Hours: 04:30 to 01:00 daily

Amenities: Located across from Gate C32/C33, this lounge has showers, telephone, TV, and Internet services, and disabled access. 

Plaza Premium Lounge (USA Transborder)

Hours: 05:00 to 20:30 daily

Amenities: Located by the USA Departures near Gate A10, this lounge has disability access as well as TV, Internet, and fax services, although fax usage is subject to payment.

Priority Pass lounges in Montreal

There is one Priority Pass lounge located at the Montreal Pierre E. Trudeau International airport

National Bank Lounge

Hours: 04:00 to 00:00 daily, but there is a 3-hour maximum stay

Amenities: Located near Gate 53, this lounge is only accessible to travelers with boarding passes that list a gate numbered 52 or higher. There is also a limit of seven guests per cardholder. Otherwise you’ve got your usual benefits, including TVs, Internet access, telephone and fax services, and disability access. 

Priority Pass lounges in Vancouver

There are five Priority Pass lounges at Vancouver International, two of which are located in the Domestic Terminal and three in the International one.

Domestic Terminal Vancouver

Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic Departures)

Hours: 05:00 to 22:30 daily (3-hour maximum stay)

Amenities: This Plaza Premium Lounge is located near Gate B15, and also specifies the 18+ restriction for alcoholic beverages. Internet and fax facilities are available, although the latter is subject to a fee. This lounge also has showers, as well as TVs and telephone and fax services which are subject to payment. This lounge also have disabled access.

International Terminal

Plaza Premium Lounge (International Departures)

Hours: 05:00 to 01:30 daily

Amenities: Alcoholic drinks are subject to payment here. Otherwise, there are free showers, Internet, TVs, and telephone and fax services.

Plaza Premium Lounge (USA Departures)

Hours: 04:30 to 20:00 daily

Amenities: This lounge is located in the USA T1 Departures, across from Gate E87. Alcoholic drinks, long-distance telephone calls, and fax facilities are all subject to payment. There are also TVs and Internet access, and the lounge has disability access.

SkyTeam Lounge (International Departures)

Hours: 24 hours daily

Amenities: This lounge has a “complimentary noodle bar.” One child under 12 per member can enter for free. There are also showers, TVs, telephone, Internet, and fax services, and disabled access.

Priority Pass lounges in Calgary

At YYC Calgary International, there are three Priority Pass lounges. All the Calgary lounges also specify that no shorts, baseball caps, or soccer shirts are allowed.

Concourse D

Aspire Lounge International Departures

Hours: 04:30 to 23:30 daily, but there is a 3-hour maximum stay

Amenities: This lounge has showers and disabled access, as well as TVs.

 Concourse E

Aspire Lounge Transborder Departures

Hours: 04:30 to 19:00 daily, but there is a 3-hour maximum stay

Amenities: Similar to its Concourse D sibling, this lounge also has showers, TVs, and disabled access, but also features a conference room, should you need something like that.

Priority Pass lounges in Edmonton, Québec, and Winnipeg

There are two Priority Pass lounges in the Edmonton International airport, one in the Québec Jean Lesage International airport, and one in the Winnipeg J.A. Richardson International airport. You can find more information on Canada’s Priority Pass lounges at Priority Pass.

Has all this talk of luxury lounges got you dreading the decidedly unglamourous circumstances of your upcoming flight? Craving that lounge lifestyle? Then why not open up an account with Wealthsimple today and find out how you can achieve Wealthsimple Black status. We offer state-of-the-art technology, low fees, and the kind of personalized, friendly service you might have not thought imaginable from an automated investing service. In just five minutes, we'll provide you with a personalized portfolio to suit your needs.

Last Updated August 13, 2019

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