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There are very few airports in the world that I intentionally show up early for, just to spend time there. The SkyTeam lounge at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) happens to be one of them.
Since the lounge first opened in the Fall of 2017, I have always been eager to check it out. Before that, one of my favourite lounges in North America was the Delta SkyClub Lounge at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport. Unfortunately, access can be rather restrictive to the SkyClub due to it being limited to passengers on Delta flights only, but I will confess that I have gone out of my way to book a Delta flight with a lengthy layover just to indulge in the lounge.
Despite the SkyTeam lounge being open 24/7, all of my visits have been for red-eye flights, so my experiences might be quite different compared to a visit during the daytime. The entrance of the SkyTeam lounge is located near Gate 53 of the International Terminal. The entrance can easily be missed as it is tucked around the corner of some duty-free shops. Access is granted to SkyTeam Elite Plus, First class, and Business class passengers on SkyTeam flights as well as members of Priority Pass. Simply show the attendant at the desk your same-day boarding pass and either your physical Priority Pass card or scannable membership via the mobile app. After your lounge access has been granted, proceed to the elevator which takes you to the upper level of the International Departure Terminal.
YVR Skyteam lounge layout
After a brief ride in the elevator, you will find yourself at the entrance of the lounge. Upon exiting the elevator, you find a selection of newspapers and magazines to your right. As you proceed further into the lounge, there is a self-serve wine bar to your right as well as a workstation.
The lounge has been designed with an open-air atmosphere that offers plenty of views of the tarmac. There is ample seating with power plugs & USB ports available at select seats. Personally, my favourite seats are the pair tucked in the corner as they provide ultimate privacy due to their seclusion from the rest of the lounge. They are ideal for a brief nap before your flight.
Due to me arriving exceptionally early, the lounge was quite empty. The majority of the traffic trickles in around midnight as YVR has around a dozen flights departing after midnight, mostly to Asia and Australia. I have never found the lounge to be overcrowded but I could see that eventually being an issue, as more and more travellers discover it.
YVR Skyteam lounge food & drink
As you make your way to the back of the lounge, you walk along a walkway to the dining area. The lounge consists of generous food offerings including various sandwich wraps, tortilla chips, salads, cold cuts, assorted cheese cubes, pasta, smoked salmon, as well as a selection of small desserts. Their hot dishes seem to alternate each time I have visited between variations of chicken, along with steamed vegetables and rice. There is also a made to order noodle bar in the corner. Showers and washrooms are available for guests to use which are located at the back of the lounge near the kitchen.
The SkyTeam lounge also has an assortment of soda as well as alcoholic beverages. Both wine and beer are available including various IPAs, Heineken, Stella Artois, and Tsingtao. There is signage limiting the drinks to 3, but I have no idea how strict that is enforced since I’ll confess I have exceeded the limit.
Yvr Skyteam lounge bottom line
This is my favourite Priority Pass lounge at YVR. It's bright with great views of the tarmac for plane spotting and the food itself is great for a Priority Pass lounge.
For this particular visit, believe it or not, I intentionally booked the red-eye to Chicago O’Hare International Airport just so that I would have access to the lounge, while also saving myself a hotel night in the process. The US customs at YVR closes at 8:30 PM, so instead of going through the regular US preclearance section of the airport you have to depart out of the International Terminal.
I will be passing through the lounge several times again this Fall, and despite it being several months away, I am already looking forward to revisiting the lounge.
Have you visited the SkyTeam Lounge Vancouver?
Jason was introduced to travel at a young age. His parents are world travellers so it was only natural he would follow in their footsteps. He took his first international solo flight to Europe at age 14 (pre 9/11). Applied for his first credit card at the age of 19 as he had heard of the miles & points game and couldn't wait to get started. Over a decade later, he has traveled to over 100 countries around the world and always seems to have another adventure plotted around the corner. His wife tries to accompany him whenever she can, but sometimes it’s a bit too hectic as he has a tendency to travel frequently, even if it's just for a brief weekend getaway.