You could be an experienced frequent flyer or a newbie traveller on your first adventure across the ocean, but regardless of the case, it can get stressful.
No matter how prepared you can be, there are too many factors that can affect your journey, including long lines through customs, passports mysteriously not scanning, losing boarding passes, early departures, excess luggage—you name it.
Your airport concierge
I recently experienced the Allways meet and greet service at Pearson Airport, offered by Plaza Premium Group, and I can attest that having a representative whisk you from arrival to boarding is the ultimate stress reliever.
At 4 a.m. we were greeted at the airport drop off zone by Anita, a sweet and cheerful chaperone who would be with us at our side the whole time, ensuring we would get through the dreaded airport experience as fast as possible and that our user experience was smooth and stress-free.
Meet and greet
Upon arrival, Allways completed our check-in process and became the keeper of our passports and boarding passes. Anita would have also handled our bags but we had none to check in. She escorted us to security where we were brought to the very front of the line. After we were through security, we were escorted to the very front of the customs line-up which easily removed a 45-60 minute hold up that had already accumulated with regular passport holders.
Usually, customers of Allways would fill out the customs form and use a separate line to present the form to the customs officer, but due to an airport technical glitch (software updating went astray), every passenger was issued an X on their print out which indicated additional screening was required, and as such, we all had to wait in the standard line-up.
This line-up became extremely large rather quickly; it is doubtful without Allways we would have had sufficient time to get through customs and make our flight on time. The line bypasses saved us time and reduced the anxiety of flying.
Time to lounge
At 5 a.m., with a whole day of flying ahead, who wants to search for a coffee in an empty, barely open airport? Not me. Who wants to walk aimlessly to find that comfy spot to rest or work and then realize it is not near a washroom or a charging outlet? No, thank you. Instead, I’d recommend using an airport lounge. Back in the day, lounges were deemed the ultimate flying experience, restricted only to elite customers, the richest passengers, celebrities and VIPs. But now anyone, even you, can gain access without a specific credit card or membership fee.
Plaza Premium Lounge has Canadian locations in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Edmonton, as well as 30 international facilities! They are the world’s largest independent airport lounge network that offers services for all your travel needs, with one goal in mind, to make travel better. There are individual charging ports at every lounge chair or workstation to charge your devices as you surf on the fast WiFi (I received 90 MBps up and down). If you need to freshen up, there are private bathrooms.
The best part of the lounge experience is the scrumptious food provided. During our visit, breakfast was provided. Pastries, croissants, and more delicious goodies… Carnivore? Go for the fresh bacon or sausage patties. Veggie like me? Have some scrambled eggs, yogurt, and bean salad. It was a bit too early for complimentary alcoholic beverages, so we opted for fresh juice and coffee.
As someone who has been on over 40 flights in the past 2 years, and never an airport lounge, I can now see the value in this quality product and service. A space to breathe, rest, eat and actually take a moment to enjoy the journey, not just the anticipated destination.
After our quick lounge visit, Anita was there to scoop us up and bring us directly to our flight. No hassle. No worries. No lines. Moments later we were aboard, caffeinated, fed and ready to not start, but continue our vacation.
To find out more about Plaza Premium Lounge, their locations and more, check out their website. Allways meet and greet is offered by Plaza Premium Group, if that sounds ideal for your next airport experience read more information here.