Review: Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto Airport

Review: Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto Airport

NAME: Air France-KLM Lounge
Airport: YYZ
DATE: November 2019
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The highlight of this lounge is the incredible views, though otherwise it leaves a bit to be desired
28


The first segment of my trip was on Air France’s brand new A350-900 from Toronto to Paris. While the flight was only departing at 6:45PM, I ended up getting to Toronto Pearson Airport before 12PM, as I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss my connection, and also because there were limited nonstop options from Miami.

As a result I spent plenty of time in the Air France-KLM Lounge.

Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto Location

The Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto is located in Terminal 3. It’s by the C gates, so once you clear security just keep walking and walking and walking and walking. You’ll get there eventually.

Toronto Pearson Terminal 3


Toronto Pearson Terminal 3

This was my first time in this part of Pearson Airport, and I have to say they’ve done a great job with the terminal (even though the design is clearly based around monetization).


Toronto Pearson Terminal 3

There’s an elevator near gate C33 leading up to both the Air France-KLM Lounge and the Plaza Premium Lounge.

Elevators to Toronto Terminal 3 Lounges

The entrance to the Air France & KLM Lounge is there immediately once you exit the elevator.

Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto exterior

Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto Hours

The Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto is currently open daily from 8AM until 12AM, though times may change seasonally. While Air France and KLM each have a flight in the evening, it’s open all day because the lounge is also used by other airlines.

How To Access The Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto

For one, the Air France-KLM lounge is open to Air France and KLM business class passengers, as well as SkyTeam Elite Plus members.

On top of that, those flying other SkyTeam airlines (like China Eastern and Korean Air) can use this lounge. They also contract out the lounge to other airlines. For example, for much of the time I was in the lounge, the other passengers were mostly traveling on the Pakistan International Airlines flight to Lahore.

Lastly, the lounge is also open to Priority Pass members, and those guests can stay for at most three hours.

Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto Review

We weren’t off to a very good start with my visit. As I walked in there was no one at the front desk. I waited for a couple of minutes, and then went to the Plaza Premium Lounge across the way so I could review that. I returned 10 minutes later and there still wasn’t anyone there.

So then I started walking around the lounge and saying more loudly “hello?” Eventually someone showed up and admitted me.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto reception desk

Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto Seating

Physically this lounge is perfectly alright. Just inside the entrance is a roped off area that’s marked as being reserved. I’m not sure if that’s for top tier Flying Blue elites or what, since Air France doesn’t offer first class to Toronto.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto reserved area

Then along the left side of the lounge are all kinds of siting areas. They do a good job of using partitions so that each feels a bit private. There was one area with a TV.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating

Then there was another area with a couple dozen chairs.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating

Across from that was the dining area, which had dining tables and high top seating. This is also where the buffet was.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating

Deeper into the lounge by the windows was a lot more seating, including several chairs with ottomans, and a couch.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating

Then there were some communal tables, some more chairs with ottomans, and then one more sitting area.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto seating

The highlight of the lounge no doubt were the incredible views of the apron, as all kinds of heavy planes taxied by. I started my morning in Miami, where it was 80 degrees, so I enjoyed the benefit of how beautiful the snow looked, but was happy not to be outside.

Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto view


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto view

There was even a great view of the Air France A350 as it arrived.

Air France A350 Toronto


Air France A350 Toronto

The bathrooms were in the back right of the lounge, and were decent enough.

While the lounge was mostly alright, I do have a couple of thoughts:

  • The lounge doesn’t have showers, and I could have really used a shower
  • The lounge had a lack of outlets in many of the sitting areas; the outlets that did exist were largely so loose that the plugs kept falling out

Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto Food & Drinks

This is where the lounge really disappointed. When I arrived I found the food selection to be underwhelming, so my guess was that they’d bring out the better food later, a couple of hours before departure.

That’s pretty normal for airlines that are also open to Priority Pass members — they put out the good stuff when their own passengers are using the lounge.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto buffet

Well, the selection here was in line with what you’d expect from a Priority Pass lounge, and nothing more. That was true even as the Air France and KLM departure times approached.

There were whole fruit, some pastries, muffins, bread, and a couple of types of soup.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto buffet


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto buffet

Then where was an area with what was easily one of the most random selections I’ve seen — it included cold cuts, hummus, shredded lettuce (yes, I believe it was shaved lettuce and not shaved brussel sprouts), pickles, hardboiled eggs, and a fruit salad. There was no pita or anything with which to eat the hummus.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto buffet

Then there were four hot dishes, though they didn’t look particularly appealing.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto buffet


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto buffet

Most disappointing was the drink selection. Air France is an airline that prides themselves in serving champagne in all cabins (even economy!), yet they serve Martini prosecco in their lounge?!


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto wine


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto wine

There was also a selection of self serve liquor.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto hard liquor

Then there was a coffee machine, soft drinks, water, and juice


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto coffee machine

More Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto Musings

I don’t know if the lounge’s dishwasher is broken or what, but the fresh glasses were filthy, with all kinds of marks (I’m not sure the picture fully does justice to that — at the bottom of the glass that’s not a reflection, but rather a stain). This was the case on more than one glass that I got.


Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto dirty glass

Then they randomly started doing loud maintenance and replacing parts all around me. No one came up to those of us sitting in this area and told us what was going on, how long it would take, encouraged us to move, etc.

Relaxing lounge ambiance

And while it’s certainly not the lounge’s fault, I think what really rounded out the ambiance of the lounge was listening to the lady across from me tell her husband in painstaking detail about how she had diarrhea for the past two days.

Anyway the flight was scheduled to board from gate C31, which was just a short walk from the lounge. Boarding was scheduled for 5:55PM, so I got to the gate at around 5:30PM. They had set up three boarding zones.

Air France departure gate Toronto

Boarding ended up starting at 6:30PM (yes, way behind schedule). First those in wheelchairs boarded (which took quite a while), and then business class passengers were invited to board.


Air France departure gate Toronto

Air France-KLM Lounge Toronto Bottom Line

Obviously there’s huge variance in quality for the lounges of any airline. This was definitely the worst Air France Lounge I’ve been to, and I found it to be quite disappointing. The decor was alright and the views were great, but everything else left something to be desired.

The food selection was bad, the fact that they serve Martini prosecco is sad for a French airline, they don’t have a shower in the lounge, etc.

Fortunately the airline is investing in their lounges. They’ve renovated lounges in New York JFK and Washington Dulles, and they now offer pre-flight dining at those airports for their late night flights (and even the other flights get much better food and drinks than this).

It’s a good reminder of how much an experience can differ based on where your flight originates. You can also contrast this to the experience that Air Canada business class passengers would have had flying to Paris, with the incredible Signature Suite Toronto. In fairness, that’s only available to paid business class passengers.

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  1. Stephanie

    Ooooops............*hear, not here. Gotta love autopredict ;)

  2. Stephanie

    This is so sad to here. I fly KLM economy (YYZ to Hannover) once a year to once every 18 months. I was debating treating myself to business class this December to make up for my March 2019 flight being cancelled because of covid. But, now I'm not so sure. Not just because of the YYZ lounge, but I've seen different posts about the service in business class is cut back because of covid. I would really like to have the lie flat seats though for an overnight flight.

  3. Miichael

    I was recently in the Air France KLM Lounge in FRA and it was pretty much the same, very basic and not a large selection of spirits or wines

  4. jeff

    Never been there, probably will never be there, but from your images, looks like a window treatments showroom

  5. Stuart

    This is actually a fairly recently renovated lounge, believe it or not. You should have been there before! The catering seems like it's the same legacy KLM lousyness as always however. Which explains the Prosecco and coleslaw. But the views and location are good. Also worth noting that AF/KL uses Terminal 3 at Pearson which, even with the renovations currently continuing, is affectionately referred to by many locals as the worst part of the Pearson complex...

  6. MARK G

    That warm food is embarrassingly bad. Pretty sure the "lettuce" is coleslaw, which is worse than lettuce IMO.

  7. David

    AF lounge in ORD also sucks.

  8. DavidB

    Better you compare AC’s Maple Leaf Lounge at CDG with this KL/AF outport lounge than AC’s Signature at YYZ. YYZ is AC’s home hub, just as CDG is AF’s. I recently flew QR Q-suites ex-SIN and the lounge used is an atrocious contract non-airline lounge, one of the worst I’ve encountered at a major airport. (Fortunately as a OneWorld Emerald I could and did use both the BA and QF lounges over my 3-hour wait...

    Better you compare AC’s Maple Leaf Lounge at CDG with this KL/AF outport lounge than AC’s Signature at YYZ. YYZ is AC’s home hub, just as CDG is AF’s. I recently flew QR Q-suites ex-SIN and the lounge used is an atrocious contract non-airline lounge, one of the worst I’ve encountered at a major airport. (Fortunately as a OneWorld Emerald I could and did use both the BA and QF lounges over my 3-hour wait for the flight to board.) I’d never think of comparing it to QR’s two premium cabin lounges at DOH.

    BTW the booze selection looks pretty much similar to that on offer when Plaza Premium was managing BA’s temporary F lounge (JWRed....really in a premium lounge!).

    BTW YYZ T3 is undergoing renovations in the areas used by arriving passengers so the non-entry into Canada option is not yet available as in T1. Part of the problem at the moment is the pier used for international flight gates is integrated with domestic gate areas. When clearing security you’re still in the domestic area and keep walking into the international area. There is a check of boarding passes to get through, or stop international passengers from getting back into the domestic area.

  9. Ralph4878

    @HappyPrime23 - I believe it all depends on the terminal you are connecting through/airlines you are flying and your ultimate destination. If you are arriving from the USA and connecting to, say, Europe, it is pretty easy to connect through Terminal 1 - you just scan your passport at a kiosk on arrival and go to your next gate (even if it's leaving out of a different terminal). Now, if you are arriving to Terminal...

    @HappyPrime23 - I believe it all depends on the terminal you are connecting through/airlines you are flying and your ultimate destination. If you are arriving from the USA and connecting to, say, Europe, it is pretty easy to connect through Terminal 1 - you just scan your passport at a kiosk on arrival and go to your next gate (even if it's leaving out of a different terminal). Now, if you are arriving to Terminal 1 on a Star Alliance member airline (say, Egyptair from Cairo) and connecting to the USA (say, on Air Canada or United), it gets a little more complicated because you will have to clear security and USA customs. However, you still aren't entering Canada/passing through Canadian immigration - you are just clearing (US) security in a different part of the terminal. In this case, you will clear immigration - US immigration - but not Canadian immigration.

    Anything involving Terminal 3 is different: even if you are on one ticket (say, Delta-China Eastern codeshare ATL-YYZ-PVG) , you always need to clear customs and immigration in Canada if you are connecting through Terminal 3.

  10. Paolo

    I’m not sure that the perceived inadequacies of this lounge can be explained away by the fact that it’s origin is KLM rather than Air France; the reality is that NONE of the Air France lounges at CDG is any better ( and certainly in respect of crowding, far worse)...with the obvious exception of La Premiere ( which I haven’t experienced other than second hand via reviews).
    In fact I have a strong preference...

    I’m not sure that the perceived inadequacies of this lounge can be explained away by the fact that it’s origin is KLM rather than Air France; the reality is that NONE of the Air France lounges at CDG is any better ( and certainly in respect of crowding, far worse)...with the obvious exception of La Premiere ( which I haven’t experienced other than second hand via reviews).
    In fact I have a strong preference for Crown at AMS ( even sans champagne) over anything offered by AF at CDG.

  11. FNT Delta Diamond

    Houston and Toronto are NOT legacy Air France lounges. They are LEGACY KLM lounges. This partly explains why the wine and food are so bad. KLM is MUCH, MUCH cheaper than Air France when it comes to food and wine. In fact, KLM spends less on wine than even United. Even the flagship KLM lounge in Amsterdam doesn't have champagne. I complained about the lounge KLM uses when flying international business-class out of Jakarta (no...

    Houston and Toronto are NOT legacy Air France lounges. They are LEGACY KLM lounges. This partly explains why the wine and food are so bad. KLM is MUCH, MUCH cheaper than Air France when it comes to food and wine. In fact, KLM spends less on wine than even United. Even the flagship KLM lounge in Amsterdam doesn't have champagne. I complained about the lounge KLM uses when flying international business-class out of Jakarta (no champagne and no wine) and ended up getting 20,000 miles from Delta since Delta handles KLM complaints from US customers.

  12. Scott Schultz

    The AF lounge in Houston is nothing to write home about either. Used it on my way home from Seattle on Monday with PP. It's a really tiny room with limited seating. I guess with only one flight a day to Paris, it would be sufficient. The KLM lounge was a tad better. They had a sign saying they were at capacity and no PP, but she let me in anyway. I didn't eat anything...

    The AF lounge in Houston is nothing to write home about either. Used it on my way home from Seattle on Monday with PP. It's a really tiny room with limited seating. I guess with only one flight a day to Paris, it would be sufficient. The KLM lounge was a tad better. They had a sign saying they were at capacity and no PP, but she let me in anyway. I didn't eat anything in either lounge, just had a drink or two as I'd eaten an early dinner and the PP restaurant in A terminal. Houston IAH isn't a bad airport for PP if you're willing to do a bit of walking from terminal to terminal.

  13. Aaron

    It looks like an average lounge overall.

    So when can we expect the MEA flight and lounge trip reports?

  14. HappyPrime23

    I'd be interested in your transit experience as well. It sounds like you were on two separate tickets (?). Did you actually have to enter Canada? Were you required to use one of those transit kiosks that seem to be only in Toronto and not in Vancouver? And if so did it recognize you were on a transit itinerary with 2 separate tickets? And why doesn't Canada have a standardized transit procedure? Lots of questions :)

    Looking forward to the rest of your reports!

  15. Mike

    Aer Lingus also uses this lounge for its flights to DUB. My experience was satisfactory overall.

  16. Kelvin

    Last week I was in the AF/KLM lounge when flying CX F from ORD T5. That was hands down the worst lounge I have experienced quite a while.

  17. Clem

    The roped off area is for Flying Blue Ultimate passengers to guarantee they have a seat if it gets crowded. They have that in almost all of their lounges now (I wonder if it's also where their new super exclusive status HIPP passengers will be put in the absence of a first class area) . If you've been to the new dining upstairs area at JFK, they have reserved tables as well.

  18. Ralph4878

    I've been to this lounge a few times now, flying J on AF, KE, and KL, and as a Y passenger on other airlines (using my PP membership). Other than them bringing out spicy instant noodles when KE passengers showed up (and they were delicious...), the quality of the food and beverage did not change, as far as I could see. As a PP user, I really saw no appreciable difference in anything than when...

    I've been to this lounge a few times now, flying J on AF, KE, and KL, and as a Y passenger on other airlines (using my PP membership). Other than them bringing out spicy instant noodles when KE passengers showed up (and they were delicious...), the quality of the food and beverage did not change, as far as I could see. As a PP user, I really saw no appreciable difference in anything than when visiting as a SkyTeam flyer. I am flying AF next month to CDG and KLM in February, so I will be curious to see if anything has changed...the last few times (last visit was two months ago), I was seriously unimpressed with this lounge: dirty furniture, terrible connectivity (plugs, USB ports, spotty wifi), used glasses and plates collecting everywhere, glasses that didn't seem clean. A very disappointing lounge experience.

  19. SK

    @ Grumpy Texan Tension detected :))

  20. Grumpy Texan Travel

    "the design is clearly based around monetization"

    Ah, so it is similar to visiting a points, miles and travel blog.

  21. John

    I feel you need a reality check. For a PP lounge which you used during PP times this is a perfectly alright lounge. Been there many times and in comparison to other PP lounges and especially other KLM/AF lounges this is a decent one.

    No, it´s not an AC signature suite or anything fancy, but it has the basics right and I like it whenever I am in YYZ and fly SkyTeam.

    1. Ben (Lucky)

      @ John -- I noted pretty clearly in the post that I thought it was totally alright for Priority Pass, but was disappointed there wasn't a better product prior to the Air France and KLM flights.

  22. DenB®

    No Improvement Expected.
    Because Canada.

  23. James S

    If you live in Miami, how was your first segment from Toronto?

    We demand answers!

    1. Ben (Lucky)

      @ James S -- Hah! It was exactly the same as this flight:
      https://onemileatatime.com/american-airlines-a319-first-class-review/

      Except I was on an A321 without power ports, so that sucked. Otherwise perfectly fine, in particular the oatmeal, with only the finest seasonal ingredients!

  24. BrewerSEA

    Contrast this with the Signature Suite offered to Air Canada’s paid business class customers...

    1. Ben (Lucky)

      @ BrewerSEA -- Great point, updated the post to add that.

  25. JohnnieD

    We used it a few years back flying on Cathay Pacific. It was a dump then and it still seems like a dump-few outlets bad “food”, workers when available with really bad attitudes. I would consider it an average priority pass lounge and a terrible lounge for business class passengers.

Featured Comments Load all 28 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Stephanie

Ooooops............*hear, not here. Gotta love autopredict ;)

Stephanie

This is so sad to here. I fly KLM economy (YYZ to Hannover) once a year to once every 18 months. I was debating treating myself to business class this December to make up for my March 2019 flight being cancelled because of covid. But, now I'm not so sure. Not just because of the YYZ lounge, but I've seen different posts about the service in business class is cut back because of covid. I would really like to have the lie flat seats though for an overnight flight.

Miichael

I was recently in the Air France KLM Lounge in FRA and it was pretty much the same, very basic and not a large selection of spirits or wines

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