New hi-tech "common use" lounge opens at Toronto airport
The new travelers' lounge opened at Toronto's Pearson airport is outfitted with the latest tools and technologies. Its promoters say the new lounge is an ideal place for passengers to kick back and relax – or get some last minute work accomplished before their flight. INCLUDES VIDEO.
11/6/2008 7:00:00 AM By: Joaquim P. Menezes
The new "common use" lounge at Toronto's Pearson airport – its promoters say – will make pre-travel time easier to pass, more enjoyable and efficient for business users and consumers.
Set up by the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) and operated by Plaza Premium, the lounge went into operation November 1.
Plaza Premium runs similar lounges in major cities across the world – with Hong Kong International Airport as its headquarters. In Canada, the company also operates a similar lounge at Vacouver airport.
Outfitted with "productivity tools" such as wireless Internet access, computers, printers and monitors, the lounge also features entertainment devices such as a couple of big-screen, high-def TVs.
Users can also avail food and drink – included in the $35 access fee.
"The two 52-inch high-definition TVs are part Samsung's touch-of-colour line up," said Ronald Hulse, VP, sales and marketing at Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. in Mississauga.
Samsung Canada has provided the all tech equipment for the Toronto Pearson lounge.
Hulse, along with GTAA and Plaza Premium representatives, spoke at a media event last week.
The lounge's "common use" status – the fact it isn't restricted to passengers from a specific airline or travel class – is something all the speakers emphasized.
"As long as you have a functioning credit card, you can use this lounge – probably for significantly less than the cost of sitting down at a bar for an hour or two," said Hulse.
It's the airlines and passengers who were clamouring for a "common use" lounge, according to Steve Shaw, vice-president, marketing and business development with the GTAA