We recently had the chance to visit the National Bank VIP Lounge at YUL – Montreal Trudeau International Airport and share information about the lounge in this post and compare its features to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge.
Accessing the National Bank VIP Lounge at YUL:
- Complimentary access is provided to National Bank World Elite Mastercard holders (a guest and two children 12 years old or younger). In addition, they accept Priority Pass as well but only up to 3 hours prior to your flight departure and subject to space.
- The lounge is open from 04:00-22:00 daily and is located by gate 53.
- The lounge is for passengers traveling internationally (excluding the USA).
- National bank cardholders who don’t have access can purchase access at a discounted rate. Anyone with a valid international departure boarding pass can also purchase access; it’s $56 per person at the time of writing this.
- Food: Buffet-style snacks and meals, currently served by a staff member. For breakfast, they had eggs, pancakes, fruit, pastries, yogurt, oatmeal. For lunch, they had hot and cold options like a chicken dish, a rice dish, soup, cold cuts, sandwiches, veggies, and nuts. Menu offerings change and sometimes they even serve poutine!
- Drinks: Non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks are served throughout the day. They have an espresso machine, juice, water, sparkling water, soda, a few beers on tap (including craft beer), wine (sparkling, red, white), hard alcohol, and cocktails.
- Wi-Fi: The lounge offers Wi-Fi but you can also access the free airport network.
- Electronic Newspapers and Magazines: You can access newspapers and magazines electronically using “PressReader”.
We were able to access the lounge using Priority Pass and found the staff to be very nice and helpful. They were even allowing people to see the offerings before purchasing access if they didn’t have complimentary access.
The lounge is spacious and very bright; it has lots of windows and a good view of the taxi area. Unfortunately, the lounge seating was limited; they were only using seating in half of the lounge to respect COVID measures.
It was our first time visiting a lounge operated by Swissport, and overall we were impressed with the offerings. The food was decent for lounge food and some items better than what is offered at the Maple Leaf Lounge (no stale donuts and soggy soaked in mayo poke bowls) but the menu is more limited in the National Bank Lounge. We also found the drink selection to be better than what’s offered at the Maple Leaf Lounge; they had local craft beer on tap along with the usual generic beers and they offered custom cocktails like Aperol Spritz and had sparkling wine. The seating and atmosphere is better at the Maple Leaf Lounge though; it reminds us a little of the Alaska Airlines Lounge at N-Gates SeaTac.
The lounge does not have a shower but the bathroom is really nice with fully enclosed stalls with a toilet and sink for privacy. The Maple Leaf Lounge has showers but they are not available due to COVID at the time of writing this.
Overall, this was a decent lounge and we are happy to have had the chance to spend time here. Currently, this lounge has longer operating hours than most other international lounges. We are not sure if we would pay $56 per person to get access because there are decent enough food and drinks options in the terminal but if you can access the lounge for free or at a discounted rate, it is worth a visit. If you have access to both the National Bank VIP Lounge and the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, visit them both to benefit from what each lounge offers.
Have you been to the National Bank VIP Lounge at YUL – Montreal Trudeau International Airport? If yes, what do you think of the lounge?