Lounge Review: Chinook Lounge at Calgary International Airport

Calgary Airport seems sleepy and quiet, even in the middle of the day. It’s the Sunday in the middle of a long weekend – the Canada Day long weekend to be precise. The Chinook Lounge in the airport’s domestic departures area is rather quiet as well. It’s probably the best time to review an airport lounge since there are less people to compete with for space and food.

The Chinook Lounge is just beside the security checkpoint of Concourse A. Proceed up a flight of stairs or use the elevator to get to lounge reception. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
Lounge reception staff double as Westjet service agents. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Entering the lounge was quick and easy. The lounge is situated almost immediately after security for Concourse A. It’s so close after security, in fact, you might just miss it! I entered the lounge using Priority Pass and took about 30 seconds. However, it’s not as fast as the boarding pass scanners at airline lounges like the Air France Salon and KLM Crown Lounge.

Great views

The lounge with its big windows has a great view of most of the airport’s runway. This allows you to watch planes regularly landing, taxiing, and taking off.

Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
Calgary’s skyline is clearly seen to the south. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Space & seating

Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
The lounge seating is a mix of lower lounge chairs and higher chairs for the bar-height tables. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

There were essentially two types of seats in the lounge: high-top bar tables and their respective high chairs, and more comfortable lounge seating. The bar tables seemed ideal for people wanting to sit up straight and work with their computers off their laps. There are about six of these tables with three chairs each.

Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

The other seats were leather (or pleather) and quite comfortable to sit in. As you’ll see in the photos, these seats were mostly grouped in clusters of four or six with a coffee table in the middle.

The lounge features two smaller, darker and more isolated areas for those wanting rest. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
Two big screen TVs displaying sports games. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Food & beverage

The lounge’s entire food and beverage area is against this one wall. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
The meat and vegetarian chilis. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Compared to my first time here several years ago, there seemed to be a little more variety in terms of food. As it was lunch time, the following hot options were available:

  • Chili – vegetarian and non-vegetarian options
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Split pea soup
    Soup choices were Chicken Noodle and Split Pea. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

For cold items there was:

Video of the day:

  • A raisin coleslaw
  • Pasta salad
  • Packaged cups of fruit
  • Packaged cups of raw vegetables
    Fruit and vegetable cups. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
Coleslaw and pasta. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
The pasta. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Unfortunately I found the cold pasta as well as the chicken noodle soup somewhat flavorless. The split pea soup was quite nice and the chili was great too – kudos for having a vegetarian option!

A selection of breads, bagels and cookies. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

The lounge had the standard selection of canned soft drinks (coke, sprite, ginger ale, club soda) as well as a small selection of tea. There were also two coffee machines that used a selection of pre-packaged coffees similar to pods – except these were more like pads.

The pre-packaged coffee selection. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

I’m don’t drink much so I can’t comment on how good the alcohol selection is. You can judge for yourself using the photo below:

The lounge’s alcohol selection. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Conclusion

The Chinook lounge on a quiet day seems spacious and comfortable, and a great place to hang out before a domestic flight. WiFi is easily accessible and is a reasonable speed. The food selection is somewhat lacking, but you can’t expect too much from the domestic terminal lounge of a small airport.

A great view of the Calgary skyline. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Leave a Reply