Flying out of Rome’s Fiumicino Airport Terminal 3 last month, I had the opportunity to spend some time at the Plaza Premium Lounge before my flight. As one of three lounges at FCO eligible for Priority Pass, I was able to enter without any additional charge because of my membership (acquired through my personal American Express Platinum card). This will be a review of the lounge and what it has to offer.
Getting to and into the lounge
The lounge is located in the Upper Level of Area E in Terminal 3. This part of the airport is for “Extra Schengen Departures” – flights that are outside the Schengen Zone. Therefore, you’ll have to pass through security as well as customs/immigration before getting to the lounge.
I didn’t have too much trouble finding it as the signage was sufficient. Checking into the lounge was easy as it required a quick scan of my digital Priority Pass membership card and my boarding pass. My signature was also required on a copy of the receipt. While it didn’t cost anything extra for me and my unlimited-visit membership, a two-hour visit, according to Plaza Premium’s website, comes at a cost of US$47. A five-hour visit is listed at US$89.
Space and seating
I think this lounge is absolutely beautiful. It offers a wide and open concept with very high ceilings and very little in the way of walls and pillars.
“The interior design of our expansive lounge honours the ancient Roman architecture,” – Plaza Premium
Despite being one big open space, the lounge is separated into a number of sections, with more comfortable seating near the window, and restaurant-style chairs and tables near the front and center. At the very middle is the bar, with a counter and bar-height seats around it. There are also more enclosed work stations on one side as well.
I arrived at the end of the breakfast service but even breakfast looked to be quite good and diverse: hard-boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon, roast potato wedges, beans and peas. I stuck around for a little bit of lunch, which included some vegetarian and fish pasta options. There was also a creamy pumpkin soup served across both meals.
There was a salad bar separate from the hot meal station. This was an assortment of cold dishes including potato salad, beets, coleslaw, olives, and chickpeas. My favorite part of the food at this lounge was the pannacotta on offer. It came in two flavors: berry and chocolate. I had multiple helpings of both, of course.
Also somewhat unique is the offer of gelato – of which there were two flavors: vanilla, and chocolate. It was pretty good – but not as good as the pannacotta.
I was pleased to see a reduced reliance on single-use glass and plastic bottles. Rather, the lounge had two soda-fountain machines to dispense Pepsi-brand carbonated beverages. There was also a machine to dispense natural and carbonated water.
The alcohol at this lounge is controlled via a bartender at the bar in the middle of the lounge. There seemed to be a good variety of options at the bar.
According to the lounge’s website (and the signage I saw), there are shower facilities at this lounge. I was unable to find any information about additional pricing, so it very well may be free/included in the lounge fee. Some lounges charge extra for use of their shower facilities.
During my visit, I felt like the staff were a little slow to clear my table of the dishes that were piling up. This is compared to all the other lounges I’ve been to. It wasn’t a huge deal for me but just a minor observation. Other than that, I really love the design of the place and all of the food that’s on offer here.
I generally trust the standard set by the Plaza Premium lounge company. They are one of the main lounge operators at my hometown airport of Vancouver and any Plaza Premium lounge I visit around the world usually offers the same positive experience. I would definitely make use of this lounge during a long transfer through Rome Fiumicino!
If you’ve been to this lounge, let us know how your experience was in the comments, and if our review is in-line with your visit!