Edited by: Michael Y. Park
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With its quality food, numerous seating options, and ample space, the Plaza Premium Lounge at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) is a great place tofor a respite for travelers. Its location could be ideal or inconvenient, depending on your departure gate, but its amenities make for a quality lounge.
I visited this lounge in Terminal 3 (in the international flights area) during a layover in Rome in mid-August 2023. Here’s what my stay was like.
There were 2 Plaza Premium Lounges at FCO. I visited the Terminal 3 lounge, near the E gates, accessible only to passengers on international flights leaving the Schengen Area. There’s another in Terminal 1 near the A gates for Schengen departures.
I took the escalator near gates E1 to E4 to the upper floor, though elevators were also available.
The entrance was at the far end, next to the British Airways lounge, with a large Plaza Premium sign.
The Plaza Premium Lounge in Rome partners with several airlines to host business class passengers, including Air Canada, Air Serbia, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Bulgaria Air, China Southern Airlines, EL AL, Etihad, Hainan Airlines, and Iran Air.
The lounge also accepts visitors with memberships from Priority Pass, LoungeKey, and DragonPass. It’s also part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection. This means travelers have several means of accessing the lounge, including credit cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, as well as credit cards from banks outside the U.S. Additional corporate partners included Alpitour World, AmBank, China Merchants Bank, CIMB, Citibank, Get Your Guide, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, ParkVia, and Tiqets.
You can also pay to visit the lounge. Walk-in rates include a 2-hour visit for €53 (~$57). There’s a 20% discount for Smart Traveller members, dropping the price to €42 (~$45). If you prebook your visit online with Plaza Premium, the cost is €38 (~$40).
Hours of Operation
During my mid-August 2023 visit, the lounge was open from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.
The first thing I noticed was the size. The lounge had a large, open layout and high ceiling, making it feel spacious.
After checking in at the front desk, I followed the hallway to the largest seating area: the café area between the bar and the kitchen.
The lounge didn’t suffer from a lack of seating. Along with the café tables, there were 7 types of seating in the lounge.
Along the wall separating the café from the rest of the lounge were chairs with gray cushions and a few small, round tables.
Nearby, long counters with outlets looked like an ideal place to work. However, they were uncomfortable as the chairs were rigid metal and the cushions were thin. After eating, I moved to a more comfortable spot to check emails.
Along the wall, near the bathrooms, octagonal privacy booths had cushioned seats with a small desk, outlet, and reading lamp.
At the far end of the lounge, by windows overlooking the runway, rows of recliner chairs had lamps and were separated by end tables with built-in outlets.
Curving around behind the bar were 2 more types of seating. The first had a handful of padded chairs with high dividers for privacy. These were excellent for focusing on work and included a small table, outlet, and reading lamp.
Beyond this, an open area had swivel chairs and a handful of sofas in a layout that reminded me of a hotel lobby.
Even though I saw numerous people coming and going throughout my 3-hour stay, the lounge never felt full, and finding open seats wasn’t a problem.
Food and Beverage
I love Italian food, and the offerings here didn’t disappoint.
The buffet was divided into 2 sections. Along the bar was a salad bar with many ingredients to build a salad. This area also had muffins, slices of cake, finger sandwiches, and focaccia.
Multiple hot dishes were at an open ledge from a window into the kitchen. The staff did an excellent job keeping these stocked. There were types of chicken and lots of kinds of pasta, potatoes, and rice.
Paper signs on the heat lamps overhead indicated what allergens could be present.
Every time the trays started to empty, a cook cleared and replaced them.
Along with a full-service bar in the center of the lounge, there were coffee machines at both ends of the lounge. Near the hot buffet, there was also a self-serve drink station with Coca-Cola products on tap.
The bathrooms had a light, neutral palette and wood and stone features, making the space bright. And the staff did an excellent job keeping them spotless, despite the constant flow of visitors.
The lounge had 2 showers to the left of the café area. Both were wheelchair accessible. The cleaning staff had the key and supervised the line (which only grew to 2 people during my visit).
Booking a shower through the Plaza Premium site costs €22 (~$23).
I wouldn’t normally classify power outlets as an amenity, but Rome’s Plaza Premium Lounge deserves a special call-out. There were outlets everywhere. It was incredibly easy to find a spot to charge my devices.
The lounge had its own private Wi-Fi network. Staff provided the password at check-in, and the connection worked reliably. I got average download speeds of 50 Mbps throughout my stay.
The staff did a great job here. Visitors were coming and going at all times, and that meant the bathrooms were used frequently, dishes had to be constantly cleared, and food was vanishing into people’s mouths at a dizzying rate. But the bathrooms looked clean at all times, food trays never sat empty, and dirty dishes disappeared from tables quickly. The employees were busy during my visit and did well keeping the lounge clean, organized, and functioning.
Staff members at the front desk were friendly and efficient during check-in. Despite joining a line of 5 people when I arrived, I waited less than 2 minutes to get in.
Front desk employees also provided a hearty goodbye when I left, thanking me for visiting and wishing me a safe flight.Hot Tip:
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This was a quality lounge experience. Given its central location, the Plaza Premium Lounge is easy to find at FCO and has quality amenities. The food was good, the staff did a great job handling the many visitors, and both seating and outlets were abundant.
If you’re passing through Rome’s Fiumicino airport and have access, this lounge is worth a visit.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
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Featured Image Credit: Ryan Smith. All images credited to Ryan Smith unless where otherwise noted.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are 2 Plaza Premium Lounges at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO): in Terminal 1 near the A gates for Schengen departures and Terminal 3 lounge, near the E gates, for international departures.
Yes, Rome has 2 airports. Leonardo da Vinci Airport (at Fiumicino, with the IATA airport code FCO) is the larger airport used by major airlines and serving most long-haul flights. Ciampino Airport (CIA) is mostly used by low-cost airlines easyJet and Ryanair.
There are several ways to get in. If you have access to Plaza Premium Lounges with a credit card like the Amex Platinum card or Capital One Venture X card, you have complimentary access. Those with LoungeKey or Priority Pass memberships also have complimentary access. You may also be able to use a premium credit card from a country outside the U.S. as well. The lounge also hosts business class passengers from several airlines.
Plaza Premium and Priority Pass are separate entities. While Priority Pass members have access to numerous Plaza Premium Lounges, there are some Plaza Premium locations not accessible with Priority Pass.
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About Ryan Smith
Ryan has been on a quest to visit every country in the world and plans to hit his final country in 2023. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publications including AwardWallet, The Points Guy, USA Today Blueprint, CNBC Select, Tripadvisor, and Forbes Advisor.
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