Those who travel with me know I am not the biggest fan of the whole airport and flying experience. I find it burdensome and if anything a necessary inconvenience to be able to explore the world. Even in one of the best class products out there, Qatar Airways QSuites, flying is, well, just a means to get to where I actually want to be.
However, I do love airport lounges. Getting away from the general public in a typically less crowded area with free food and drinks is a great way to kick off a vacation or kill some time during a layover. Airport lounges make the travel experience that much better.
Let’s take a look at Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges and how you can easily access them to make your next layover or pre-flight experience much more enjoyable.
Maple Leaf Lounge Overview
The Maple Leaf Lounge is Air Canada’s brand of airport lounge that offers food, drinks, WiFi, and a comfortable area to relax before your flight, as opposed to hanging out in the public area of the terminal. Complimentary showers are also available at certain lounges to freshen up before your next flight. Most significantly, all food and drink, including alcohol, is complimentary at these lounges.
Operating hours do vary based on each specific Maple Leaf Lounge, so ensure you double-check before you arrive at the airport to avoid disappointment.
Across the board, Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges are a consistent experience across many airports in Canada and definitely a piece of the travel landscape that you should be taking advantage of if you haven’t been already.
Maple Leaf Lounge Locations
There are 23 Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges that can be found in 16 airports around the world.
The majority of Maple Leaf Lounges can be found in these eleven Canadian airports:
- Calgary (YYC)
- Domestic or international flights: Located near Gate C50
- Edmonton (YEG)
- Domestic or international flights: Located near Gate 56
- Halifax (YHZ)
- Domestic or international flights: Located near Gate 20, 3rd floor
- Montreal (YUL)
- Domestic: Located near Gate 3
- Transborder: Located near Gate 72
- International: Located near Gate 52
- Ottawa (YOW)
- Domestic or international flights: Located near Gate 19, 2nd floor
- Regina (YQR)
- Domestic or international flights: Located across from Gate 5, 2nd floor
- Saskatoon (YXE)
- Domestic or international flights: Located near Gate 5
- St. Johns (YYT)
- Domestic or international flights: Located near Gate 10
- Toronto (YYZ)
- Domestic: Located in Terminal 1, 4th floor
- Transborder: Located in Terminal 1, 4th floor, Node F
- International: Located in Terminal 1, 3rd floor, Node F
- Vancouver (YVR)
- Domestic: Located near Gate 29
- Transborder: Located near Gate 84 (Read our review)
- International: Located near Gate 52
- Winnipeg (YWG)
- Domestic or international flights: Located near Gate 9
Maple Leaf Lounges can also be found at two airports in the United States:
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Domestic, Transborder, or International: Located in Terminal 6
- New York – LaGuardia (LGA)
- Domestic, Transborder, or International: Located in Central Terminal Building, Concourse B, 3rd floor
Finally, there are three international airports that have Maple Leaf Lounges:
- Frankfurt (FRA)
- International: Located in Terminal 1, Concourse B, 3rd floor
- London (LHR)
- International: Located in Terminal 2B, 1st floor, near Gate B44
- Paris (CDG)
- International: Located on Level 1
How to Access Maple Leaf Lounges
If you are curious as to how you can access Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges for your next vacation, there is no shortage of options: flying on Air Canada or Star Alliance business class, holding Aeroplan 50k or higher status, holding an active premium Aeroplan credit card, using a one-time Maple Leaf Lounge access pass, or having Star Alliance gold status.
All of the methods listed require you to have a same-day confirmed boarding pass for an Air Canada or Star Alliance flight. You will need to present your valid boarding pass to enter the lounge.
Fly Air Canada Business Class or Star Alliance Business Class
The most straightforward and typical way to access any of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges is to book and fly a business class ticket on an Air Canada flight or any Star Alliance carrier. Lounge access comes as a perk as part of purchasing or redeeming for a business class fare, and your complimentary access will be identified on your boarding pass.
While business class passengers only gain access for themselves, if you are flying with companions who are not lucky to be flying in business class, you are able to purchase one-time access for them.
Prices for guest access vary, depending on the location and time of day:
- Frankfurt and Paris lounges: €25 euros
- London Heathrow Departures lounge: 25£ (GBP)
- All other Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges:
- Before 11 am: $20 CAD/USD
- After 11 am: $30 CAD/USD
Additionally, if you are lucky enough to be flying on Air Canada Rouge, passengers who are flying Premium Rouge will also have complimentary access to Maple Leaf Lounges in advance of their flight. If anything, a few extra whiskeys might do you some good in making the Rouge flight a bit more palatable.
Hold Aeroplan 50k Status or Higher
If you are an Air Canada or Aeroplan program loyalist, you most likely already know that holding Aeroplan elite status is an easy way to have consistent access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges. Those Aeroplan members who hold 50k, 75k, or Super Elite status are eligible to gain complimentary lounge access in advance of flights, whereas Super Elite members are also eligible to access lounges upon arrival as well.
Previously, those who held 35k status were able to access lounges as well, but this has recently been removed from the list of perks.
Aeroplan 50k and above elite status members can also invite immediate family members and one guest at no charge to access the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge with them. This is an incredibly strong perk, as only one family member needs to hold Aeroplan status in order for all members who are flying to gain lounge access as well.
Additionally, if an Aeroplan elite status holder chooses the status passes as one of their elite benefits, those individuals to whom you gift the status passes will also receive complimentary Maple Leaf Lounge access as part of their perks.
Hold an Active Premium Aeroplan Credit Card
If you hold an active premium Aeroplan credit card, such as the Amex Aeroplan Reserve card, one of the perks you will receive is complimentary Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge entry for the cardholder. The cards that have this benefit include:
|Credit Card||Welcome Bonus||Net Value|
|TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege||105,000 Aeroplan||$1,606||Apply|
|American Express Aeroplan Reserve||90,000 Aeroplan||$1,291||Apply|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege||90,000 Aeroplan||$1,291||Apply|
|American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve||85,000 Aeroplan||$1,186||Apply|
If you are unable to earn Aeroplan 50k status and find yourself flying economy flights, signing up for one of the above credit cards is the most consistent, albeit expensive (in the form of an annual fee), way to access Maple Leaf Lounges across Canada.
As it stands right now, cardholders are also able to grant access to one guest free of charge. It says that this is for a limited time on the Air Canada website, however, no timeline is indicated so I would expect this perk to continue for the foreseeable future.
If the cardholder wishes to admit any additional guests, they can do so at the cash rates listed in the business class section above.
One-Time Maple Leaf Lounge Guest Pass
If you hold any status within the Aeroplan program, you would have received multiple one-time-use Maple Leaf Lounge access passes for domestic or transborder travel.
passes for lounge access. While I can use these myself, I prefer to pass them off to family and friends who may not be in the travel hacking scene so they can treat themselves to lounge access since I have access to many other lounges as a result of my Amex Business Platinum card.
If you want to send them to someone else, simply screenshot and send them the QR code from the Air Canada app for the one-time guest pass you are gifting. As an alternative, if you log into your Aeroplan account on a web browser you can generate a PDF as a way to email the pass to your desired recipient. The recipient of the pass will simply need to show the QR code or PDF to access the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge.
Hold Star Alliance Gold Status
If you hold loyalty program status with an airline that is part of the Star Alliance network, you may be able to access Maple Leaf Lounges free of cost. Star Alliance has its own membership tiers, and certain status levels in airline status programs confer status in the Star Alliance program. Incidentally, Star Alliance Gold members are able to access Maple leaf Lounges free of cost.
For example, United Airlines MileagePlus Premier Silver status grants Star Alliance Silver status which doesn’t come with many noticeable benefits. On the other hand, all status above Premier Silver in the United loyalty program grants Star Alliance Gold status, meaning that you would be able to access Maple Leaf Lounges as someone who has status within the United Mileage Plus program.
Members of any Star Alliance loyalty program, such as Aeroplan, United, and more, can check what level of Star Alliance status they have by inputting their airline loyalty program status here.
Personally, I can’t imagine the travel experience these days without having access to airport lounges. While Maple Leaf Lounges vary in quality from lounge to lounge, they are still a great step up from lounging in the public area of the airport and paying for food and liquor.
Whether you are accessing Maple Leaf Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, or any of the Amex Global Lounge Collection lounges, these experiences can make your next vacation that much better so it is always worth looking into what airport lounges you have access to in advance of your trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I purchase access to the Maple Leaf Lounge?
As an individual, no, you cannot purchase lounge access for yourself, except at the Paris Maple Leaf lounge for which you can purchase access at a cost of 35 Euros.
However, if you are traveling with a companion who has a ticketed business class fare, has 50K or greater Aeroplan status, or holds a premium Aeroplan credit card, you may be able to pay to enter the Maple Leaf Lounge as a guest (depending on capacity). Rates are typically $20 CAD before 11 am and $30 CAD after 11 am, per guest.
How can I access the Maple Leaf Lounge for free?
The best way to access a Maple Leaf Lounge for free would be to hold Aeroplan 50K or higher status or know someone who can gift you a one-time access pass.
Can you use Aeroplan points to access the Maple Leaf Lounge?
No, Aeroplan points cannot be redeemed for a pass to access a Maple Leaf Lounge. The closest redemption would be to redeem for a business class flight award, which would then grant you lounge access as a result.
Can I bring a guest into the Maple Leaf Lounge?
Yes, if you hold Aeroplan 50k status or higher or hold a premium Aeroplan credit card you can bring one additional guest for free. Additionally, if you have one-time Maple Leaf Lounge access passes, you could gift one to your guest for them to enter at no cost.