It’s time to continue my circuit of lounge reviews from June of 2022. It was a memorable but whirlwind weekend, made all the better because I got to see other members of the Prince of Travel team, as well as spend a lot of time in various lounges.
While I found the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Edmonton and Plaza Premium Lounge Edmonton to be roughly comparable, it was in Vancouver that I noticed a starker difference between the lounge experiences available to domestic travellers.
Overall, my impression of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver (Domestic) was pretty positive, and I want to share with you today the amenities and services you can expect when you visit.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver (Domestic) – Access
The lounge is located between Gates C29 and C30 in the domestic wing of Vancouver International Airport.
When I visited, the lounge was open daily between 4:30am and midnight.
However, it looks like Air Canada has now maintained the early morning opening time at 4:30am, but scaled back the Maple Leaf Lounge’s current closing time to half an hour earlier, at 11:30pm.
Access to the Air Canada Maple Lounge is available via a number of means:
- Business class passengers on Air Canada or any Star Alliance airline
- Star Alliance Gold members
- Aeroplan 35K status members or above
- Holders of premium Aeroplan co-branded credit cards
- Holders of Maple Leaf Lounge one-time lounge passes
After passing through security, head down the staircase or escalator, and you’ll find the lounge close to a waterfall on the right.
I had used eUpgrades to confirm a seat in business class using the “Latitude Attitude”, so a cursory scan of my boarding pass at the entrance desk located on the ground level was enough to get me access to the lounge proper upstairs.
Before heading up, I noticed that there was a small lounging area just outside the check-in desk, which the clerk told me was so that folks could rest their feet should there be a lineup. As a major hub airport, Vancouver often gets rather busy, especially during peak travel times and seasons.
The auxiliary restrooms next to this space were closed.
I then made my way up the stairs and into the lounge. There’s also a dedicated elevator next to the staircase, which is always important for anyone travelling with reduced mobility.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver (Domestic) – Seating
After making my way upstairs, I was surprised to see just how large this lounge is, which is essential during this busy post-pandemic summer travel season.
The seating itself was of the same standard-issue design that’s found in other Maple Leaf Lounges, which in no way should detract from you enjoyably melting into the cushioning.
There’s also a secure charging station available, should you need to leave your device charging during a trip to the restroom.
The overall design of the lounge is quite long. To the right of the entrance staircase are the restrooms, located down a hallway.
When I visited, the lounge was fairly full, so it’s no small achievement that the washrooms were kept meticulously clean. I witnessed an attendant cleaning two or three times over the course of my stay of a few hours in the lounge (due to a weather-related flight delay), so it’s clear they take hygiene seriously.
I also quite liked the décor in this lounge. The addition of some plant life and traditional Indigenous art spruced up the environment and made it feel a tad more organic and lively.
The main seating areas were a bit crowded, but not uncomfortably so. In addition to the plentiful seating were a bunch of TVs and many power outlets.
It’s great to see a lounge that’s caught up with the times and knows that its guests tend to always be on their mobile devices, and in thus in need of charging them.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver (Domestic) – Dining
The buffet and dining area has distinct diner-style chairs and tables. The flash of colour and cushioning gives the space some groovy charm from an older era.
Table service for food or beverages hadn’t returned when I visited; however, hot food was available via QR codes on most tables.
Sadly, main courses were limited to a two-item menu, consisting of either a butter lentil curry or macaroni and cheese. I opted for the latter, and it was brought by a staff member in under ten minutes.
It tasted like Kraft Dinner’s posh upper-middle-class cousin, which given the surroundings was perfectly acceptable. Portions are on the small side, but you can order as many as you desire to compensate.
For hot appetizers and cold snacks, there was a long buffet island that was filled with soups, chips, cookies, fruits, and other various assorted goodies, as well as salad bar.
There was even Miss Vickies Salt and Vinegar chips available, whom I consider to be the undisputed empress of potato chip flavours.
Honestly, the food won’t be winning any awards, but I found it all to be pretty satisfactory. None of it tasted bad, there was plenty of variety, and best of all, the buffet was self-serve, so nobody was policing intake.
(Note that as of the article’s publication in July 2022, the Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge has resumed serving hot food at the buffet, though the quality remains comparable to the QR code days.)
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver (Domestic) – Bar
On the bar front, non-alcoholic beverages and boozy concoctions alike were both self-serve, with numerous options available.
I think Maple Leaf Lounges offer almost uniform alcohol selections, so the usual premium suspects of cognac, Guinness stout, and port wine were available on demand.
On the alcohol-free front, the espresso machine was working, and could make a cup in a jiffy. There was also a cooler that was stocked with a selection of soft drinks, bottled water, and juices.
Overall, I think the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver (Domestic) experience is pretty good. There are no surprises in this lounge, and that’s a good thing because it means there aren’t any disappointments, either.
The staff are courteous and fast to react. The food is plentiful, albeit a little plain. Drinks flow with enough frequency you’ll never be unfulfilled. What’s not to like?
I’d definitely recommend you stop into this lounge the next time you’re passing through and eligible to enter, as you’ll be hard pressed to have a bad time.