Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Vancouver Transborder US Pre-Clearance

With a comfortable night upstairs at the Fairmont Vancouver International Airport, we rolled downstairs for an easy early morning check in.


This post is one chapter on our trip to Costa Rica. This trip was booked and credited to Air Canada Aeroplan and Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy). For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Vancouver Transborder, Vancouver International Airport, Canada

“The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge is the best lounge available in the Vancouver Airport US Transborder Departures Area. It offers ample ambient light, plenty of seating, and great tarmac views”

This review relates to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Transborder. For a review of the only other lounge available in the US Transborder area at Vancouver International Airport, please see our review of the Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Transborder at Vancouver International Airport.

Checking into United Airlines

It’s usually busy at the Vancouver International Airport Transborder in the early morning as the first bank of flights are set to depart to cities across the United States. The UA’s Premier Access was check in a mess when we approached at T-90. The business check in was chaos although UA staff were proactively issuing baggage tagging for those that had checked in via kiosk but hadn’t made it to the front of the two agent line.

Early Morning at the YVR US Transborder Check in
Busy United Check in Counters
United Check in Counters

We dropped bags and headed to USA pre-clearance. All the checked bags at YVR for USA bound flights are dropped and scanned on at the same area for all carriers together with a built in scale into the conveyor belt. We had no weight problems here and we were cleared through US Customs quickly with Nexus / Global Entry (both machines are available). There is a dedicated lane for Nexus holders, but unlike TSA Pre-Check, the security process is still the same (laptops / liquids out, shoes off and belts off). 

Accessing the Maple Leaf Lounge:

We made a quick stop at the Vancouver Trans-border Maple Leaf Lounge. The lounge was accessed today courtesy of Air Canada Aeroplan Elite Status thanks to MrsWT73 and I. Since we both had Aeroplan Elite Status, access for WT73 Junior was through the ability to bring in a guest. Access is also granted for customers travelling in Star Alliance Business Class or Star Alliance Gold card holders from a reciprocal frequent flier program.

Inside the Maple Leaf Lounge:

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Transborder is my favourite lounge in Vancouver. It’s never fully occupied, appropriately sized, and there is always room to find a lounge chair. We had a quick 30-minute stop for us of which I was involved in getting my son fed and watered.

Floor to Ceiling Windows provide lots of light
Comfortable Loungers

Plenty of seating and an abundance of lounge chairs make this place a favourite for me.

Several portions offer several seating spaces

Food and Beverage:

There were the the usual offerings here for breakfast. Toast, oatmeal and a few muffins along with a selection of juices.

Cereal Silos and Fruits
Fruit Juices and Fruits
Ample Table and Dining Seating is available

At about this time after WT73 was fed and watered, my son became strangely pre-occupied with tornadoes that were going to “wipe us out “on approach to Houston. It was entertaining to see the trip from the eyes of a 9 year old and the worries that they may have compared to the usual adult worries.

AC has taken down the Maple Leaf Lounge business hours from the website so here are some current ones…

Air Canada Maple Leaf Transborder Hours

My only complaint about this particular lounge is that it does not open early enough to accommodate the earliest 6 AM flights that depart YVR to the United States. IN this case, you’re stuck with having to access the Priority Pass alternate at the Plaza Premium Lounge.

My thoughts on the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Transborder:

There is no question that the Air Canada Maple Leaf Transborder lounge is the lounge to access for transborder flights. With ample light, comfortable loungers and great views, this IS the lounge to visit for your flights to the United States. It’s complimented by great food and a convenient location to most flights departing the Vancouver International Airport US Pre-Clearance Trans-border zone.


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