Review: SAS – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3, United Kingdom


The airport at London Heathrow offers among the greatest quantity of different lounges in the world. Thanks to four separate terminals in Terminals numbered One through Five and an airport that is always in different stages of innovation and rebuild, there is always something new to experience at London Heathrow. Today’s lounge experience was brought to us by Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge; their furthest outpost of a lounge in the Singapore Airlines system.

This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, a Safari in the Maasai Mara in Kenya and Mauritius. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport. 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: SAS Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge , London Heathrow Terminal 3, London, United Kingdom

“The unusual joint Scandinavian Airlines / Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in London Heathrow was a busy facility with a space that was dressed like our local Ikea “

About 90 minutes prior to departure, we left the tranquility of the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge lounge for the joint Scandinavian Airlines / Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge which is also in London Heathrow Terminal Three. Some lounges aim for peacefulness, tranquility and a refined experience. This unfortunately was not one of them. 

Locating the SAS / Air Canada Lounge “B”:

After departing the Singapore Airlines Lounge, we easily located SAS / Air Canada Lounge at the Lounge “B” position at London Heathrow Terminal Three. Like the other lounge, this lounge is located just off the World Duty Free arcade in one of the most central and convenient lounge locations adjacent to all the international retail therapy you could ask for.

Entry to the SAS / Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – London Heathrow Terminal 3

Accessing the SAS Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge:

Today’s access was afforded by a Star Alliance Gold Card courtesy of top tier status with Air Canada’s Aeroplan frequent flier program. It can also be accessed by passengers travelling in business class on a Star Alliance carrier.

Star Alliance Gold Customers travelling in any class of travel

As a Star Alliance Gold customer travelling in any class on a Star Alliance member airline operated flight, you have access to any member airline lounge at the airport where your flight departs, if the following conditions are met:

  • You present your boarding pass of a Star Alliance member airline operated flight which departs at the same day as your visit or latest by 05:00 AM the next morning.
  • If your boarding pass does not carry the Star Alliance Gold indicator, you will need to also show your valid Star Alliance Gold card.
  • The lounge displays the Star Alliance Gold logo at the entrance.

You are entitled to bring one guest travelling on any Star Alliance flight departing from the same airport on the same day.

The additional advantage in terms of accessing this particular lounge is that Air Canada also sells annual lounge memberships which made this lounge eligible for access for select membership and credit cards. While this made this lounge easier to access, it also potentially makes the lounge busier than the Singapore Airlines lounge which does not have a a comparable membership plan.

Inside the SAS Air Canada Lounge at Heathrow Terminal Three:

The best way to describe this place was reminiscent of a kindergarten classroom. It was overloaded with people, chaos and activity. The place resembled a grade school full of colourful things to look at. The place was full on ground floor with hardly a place to sit. There was more room available upstairs but you had to take a lift or stairs after immediately after the lounge dragons.

The main downstairs floor off lounge reception

The décor was an unpleasing (to me) IKEA look with stuffed colors that was popular in 1992 but hasn’t really been contemporary for about 20 years.

Starting on the entry level, the downstairs (main) level had a computer work station area that consisted of iMac computers for the internet.

Business Lounge Area with Internet Computers

The main entry level offered a substantial magazine rack of things for people to look at. It was among the most plentiful magazine racks that I’d seen in a lounge in recent years.

A substantial periodical section!

Food and Beverage:

Despite my thoughts on the decor, there was a good magazine selection, reasonable food selections, and some ok self pour wines available. The food was available on the entry level, and consisted of a light buffet.

A Salad Bar with fresh food
Self Pour Bar Area

The Upstairs Lounge Seating Area:

Heading upstairs, we found most of the seating that this lounge had to offer. It was clear that the design of the lounge intended for it’s guests to spend more of their time relaxing upstairs.

Upstairs Seating by the only windows of the lounge
Small Windows

There was a kermit the frog green coloured seating area that reminded me of my parents house from growing up in the nineteen seventies.

Groovy (at one time) seventies green loungers
Green Loungers Mixed with Blue

In addition to the main buffet area downstairs, there was a small refreshment area available upstairs. It made productive use of an otherwise unused lounge wall.

Upstairs Refreshment Bar

There was also a secondary business centre, which complimented the lower level business center. Like the main level, there were also iMac’s available as internet access points. There was also a small workstation area with plug ins’, which was completely empty on our visit.

Work Station Area

The Media Room:

The lounge also featured a television room. The television room featured rows of theatre styled seating, surrounding a smallish 37 inch television screen. It’s interesting that in North America, television’s are usually a staple of lounges where as in Europe, they are pretty much ignored.

Media Room

Children Room:

The lounge featured a small children’s room. This happened to be one of the first children’s rooms that I had seen in a European Lounge.

Small Children’s Room Space

The departure gates are not announced at Heathrow until about 1 hr before flight and then it’s a mad run to the gate. When our gate was announced, we finished up the cheese snack we were having and made the mad dash on a posted long walk of “20 minutes” to Gate 42. On the way, I bought my mom some Harrod’s Early Grey Tea for looking after MrsWT73’s cat.

My thoughts on the SAS Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3:

Overall, the AC/SAS lounge felt much different than the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge. The AC/SAS lounge was a hive of activity, people kris-krossing each other to get to the food, magazines, computers and the like. It’s layout with upstairs / downstairs felt a little more convoluted than the Singapore Airlines lounge where you got to the lounge and it was all on one floor. I think if you wanted a people watching place, this would be your lounge. If you wanted to be left alone in a quiet atmosphere, then the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge is more your place. Either way, they’re head and tails above offerings in North America so you can’t go super wrong.

Editors Note:

The Scandinavian Airlines Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge relocated from London Heathrow Terminal Three into the new London Heathrow Terminal Two “The Queen’s Terminal” in 2015. This particular space is now occupied by the spectacular Qantas Business Lounge London Heathrow; which is also among the best airline lounges that London Heathrow Terminal Three has to offer.

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