Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


The Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport has undergone a transformation and is now a modern facility with a comfortable concourse and more modern lounges is a world class gateway that offers flights to many destinations around North America and occasionally Mexico and the Caribbean. While it’s mostly a departure airport, I have occasionally connected through here on flights back home from Eastern Canada when the direct flight isn’t always available.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Kenora, Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada. This trip allowed us to earn through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through 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.

If you enjoyed this post, please follow us here or on social media through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more travel tips and hacks on how to “Upgrade Your Travels”.

Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

This review is of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. There is also a Plaza Premium Lounge at Winnipeg International Airport.

Getting to the Winnipeg International Airport:

After a fun wedding, it was time to head back home. A quick 2.5 hour drive back the way we came, and we were back at the Winnipeg Airport. 

The Winnipeg Airport is called the “John Richardson International Airport. John Richardson was the founder of Canadian Airlines international and a pioneer of aviation in Canada. 

Winnipeg John Richardson International Airport – Departures Level
The Drop off for all carriers; including Bearskin

Checking Into Air Canada Business Class:

The new Winnipeg airport is a bright and airy hall with lots of space. It’s always great to fly through a modern facility and this place is no exception. It’s been pretty much deserted every time I’ve flown through here, a stark contrast to the over stuffed old terminal which has now been demolished.

Winnipeg John Richardson Departures Hall
US Departures Area – Winnipeg International Airport

In the departures hall, you can even stand in the shadow of James Armstrong Richardson who has graced the hall in a Monopoly Style “rich man” jacket. 

Air Canada’s check in today was handled at a podium check in with bags wheeled over to a conveyor belt immediately behind. 

A global first for me; security screening today courtesy of a CATSA representative that had blue dyed hair. 

Locating the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Winnipeg Domestic:

We headed for the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge opposite Gate 9 in the Domestic Hall. There is no lounge on the US Transborder “Pre Clearance Area side”. With a simple layout, it’s really easy to find. After clearing security, turn left and you just have to keep walking down the concourse until you come to it.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Winnipeg
Map Courtesy of Winnipeg Richardson Airport Website

There was plenty of seating in the departure concourse for the narrow body planes that usually serve Winnipeg. There were also great daylight views for the airport with tall windows that were floor to ceiling.

Domestic Departures Concourse – YWG

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge is located almost near Gate 9 in the Domestic Concourse. There aren’t that many gates here so it’s not all to hard to find.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Entrance
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Signage

Accessing the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge:

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was accessed today courtesy of our business class ticket for our Air Canada Winnipeg – Vancouver business class flight. Unlike in the United States, Air Canada allows for lounge access when flying in domestic or trans-border first class.

You could also get access into the lounge through a business class ticket on Air Canada under the Star Alliance Lounge policy, by purchasing an annual lounge membership, or through select Canadian based credit card memberships.

The lounge itself is located on the same level as the departures concourse so there is no elevator to ride in order to gain access to the lounge.

Inside the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge:

The compact, but comfortable Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge offered capacity for 80 persons, a general seating area, computers, TV area, tables and chairs and a few loungers. 

Unfortunately, with the lounge being on the same level as the concourse, the lounge offers views towards the street side or the lessor used side of the airline apron. This makes the views a lot less interesting looking at plain tarmac.

Maple Leaf Lounge Chairs

We were able to locate some semi private chairs right at the rear of the lounge that were partitioned off from the rest of the lounge space. These chairs were facing the apron, and had convenient and comfortable footstools.

Lounge Chairs with a private space at the rear
Private Loungers at the Rear of the Maple Leaf Lounge
MrsWT73 getting comfortable
Making Use of Every Space

The lounge also offered a small television media area that was occupied on our visit.

Media Zone

Food and Beverage:

The Maple Leaf Lounge offered a full light lunch today consisting of turkey and vegetarian sandwiches, two salads (pasta and couscous) along with two soups. It was a perfectly acceptable alternative to the TGIF Friday restaurant in the secure side of the domestic concourse. 

Dining Area
Lounge Tables and Chairs
Food Servery
Prepared Sandwiches for Lunch

Lunch was paired with some complimentary self pour wines. Today’s offerings were Wolf’s Blass Chardonnay or Sumac Ridge Gewürztraminer in the whites, along with Eagle hawk Cabernet Sauvingon and Graffinga Malbec on the reds. A decent amount of second label liquors were also on offer. 

Sumac Ridge and Wolf Blass White Wines
Self Pour Hard Liquor
Self Pour Hard Liquor

We had a good snack here before getting on board the 2.5 hour flight home. It’s always a great thing when you can actually leave a lounge feeling fuller than when you arrived and this was no exception.

Lunch: Soup and a Sandwich

A Lounge with a View:

There were nice views over the tarmac to the Four Points Sheraton Winnipeg Airport where we started earlier. The old terminal foodprint is still excavated by the air bridge stairs and the decommissioned overpass on the right hand side of the photograph. 

The Views towards the Four Points by Sheraton

My Thoughts on the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Winnipeg Domestic:

Overall, the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounges haven’t suffered the death of cuts that the rest of the Air Canada Top Tier experience has suffered. It’s by no means the best lounge experience out there, but in comparison to some of the US lounge offerings, it’s a reasonable and pleasant experience.

If you’ve been through the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Winnipeg, was your experience as filling as ours?

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