Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge International, Vancouver International Airport, Canada
Our Air Canada Business Class International Departure had us departing through Air Canada’s top lounge offering on the West Coast. Air Canada doesn’t offer an international lounge at this level west of Toronto, making this location among the most exclusive that the Vancouver International Airport has to offer.
This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. 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.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Vietnam, Maldives and India. Round the World #3 in Star Alliance Business Class via Air Canada, Asiana, Singapore, Air India, Turkish Airlines Business Class
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver International
- Air Canada Business Class: Vancouver International – Seoul Incheon
- The Nest Hotel, A Member of Design Hotels, Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class Lounge: Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers, Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sights and Sounds of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Restaurant Review: Nhà Hàng Ngon, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
- Trading at Ben Thanh Market and Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. Travelling Ho Chi Minh City to Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. The Canals of Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Ho Chi Minh City Airport Lounge – Fin Bar
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore
- Westin Singapore
- Shopping at Retail Giants on Orchard Road, Singapore
- Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge: Changi Airport Terminal 2
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
- Hotel Jen Maldives Malé by Shangri La, Malé, Maldives
- Street Life in Malé. A Day Walking the Republic’s Maldivian Capital
- Maldivian Moonmia Domestic Lounge, Malé Ibrahim Nasir Domestic
- Maldivan Airlines: Malé – Koodhoo
- Park Hyatt Maldives
- Circumnavigating Hadadaa Island, Maldives
- The Guided Back of House Tour, Park Hyatt Maldives
- Snorkelling the Park Hyatt Maldives House Reef
- Sunsets on Hadahaa Island, Hudavdoo Atoll, Maldives
- The Leeli Lounge – Male International Airport
- Air India: Male Thiruvananthapuram
- Air India: Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai
- Air India Maharajah Lounge: Chennai Madras International Airport
- Air India Business Class: Chennai – New Delhi
- The Leela Palace, New Delhi, India
- Jama Masjid, New Delhi
- Stepping into Chandi Chowk, New Delhi, India
- Overland Travel: New Delhi to Agra by BMW Luxury Sedan
- The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
- The Walled City of Agra, Agra, India
- Air India Maharajah Lounge, Indira Ghandi Domestic, New Delhi
- Air India: New Delhi – Jaipur
- The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
- Walking the Old City of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and City Palace, Jaipur
- A Day in the Footsteps of Royalty, Touring Amber Fort, Jaipur
- Air India: Jaipur – New Delhi
- ITC Muraya Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, New Delhi
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, Indira Ghandi International Airport, New Delhi
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: New Delhi – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk Business Lounge
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Montreal
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Montreal Domestic
- Air Canada Business Class: Montreal – Vancouver
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge YVR International, Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
This review is of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in the International wing of the Vancouver International Airport. For other lounges in the Vancouver International “D” Wing of the airport that are accessible with an international departure boarding pass, please see our reviews of the Plaza Premium International Lounge, the SkyTeam International Lounge, or in the competing One World Alliance, the British Airways Galleries Lounge and the Cathay Pacific Lounge.
Checking into Air Canada Business Class:
We left the house on a grey Vancouver day and took the always-convenient Aerocar to the airport. Today’s ride was a Lincoln Town Car.
The Air Canada priority check in desks for Vancouver International has now moved all together to the domestic terminal (with the sole exception of Transborder flights that require US Customs Pre-Clearance). We were checked in for our Air Canada Business Class Vancouver – Seoul Incheon flight fairly quickly with boarding passes issued on AC card stock all the way to Saigon.
We were issued YVR Fast Track stickers on our boarding cards. We had a leisurely walk today past the regular international departures check in desks, filled today with Asian flights. Although we qualified for the Fast Track line, the Nexus line was actually quicker and was absent of any airport staff actually checking to see if we were cardholders.
Locating the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver International:
We headed to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge International, which was Immediately after the security screening checkpoint. It is hard to miss and is immediately after security.
In practical terms, after you clear security, the lounge will be right in front of you. It’s so close, you can see the security screening ribbon in the bottom right hand side of the photograph.
Accessing the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge:
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver International is accessed through a variety of means.
The easiest way to gain access is to purchase an international ticket on any Star Alliance Carrier in Business Class. As we were travelling in Air Canada Business Class on our Air Canada Vancouver – Seoul Incheon, we were permitted access courtesy of the class of our ticket.
Access is also available for Star Alliance Gold members departing in any class of service on Star Alliance Carriers. Aeroplan Top Tier members at Elite 50K and higher members are also able to access this lounge courtesy of Star Alliance Gold Status. The lounge does not belong to Priority Pass, although you may get an opportunity to purchase a day pass at your point of purchase if purchasing through Air Canada’s ticketing channels for $50 CAD.
It’s also worth noting that this particular lounge is not accessible if departing on a domestic or Transborder ticket to the United States, as those flights depart from a different portion of the airport.
Inside the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge:
I’ve been through there several times over the years. Initially, I was expecting great things but I fear that over time, this place has been outclassed and out done by its competition. There were small seating areas that have been modernized with slightly newer chairs.
A light flight board of Star Alliance flights departing from this lounge. Only the Star Alliance flights were listed today on the in lounge flight display.
Food and Beverage:
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was offering a small selection of small man sandwiches available at the food island, along with the usual Maple Leaf Lounge contemporary salads. I generally find with Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges that there is usually enough for a serious snack at meal times, but not enough for a meal replacement within the lounge itself.
I’ll give Air Canada some credit here for offering a Pho soup station within the lounge. It’s been marketed as innovative food concepts within their lounges. This was more like a grade school attempt since the products weren’t super fresh. I offer the “Thumbs Up” anyway for offering something different. However, thumbs down for the small cup-o-soup style containers that the Pho is supposed to go into. I could barely fit two pieces of chicken and a small thimbleful of noodles in mine before it started overflowing.
In terms of wine and liquor, they have shrunk the wine glasses here in that they are so small, I thought they had put out liqueur glasses instead of the actually wine glasses. It was a bit of another example of cost control going overboard…
The boarding cards now have classy markings that indicate that you are on a “Business Reward” and an AC Credit Card Holder.
A View from the Lounge:
The nicest feature here were the natural daylight windows and a great view of the apron. With the lounge being close to security, and not further out on the pier, the views were reasonable, but consisted of more far away views of aircraft. We had views of Air Canada’s newest Boeing 787-8’s aircraft immediately outside the windows.
We enjoyed the lounge before heading out to our Air Canada Business Class Vancouver – Seoul Incheon international flight.
My Thoughts on the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver International:
All in all, this place was slightly past its prime on this particular visit. There even exist much nicer Maple Leaf Lounges within the system and the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Toronto International comes to mind. I even preferred the Plaza Premium International Lounge for nicer furnishings up the way but Mrs WT73 preferred this location. Indeed, it’s a bit of a toss between the two. The Plaza Premium Lounge has the advantage of being brand new with higher quality and clean furnishings, where as the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge has much better food and beverage. Maple Leaf Lounge regulars will note that the product in these lounges aren’t outstanding or world class my any means – easily trounced by any American Express Centurion Lounge found at other airports such as American Express Centurion Las Vegas or American Express Centurion San Francisco or even more locally at the Cathay Pacific Lounge further down the concourse.