After arriving in Vancouver, I had a couple hours before my redeye to Toronto and spent most of that in the Air Canada domestic Maple Leaf Lounge.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver (Domestic) Review
The domestic lounge has a cool mountain-like facade on the outside, with a towering entrance you cannot help but to notice when entering.
Hours + Location + Access Requirements
This lounge is currently open daily from 4:30AM to 10:30PM except for Saturday, when it closes at 11:30PM. It is located near Gate 29 in the domestic terminal.
Access is reserved for Star Alliance business or first class passengers as well as Star Alliance Gold status holders traveling on a Star Alliance flight. United Club and Maple Leaf Lounge members also have accesss, as do Aeroplan 35K members (which are Star Silver, not Star Gold).
Upon entering and scanning your credentials, you can proceed upstairs where you will find seating to the left or right of the landing.
The lounge is split into two seating areas and a dining area. Seats were widely available at 9:00PM, though power ports were in short supply (I found a wall plug…it seems the consoles between chairs do not have any).
I chucked at all the no smoking signs…hasn’t indoor smoking in Vancouver been banned for 15 years? (and I bet even longer in this lounge)
Food + Drink
This lounges uses a combination of buffet and an on-demand a la carte service called @ la table service.
Each table in the lounge has a sticker with a QR code. Scan that your mobile phone and it opens a menu, from which you can order a number of tapas-sized hot dishes. These are delivered directly to your table.
I had ordered a cheese quesadilla and chicken flatbread with cheese, tomatoes, and green onions.
Both were soggy – but the problem was less the food and more simply that they were not left in the oven long enough (or at all – they tasted like they had been microwaved).
The buffet included an identical selection to the Maple Leaf Lounge in Los Angeles, with pre-packaged food and soft drinks self-service while alcohol was located behind a plexiglass barrier and served by a pair of bartenders.
Sadly, Air Canada has the the same deplorable (yes, that’s a strong word, but appropriate) coffee machines in its Vancouver lounge as it does in Los Angeles. Trust me: stay away from cappuccinos or lattes, because the machine cannot foam milk.
Restrooms + Showers
Restrooms are located in the rear of the lounge and were clean, with soap and hand lotion from Molton Brown.
This lounge does not offer shower facilities.
I’m generally pretty good with technology, but I could not get the a la carte menu to open, so I asked for some assistance from a roaming staff member. For whatever reason, the menu would not load on my phone, but he pulled his out his phone and we ordered off his. I thought that was a very kind gesture and a display of excellent service.
Printing, scanning (to email), and copying is available.
The lounge has excellent views of the tarmac, ideal for plane spotting.
I was able to enjoy a light meal and get some work done during my layover in Vancouver and appreciated that this Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge has already restored some self-service elements.
It was only a short walk to my connecting gate, where I would shortly fly to Toronto.