The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge is a key part of the premium travel experience for Canadians.
Our national airline’s flagship airport lounges are a familiar part of the furniture at major Canadian airports, and you’ll get to visit quite a few Maple Leaf Lounge locations over the years by booking premium flights, maximizing credit card benefits, or earning Aeroplan Elite Status.
This post covers everything you need to know about getting access to the Maple Leaf Lounges in 17 airports across Canada, the US, and Europe.
In This Post
- Which Maple Leaf Lounges Are Open During COVID-19?
- Which Airports Have Maple Leaf Lounges?
- 1. Fly Air Canada or Star Alliance Business Class
- 2. Hold a Premium Aeroplan Credit Card
- 3. Have Aeroplan 35K Status or Higher
- 4. Use a Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Pass
- 5. Have Star Alliance Gold Status
- 6. Purchase Maple Leaf Lounge Access
- Other Air Canada Lounge Concepts
Which Maple Leaf Lounges Are Open During COVID-19?
All Maple Leaf Lounges and other Air Canada lounges were closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 until further notice.
Since then, Air Canada has been gradually reopening some of its lounges with new biosafety measures and hygiene protocols. Currently, the following three Maple Leaf Lounges are open:
- Vancouver (YVR) Domestic: By Gate 29
- Calgary (YYC): By Gate C50
- Toronto (YYZ) Domestic: Upper level, immediately past security
Note that the Montreal domestic lounge was originally promised to reopen “before Labour Day” in 2020, but has remained closed through to early 2021. As for the other Maple Leaf Lounges, with very few travellers flying at the moment, I wouldn’t expect any more lounges to reopen until the situation improves sometime down the line.
Which Airports Have Maple Leaf Lounges?
During regular times, Air Canada operates a network of 24 Maple Leaf Lounges across 17 global airports.
Below is a list of the airports around the world where you’ll encounter a Maple Leaf Lounge. Let’s begin with the Canadian locations:
Vancouver (YVR) Domestic: By Gate 29
Vancouver (YVR) Transborder: By Gate 84
Vancouver (YVR) International: By Gate 52
Calgary (YYC): By Gate C50
Edmonton (YEG): South Terminal, By Gate 56 (not accessible to passengers on transborder flights)
Saskatoon (YXE): By Gate 5
Regina (YQR): Opposite Gate 5
Winnipeg (YWG): By Gate 9 (not accessible to passengers on transborder flights)
Toronto (YYZ) Domestic: Upper level, immediately past security
Toronto (YYZ) Transborder: Upper level, immediately past security
Toronto (YYZ) Transborder Express: In the commuter terminal for Gates F84–F99
Toronto (YYZ) International: At the end of the walkway, prior to the escalators down to the main international concourse
Ottawa (YOW): By Gate 19 (not accessible to passengers on transborder flights)
Montreal (YUL) Domestic: By Gate 1
Montreal (YUL) Transborder: By Gate 72
Montreal (YUL) International: By Gate 52
Halifax (YHZ): By Gate 20
St. John’s (YYT): By Gate 12A
For a more in-depth look at the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge experience during regular times, you can check out my reviews of the Toronto international lounge, the Calgary lounge, and the Montreal international lounge.
There are also a handful of global Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges at some of Air Canada’s major outstations. These include:
Los Angeles (LAX): Terminal 6, 4th floor
Newark (EWR): Concourse A, at the end of the corridor upon turning back after the security line
New York (LGA): Concourse B, 3rd floor
London (LHR): Terminal 2B (satellite terminal), upper level
Paris (CDG): Terminal 2A, by Gate 37
Frankfurt (FRA): Terminal 1, Concourse B
There are a variety of ways to access the Maple Leaf Lounge. This page on the Air Canada website provides a good summary, and let’s go through each of the methods one-by-one.
1. Fly Air Canada or Star Alliance Business Class
You can access the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge if you hold a valid same-day boarding pass for a flight in business class on Air Canada or a Star Alliance partner.
Access is granted on business class tickets no matter how they were purchased (i.e., an outright paid fare, an upgrade, or an award ticket).
Business class passengers are not entitled to bring any guests with them, unless they pay a nominal fee per guest of about $20–30 depending on the time of day (and a roughly equivalent amount in the local currency for the international lounges).
You’ll also get access to the Maple Leaf Lounge if you’re flying in Air Canada Premium Rouge, but only if you’re travelling within Canada, the US, or the Sun destinations (Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean).
If your Premium Rouge flight is to Europe, Asia, Africa, or South America, then you’ll only have the option of purchasing Maple Leaf Lounge accessing on your reservation prior to the trip, and not at the airport itself.
(Given that you’re about to embark on long-haul Premium Rouge, though, that’ll probably be the least of your worries.)
2. Hold a Premium Aeroplan Credit Card
The new premium Aeroplan credit cards by TD, CIBC, and American Express offer unlimited access to select Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as a key benefit of the cards.
These cards include:
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
- American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
- American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
As a primary or secondary cardholder, you’re eligible to access Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges within North America prior to a same-day flight operated by Air Canada or a Star Alliance partner. Access to Maple Leaf Lounges located outside of North America is not included.
Until November 7, 2021, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege allows cardholders to bring in one guest for free as a promotional benefit. TD and American Express cardholders may also bring in guests, but they will be subject to a fee.
3. Have Aeroplan 35K Status or Higher
Aeroplan members with Aeroplan 35K status are also entitled to unlimited lounge access at domestic and transborder lounges at Canadian airports, as well as the Maple Leaf Lounges in the United States.
Meanwhile, Aeroplan 50K members and above are entitled to unlimited lounge access at any location around the world.
In addition, Aeroplan 50K members are able to use Maple Leaf Lounges in Canada and the US upon arrival in addition to before departure, which can be a great way to unwind after a long flight before heading into the city.
Furthermore, Aeroplan 50K members and above also get to bring in a very generous number of guests: a domestic partner and up to five dependent children aged 25 and under, as well as one additional guest. (Aeroplan 35K members are not allowed to bring in guests without paying the guest access fee of $20–30.)
4. Use a Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Pass
Any passenger travelling on an Air Canada flight may access the Maple Leaf Lounges in the domestic or transborder departure zones of Canadian airports, as well as the lounges in the United States, when in possession of a Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Pass.
There are a couple of ways to earn One-Time Guest Passes:
- Aeroplan members who earn Aeroplan 25K status may choose a set of two One-Time Guest Passes as a Select Benefit.
- Aeroplan members who earn Aeroplan 35K status receive a set of two One-Time Guest Passes as a Core Benefit.
- Aeroplan members who earn Aeroplan 50K status or Aeroplan 75K status receive a set of three One-Time Guest Passes as a Core Benefit.
- Aeroplan members who earn Aeroplan Super Elite status receive a set of four One-Time Guest Passes as a Core Benefit.
- Holders of the TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card or CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Card may earn a One-Time Guest Pass for every $10,000 per cardholder year, up to a maximum of four One-Time Guest Passes.
Starting in 2021, One-Time Guest Passes will be digitalized and accessible via your Aeroplan account. You may download them in PDF format and show them upon entering the lounge to gain access.
The One-Time Guest Passes earned from Aeroplan Elite Status may be transferred to anyone, regardless of whether they are travelling with the member or not.
(Indeed, since Aeroplan 35K members and above can already access Maple Leaf Lounges as an elite benefit, as discussed above, their One-Time Guest Passes are best used as a gift for others who happen to be travelling with or without them.)
On the other hand, the One-Time Guest Passes earned from the small business credit cards can only be used by the primary or secondary cardholder, or any guests accompanying them at the time of entry. They cannot be transferred to a third party.
5. Have Star Alliance Gold Status
In addition to Air Canada’s own elite members, travellers who have achieved Star Alliance Gold with any of Star Alliance’s other loyalty programs will also have access to Maple Leaf Lounges prior to any Star Alliance-operated flight in any class of service.
Star Alliance Gold members are also entitled to bring one guest into the lounge with them free of charge, while additional guests would be subject to the standard guest fee.
6. Purchase Maple Leaf Lounge Access
Finally, there are a few ways to purchase Maple Leaf Lounge access, none of which represent particularly good value, but are listed here for completeness’s sake.
The first is to get an Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership, which come in a few different shapes and sizes, depending on which lounge locations you’re interested in and whether the membership is for just yourself or you and a partner.
The annual price levels are pretty high, though, and the money would be much better spent towards, say, the annual fee on the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card, which would get you unlimited Maple Leaf Lounge access within North America in addition to a nice signup bonus too.
Then you have the option of buying Maple Leaf Lounge access on an eligible Air Canada fare if you’ve booked into the Latitude ($25 per person), Comfort ($40), or Flex ($50) fare classes.
The value here is pretty debatable, and I think it would mostly only make sense for business travellers who value the privacy and efficiency of having a workspace in the lounge.
Finally, the Paris Maple Leaf Lounge allows Air Canada passengers travelling in any class of service to purchase access for €42 per customer – again, a price point at which only a specific segment of travellers would consider worthwhile.
Other Air Canada Lounge Concepts
In addition to Maple Leaf Lounges, you may also have access to a few of Air Canada’s other lounge concepts, which they have been slowly building out across their Canadian hubs in recent years.
The Signature Suite provides an elevated luxury experience prior to your long-haul business class flight with Air Canada. Premium services include sit-down dining featuring dishes by acclaimed chef David Hawksworth, a variety of high-end cocktails, spirits, and champagne, and shower rooms with luxury skincare products from Molton Brown.
Access to the Signature Suite is extremely exclusive. You’ll only get access if you’re travelling on a paid business class fare on Air Canada, or if you’ve redeemed Aeroplan points for a Business (Flexible) reward in Air Canada business class.
You won’t get access to the Signature Suite if you’ve redeemed Aeroplan points for a Business (Lowest) award, been upgraded to business class as the result of IRROPs, if you’re flying on a Star Alliance partner in business class, or by virtue of Aeroplan Elite Status of any kind.
In addition to the Signature Suite, the first-ever Air Canada Cafe was opened in Toronto last year.
This space provides a simple grab-and-go alternative to the Maple Leaf Lounge, allowing business class passengers, Altitude Elite 50K members and higher, and Star Alliance Gold members travelling on domestic flights to drop in and pick up a barista-crafted coffee, juice, or snack, maybe sit down for a few minutes, and then head on to the gate.
As a Canadian premium traveller, you’ll never go too far without hanging out in a Maple Leaf Lounge somewhere, and you’ll soon become very familiar with the signature chips and salsa and chocolate chip cookies that are seemingly ubiquitous across every location.
The most common ways to gain access will be via your business class ticket or a premium Aeroplan co-branded credit card. You’ll also be rewarded with complimentary access if you travel frequently enough to earn Aeroplan 35K status or higher.
Currently, only the domestic Maple Leaf Lounge locations in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary are open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once the lounge network opens up again, I look forward to eventually visiting all the locations someday – by my count, only Saskatoon, Regina, Ottawa, New York LaGuardia, and Paris are left for me!