I recently visited the Maple Leaf Lounge in Ottawa before catching a flight back to Toronto. It was my first time visiting this lounge, and I was glad to tick another Maple Leaf Lounge off of my list.
Let’s have a look at the lounge and see how we fared during our short stay.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Ottawa – Access
My wife Ashley and I arrived at the airport two hours before our scheduled departure to Toronto. The airport was very quiet on a Sunday evening, with no line at security.
We arrived at the Maple Leaf Lounge, which is located between Gates 18 and 19, well in advance of our scheduled departure time.
The lounge is open between 4:30am and 6:30pm from Tuesday to Saturday, and between 4:30am and 7:30pm on Sunday and Monday.
Both of us have American Express Aeroplan Reserve Cards, which give us unlimited access to domestic and transborder Maple Leaf Lounges. Through our Aeroplan Elite Status, with her as a 35K and me as a Super Elite, we also had complimentary access.
We headed up the elevator to the lounge, which is located on the second floor of the airport.
The friendly lounge agent had us scan our boarding passes, and we were granted access to the lounge.
The lounge’s lobby is similar to many other Maple Leaf Lounges, with a replica aircraft, several clocks displaying the time in other parts of the world, and Air Canada’s maple leaf logo.
When we entered, there was only one other person in the lounge, which wasn’t surprising given how quiet the airport was. I’ve often visited the Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge, and it is usually very busy, so this was a nice departure from the bustling of a busy lounge.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Ottawa – Seating
Upon entry, there is a dining area to the left, lounge chairs straight ahead, and a business centre to the right.
The business centre has workstations and a printer in a private area on one flank of the lounge.
The primary seating area has a number of seats set up in clusters of three, with small tables in between. Opposite the main buffet, there are five lounge chairs surrounding a television, which was playing news throughout our stay.
This area overlooks the tarmac, with views of aircraft waiting to depart.
In the main dining area, there are a few circular tables set up for individuals, couples, and small groups. The tables can be pushed together for larger groups, or pulled apart for individuals or couples.
The dining area is connected to the bar and buffet, which then opens up to another seating area. As you exit the bar and buffet area, there are a few more small tables, as well as high-top seating that faces gates on the opposite side of the airport.
With power outlets available, this would be a good place to get a bit of work done, too.
Toward the rear of the lounge, there are a number of chairs set up in groups of two or three. These chairs are set up for socializing around a table, perhaps with a beverage.
We opted to grab seats in the rear corner of the lounge overlooking the tarmac, and relaxed for around an hour before heading to the gate.
The washrooms are located near the main entrance to the lounge via a small hallway. The men’s room was clean and tidy. Showers are not available in this lounge.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Ottawa – Bar & Dining
The bar area serves standard Maple Leaf Lounge offerings. There were a number of standard hard alcohol options, as well as domestic draft beer, wines, soft drinks, and still or sparkling water, which were served by a staff member.
In the main buffet area, there is a fridge with self-serve soft drinks, two Lavazza coffee machines, a variety of tea, a refrigerator with prepared snacks, and a buffet table with potato chips, cookies, and bottled water.
The snack menu during our visit read as follows:
Unfortunately, there weren’t any hot food options available through the @ la carte service, as is offered in other Maple Leaf Lounges. Having enjoyed a delicious Iraqi sandwich with our friends in Ottawa prior to leaving, I wasn’t keen on any of the cold options, so I opted for some potato chips, a cookie, and a gin and tonic.
It would be great to see hot food items become available in the coming months, as COVID-19 restrictions ease and services return to regularly scheduled programming.
Compared to other Maple Leaf Lounges in Canada, the Ottawa lounge was newer and didn’t appear as tired. I appreciated the wood and metal accents throughout the lounge, the quiet space, and the variety of available seating.
The absence of hot food options was disappointing, though, and I hope that it becomes available soon. Personally, I don’t gravitate towards cold food options in lounges, so hot food is a must for a positive lounge experience.
I hope to return to Ottawa for another visit this year, and I’ll be sure to give this Maple Leaf Lounge another shot then.