There’s a lot to like about the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Montreal (I’m specifically referring to the one in the International Terminal). It’s fairly large, there’s a lot of really great food, and it looks fantastic.
Of course, there are some things not to like about it as well. The main issue is that it can get extremely crowded at times. If you’re not comfortable sitting shoulder to shoulder with a complete stranger as nibble on a plate of chicken curry and cheese cubes before your flight to Paris, you’re gonna hate this place.
And yes, the irony of being so oddly specific about that scenario will become clear in a few moments…
Where is the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge located at YUL?
The Air Canada lounge for international business class passengers is located at the east end of the International Terminal near gate 52. Although the main entrance is wide out in the open, it’s still a bit hard to find thanks to the stealthy Air Canada brand colors (black and red). It blends in quite well with all the retail shops around it.
The layout of this YUL Air Canada International Business Class Lounge
As I already mentioned, this is a fairly large lounge. It’s essentially one large room partitioned off into sections, and I immediately liked how open and spacious it felt. Of course, that was negated by the fact that it was so crowded and there was no place to sit when I arrived at approximately 6pm. But it’s a nice layout nonetheless.
What is the seating like?
I hesitate to speak for her directly, but I have a strong suspicion that Goldilocks would be quite comfortable in the Montreal Maple Leaf Lounge. There are a wide variety of seating types (from plush couches to standing desks ideal for working), and it won’t be hard to find a seat for the kind of lounging that you’re looking to do.
Essentially, the seating options in this lounge are fantastic – and the only problem you’ll have is being able to find a seat at all if it’s busy. This place fills up fast.
Food and drinks
Easily one of the best things about this particular Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge is the food and drinks. There is an impressive buffet of food available at all hours, featuring bite-size finger snacks, pasta, bread, and soups.
The only problem is that all the food is relegated to one small area. It gets really crowded – especially around traditional meal time, so you’re going to have to get aggressive if you want to eat. Breaking the food up into multiple sections (just like how they did it in the CDG Terminal 2F Air France Lounge) would make eating a lot less stressful in here!
If the soup and salad buffet isn’t going to be enough for you, there is a staffed hot food bar located right next to the buffet offering more substantial plates of food.
Drinks (including alcohol) are plentiful. There’s even beer on tap in this lounge, which kind of made me wish that I was a beer drinker. Everyone looked like they were having fun pouring their own glasses of suds.
How to get into the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge located in the International Terminal at YUL
Getting into the Maple Leaf Lounge for International travelers at the Montreal airport isn’t any different than any other Maple Leaf Lounge in Canada. Here’s a brief summary of the best ways to do it:
- International business class ticket holders on Air Canada (or any Star Alliance airline) will get you complementary access (this is how I got in – I was flying Air Canada 777-300 business class to Paris).
- Altitude Super Elite, and Aeroplan 75k, 50k, and 35K members are welcome.
- Star Alliance Gold members have full access.
- You can purchase an Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership (or a single-use day pass).
- Certain credit cards (such as an Aeroplan Black or Business card) allow complimentary access.
Note that these requirements change all the time, so be sure to check the Air Canada website for the latest lounge acceptance criteria.
Pros and cons of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at the Montreal Airport
Even though I was really turned off by how crowded it was, I still found it to be an excellent place to pop in to get a quick bite to eat. I had a lot of mixed emotions as I was sitting there eating however, and this pros and cons list summarizes what I was thinking:
- The spread of complementary food is impressive for an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. It’s all very fresh, there’s plenty of it, and I appreciated the wide variety of options.
- The wide variety of seating options makes it a very comfortable place to relax before a flight. Need a cushy couch to sink into? They got that. Need a plush chair with a side table to get some work done? They got that too.
- It’s large, very bright, and it feels high end.
- The crowds! Of course it’s not going to be crowded all the time, but in the evenings (right before a large bank of flights to Europe), it’s going to be miserable.
- The seating layout is extremely dense. If it’s crowded, there will be no avoiding rubbing elbows with complete strangers.
- It’s location at the east end of the International Terminal might be inconvenient for anyone with a flight departing from the west end. My advice? Wear comfortable walking shoes (and learn to curse in French).
Nice review! Btw, when will you post the review for the YUL-CDG flight?
Thanks Peter! I’m putting the final touches on it now, and it’ll most likely be published tomorrow…
I was curious about the shower facilities. Did you get a chance to see them. I’m hoping that people are more hungry and thirsty and not interested in showering. Next month I will be making a connection in Montreal to Lima from Vancouver.
Hi Will – I didn’t get a look at the shower facilities unfortunately. It was so crowded that all I wanted to do was eat and get out! Based on the crowds though (especially in the evenings before all the flights to Europe), it’s probably safe to assume that you’d have to wait a while for an opening.