Montreal Airport (YUL): New & Improved Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge
What Is an Airport Lounge?
An airport lounge is a VIP area, usually associated with a specific airline or airline alliance that offers business class, frequent or paying customers a VIP experience. Generally, once you enter a lounge, everything is free of charge, including wifi, food, alcohol and magazines.
If you're not a frequent flyer, you may roll your eyes at this as a ridiculous concept. However, if, like me, you spend entire weeks worth of time on hundreds of flights each year, a decent meal and a shower while in transit gets to be more of a necessity.
Anyone can put up with the unpleasantness of air travel on short hauls or when you fly a couple of times a year. But, when it's your lifestyle or job a little extra comfort can really be necessary.
The Sad Reality of Frequent Budget Flying
At the end of February, sadly, I'm set to lose my Air Canada Star Alliance Gold Status. Air Canada has been making it harder and harder for economy class passengers to make status.
I've recently been mentally preparing a list of lounges around the globe that I'm willing to pay to enter. Because, let me tell you, not all airport lounges are created equal!
Exciting Improvements in Montreal
The newest addition to the list? The Maple Leaf Lounge in Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal. The lounge was renovated and officially reopened on December 1, 2016. And boy, is it giving the other Maple Leaf Lounges a run for their money!
The lounge now has a full-service bar with a staff member that doubles as a bartender and barista, ready to whip up cocktails and fancy coffees for you on demand! They have both domestic and imported beer on tap.
I happened to be there around supper time and there was a chef's station, with stir-fry being made to order, on site. There were also multiple, quality pasta, meat and other dishes to choose from, along with a soup and salad bar. Also, the traditional Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge "Nacho bar" (if you can call it that) was stepped up a notch. Much more impressive than other lounges in Canada!
The lounge features a bar area, dining area, lounge area and a business area. It also features full showers, which are ideal for long layovers.
As a matter of fact, this is, by far, the nicest Maple Leaf Lounge that I have experienced in Canada.
My favourites, in order, are:
Have you tried other Maple Leaf Lounges? Which ones have impressed you the most? There are so many that I have yet to visit!
Which ones are your least favourite? cough I'm looking at you, Halifax.
And, in the near future, there's an article coming up about how to get paid lounge access if you aren't a gold member. So stay tuned for that!