During my mileage run in early April, I got a few hours off in Montreal. I decided to stop by Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Relax and work in domestic terminals.
I’ve been to this lounge several times before, and knew exactly what to expect. Here is an overview of my experience.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal (Domestic) – Access
Arriving from Halifax on a morning flight, I took a short walk from the gate of my arrival to the Maple Leaf Lounge.
If you start the flight to Montreal, turn right after passing through security and you’ll find the lounge shortly after Tim Hortons’ lineup.
The lounge is located on a floor above the main exit floor, between Gates 1 and 3 in the domestic terminal.
This lounge is open daily from 4:15 a.m. to 9 p.m. Depending on the time of day during your visit, you will either see the lounge jam packed or people’s life completely deprived.
After going through the sliding door, there is a staircase on the left or an elevator on the right to take you to the lounge. The exterior of the elevator was arranged in an advertisement for the American Express Airplane Reserve Card.
There are a few plants at the top of the stairs at the entrance to the lounge and a model plane. The check-in desk has clocks displaying time in major Canadian cities, as is typical for the Maple Leaf Lounge, as well as a flight information screen.
I have access to this lounge in several ways:
A friendly agent at the check-in desk greeted me and asked me to scan my boarding pass. I have met him several times in this lounge, and he has always seemed welcoming, polite and very helpful in any of my questions.
The light turned green and the machine beeped, allowing me to enter the lounge. I entered the lounge to have coffee and found a quiet place to sit for a while.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal (Domestic) – Seats
This lounge is larger than the Maple Leaf Lounge in Halifax that I visited before my previous flight. A sign on the wall indicates a maximum of 225 people.
This lounge has two main seating areas, as well as a small seating area and a separate work area.
Upon entering, a stained glass wall separates the main hallway from a seating area.
Behind the glass walls is a cluster of seats arranged in pairs, where there are options for pairs or groups of four. Along the wall, you’ll find lounge chairs that are ideal for pairs or singles, although if it’s busy, you’ll face the person next to you directly.
In the middle of this seating area is a high-top table with power outlet and USB port. This is where I spent most of my time, doing some work and sipping coffee.
The most popular seats are set in two groups of windows. These seats have a tarmac view, which is always a treat.
At the very end of this seating area is another set of lounge chairs with a round table in the middle. Next to these seats is a counter with an automatic Lavaza coffee machine and a television.
Moving away from this seating area, you will come to an area with lots of drinks, which then leads to the main dining area and another seating area. A separate alcove attached to the drinking area, where the business center is located.
Inside the business center, there are several split work desks, a high-top table and a printing station.
Between the beverage area and the food area are some small, round tables with bright red chairs. Again, the seats near the window are preferred, as there is a lot of foot traffic on the side of the others.
As you walk through it, there are a few small two-top dining tables in the main dining area window. Again, there’s a lot of foot traffic around here, so it might be better to find a quiet seat if you’re able.
Another large seating area just behind the dining area. Here, you’ll find a cluster of lounge chairs in two sets that include a table, a set of four chairs with a telescope by the window to do a planespot, and a row upon row in front of a large television.
Overall, the lounge has ample seats for dining, work, rest or socializing.
Although the lounge can get really busy, I personally didn’t feel like I was fighting for space. If it is available, and if the sun does not shine directly on its side window, I prefer to sit at the tip of the telescope.
The restrooms are located in a hallway next to the check-in desk. Inside, you’ll find standard Molton Brown products found in all Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. Considering the size of the lounge, the restrooms are relatively small.
There is no shower in this lounge.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal (Domestic) – Dining
The main buffet is located by the window near the secondary seating area. The area behind the buffet has been cordoned off for staff only.
Here, you’ll find cold grab-and-go items like fruit, pastries and ready meals as well as some fruit juices.
There is a fridge behind the main buffet area with lots of soft drinks and canned beer, which is probably why the area is surrounded. During my visit, especially the thirsty lounge guest Stancian filled his pockets with ducks under the couch lights, which I thought was a pretty bold move.
To the left of the main buffet is a large, empty table. Behind it are two coffee machines, a pickled tea and a glass of beer when alcohol is served after 11am.
Hot food was available during my stay, but only through it Table Each table in the service lounge has a QR code, which brings up a menu from which you can order hot food items. The breakfast menu during my stay was as follows:
On my flight to Montreal, I had an omnivorous parcel omelette, and since I would be served breakfast on my flight to Vancouver, I chose to order a meal in the lounge. Donuts didn’t look tempting though.
I thoroughly look forward to returning to the hot food buffet at Maple Leaf Lounge, whenever it can.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal (Native) – Bar
In the drinking area you will find most alcohol options. Alcohol service begins at 11 a.m., when plugs are removed from beer taps and liquor bottles are placed in dispensers.
In earlier times, alcohol was self-serving, but as we have seen in other Maple Leaf lounges, the staff at the lounge are still taking orders for wine and hard liqueur. I think wine and hard alcohol are ideal alternatives, hard alcohol is probably best used in mixed drinks and cannot be enjoyed on its own.
To the left of the hard alcohol is a soft drink machine and a juice dispenser. On the right is a refrigerator with lots of soft drinks and bottled water.
The draft beer dispenser is in direct contrast to this area. Given a very modest selection of Guinness, Molson Canadian, and Corset Light.
I could not enjoy the drink in this position, as the sun was still rising during my visit. I would like to see some fine beer options available, perhaps showing off some of the best beers available in Montreal and Quebec, in this regard.
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Montreal is a standard, totally awesome lounge. The lounge has many seating options for its large number of guests and includes basic food and drink options.
There is definitely room for growth in terms of available food and drink options, and the lounge is likely to have a refreshment sometime in the near future. I would rather stay here than wait at the gate or pay neatly for the airport’s medium food and drink options.