Air Canada opens a rejuvenated international lounge at Vancouver airport

By | September 28, 2017 | 0 Comment

© Air Canada

Air Canada’s premium international passengers at Vancouver airport can breathe a sigh of relief. After over a year of construction, the airline unveiled a new 13,500 sq. ft (1,250 sq. m.) Maple Leaf Lounge with a fresh new design, expanded amenities, and seating for over 250 passengers.

Located immediately across the Pier D security checkpoint, near gate 52, the new club spreads across two stories. The original lounge on the concourse level has been completely remodeled, and augmented with a new space upstairs, which served as a temporary lounge during construction.

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver boasts a fresh new design

Designed by Vancouver-based Gustavson Wylie Architects Inc, the new Air Canada international lounge at Vancouver airport has the DNA of the carrier’s newer lounges, with a number of unique local twists.

The decor retains Air Canada’s key signature design features. Customers are greeted by a grandiose Air Canada logo etched in an elegant maple wood partition. The buffet area features a trademark wine wall. And in the business zone, guests will find a convivial shared table—although the generic white table with red seats has made way for a gorgeous massive wood slab salvaged from a maple tree.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

The lounge receives ample natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows on the ground floor, and generous windows on the upper floor, which reveal views of the tarmac. Lightweight mesh partitions, a feature unique to the Vancouver location, let light flow while breaking up the open space into smaller, more intimate areas.

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All seats come with power outlets and a side table or coffee table, while artwork from Canadian artists dots the space.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

A grand staircase links the ground floor with the upper level, which was used as a temporary lounge during construction. The decor upstairs is lower key and the space more densely furnished, though it’s expected that the airline will make a few touch-ups.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Vancouver, BC (YVR) International

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver, BC (YVR) International

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Vancouver, BC (YVR) International

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver, BC (YVR) International

New amenities at the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver

With additional space come an expanded list of amenities.

In addition to a traditional cold and hot buffet, featuring a selection of snacks, appetizers, light fare and entrees, patrons will enjoy a selection of cooked-to-order dishes prepared live at a chef station, and a selection of wines and alcoholic beverages.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver, BC (YVR) International | © Air Canada

Wi-Fi is naturally available throughout. In addition, a business center is equipped with desktop computers and a printer/scanner.

Relaxation amenities include a quiet room with recliners, as well as spacious “spa-inspired” shower suites with rain shower heads.

Other amenities include a VIP room, a TV area, and a selection of newspapers and magazines.

The new Maple Leaf Lounge at YVR International: a much needed renovation

The new lounge replaces a venerable club which was built before Vancouver BC turned into the powerhouse that it has become, and prior to the advent of personal electronics.

SEE ALSO:  Air Canada opens new lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

While bright, airy, and relatively comfortable, the previous Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was showing signs of wear and tear, lacked international-grade amenities such as showers, and suffered from crowding at peak times, and a dire lack of power outlets.

The new club will be better suited to cope with Air Canada’s significant expansion out of Vancouver with recently added routes to Brisbane, Delhi, Dublin, Frankfurt, Nagoya, and Taipei, and planned service to Melbourne, Orlando, Paris, and Zurich.

Take a trip down the memory lane—here’s what the lounge looked like just over a year ago:

Access rules

The Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge welcomes:

  • Air Canada Business class passengers.
  • Business and First Class passengers departing on an international Star Alliance flight.
  • Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K, Elite 75K and Elite 50K members departing on an Air Canada or Star Alliance flight.
  • Star Alliance Gold Members departing on an Air Canada or Star Alliance flight.
  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members.
  • Aerican Express AeroplanPlus Platinum and Corporate Platinum card holders.
  • United Club members departing on a Star Alliance flight.

For more details, see the Maple Leaf Lounge in our index.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Vancouver, BC (YVR) International

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver, BC (YVR) International

Bottom line

Air Canada’s rejuvenated international Maple Leaf Lounge at Vancouver International airport Pier D will help the airline regain its footing in the ground services arena. The carrier’s fantastic on board experience, with spacious reverse herringbone seats on modern Boeing 787 aircraft, was somewhat dampened by a sub-par lounge experience.

The stakes remain high, as competitors are cajoling the booming Vancouver market and investing in luxurious facilities.

SEE ALSO:  The Great LAX Reshuffle: How To Find Your Lounge

In May 2016, Cathay Pacific opened a stunning lounge with a serene decor, elegant shower suites with L’Occitane products, and a noodle bar. Opened only at Cathay Pacific flight times, the club is bound to remain quieter and more intimate than the Maple Leaf Lounge.

Later this year, SkyTeam is slated to open a dedicated Exclusive Lounge, Not only the opening of the SkyTeam Lounge will offer customers of the alliance more space and amenities, but it will also help relieve the elegant but chronically crowded Plaza Premium Lounge. The latter will become a more tranquil culinary haven for pay-in customers and Priority Pass members.

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