Introduction: Montreal To New York, With A Stop In Italy
Review: Sheraton Montreal Airport
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal Airport
Review: Lufthansa Business Class A330 Montreal To Munich
Review: Renaissance Naples Mediterraneo
Review: VIP Caruso Lounge Naples Airport
Review: Meridiana Business Class 767 Naples To New York
Review: Hyatt Herald Square New York
Review: The New York EDITION Hotel
My flight from Montreal to Munich was scheduled to depart at 8:15PM, so I headed to the airport at around 4PM, given that I had to check-out of my hotel at that time. Upon arriving at the airport I followed the signage towards international departures, which was quite a haul from where the shuttle dropped off.
There’s a shared check-in area for the Swiss flight to Zurich, as well as the Lufthansa flights to Frankfurt and Munich, and it was pure chaos. Fortunately the first & business class lines weren’t too long, but the economy line snaked around the terminal, and I can’t imagine how long it would have taken to get through it.
At first they didn’t want to check me in since they said it was “too early” for the Munich flight, but when I explained that I only had hand baggage, they agreed.
I followed the signage towards security, where there was a fast track lane that I was through in a matter of minutes. I then turned left to head in the direction of my departure gate.
Lufthansa uses the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, which is located between gates 52 & 53. This required going through the duty free shops, and was probably a five minute walk at a fast pace.
The lounge has a sleek exterior, with the reception area being on the lower floor, and then stairs and an elevator leading up to the second level.
Let me start by saying that I expected this lounge to be roughly on par with the other Maple Leaf Lounges I’ve visited. I’ve reviewed the Maple Leaf Lounges in London, Frankfurt, Toronto, and Vancouver, and I’ve been very impressed by all of them. However, I didn’t realize that the Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal was recently renovated, and that this would be the nicest business class lounge operated by a North American carrier that I’ve visited (though I haven’t been to the United Polaris Lounge Chicago).
I apologize for the lack of pictures of some areas of the lounge, but I try to respect the privacy of others in lounges, so I did my best to take pictures that avoid people as much as possible.
Near the entrance on the second floor was a dark room with lots of plants, which didn’t photograph especially well, but was cool.
Then the rest of the lounge had hardwood floors, and stylish and fresh-looking furniture.
As an aviation geek I appreciated the Air Canada 787 model in the new livery.
Then there was a large room, which had the dining area, leather seats along the windows, etc.
I especially love these seats, which are cozy and private.
The centerpiece of the lounge was a gorgeous bar.
In addition to the traditional leather seats arranged in rows, along the windows were about half a dozen relaxation chairs, which had recliners.
The lounge had stunning views, both of the gate area and of the taxiways and runways in the distance.
Hi, Air China!
In the back corner of the lounge was a station with pretzels and a Lavazza coffee machine.
The main buffet area was back near the entrance to the lounge, close to the bar, and was very impressive. Not only did I think the design was beautiful, but the selection was excellent as well. When I first arrived they were between meals, so the selection consisted of fresh veggies, a couple of types of salad, chips with several types of dip, two soups, dessert (including cookies, mousse, and fruit salad), etc.
There was also a selection of self serve wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee, etc.
Around dinnertime the food selection got significantly better, though. It included things like green peas pilaf, butter chicken, grilled vegetables, chickpea and kale madras curry, mac & cheese, vegetables with chicken, etc.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, there was also a cooking station with a chef, where you could custom order things.
Here’s the menu of things you could order, which includes paninis and stir fry:
I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so had some soup and curry (and too much bread, now that I’m looking at the pictures).
On top of everything else, I loved the fact that you could have coffee drinks freshly made at the bar. While the Lavazza automated coffee machines are already as good as non-barista made coffee gets (in my opinion), you could even have the bartender make you an espresso, cappuccino, etc. I ordered a cappuccino, and it was fantastic.
I spent a couple of hours in the lounge getting caught up on work. Boarding for my flight to Munich was scheduled for 7:35PM, so I left the lounge at around 7:20PM. My flight was departing from gate 59, which was just a short walk from the lounge.
While the Lufthansa A330 was already parked at the gate, unfortunately they were running a bit late on servicing the aircraft.
Boarding only began at 7:55PM, about 20 minutes behind schedule. Lufthansa HON Circle members (Lufthansa’s top tier elite status that requires 600,000 elite qualifying miles every two years) get “personal assistance” as a perk, though it seemed like the two HON Circle members on my flight didn’t get that, and weren’t happy. So they went up to the gate agent and requested to be allowed to board ahead of everyone else, which they allowed.
The lady behind me in line saw this, and said that she was also entitled to priority boarding as a Senator member. The agent explained that priority boarding referred to the line she was already in. After that was all sorted, boarding officially began.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal bottom line
I didn’t come into this lounge with any particular expectations, since I hadn’t even realized that Air Canada opened a new lounge in Montreal. However, I was very impressed. The lounge design was gorgeous, the food selection excellent, and they even had properly made espresso drinks, which gets them bonus points. This is probably the best business class lounge operated by a North American carrier that I’ve visited.