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I got to LAX at around noon, and our flight to London was after 9PM. I had some errands to run in the city, though was back at the airport by around 2:30PM.
My original plan was to check out Virgin Atlantic’s new Clubhouse at LAX, which Nick recently reviewed. I love Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses, and the one at New York JFK is among my favorite lounges in the US (and perhaps even in the world).
Based on my understanding of the joint venture between Delta and Virgin Atlantic I believe I should have had access to the lounge, and the terms seem to back me. However, the agents denied me access and I didn’t put up a fight. Virgin Atlantic backed the agents on Twitter, claiming this lounge doesn’t allow Delta customers due to “capacity” issues. This is the only Clubhouse in the US where that’s the case.
— Virgin Atlantic (@VirginAtlantic) September 26, 2015
Anyway, since I was in Terminal 2 anyway (keep in mind at LAX you can access any terminal with a same day boarding pass), I figured I’d check out the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX, which is also a Priority Pass lounge. Priority Pass Select memberships come with several credit cards, including:
- The Citi Prestige® Card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, and you can take two guests or immediate family members for free
- The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express also come with a Priority Pass Select membership, though only the cardmember can access the lounge for free; additional guests cost $27 each
With that out of the way, the Air Canada Lounge Maple Leaf Lounge is located one level up from the main concourse. Terminal 2 was much nicer than I remember it. Certainly not as nice as the new Tom Bradley International Terminal, but also nothing for the airport to be embarrassed of.
The lounges are located one level up from the main concourse, and can be accessed either by stairs or elevator. The stairs looked kind of spiffy, so I took them.
At the top of the stairs the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was located to the right, while the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse was located to the left.
The entrance to the lounge is pretty typical for Maple Leaf Lounges, with some plants and an automatic glass door.
Inside there were three podiums, as well as an Air Canada 787 model. The agent was rather stoic, and after presenting my Priority Pass card and signing the “slip” I was admitted to the lounge.
Once inside the lounge it immediately looked familiar, as I recall it being the former Air New Zealand Lounge LAX. The lounge is quite massive, almost puzzlingly so, given that Air Canada doesn’t have that huge of a presence at LAX.
The lounge is long and rectangular. The first half of the lounge consists mostly of leather lounge chairs facing one another.
As you go further into the lounge there’s the buffet area, then a dining area with red chairs, and then more leather seats for lounging.
Then behind that is a business center with a few PCs.
And then behind that is even more seating. Unless this lounge is contracted out to a bunch of other airlines, I can’t imagine it would ever be full.
The lounge boasts nice views of the Terminal 2 & Terminal 3 tarmacs, as well as views of runway 24L & 24R, where there was quite some interesting traffic taking off (including my beloved Lufthansa A380 <3).
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the lounge was the food spread. As stated above, the buffet was located in the center of the lounge.
The buffet had a few types of salad, including iceberg lettuce, quinoa, and broccoli.
Then there were several types of cold cuts, veggies, cheese, and dips (including hummus).
On the other side there were pita and tortilla chips, as well as salsa, olives, and cookies which were too good for anyone’s sake.
Then there were two types of soup, including tomato soup and chicken noodle soup.
One oddity about this lounge is that there is no alcohol. There were soft drinks, juice, (Fiji) water, etc. The Air Canada website notes that they’re “temporarily” not able to serve alcohol at this location:
While we are temporarily unable to serve alcohol at our Maple Leaf Lounge™ at Los Angeles International Airport, we are happy to offer our guests a luxurious place to relax in style.
On top of that there was an espresso machine and then a Keurig coffee machine, with a bunch of Keurig “pods” next to it.
I just had some tomato soup and pita bread, which was quite good.
Perhaps the funniest part of the buffet spread had to be this older couple, whose minds were literally blown by the food spread. The husband and wife both walked up to the buffet, looked at it, and the wife said “OH… MY… GOD! Look at this food spread. What planet are we on?!” The husband chimed in with “yeah, I’ve never seen anything like this at a United Club before.” Hah!
I spent about an hour in the lounge catching up on work, and then headed over to Terminal 5 for our departure to London.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Los Angeles bottom line
I was quite impressed by the Air Canada Lounge LAX. The lounge was spacious, modern, and had a pretty impressive food spread, especially for a Priority Pass lounge. Since you can use this lounge regardless of which terminal you’re flying out of, I think it’s a great option for Priority Pass members passing through Los Angeles.
If you’ve used the Air Canada Lounge LAX, how was your experience? Do any Priority Pass members plan on checking out this lounge soon?