Review: Air Canada Lounge Los Angeles Airport

Filed Under: Air Canada
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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 the best airport lounges in the US, in my opinion.

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.

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:

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.

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LAX Terminal 2 airside

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.

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LAX Terminal 2 stairs to lounges

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LAX Terminal 2 stairs to lounges

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.

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LAX Terminal 2

The entrance to the lounge is pretty typical for Maple Leaf Lounges, with some plants and an automatic glass door.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX entrance

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX entrance

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.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX reception

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.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX seating

The lounge is long and rectangular. The first half of the lounge consists mostly of leather lounge chairs facing one another.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX seating

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX seating

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.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX seating

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX seating

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX seating

Then behind that is a business center with a few PCs.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX business center

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.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX seating

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX seating

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).

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX view

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX view

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.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX buffet

The buffet had a few types of salad, including iceberg lettuce, quinoa, and broccoli.

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Air Canada Lounge LAX lunch spread

Then there were several types of cold cuts, veggies, cheese, and dips (including hummus).

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Air Canada Lounge LAX lunch spread

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.

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Air Canada Lounge LAX lunch spread

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Air Canada Lounge LAX lunch spread

Then there were two types of soup, including tomato soup and chicken noodle soup.

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Air Canada Lounge LAX 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.

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Air Canada Lounge LAX drinks

On top of that there was an espresso machine and then a Keurig coffee machine, with a bunch of Keurig “pods” next to it.

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Air Canada Lounge LAX espresso machine

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Air Canada Lounge LAX coffee pods

I just had some tomato soup and pita bread, which was quite good.

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Air Canada Lounge LAX tomato soup

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?

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  1. That was a really fast fix of Terminal 2.

    Remember being there just about a year ago and it was dismal.

    Good to know.

  2. If I remember correctly the AC website stated that there’s no shower in this lounge but last time I was there I saw a door at the end of the lounge with a shower tag on it. Is that possible?

  3. Looks nice but is a lounge without booze really a lounge…or just a room with soup? Whatever their issue they need to fix that

  4. I’m just wondering who is writing this review

    At the top it states
    “SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 BY LUCKY”

    But the Twitter conversation with VS seems to be by Nick

  5. “Looks nice but is a lounge without booze really a lounge…or just a room with soup? Whatever their issue they need to fix that”

    As others have posted, it’s been over a year now that they’ve been having “issues” with their liquor license. I wonder who pissed off the licensing board? 🙂

  6. Figures the Canadians can’t get their act together. I don’t know why anyone would fly them after the reviews I have seen on various web sites. I would rather sit in a bar and pay for a drink than be in a lounge with no alcohol and I could do w/o it but thats not the point. What’s up with the link hating? It’s how Ben makes $ which he discloses ad nauseum. Get over it and again do us a favor stop reading and posting about it so I don’t have to read it!

  7. While that is a lot of space, AC actually does have quite a large presence at LAX. It’s a major connecting hub for them into/out of the South Pacific with a lot of interline traffic and quite a number of flights to Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver – including some large capacity flights operated by 777s. Toronto-LA is one of their top international city pairs overall.

  8. “Literally blew their minds?” That must have been really messy, I hope it didn’t get in your soup.

    BTW, for those nit familiar with LAX, while you CAN go to different terminals, it’s not exactly easy or close (especially if you are dragging luggage around). At least compared to self-contained airports like ATL. I’d planned to do some lounge-hopping last week at LAX, but it turned out to be too much trouble. (Though after 4 hours in the terminal 3 Admirals club, I’m now reconsidering. What a boring lounge.)

  9. I was there Jan 2015
    T2 was under construction then, certainly looks much better now (stairs especially)

    MLL has 2 showers if I recall, we used the bigger one

  10. I used the lounge in the middle of December (2015). Was flying Westjet, but used Priority Pass from my Amex Platinum, which allows access for me + 1. I was with my wife and kids, and the kind AC staff let me kids in for free (6 and 3).
    I was impressed with the selection of food. My wife, kids and I all ate. They had decent soup, sandwiches and cookies that made a pretty good meal. I don’t know what the previous issue with liquor was, but they had a good selection of booze when I was there. The lounge had the widest selection of fruit juices that I can recall seeing at a AC lounge–they had all the usual plus guava and a bunch of others. I saw a sign for showers, but didn’t use them.
    All in all a good lounge–better than many AC lounges in Canada.

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