YUL: Montreal Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge International

 

Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal International June 2011
Montreal International Maple Leaf Lounge
There are three Maple Leaf Lounges at Montreal; Domestic, International, and the strange limbo land of the transborder US area.

If you are stuck in transborder, you can't get to any other lounges, however if you are going to International you can call in at the domestic lounge first, before then going into the international area, but once in International you can't then get back to domestic.

Once you have checked in (or re-checked in, if you are in transit, as you have the hassle of going landside to pick up another boarding card) at Montreal Pierre Elliot Trudeau international airport (named in honour of a former Canadian Prime Minister who tried hard to shut down the airport and transferred all its flights to Mirabel, in case you wanted to know) you'll go through security. Here, you'll be at gate 49 on the fringe of the Green (international) and Orange (Domestic) zone.

To get from security to the domestic lounge turn right, walk all the way down to the end by gate 47, turn right again down a corridor that only seems to have toilets, left and right, past the exit of domestic security, and you'll be in the domestic pier by gate 1. Walk all the way down to gate 7, and there is the domestic lounge. However food is poorer in domestic, and the only real advantage is the cinema room, and the telescope overlooking the active runway, unless that is you are stuck at Montreal between 11am and 3pm when the main international lounge is shut (except on Saturdays).

Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal International June 2011
Montreal International Maple Leaf Lounge

The long thin Air Canada Montreal Maple Leaf Lounge is high above the gates with amazing runway views. It's recently had a revamp and is pretty swish, although it also added strange wooden artistic creations above the main lounge area that look odd and don't add a lot.

The lounge entrance is pretty much at the end of the international pier, with a small door on the left: there is an ante room at the bottom of the stairs with a small reception desk, and then you either wait for the very slow lift, or just walk up the stairs.

As you enter the Air Canada Montreal Lounge International, you are in the main food and bar area, under the tinkling white chandeliers. If you go left there is a small cinema room and childrens play area. Right takes you all the way along the main lounge, with computers half way along, and entrance to the showers on the right, and then at the far end by far the quietest part of the lounge, with large squishy chairs (which all have power sockets (US style) and phones on the tables between them. Oddly, this area with the pay phones is the designated quiet zone where mobiles must be turned off, and the contradiction is strictly enforced by the staff.

Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal International June 2011
Montreal International Maple Leaf Lounge

Food

Food is better than domestic, but not by much. Don't expect pre-flight dining in the Air Canada Montreal business class Lounge. Your options basically consist of two tubs of pasta and three of sauce to put on the top (tomato, cheese, or the rather odd "mixed meat"). There are also two tubs of soup, bread rolls and butter, and dips with carrots and cucumber. Fruit is in a wire bowl on the worktop, and there is also a box with bags of crisps next to the beer pumps. The expectation is clear: if you want to dine in style, eat on the plane.

Bar

The bar is better, with over 25 spirits in free pour bottles on optics or the counter, from Glenlivet to Black Label. Baileys is not chilled. Alas, if you want wine, then the options are woeful. There is generally only one white and one red, and the lounge is clearly scraping the bottom of the barrel here, for the wine normally comes from Italy or Australia. Odd, for a French place in Canada. Beer is better, and there are three draft handles offering Guinness, Coors or Canadian. By the bar is a steel walled fridge: all the cans of soft drink are in here.

Bathrooms

There are showers and bathrooms in the lounge.
Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal International June 2011
Montreal International Maple Leaf Lounge

Business Facilities

Computer facilities are pretty good, but curiously sited right in the noisiest part of the lounge, in a small alcove half way along the main corridor. Here there are all of four computers, and four more workstations, on a long wooden bench. Printer, fax and photocopier are on the worktop.

Newspapers are hard to come by in the lounge, with just one small newspaper rack past the wooden section of the lounge. There are no UK papers. However there are piles of good magazines on the rack here, which you can take onto a flight.

There are showers in the lounge (get the key and a towel from reception) in the trendy bathrooms, but you'll struggle in the queue for the shower. The lounge is normally packed to the gills at 7.30pm, just before most of the flights leave, however it quietens down at other times. Late afternoon or late evening, and you can be the only one in here.

Air Canada Montreal Lounge
Air Canada Lounge rated: 4 out of 10
from 25 visits by loungeindex taking 8 images.
 
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