Nutmeg Avios

Get Star Alliance lounge access at Heathrow with Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Club

This is another of those little quirks in the frequent flyer universe which I didn’t know about, until reader Tony flagged it for me.

Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Club is a way of buying lounge access at Air Canada and Star Alliance facilities around the world.

Importantly, you do not have to be flying Air Canada to use it.  Any Star Alliance carrier will do.

There are various membership levels as you can see on the Maple Leaf Club website here.  I am focussing on the Maple Leaf Club Worldwide option as that is the option which includes Heathrow.

You pay C$599 (£310) per year to join.  You will receive 5,500 Aeroplan miles as a welcome gift.  Alternatively, you can redeem 79,000 Aeroplan miles.

This covers lounge access for you AND a guest for unlimited visits.

For an extra C$270 (£140) you can add your partner and they can presumably bring their own guest.

There are 210 Star Alliance lounges covered, including 41 in Europe, many of which are in places where Air Canada does not fly!

Air Canada Maple Leaf Club

If you fly through Heathrow Terminal 2 a lot on Star Alliance carriers but do not have airline status, this may have some interest to you.  A Priority Pass may be cheaper, of course, and that gets you into the excellent Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2.  The Air Canada lounge, accessed with your Maple Leaf Club card, is out in the T2B satellite.

On the other hand, at many airports, the official Star Alliance lounge will be substantially better than the contract lounge used by Priority Pass.  Priority Pass will also charge you extra for taking in a guest unless you have the version issued with American Express Platinum.

Maple Leaf Club may work best for someone who has a large amount of Air Canada Aeroplan miles they are struggling to use.  You aren’t getting great value (£310 of goods for 79,000 miles is pretty yuck) but you will enjoy the benefits every time you access a lounge.

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  1. To me this is a rubbish offering unless you travel within Canada frequently in Y and also on *A in Y.

    Apart from LHR T2, where I still feel it is the worst of the 5, most MLLs are pretty worthless. (I only use the LHR MLL for their colour laser printers.)

    You’d expect the so-called flagship MLLs at YVR and YYZ to be something but they can’t even compare to BA GC at LHR.

    C$600 for lounge access is far too expensive. My mileage run to renew A3 Gold cost less than that.

    • I guess that depends on what value you put on your own time, but each to their own.

      • Did you also make this comment in the threads about going to hawaii to get BA gold (which I’m sure cost more than 600 CAD)?

    • harry says:

      Are you saying that there’s an Aegean mileage run, costing <$600, that will get you Aegean Gold, that will in turn get you access to OneWorld Lounges?

      • Stewie says:

        No – especially since Aegean is part of Star Alliance, so Aegean Gold can only ever get you into Star Alliance lounges.

        But seriously, Aegean changed their rules recently; if you already have Gold, then you only need to fly 12k miles including 4 A3 segments to renew, which I’d imagine is pretty easy for <$600. From scratch, you need to fly 36k miles including 6 A3 segments, which would be much harder.

        • Swanhunter says:

          And once you have A3 Gold you get 4 upgrade vouchers which can make a renewal trip when Aegean very comfortable. Leaving aside TK, Aegean have the best Euro business class IME

        • Gavin says:

          I’ve seen a run from LUX-OSL via ATH for £33. Earns 2000 miles. So could feasibly get gold for £200 less positioning and hotel costs

      • No they’ll be referring to Star Alliance lounge access with Aegean – ie the equivalent (or probably better as not a subset of lounges) than what is being offered here by Air Canada.

      • Joining MLC won’t get you into any oneworld lounges either!

        As for the MR, 4 segments to Greece or Cyprus can be had for £80ish, and SAS flights earn 100% flown miles in most booking classes including lowest Y. Aegean often have things like AMS-ATH-LHR for €40.

  2. OT If you upgrade from gold to platinum does any spend you do on the gold card before you get your platinum card count towards the £1000 target or do you have to spend specifically using the platinum card?

    • Platinum only spend

      • When I upgraded mine, as soon as my account changed to platinum, spend on my gold card was treated towards the target as an interim platinum card until I received and activated new card.

  3. Aliks says:

    Semi Off Topic (OT) does status matching from BAEC Gold get you into the lounge?

    Any thoughts on which non-OneWorld airlines are worth status matches these days?

  4. harry says:

    O/T data point lounge access – Dragonpass

    A couple of days 2 of us got into No1 T3 on paper DP lounge access passes (each with a unique code). I got 6 before Xmas for £13.50 (ie £2.25 each) & only paid for a month on the Barclays Travel Plus deal before cancelling it. DP cancelled access via my DP card (as you’d expect). But since I asked them to email me 6 paper copies, I wanted to see if the remaining 2 passes would be valid, which they were. I had an ‘anxious’ few minutes lol whilst I wondered if they’d come up to us and ask us to leave – during which time I naturally knocked back a couple of Sols, scoffed the free £4 snack and nabbed a few soft drinks. But the coast was clear so presumably those unique numbers on the paper passes still worked fine.

    • harry says:

      managed to get away with 4 Sols, 2 G&Ts, 1 snack, salad etc, 2 London Prides – not bad for 90 mins

      My kids got about 15 cans of diet cokes or equivs lol plus the 1 in the lounge got his bacon butty

  5. A bit O/T but did anyone see the new programme on Heathrow last night, on ITV? I only caught the last 20 minutes of it, which included the Emirates lounge, amusing to see the staff turn away all the silver card holders (even more amusing when you have Gold status through a status match!)

    There was the one passenger who spends up to £300k per year on travel! Wonder if he collects the points or not.

    • If you’re spending your own money I bet you do collect the miles.

      I know someone who works 2 jobs, one in London and one in Dubai and he spends that much on his commute and holidays – he says 1 in 6 trips is completely ‘free’ and he’s trying to get it down to 5.5

  6. Zander says:

    This looks to be a good deal, especially as I’m not going to hit even M&M FT this year for some ungodly reason! I am debating whether or not to switch to OneWorld instead though, Avios is a lot easier to earn despite my dislike of BA!

    I presume I can only use lounges with *Alliance flights if I bought this?