This is our review of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2.
Earlier this year, I spent a few hours at Heathrow Terminal 3 trotting round the lounges to update our reviews. In the spirit of equal opportunity, I thought I would use my recent trip to Stockholm on SAS to update our Star Alliance reviews.
There are four Star Alliance business class lounges at Heathrow T2 – Lufthansa, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. The latter three are all in Terminal 2B, a short walk from the main terminal. There are two more lounges in Terminal 2 – the Aer Lingus lounge, which Rob reviewed here a couple of weeks ago, and the Plaza Premium lounge (most recent review here).
My attempt to review the United Airlines lounge failed because it was so crowded that it was impossible to get any photographs. We will return to this at a later date, and our 2016 review is here. I did manage to visit the Air Canada and Singapore Airlines lounges. We did a Lufthansa Heathrow lounge review last October.
I started with the Air Canada lounge, which is currently open from 7am until 8pm.
How to access the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2
You do not need to be flying Air Canada to access the lounge. The only requirement is that you are flying a Star Alliance carrier (such as Lufthansa, SAS, United, Singapore Airlines etc), either on a Business Class ticket or with the relevant status.
That means anyone with Star Alliance Gold can access the lounge, even if you are flying an a hand-baggage-only economy flight. Gold members can bring one guest for free. Additional guests are £25 per person.
Where is the Air Canada Heathrow lounge?
The Maple Leaf Lounge at Heathrow is a bit more of a trot than the Lufthansa or Aer Lingus lounges in Terminal 2A. It is located in the satellite terminal at T2B.
Unlike at T5, which was built with a far higher budget, there is no air train – all passengers must take the underground tunnel, although there are some moving walkways. Note that you can also return to T2A from T2B this way, although there is unfortunately no travelator in that direction.
You then take two escalators up to get to departure level. Fortunately the lounge is in the central part of T2B. The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge is co-located with the Singapore Airlines lounge, one floor up, whilst the United Club is on the other side of the escalators.
Air Canada is on the left:
Inside the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge
You must check in to the lounge when you arrive, which involves a quick scan of your boarding pass:
The lounge is very attractive. I got chatting with the reception staff who told me that all of the wood and stone panelling in the lounge comes from Canada. It is probably the most aesthetically pleasing of the lounges at Terminal 2. The entrance way has a slight Maple Leaf logo in the slats, which you can just about see in this photo:
Turn to the right and you’re greeted by a length of floor-to-ceiling windows looking across the ramp towards T2A which fills the lounge with light:
There is a range of seating here, including a mezzanine level. This also features a pine cone artwork which looks a bit like a Christmas tree:
At the far end is a more casual area with some stand-alone chairs with leg rests plus a sort of sofa-thing:
Behind this are three nap nooks, each with a reclining chair and screen, although I’m not sure what the screen does. Each one is open to the lounge – there is no door – but suitably screened off to create a darker, private area. It is darker than it looks in the photo:
If you head back to the lounge entrance you’ll find a conference table and business centre in a round room behind the large Maple Leaf logo, including a printer:
Behind this is a row of bar stools, and a bare magazine rack with just a handful of notices to download the PressReader app:
Connectivity throughout the lounge appears good, with plug sockets in the floor between armchairs along the window and in other places.
WiFi speed wasn’t great, at 3mbps down and less than 1mbps up, although it was totally fine for light browsing, email and social media.
Food and drink in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Heathrow
If you turn left from the lounge reception you’ll find the buffet, bar and small dining area, with a long bar table:
This is the smallest of the Star Alliance lounges at T2B and there are just a couple of restaurant-style dining tables.
At one end is a staffed bar (there is no self-pour alcohol here). There is no champagne, just prosecco, plus the normal range of typical spirits including Gordon’s Gin etc.
Along one length of the room is the buffet:
At breakfast, this features a range of mini pastries, cereals, cold cuts and a few hot stations featuring bacon, sausage, scrambled egg and baked beans:
For lunch, the pastries are replaced by brownies and other sweet items whilst the hot buffet is stocked with red Thai prawn curry, rice, and some very sad looking pasta:
I didn’t try the red Thai curry but it looked tasty and certainly the best hot option.
Soft and hot drinks are available at self-serve machines, including a sign commanding you to drink more water!
Showers in the Heathrow Maple Leaf Lounge
There are three showers in the Air Canada Lounge at Heathrow, including a disabled one. You need to pick up a key from reception to access these.
I was impressed. They are very attractive and quite possibly the nicest showers at Heathrow T2, although I haven’t seen those in the United Club. They are clad in the same brown Canadian stone as use in the main lounge, and reminded me a lot of the showers in the Cathay Pacific lounge over in Terminal 3:
Toiletries are Molton Brown.
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was the first stop on my Heathrow T2 lounge safari and I have to say I was very impressed with what I saw. Although one of the smaller lounges in the terminal, the space has been used efficiently and beautifully designed – it’s definitely the most attractive of all the lounges at Terminal 2.
I spent a good couple of hours here – from around 10:30am until midday or so – and found that it never got particularly busy. At one point the majority of seats were taken but it quickly emptied out again following the departure of one of the flights. It was exactly how a lounge should be – quiet and relaxing.
The food selection is the only thing that lets the lounge down. It’s passable – especially for breakfast – but the pasta dish over lunch was very, very sad.
That said, I would definitely come here again – it is well designed and quiet, with lots of natural light and views across the terminal. You can always nip next door into the Singapore Airlines lounge for food – which is what I did. A review will follow.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (August 2022)
As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.