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Review: the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2

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This is our review of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2.

This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

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.

Air Canada Heathrow

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.

Heathrow Terminal 2B lounges

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.

Heathrow Terminal 2B walkway

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow entrance

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow reception

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow logo

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow seating

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow pinecone

At the far end is a more casual area with some stand-alone chairs with leg rests plus a sort of sofa-thing:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow window seating

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow nap nook

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow business centre

Behind this is a row of bar stools, and a bare magazine rack with just a handful of notices to download the PressReader app:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow bar stools

Connectivity throughout the lounge appears good, with plug sockets in the floor between armchairs along the window and in other places.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow power

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow dining area

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.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow bar2

Along one length of the room is the buffet:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow 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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow pastries

and

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow buffet cold cuts

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow red thai curry

and

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow 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!

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow stay hydrated

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:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow shower

Toiletries are Molton Brown.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow shower toiletries

Conclusion

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.

You can find out more about the lounge – and check the latest opening hours – on this page of the Air Canada website.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 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

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

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

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

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.

Comments (26)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • riku says:

    >>Unlike at T5, which was built with a far higher budget, there is no air train
    Is this a disadvantage? At T5 I always use the walkway (which they eventually added signs for and moving walkways). The air train has hopelessly long turnarounds because of the “please wait, security checks” which would not be needed if they split the coaches for arriving/departing pax like on the air train in Munich (where the train is split into three parts).

    • Rich says:

      It’s only a quick security check given the open design and presumably your / the Munich option would reduce total capacity or require more trains running simultaneously. Some people just don’t have any patience.

      I use the walkway myself, not for speed but for exercise after / before hours of sitting down.

    • dougzz99 says:

      At T5 the joy of the train is it keeps the walkways mostly empty for a cool relaxing walk.

  • John says:

    I’ve only been here once, on my initial tour of all the lounges not too long after T2 opened. In the past 7 years I haven’t had a reason to go back.

    From this review it looks like nothing much has changed. Food is still poor both in quality and amount, so the main redeeming feature is that it’s usually empty (I know I said I’ve only been once, but I read reviews) meaning that it is, as Rhys says, “quiet and relaxing”.

    However, by the time I’ve eaten something more substantial in UA or SQ, even if those lounges are crowded I can’t be bothered to pack everything up and go to another lounge for the 15-30 minutes before it’s time to leave, especially if needing to walk back to T2A.

    If you have a 6 hour transit and want to stay in the terminal then AC would be a good place to work or settle down after you’ve fed yourself. Also Rhys mentioned the printer… it was very good, when I visited, I just happened to need to print a 30-page document in colour, but haven’t needed to print anything when passing through T2 since then.

    • manilabay says:

      I visited the AC Lounge in March, while it is a good and quiet place to visit – WiFi speeds were pretty atrocious and struggled to maintain video on my Google Meet calls. It an issue I had in the other lounges at T2.

  • Alan says:

    Nice environment, not great selection of food was my impression too but I do always visit it as part of my T2 lounge tour when flying SQ 😂

  • planeconcorde says:

    Typo “ This is the smallest of the Star Alliance lounges at T5B” The five should be two.

  • C says:

    Do you prefer this lounge over the UA and SQ lounges?

    Is this the only *G lounge that allows additional guests to enter with a fee?

    • Rhys says:

      I think I prefer it yes, except for the food

    • Tom says:

      In my view the SQ lounge is disappointing given how good that airline is.

      The UA lounge is my favourite in T2 given its size and the impressive bar. Can be crowded though as noted.

      • C says:

        @ Rhys: Which lounge would you go just for the food?

        Was there a cocktail menu similar to the UA lounge? I didn’t see any mention of it in other external reviews for the AC lounge.

        • John says:

          If you like East / South East Asian food then SQ, otherwise UA

        • Rhys says:

          No menu as far as I saw, but I’m sure they can rustle up the classics

  • George K says:

    Was there two weeks ago. I do like the lounge, but one of its best features – the floor-to-ceiling windows – is let down by the fact that you’re effectively overlooking a construction site (I believe it’s the Kilo apron redevelopment which will allow for planes to pass between T2A and T2B) .

    Singapore’s lounge next door offers better runway views, but lounge decor feels reminiscent of the 1990s.

    If your flight is from the A gates, I’d say you need to factor in 10 minutes for the walk back there, just to be on the safe side.

    • Rhys says:

      Fortunately the construction appears to be coming to and end

      Singapore and United both had the blinds down when I went!

  • Dubious says:

    I found the AC lounge had the best bread rolls out of the other T2B lounges.

    When it is not busy it is also quite peaceful, unlike the SQ lounge which feels cramped and the UA lounge that feels like one big cafeteria.

  • StanTheMan says:

    I do love these conference tables you see in many lounges. How often do a large group of people meet in a soulless airport lounge for a meeting?

    • Rhys says:

      It’s a good spot to work fron

    • John says:

      Why do you need a place with “soul” for a meeting. If people are flying in and out quickly an airport lounge is the perfect place – particularly if you don’t want to enter a country and can do so in an airport with a proper international transit zone

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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