In the final segment of my first international trip in over two years, I got to check out Air Canada’s London Heathrow Maple Leaf Lounge. Turns out, this visit made me realize I was a little homesick. Here’s my full review including some suggestions on how Air Canada can harness some home comforts and help share Canadian culture at one of its busiest locations.Compare prices on flights to London with Skyscanner
Heathrow Maple Leaf Lounge Location
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at London Heathrow is located in terminal two and what feels like a day’s journey from the security checkpoint. The lounge is located at B3 next to the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge. Getting there requires you to walk under the tarmac for 10 to 15 minutes then take a lift up to the lounge level. On the positive, Air Canada gates are within a 2 to 10 minutes walk from the lounge. This was emphasized by the check-in agent who said, “the hard part is done!“
Heathrow Maple Leaf Lounge Service and Amenities
Stepping into the Heathrow Maple Leaf Lounge feels very similar to anyone who has visited a Maple Leaf lounge in Canada. You’ll find the same warm wood design with black and grey accents throughout. I really like Air Canada‘s colour pallet overall and found the London lounge is no different than my home airport’s offerings in Vancouver.
Seating is also similar to other Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges with a mix of chairs, benches, and desks. At the far end of the Heathrow Maple Leaf Lounge, you will find a few cosy loungers, perfect for those looking to rest on a long layover. Better yet, directly behind those are four recliners that are meant for napping or watching TV.
The TVs certainly could use a refresh but the area is cosy and dark and ideal for rest.
The business centre at the Air Canada LHR lounge is one of the nicest I have come across in my travels. It is highlighted by a large natural wood boardroom table. In the corners are printers if needed.
Like all Maple Leaf Lounges, Wi-Fi is complimentary. At the Heathrow Maple Leaf Lounge, service is provided by virgin Wi-Fi. Bandwidth did not test great at just 3M down and .4 up. Still, it’s enough to stream music and shows.
I ended up switching over to my global Airalo eSIM to download some shows before departure. I still had lots of data left on my package and the speeds were always in the 4G range.
There are several shower stalls at the Air Canada LHR lounge. I did not use them but did see fluffy-looking towels inside. This is a far cry from the cheese clothes I was handed at the IGA lounge in Istanbul a couple of days prior.
Lastly, Air Canada offers free access to PressReader, an app that gets you access to 7,000+ newspapers and magazines. Better yet, these can be downloaded, free of charge, before your flight. This is a great feature and perfect for those looking for something to read on their trip.
Heathrow Maple Leaf Lounge Food and Drink
I arrived at the tail end of breakfast service so got to experience that as well as lunch.
Breakfast was the highlight with some surprising tastes of home including bacon on a bun and hot porridge. The latter makes the list for its maple syrup topping. The maple syrup was fake though which is blasphemy back home. 🙂
There was a selection of croissants, jams, and fresh fruit on hand as well as a barista to make espresso drinks. Overall, I was very impressed with the meal service and would say it’s better than most lounges out there. The exceptions are Turkish Airlines in Istanbul, the Pearl Lounge in Bahrain, the Oman Air lounge in Muscat, and Singapore’s Silver Kris Lounge.
As for drinks, there is a full bar with Canadian whiskey however surprisingly, no Canadian beer. Not even Molson Canadian which, along with Guinness, is a staple in most Maple Leaf Lounges. They do, however, serve Caesars! This was a welcome touch of home after a month away.
Lunch was highlighted by beef goulash and goat cheese penne pasta. I only took a small sampling and regretted filling up on the porridge as the penne was especially good.
A Taste of Home Before Heading Home
I arrived at the Heathrow Maple Leaf lounge with low expectations and left pleasantly surprised. More interestingly, I left feeling a little homesick. The small reminders such as preflight Caesars and maple syrup along with the familiar decor made me happy to head home rather than feeling sad my trip was coming to an end. There were other subtle comforts of home such as signage in both English and French as well as, oddly, masks being mandatory. This was something that was largely dropped everywhere else in the area at the time.
I typically don’t fly Air Canada internationally – not because I don’t like the service, but just because I like to try other airlines where possible. Also, Aeroplan’s best point redemptions are on Air Canada partners. Still, I really enjoyed my time at the London Heathrow Maple Leaf Lounge and it made me look forward to flying Air Canada across the pond.
Some Room For Improvement
I never really considered the aspect of missing home and how some simple reminders can make you feel better. With that in mind, I do have some suggestions for Air Canada to make the experience a little more unique. One is offering Canadian beer to its guests. Ideally smaller breweries as there are plenty of great ones in Canada to highlight. I do understand that, logistically, this is probably not an option. Still, would be a win all around.
Second, real maple syrup. Even if it’s in small quantity or featuring it in a maple latte would make this traveller very happy.
Lastly, feature and play Canadian music over the speakers. I’m sure there are licensing options to make this easy. Putting a little money into Canadian artists’ pockets through a Canadian airline just makes sense to me.
What say you?
Thoughts on this Maple Leaf Lounge Heathrow Airport Review?
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