Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport FRA

Introduction
Hyatt Herald Square New York
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York JFK
Singapore Airlines Suites Class A380 New York To Frankfurt
Element Frankfurt Airport
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport FRA
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt Airport FRA
Singapore Airlines Suites Class A380 Frankfurt To New York


I got to Frankfurt Airport at around 6:30AM for my 8:20AM departure to New York. Singapore Airlines departs from Terminal 1, and their check-in counters are located in Hall C.

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Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1 check-in

There was no one in line at check-in for any class of service, and I was given my “golden ticket” in less than a minute. I was advised I could use the Senator Lounge before the flight, and that boarding would commence at 7:55AM.

The lounge situation is probably the one downside of flying Singapore Airlines Suites Class out of Frankfurt (well, arguably along with the early morning departure). Lufthansa has the amazing First Class Terminal plus several nice First Class Lounges in Frankfurt, though you can only use them if you’re traveling same day in Lufthansa first class or are a HON Circle member. If you’re traveling in first class on a Star Alliance partner airline you instead have access to the (far) inferior Senator Lounge, which is the same lounge all Star Gold members have access to.

So I headed towards the security checkpoint, which was roughly a five minute walk away.

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Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1 landside

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Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1 landside

When I got to the security checkpoint I got into the premium queue, where there were a few dozen people ahead of me. The entire security process took about 20 minutes, which is a bit longer than normal. On the plus side, every crevice of my carry-on wasn’t searched for once.

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Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1 airside

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Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1 airside

As I walked towards the Lufthansa Senator Lounge I noticed signage for an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. Hmmm, I had no clue that Air Canada had a lounge in Frankfurt, so I figured I’d check it out. Since it’s an Air Canada Lounge, all Star Alliance first and business class passengers, as well as Star Alliance Gold passengers have access. As it turns out it is indeed a fairly new lounge, as it just opened in October 2013.

The lounge is located a level up from the main concourse, and the exterior is quite contemporary for Frankfurt Airport.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport exterior

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport signage

Based on the signage outside, the lounge seems to be open daily from 6AM till 10PM.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport signage

Inside the door was a long entryway, with an Air Canada logo on the wall, plus an Air Canada 787 airplane model.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport entryway

As I mentioned before, I entered the lounge immediately behind another guy traveling on Air Canada. Best I could tell, he handed the representative his elite card and not his boarding pass.

Agent: “Is everything okay?”
Guy: “Yes… what do you mean?”
Agent: “Are you going to give me your boarding pass, I don’t need this card.”
Guy: “Oh, you guys usually need the card.”

*he hands her the boarding pass*

Agent: “Sir, again, is everything okay?”
Guy: “Yes, is everything okay with you?”
Agent: “You gave me your inbound boarding pass. It’s too early for this.”

*he hands her correct boarding pass*

Agent: “Are you sure everything is okay?”

It was one of the oddest things I’ve witnessed, because she asked if he was okay in such a passive aggressive way. I don’t know if I missed context or what, but it was so strange. He seemed equally confused based on the look on his face as he walked away.

Then I handed her my Singapore Suites boarding pass, and she nearly soiled herself. It’s rare to have airline agents have a reaction to boarding passes, but she goes “oh wow, I’ve only ever heard of this and have never seen one of these boarding passes. Please enjoy our lounge.”

The lounge was absolutely gorgeous, perhaps my favorite lounge in Frankfurt Airport aside from Lufthansa’s first class facilities.

Once inside, the buffet could be found to the right, while all the seating was located to the left.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport

There were dining tables along a cutely decorated wall with booths.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport seating

Then there was counter top seating.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport seating

And then a more traditional “lounging” configuration in the center of the lounge.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport seating

There was also lots of seating along the windows overlooking the tarmac, which boasted some cool views.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport seating

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport view

Then there were even more comfortable lounging chairs. The lounge is just brilliantly designed, given how private it feels thanks to all the unique seating areas.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport seating

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport seating

At the far end of the lounge they also had a handful of semi-enclosed relaxation rooms, with reclining seats facing TVs.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport resting area

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport resting area

And then back near the entrance was a business center.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport business center

Near the business center was another TV along with magazines and newspapers.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport magazines & newspapers

Equally impressive as the lounge’s decor was the buffet. The food spread was fantastic. The breakfast spread was extensive. They had just about every carb that could be consumed in Germany, from amazingly delicious donuts to fresh rolls to croissants to muffins to danishes.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

Then there were several kinds of cereal as well as omelets.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

And then there was a large selection of fruit, yogurt, muesli, meat, cheese, etc.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

Then near the corner was a self-serve waffle station.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport waffle machine

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport waffle machine instructions

Let me tell you, unfortunately it’s not quite as easy to use as the Alaska Airlines Board Room pancake machine, as I made a mess (which I felt guilty about first, but not later — stay tuned).

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport waffle machine oops

The drink selection was also quite good, with a decent coffee machine (the lattes were actually drinkable), water, soft drinks, beer, wine, liquor, etc.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

And pretzels! Delicious, freshly baked pretzels. Mmmm!

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport buffet

The lounge also had a handful of very nice shower rooms, none of which were occupied.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport shower room

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport shower room

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport shower room

I thought the interaction I witnessed at the door between the agent and the guy in front of me was odd, though equally odd was how I was approached by an employee after snapping some pictures in the lounge. Then she approached me:

Employee: “Why are you taking pictures?”
Me: “Because I fly a lot and like to take pictures of my travels.”
Employee: “Oh… why?”
Me: “It’s just a hobby.”
Employee: “But why this lounge?”

At this point I was wondering if she was a Canadian immigration officer, because that’s what her line of questioning was starting to sound like:

Me: “Because I’ve only ever visited the Senator Lounge in this pier, and I didn’t realize this lounge existed.”
Employee: “So what are you doing with the pictures?”
Me: “Nothing in particular.”
Employee: “So you don’t copy them?”
Me: “Ummm…. no?”

At that point I just kind of walked away. I kept taking pictures, and she kept standing a few feet behind me.

I sat down, and a while later I go to the buffet to get something to drink:

Employee: “So you’re flying first class?”
Me: “Yes.”
Employee: “Oh… then why aren’t you using the first class lounge?”
Me: “Because Singapore Airlines doesn’t have a first class lounge here, and the alternative is the Lufthansa Senator Lounge. I actually find this lounge to be nicer.”
Employee: “Have you used the Lufthansa First Class Terminal before?”
Me: “Yes, many times.”

At this point I couldn’t tell whether she was just trying to engage in small talk, be some sort of self-proclaimed security agent, or what.

So after checking out the lounge I decided to make my way to the Senator Lounge, so that I could review it as well.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt bottom line

The employees at this lounge are weird.

Aside from that I was really impressed. It’s a gorgeous lounge with a great food and drink selection. It’s hands down my favorite lounge in Frankfurt aside from Lufthansa’s first class lounges, and I’d visit it any day over the Senator Lounge.

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Comments

  1. I was waiting to see/read pretzels. And yes, finally I saw them. I’m so hungry now :). Any lounge in Germany isn’t a lounge without pretzels. Airports already look too much alike, where ever you go, so such a local touch is the best you can have :).

  2. Spent an hour or so at the MLL in FRA a couple weeks ago when flying United in BF. I’m not Star Gold so this sure beat the heck outta the LH Business Lounge!

  3. I have used this lounge several times in transit to Bangkok via Thai First instead of the senator, and agree, this is much better!

  4. Hey Ben,

    So, how far do you need to walk from the maple leaf lounge to the Singapore air boarding gate? They said when you are in transit from JFK to SIN in A380 suite, they will escort you to senator lounge. As the passenger have 2 hours transit before continue the flight to SIN, do you think it is a worth to walk bit more to enjoy much better lounge compare to Senator lounge. I am afraid that I will be lost as I am not familiar with Frankfurt airport. Thank you

  5. This lounge is really cool. I was there some weeks after it was opened and think it’s a very good alternative to the overcrowded SEN-Lounge. Hopefully it remains as unknown as it is in the future:-)

  6. This is probably the nicest lounge in the AC network. I find it strange that an out-station lounge is so much nicer than the facilities at the airline’s own hubs!

  7. @ Cristiano — I don’t know, to be frank. Once I’m done with this trip report I’m publishing the trip report from my dad’s birthday trip. So hopefully after that, but not sure about the timeline. Sorry.

  8. lucky, you mentioned there were beers, and I see in one picture they have two beers on tap – but which ones? I am another one of your readers that finds outrageous that lounges/airlines are proud of the wines and champagnes they serve yet still carry crappy beer.

  9. “which I felt guilty about first, but not later — stay tuned”

    so you didn’t feel guilty because the staff behaved like cops? or why?

  10. too bad this isn’t a priority pass offering. the AC MLL at heathrow is a great (albeit tiny) lounge to use for arrivals.

  11. I wish I had known about this lounge when I transited or flew from FRA in business class without status over the last year.

  12. @Lucky- Whatever happened with the waffles? Did you actually eat it or leave the mess? Did you not feel bad about the mess because of the employees?

  13. @ Dan — I just left it, not sure what else I was supposed to do. Didn’t feel bad since employee was so weird.

  14. Ben,
    Qatar add a second daily A380 CDG-DOH, QR42. But I cant find seats with miles on OW partners 🙁
    I have tickets to 28/04 on QR40, but need to change the date – later May or Jun and found F seats just in QR38 with old cabin…

  15. “The employees at this lounge are weird.” — It may have been just your experience.

    I was in this lounge 4 times in the last 5 weeks (flying LH/SQ C via FRA) and they were super nice and friendly. The folks at the reception went out of their way to assist people checking in. They called SQ desk to have my boarding pass reprinted, once checked if my bags were loaded, and also assisted me when I cut my finger — going above and beyond here like I was in a full medical emergency.

    The staff waiting on the guests were also great. Cleaning and wiping constantly and assisting with table side service.

    I found the lounge exceptional and the staff were equally excellent that made this lounge special.

  16. This lounge is very similar in look and features to the new-this-summer AC lounge at LHR T2. They used the same designer for both and the elements are similar e.g. the use of the wood, the private-ish relaxation rooms etc. The biggest difference I have seen is that the LHR lounge is ridiculously crowded. Now, comparing pre-departure rush hour at LHR with 6:20am in FRA is a bit apples-and-oranges, but regardless this one is much more spacious and with many more private areas. Likely a result of the cost of space in LHR T2 and the volume AC pumps through LHR on its’ own metal. LHR is their biggest volume destination outside of Canada, compared to their full code-share into FRA and MUC with LH who have ample lounge space to share. Also, AC’s LHR T2 location has a hosted bar vs. help yourself – and it’s far from most of the seating.

  17. When I saw the pic of the waffles mess it made me laugh. Can picture that happening to anyone of us. However, your justification to just leave the mess, and not point it out to one of the staff, just because a staff member was weird is something I do not find to your usual level of friendly and civilized approach to the sometimes unavoidable bumbs in the road on your travels. Maybe you had been watching to many episodes of the Real Housewives of Atlanta! Is it fair to consider that maybe a staff member who oversees the tables with the spread will be told off or reprimanded due to the mess that was left behind and not cleaned up in time? What about the other guests who share the lounge?

  18. “Hopefully it remains as unknown as it is in the future”

    Not if people keep blogging about it lol

    I agree with everything BHill said.

  19. @ BHill — Good point, and reflecting on it I think you’re right (and it *certainly* sounds like it based on what I wrote). Truth be told I was so embarrassed by my stupidity in the situation that I was too self conscious about the situation to say something.

  20. @ Lucky — I think lounge people get thrown for a loop sometimes when unusual things happen. They are probably so used to SQ passengers using the other lounge, they weren’t sure how to approach you and that’s why those weird questions (especially if there was a language barrier).

    FWIW, I had a fun run-in with an OS J lounge lady at DME. Because my BP was on SQ stock, it took a few attempts to convince her I was actually flying OS. In her defense, I saw a ton of people try to enter with wrong BPs.

  21. I usually do not leave comments. I travel often and have been an Air Canada Elite or Super Elite for years and a member of the Million Miles Club. I wanted to say how excellent the staff were in the Maple Leaf Frankfurt airport lounge. My family (of 6 children traveling with me) were all welcomed in and the woman at the front desk tried to change our flights to earlier ones. She was friendly, helpful and I felt more welcome here than in Canada where often I cannot bring more than one or two of my family into the lounges there. We were in transit from India with a long layover. If you have to be stuck at an airport, I can only say this was a very positive experience.

    The food was excellent, especially the ginger carrot soup. Everything was cleaned frequently.
    Thanks.

  22. i always had used the Lufthansa Business Lounge in Frankfurt Airport . I tried the Air Canada Lounge for first time a few weeks ago and now i ma sorry I didnt use it before. It is light years ahead of the lufthansa lounge in terms of food and drinks. No comparison at all.
    shame on Lufthansa that they cant come up with a better Business Lounge product.
    congrats to Air Canada.

  23. I just walked over from LH business lounge, and I find their offerings to be very similar. I’d give AC the nod on wine, but the beer selection is the same.

    The word is apparently out about this lounge because at 10:40 on Friday, it is packed. Most of the traffic must be coming from the LH biz lounge, because it was nearly empty.

    The women working the front door were friendly, courteous, and weren’t shocked to see my United Club card. Nice because it often confuses the agents.

  24. 1) literally laughed out loud at these interactions

    2) I am flying Singapore suites Frankfurt-Singapore next week for the first time. What lounge would you recommend in Frankfurt? I am assuming you prefer this over senator lounge.

    3) Did you go to Jesuit in Tampa? I went to the Academy

  25. The AC Maple-Leaf-Lounge is used by Qatar Airways (Business Class), too. So, the alternative on the market is, when you take Emirates instead, the Emirates-Lounge in T2. Looking back, I prefer the Emirates Lounge. It was less crowded and there were less people coming in and out, so there was less noise. The food selection was better and the interiour looked simply more luxurious. Qatar should have its own lounges in Doha-Standard.

  26. Great review. It helped us decide which lounge to go to. 2 years later and it’s about the same as you reported. Nothing looks shabby. There are seemingly nicer and less weird employees. One even made me a decaf coffee. It’s 8 am but no waffles. Maybe they gave up on them. Very few lounge chairs and all are occupied. Oh well. It’s a Saturday and it’s starting to fill out. I have no idea how busy it is in a weekday. It’s quite quiet nevertheless. Your extensive review was most appreciated. Thank you!

  27. I have lounge access via TD Aero Infinite Visa. My wife is travelling with me…do you know if they would allow my wife to gain entry into the lounge as well? Technically that should not happen as like I stated I would only have one pass as per TD Aero Visa, but do the employees actually care enough to ban entry of spouse. I suppose I could buy a pass for my spouse but based on the going rate of a pass on the open market I don’t think it’s worth it mainly due to the subpar food selection. Looks like no hot food available.

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