Air Canada Has A New LAX Lounge, And It’s Both Good And Bad News

As we’ve covered extensively here at OMAAT, this past week LAX saw their biggest terminal shuffle ever, as dozens of airlines changed which terminals they operate out. Things seemed to go smoothly, at least if you consider the scale of this project — hundreds of flights changed terminals overnight.

Last week Nick wrote about the implications this terminal change has on Delta operations, given that they’re the primary reason behind this swap. While Delta is the airline most impacted by these changes, we’re seeing plenty of other airlines make major changes as well.

One topic I’ve received lots of questions about is what happens to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge at Terminal 2. Not only was this lounge used for Air Canada passengers, but it was also contracted out to several other airlines, and also available to Priority Pass members. Since you can visit any terminal at LAX with a same day boarding pass, this was a popular option for Priority Pass members departing LAX.

Air-Canada-Lounge-LAX - 11

Air Canada has switched operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 6 at LAX, and Delta has taken over their lounge space at Terminal 2, so now what? Well, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that Air Canada has already opened their own lounge at LAX Terminal 6. The bad news is that it’s much smaller than the old lounge — it currently only has seating for 83 people, and after the expansion is complete, it will have seating for 118 people. Given that it’s much smaller than the old lounge, the Air Canada Lounge LAX will no longer be part of Priority Pass.

But there’s potentially some other good news. All Star Alliance Gold members (including United MileagePlus Star Gold members) should be able to use this lounge when traveling on a Star Alliance carrier, even if flying domestically. Now Air Canada is right next to United at LAX (T6 and T7 are connected airside), meaning that Star Alliance Gold members traveling domestically can now easily use the Air Canada lounge (United elites wouldn’t otherwise have access to United Clubs when traveling domestically). Now, there’s a chance they’ll put capacity restrictions or something in place, but on paper that’s what the policy should be like.

Here’s how the new lounge is described:

Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge at LAX offers an elegant series of intimate spaces that showcase contemporary Canadian design with club chairs from Calgary-based Birchwood, and wood tables from Brent Comber of British Columbia. Currently seating 83 customers, the LAX lounge will offer total seating capacity for 118 people this fall after expansion is completed.  As a leading global carrier, Air Canada offers premium customers access to 22 Maple Leaf Lounges worldwide including three in the US. In addition to LAX, there are two in the New York City area – at LaGuardia Airport and at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The good news is that the Alaska Airlines Lounge is located in Terminal 6, and continues to be part of Priority Pass… well, sort of. Alaska Lounges have often been imposing capacity restraints due to how crowded they get, meaning that often they don’t accept Priority Pass members. However, I had no issues using it last week through Priority Pass, for what it’s worth.

Alaska-Board-Room-LAX-04

However, I suspect the lounge may once again get more crowded, given that Virgin America just switched to Terminal 6, and their first class passengers now also get lounge access.

If anyone has the chance to visit Air Canada’s new Terminal 6 lounge, please report back!

Comments

  1. T6 is connected to T7 with an above ground bridge. T6 is connected to T5 with an underground tunnel.

  2. I used the Delta Skyclub in T2 this morning. It is definitely a work in progress. No hot or cold food at all. Just muffins, fruit and instant oatmeal. There are no bartenders either, just a self serve bar like you would normally see in European lounges. I think they are doing construction in the rest of the lounge and will open the larger one soon.

  3. Apparently it’s the same design firm that did the *A Lounge at TBIT/BW, so imagine it’ll be pretty good. Too bad they dropped the PP, which seems to be losing it’s value.

  4. really? if I’m flying UA domestic and am UA*gold, I can access this lounge? where’s the verbiage on this?

  5. That’s too bad regarding priority pass. For the reasons you mention, that program is seriously waning at LAX.

    Still, it’s better than SFO… their lack of participation should be a nonstarter for any paying memeber of the program.

  6. It would be a bonus if the lounge actually had an on-prem washroom. The Term 2 lounge had you going out of the lounge and down the hall to get to the washroom.

  7. The lounge is indeed small..I would say too small. I always like AC lounges but I’m not impressed with this one. You feel closed in and crowded. It’s really too bad since I was hoping for something nicer with the switch to the new terminal. On top of it when I showed up today there was no alcohol out (wine or otherwise) which is normally out and available for self serve which surprised me. I was able to ask one of the staff for a glass of white wine though and they brought it to me. Let’s hope the expansion to accommodate 118 people makes a difference but I’m not convinced it will feel less crowded or uncomfortable 🙁

  8. Well at least your PP card will still give you access to the KAL lounge at Bradley. Not a bad lounge. Was flying American out of T4 last week and went to the KAL lounge even though I could have used the Admiral’s club with my Prestige card.

  9. Well, used this new MLL lounge in terminal 6 at LAX this morning.

    First off it was quite hard to find, just a small sign hung next to what looks like a service elevator located behind the escalators that lead to the underground walk-way to terminal 5, opposite side as the Alaska lounge, but in the middle of the hallway so if you walk around the back side of the elevator you miss the sign. Then as you exit the elevator, the door immediately to your right has a tiny plaque next to it that identifies it as the MLL (a staff member helped me locate the door, and I was able to guide a few lost wanderers in the hall when I left the lounge).

    Inside the lounge was nice, but quite small, similar to Terminal 2’s MLL before the nice expansion. I suppose it being hard to find will keep it from getting over crowded! Be better once it increases it’s capacity, though from 88 to 118 as planned isn’t a large expansion like terminal 2 was.

    Fortunately they have an actual espresso machine which for me is key for breakfast, unlike some MLL’s that make “espresso style” drinks (small amount of strong brewed coffee with no crema or flavour). Otherwise it was the standard MLL breakfast fare, eggs, oatmeal, toast, etc. Cups, cutlery, plates were very few, I’m sure this being their 3rd day they might still be getting organized.

    All in all its not spectacular, but still nice to relax away from the gate areas. The furniture is comfy with various seating options and one side has nice big windows. One plus is with Terminal 6 being connected to the other terminals airside allowing for other lounge options for people that may prefer those.

  10. @PST-surfer — look up the Star lounge access policy. It says all Star Gold gets lounge access, with the exception being UA Star Gold at UA Clubs domestically. UA Gold at non UA lounges domestically, like the LH lounge at IAD, are good and non-UA Star Gold at UA lounges domestically are also good. So this should be legit, but we will have to see if AC agrees.

  11. @lucky are there any pics of the new skyclubs in t2 and 3 ?
    Looking at the floor plan of the former one in t5 the new ones are significantly smaller ..
    The former AC maple leaf club is shoebox shaped and the Loft was only suited for a smaller carrier and customer base
    I can see a lot of unhappy skyteam elites
    Granted in the long term it maybe better but we’re talking about at least 5 years

  12. Great views from the new lounge. The bar chairs are stupid, they are meant for a counter at least 8″ higher. Not much to speak of as far as food goes but what was present was nice (evening/dinner time.) Seems like the beer taps aren’t hooked up. As one commenter also said, the espresso machine is a nice plus and almost a must have these days. And yes, it does have its own restroom (washroom as we say in Canada!)

    The only down side were the typical AC passengers on this side of the country who must slurp and clack when they eat, as well as a couple of obnoxious Russian fellows who seemed to be conducting their conversation as if each of them were at either end of a cosmodrome. Hopefully the expansion provides a bit of seclusion if some passengers want that. You’d have a difficult time having a snooze in a quiet spot here since there are zero walls or sound barriers in the entire lounge.

  13. The MLL isn’t where the old CO PC/UC was. That is a common misconception from people who don’t use T6 much. That space was repurposed quite some time ago. This lounge is on the same mezzanine as the AS Lounge.

  14. Using it currently rather than the UA Club, wouldn’t bother with the walk from T7 if you have access to the club as not as nice in my opinion. Quiet though if you avoid AC flight times!

  15. Very disappointing new Air Canada lounge. Very hard to find- a gracious woman in the Alaska airlines lounge took us there! It is cramped and food was very basic. Very hard to find privacy in the lounge to get a quiet and peaceful rest! Also the elevator was so slow and if more then a few people are waiting for the elevator, we were all cramped by the entrance to the lounge. All of us much preferred the terminal 2 lounge! Just so average and small. Did not feel like a special lounge at all! Felt crowded. Really hope the “bigger” one has more space and better food.

  16. The person saying SFO doesn’t have a PP lounge apparently missed the AF/KLM lounge.

    “It would be a bonus if the lounge actually had an on-prem washroom. The Term 2 lounge had you going out of the lounge and down the hall to get to the washroom.”

    The T2 MLL that was formerly the NZ Koru Club not only had toilets, but a shower. I don’t even think the old, smaller MLL made you go go out of the lounge to use the washrooms, but that hadn’t been the lounge in a couple years anyway. I believe they built the new lounge with washrooms, as not having them would require people to go down the elevator.

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