I wrapped up my La Première jaunt with a short domestic flight from New York to Dallas. Even with a transfer from JFK to LaGuardia, I had plenty of time to spare. So, I headed over to LaGuardia’s Priority Pass option, the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. The dearly departed Rohan reviewed this lounge last December. Little has changed, which is a good thing in this case.
Note: this post is part of my trip report series about my recent First Class experience to Barcelona. Click here for the trip report index and introduction.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, New York LaGuardia
At the far end of the Central Terminal Building by the A Concourse. Follow the signs for the Air Canada lounge, then go up one level to access the lounge. Look for the entrance kind of off in the corner.
Please note, as with other LGA lounges, the Maple Leaf Lounge is BEFORE security. Therefore, allow plenty of time to clear security after your visit.
Air Canada provides access to the LaGuardia Maple Leaf Lounge to the following customers:
- Air Canada or Star Alliance Business Class passengers
- Premium Rouge passengers traveling to Canada
- Air Canada Altitude elite members (35k, 50k, 75k, and 100k)
- Star Alliance Gold members
- American Express Platinum and Priority Pass cardholders with a confirmed same-day boarding pass
- Certain Canadian-issued TD, CIBC, and American Express Aeroplan-affiliated cardholders
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge members
Air Canada also sells lounge access as a $30-50 add-on to certain economy class fares. Hours of operation are 5 am to 8:45 pm daily.
A friendly agent took my Priority Pass card and welcomed me to the lounge. As you enter, the check-in desk is straight ahead, with the lounge to the right. But first, I just had to take a photo of the model 787 next to the desk.
Head right, and the first thing you notice are the phone charging stations. Don’t feel comfortable leaving your phone at your seat to charge? You can securely charge it in one of these instead.
Next to the charging station is a selection of American and Canadian newspapers and magazines.
Meanwhile, across the way is the main seating area. This section features a few dining tables and massage chairs. That’s a nice feature, though with only four for the entire lounge, good luck getting one.
Assuming you can grab one, it’s a pretty good spot to catch the day’s sporting event on TV.
To the left of the dining tables is a work bench with ample power outlets. Also note the strategically placed lights above the desk. It’s a welcome addition in an otherwise rather dark lounge.
Head right to find the lounge’s basic food selection. It’s not much; just some salad and some chips and salsa.
There are also two hot soups offered. I had a vegetable soup that was pretty decent. Nevertheless, if you come here expecting a lunch or dinner substitute, prepare to leave disappointed.
Meanwhile, next to the soup display is a self-serve Lavazza machine. Me and coffee after about 2 pm don’t mix, so I didn’t try one.
Next to the salad bar is a small but nice bar. All drinks, both soft and alcoholic, must be ordered at the bar.
Go left from the food area to reach the small business center. It’s only a couple of cubicles, but again, a nice thing to have in a small lounge.
This leads to another set of seats along the wall, which then wraps around to the side windows. This seating area stretches back towards the entrance to the lounge. Unfortunately, the windows offer no real views, as they face the interior of the airport.
I have two main complaints about this lounge. First, despite the large side windows, the lounge is quite dark. And let’s face it, a dark lounge at a depressing airport like LaGuardia yields something…even more depressing. Second, except for the work bench in the center, power outlets are hard to come by. Or should I say, working power outlets. I sat by the windows, and had to change seats twice to find an outlet that worked. That’s an easy thing to fix, and something Air Canada should address.
Design wise, I found the lounge good overall. It’s modern, but avoids the cold, garish minimalism you find too often these days. The lounge was moderately busy on a late Sunday afternoon, but I had no trouble finding a seat. I expected worse crowding, given Air Canada’s relatively generous lounge access policies.
LaGuardia’s lounge situation, with all options before security, needs work in general. But overall, I agree with Rohan that this is a reasonably good Priority Pass lounge. It won’t blow you away, and the food selection isn’t great, but it’s a comfortable space to kill time before your flight. And it certainly beats the terminal area…