The Great Maple Leaf Lounge Hop

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by legalalien, Jun 27, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    Thanks to a recent Air Canada sale fare to Vancouver - sorry to post a link to TOBB, but there doesn't seem to be an equivalent one here - I have decided to embark on an ORD-YWG-YYC-YVR-YUL-ORD mileage run (just over $240 total cost, under $0.05 cpm) to get my United account closer to a respectable YTD total. Transborder flights were on United Express, while the rest were on a mix of Air Canada and Jazz. Routing could have been slightly more creative, but I had to work around various meetings and conference calls.

    Anyway, after booking the trip I had realized that a) these are my first intra-Canada flights, and b) I will get to visit 4 Maple Leaf Lounges in under 18 hours. And so this review was born.

    YWG (Winnipeg)
    This was my first time in Winnipeg. YWG turned out to have a nicely done terminal: modern (I think), open, lots of space with natural light, not crowded. It took a few minutes to find MLL, as I still don’t understand what YWG has against posting terminal maps inside terminals themselves. The lounge itself is on the smaller side, but nicely done: a small business center, a bar style work counter, typical lounge seats, and a single kitchen/bar area. Booze was ok: JW Red, Courvoisier VS, 2 types of Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet, Guinness, Sleeman Light and Molson on tap. Food was also typical MLL fare – which is quite good by NA standards – pea soup, two kinds of salad, veggies, pita and tortilla chips, and pickles. No Tillamook cheese!

    YYC (Calgary)
    It turns out this was my first time in YYC as well. The terminal looks a bit older and feels a bit more crowded. There is a decent amount of construction going on, so maybe it will get better. The lounge was quite a bit better than YWG’s: bigger, two bar areas with better booze (e.g., JW Black), a separate and very comfortable business center, and a choice of two pretty good soups: chicken noodle and some sort of chowder. The only downside was reception. Unlike YWG, where I was greeted and made feel welcome, YYC front desk matron seemed to look down on a lowly United *G having the nerves to crash their lounge. Not cool.

    YVR (Vancouver)
    I had a 4 hour layover at YVR. Initially, the plan was to stay in the lounge, and perhaps take a shower before my red-eye flight to Montreal, but after seeing the gorgeous weather in Vancouver, I decided that showers are overrated and jumped on the train to have dinner at the Steamworks Brewery in the city. Just look at the [out of focus - I had a few beers by then] picture and agree that it was the right decision!

    [​IMG]

    You didn’t have to sit next to me in 15B though, but whatever. Good for you.
    The YVR MLL is easily the best of the four: large and well equipped. By the time I got there, it was also almost empty, but most of the food and alcohol was still out. No soup this late though. In addition to tap beers, a decent selection of beer in cans, from Budweiser products to Heineken. Spirits included the mandatory Canadian Club (‘premium’ liquor?), JW Black, Tanqueray and other usual brands.

    YUL (Montreal)
    This one looked familiar, as we spent a few minutes there during SMDIII. The lounge has modern décor, and I felt out of place without think-rimmed glasses and $300 jeans. Or maybe it was because I was sleepy and had slightly wrinkled clothes. In any case, breakfast menu included hot oatmeal with a decent selection of toppings, yogurt, cereal, juices and a small sampling of pastries. After a quick check of email, I was on the way home, tired but happy and with 5k more EQMs in the bank.

    Apologies for the lack of pictures…but I didn’t think there was much to capture inside the lounges.
     
  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Nice report! :)
    Not nice. :(
     
  3. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Winnipeg is YWG . YEG is Edmonton.
     
  4. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    It's a typo, it's a typo (since corrected; thanks for noticing)! E and W are right next to each other on the keyboard.

    Makes me wonder how many people end up in a wrong city each year because somebody makes a similar typo...Our corporate travel agent almost sent me to DFW instead of DTW - even though I told her I needed to be in Detroit - and only realized her mistake when I expressed genuine surprise at an assertion that "American has hourly flights there from Chicago."
     
  5. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Ywg is my home station..
     
  6. Qualityflyer

    Qualityflyer Member

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    Not good, sadly things like that can ruin a perfectly good day.
    But good you got a few more lounges to check out though ;)

    Nice to have dinner in the city when the weather is great.
     

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