Air Canada's newest airport lounge is more like a cafe

This new concept from Air Canada reimagines the business class lounge as a casual cafe environment.

By David Flynn, September 9 2019
Air Canada's newest airport lounge is more like a cafe

Sometimes a business class lounge is not the most relaxing place to be ahead of your flight. The bustle of hundreds of passengers can make it a crowded, noisy environment. What if there was an alternative – say, something designed along the lines of a cafe, with barista-pulled coffee and light snacks?

That's the thinking behind the Air Canada Cafe at Toronto's Pearson Airport, which opens this week in the domestic terminal, near gate D20. It's intended to complement the airport's existing Maple Leaf business class lounges, and follows the same access rules when it comes to eligible flyers.

What's different is that the Air Canada Cafe adopts more of a drop-by or even grab-and-go model – especially if you want to be close to your flight's boarding gates – with an open design and a casual vibe.

The bar offers everything from Lavazza coffee (including cold brews) and hot chocolate to freshly-squeezed and cold-pressed juices, kombucha and refreshing mocktails.

Before 11am passengers can tuck into a light breakfast spread of yoghurt, fresh fruit, and pastries; after 11am, the selection switches to a  assortment of salads and sandwiches. Everything can be enjoyed at the Air Canada Cafe or on a take-away basis.

There's seating for 109 customers, with AC and USB ports peppered throughout the space, free access to Press Reader's digital library of newspapers and magazines, plus washrooms and an Air Canada customer service desk.

In other words, it's an innovative 'lounge lite' proposition which seems well suited to time-poor travellers who value convenience over spending hours sitting around a more conventional lounge.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

25 Feb 2015

Total posts 39

Hmmm sorry but I can't quite work out what is unique about this concept compared with a “normal” business lounge? Perhaps other than the takeaway option...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Mar 2015

Total posts 91

Its Air Canada, that's the unique aspect....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 214

Sounds like a great idea. Much more casual and easy going. Like the open design idea.

Air Canada - Aeroplan

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 80

This is actually an excellent idea, not only for the take-out angle but because it's in the centre of the departure gate area and right after security. The main Maple Leaf lounge is two floors higher, served by the world's slowest elevators that stop on all floors; even getting into the lounge at peak times is a slow process because there never seems to be enough people on the desk to check one's entry credentials and there can be quite a long queue for entry, especially if there is any sort of light delay problem. With a tight connection, it's generally too long a process to get into the lounge to bother trying. The lounge can also be very, very full, so this cafe might take some of the pressure off it.

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