Air Canada has their own special business class check in area that is sleekly decorated and best of all, premium economy passengers and Star Alliance Gold members get to use it as well. This closed off check-in area was empty when I visited and it has plenty of space including a sofa area to settle down after getting your boarding pass.
With plenty of empty counters when I arrived, I was checked-in immediately and the whole process was quick since I am on a domestic flight between Vancouver and Toronto. Unfortunately, I did not get any window seats as they were all occupied when I wanted to choose my seats the previous night. However this was not a big deal for a night flight.
Premium security line was short since it was a weekend and there was less business travellers and I got through in no time. From there, I took the elevator to the domestic maple leaf lounge.
There was several staff members operating the reception desk so that enabled multiple guests to be processed for entry at once, shortening the queue to get inside.
Upon entering into the lounge, I discovered it to be crowded as hell and it was tough getting a nice seat. The main lounge is on the left of the reception desk and a bar counter awaits with open lounge seats.
The bar counters have a selection of Canadian beers on tap, a nice variety of red and white wines, soft drinks and mini packs of pretzel snacks. They are usually good enough for North American lounges and this would be the space for guests with short layovers who just want some snacks and drinks.
Along the walkway to the centre of the lounge, there is a row of magazine shelves. Inside there was a good variety of magazines stocked with several titles specific to business and management.
Beyond that, there is the main dining section with a buffet counter and a long communal table with bar stools. Behind the table, there is the espresso machines and another bar counter for drinks and beer.
As usual, the domestic Maple Leaf lounges seems to have better food overall as the buffet counter has some soup, salads, cookies, pasta and nachos with dips.
The main seating area in the lounge has a curved window overlooking the tarmac and watching the sunset in the lounge is a pretty neat way to spend the afternoon. However there is some sort of balcony outside so guests does not get a direct view of the airplanes.
At the end of the lounge, there are some of the best seats in the house with winged back armchairs facing the windows that comes with their own ottomans. These type of seats are my favourite place to lounge as there are also power plugs around to work in the lounge while relaxing.
Besides the main lounge, there are restrooms and shower rooms that guests could request to use. There is also several workstations and private meeting rooms that business travellers could use. While the lounge was quite busy overall, the staff were quite efficient in clearing plates and the tables along the way.
Since I arrived at the airport early and had some time to spare, I did have some food in the lounge and have to say I enjoyed the food here better than the Maple Leaf Lounge in the International Terminal. However both lounges are equally crowded and busy. That means it is not really a lounge that guests would want to spend more than an hour in. Otherwise the amenities and services in the lounge was adequate for a domestic service and probably quite good compared to the pitiful domestic lounge offerings by other North American carriers.