January 15, 2018

A Tale of 3 Airport Lounges

Relaxing flights in Business Class made my latest trip to France even more special. The priority check-in, extra cabin space and inflight service were everything I’d hoped for. Suddenly the whole ordeal of modern air travel wasn’t quite so bad any more. And free access to the airport lounges in Montreal, Zurich and Lisbon enhanced my travel experience before I’d even left the ground.

1.  Maple Leaf International Lounge, Montreal Trudeau Airport

The first thing I learned about airport lounges is that they’re not always open. But once the doors opened to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge I presented my boarding pass and entered an oasis of calm in the middle of a bustling terminal. (A new lounge between gates 52 and 53 in the international terminal has replaced the former lounge by gates 50-51.) Thanks to a bank of windows extending from floor to ceiling, the contemporary space was light and airy even on a miserable rainy day.

Maple Leaf International Lounge, Montreal Trudeau Airport

The Maple Leaf Lounge features a full service bar and complimentary alcoholic beverages (including a selection of Canadian wines) plus a live food station with a chef. The chef wasn’t yet on duty that early in the afternoon but a selection of snack foods was available. The lounge also has a cyber work counter and showers with heated floors.

Full Service Bar (right)

Live Food Station (left)

Snack Buffet

Couscous Salad and Fresh Veggies

Complimentary Wine

After a light snack I sought out a comfy lounge chair where I could put my feet up and make use of the complimentary wifi. I found the perfect little corner where I could also watch the jets speeding down a rain-soaked runway. My Business Class experience was off to a very good start!

Lounge Chair Overlooking the Tarmac

2. Swiss Business Lounge, Terminal A, Zurich Flughafen Airport

This Business Lounge was just as one would expect from the Swiss – clean, organized and efficient. I’d already eaten a satisfying breakfast on my flight from Montreal so I didn’t sample any of the offerings on the buffet. Instead I passed my time making use of the complimentary wifi before continuing on to Nice. (Note: the Swiss Business Lounge in Terminal A is undergoing refurbishment until April 2018.)

Swiss Business Lounge, Terminal A, Zurich Flughafen Airport

3.  ANA Lounge, Terminal 1, Lisbon International Airport

This lounge was the busiest I encountered and I think the workers were having a hard time keeping up with the constant influx of passengers. It took several attempts to find a clean wine glass so I could partake of the complimentary Cava on offer (but I persevered!). The woman behind the sandwich counter didn’t speak English (and I don’t speak a word of Portuguese) so she wasn’t able to help me. But hanging out here was still a better option than battling the crowds in the departure lounge.


  1. Wow, that lounge in Montreal really puts the Detroit lounge to shame.


All comments are moderated.