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Free access to Maple Leaf Lounges?

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  • Feb 20th, 2009 12:26 am
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[OP]
Member
Jun 19, 2007
302 posts
26 upvotes
Halifax

Free access to Maple Leaf Lounges?

So I was travelling on business with a Thai friend of mine, and since he flew back and forth to Thailand so much, he got free access to the Maple Leaf lounges while he waits for flights, for him and a guest. Anyways, I was mighty impressed. Free snacks, free booze, free wireless, free newspapers/magazines, all and all just really nice.

Anyways I guess its $500ish for a year membership, or if you fly 35k aeroplan miles a year, or if you have certain CIBC/[rfdlink=17]AMEX[/rfdlink] credit cards and certain options, but the cards/options which themselves are a few hundred a year. So free, but not quite.

Anyways with TD I get a free Travel Elite card or whatever thats supposed to be $120 a year because I keep 5k in my account along with a host of other goodies. So that said anyone know any way to get the afore mentioned free magazines, snacks and booze for free?
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Jun 19, 2006
9349 posts
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You can buy MLL passes on eBay or when you book certain AC flights.

Theoretically, you could get in for 'free' by buying a refundable J ticket, using the lounge, and then refunding the ticket. However, that's pretty scammy, and you'd run into serious issues doing that for an international departure or at the arrivals lounges.

What else can I say? MLL's are a service, and services cost money to provide. Pay the extra to fly Executive Class, pay for a pass, or earn Elite status -- and you, too, will be able to enjoy the perks. Although, quite frankly, the food sucks (except the fresh baked cookies, and sometimes the soups are good), and unless you're an alcoholic....
"I worked with several H1B employees that were/are borderline ********. One of them wanted to spray an electrical patch panel with solvent to see if it would make the “network go faster”". <--- lol (source)
[OP]
Member
Jun 19, 2007
302 posts
26 upvotes
Halifax
Right, I know I can buy them, but call it cheapness or love of a deal or whatever, I don't want to. Much like I'm supposed to pay for My TD platinum card but don't have to cause I keep 5k there, I want to know if theres any deals out there like that the let me bypass the paying part.
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Jun 19, 2006
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seadog83 wrote:
Dec 7th, 2008 7:47 pm
Right, I know I can buy them, but call it cheapness or love of a deal or whatever, I don't want to. Much like I'm supposed to pay for My TD platinum card but don't have to cause I keep 5k there, I want to know if theres any deals out there like that the let me bypass the paying part.
Here's a hint: if you exceed 35k Aeroplan status miles early in the year -- they'll give you Elite membership for not only the remainder of the calender year, but the *next* calender year.

Let's say you take 2 trips to Bangkok (or Singapore) in January or February, which you can get for roughly $800 a piece on United right now.

So for $1600, you'll get 35,000 AP miles, some bonus miles, a couple MLL passes, some SSWU upgrades, and 2 trips, in addition to almost 2 years of Air Canada/Aeroplan Elite status. The roughly 40k AP miles, theoretically, should be redeemable for a business class ticket anywhere in North America, with open jaws and stopovers permitted.

Some people do this for fun, its known as a 'mileage run'. There's an entire frequent flyer community devoted to this -- www.flyertalk.com .
"I worked with several H1B employees that were/are borderline ********. One of them wanted to spray an electrical patch panel with solvent to see if it would make the “network go faster”". <--- lol (source)
Sr. Member
Jun 18, 2006
510 posts
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Bummer, if they had set the requirements to 30K miles I would be set for next year :mad:
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2008
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MLL is overrated... and most airline lounges around the world. It's nice to have all the freebies, but gosh you've just spent so much on the airline ticket. The real treat is the actual flight in Business class. :)

You can buy MLL passes on eBay, and one time there was a guy who gave you dozens of free passes on Flyertalk. At year-end a lot of members give out free ones that they can't use.

I have MLL privileges because I hold a supplementary AMEX that comes with it (the Aeroplan one) and whenever I fly Air Canada I use it 1/3 times. I think the annual fee on the card is $499 though. :(
Sr. Member
Mar 12, 2004
639 posts
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Toronto, ON
pitz wrote:
Dec 7th, 2008 7:26 pm
Although, quite frankly, the food sucks (except the fresh baked cookies, and sometimes the soups are good), and unless you're an alcoholic....


haha, I am a BIG fan of the MLL cookies, too! :D
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hymack wrote:
Dec 7th, 2008 10:04 pm
Bummer, if they had set the requirements to 30K miles I would be set for next year :mad:
If you want to have Star Alliance Gold (ie: free entry to the MLL, use of the special check-in lines, etc.), you can sign up for the Turkish Airlines program, which would give you MLL access after only 30k miles, and is good for 2 years.

The downside, of course, is that you don't get the AC 'stuff' like SWU's and SSWU's, and a few other things.
haha, I am a BIG fan of the MLL cookies, too!
They're good, but no substitute for legitimate 'food', which is something that is in short supply in the MLL.

They'll gladly let me drink half a bottle of their finest when they leave me to rot in the MLL (mainly YVR transborder, because the SFO/LAX flights are chronically late), but heaven forbid, they won't put out any proper food..

Wi-Fi was a perk.. Still is, but most Canadian airports are adding it free of charge for their customers.
"I worked with several H1B employees that were/are borderline ********. One of them wanted to spray an electrical patch panel with solvent to see if it would make the “network go faster”". <--- lol (source)
Deal Addict
May 16, 2005
2587 posts
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Or you can hang around the entrance and hope for some nice person to take you in as a guest. This method might work better if you are of the female variety. :)


I would categorize the Canadian MLL to be somewhere in the middle of the pact...It is much better than the United's Red Carpet club in the united states. with the RCC you're lucky to get a bag of chips...and alcohol is NOT free.
At least there is free alcohol and somewhat edible food in the MLL.
But the MLL pails in comparison to the lounges in Asia or Europe. The lounges Thai lounge in HKG and the ANA lounge in Narita, which AC shares with is 100% better than any Canadian MLL. Especially the ANA lounge, they have a hot made to order noodle bar, sushi, alcohol, etc...
Jr. Member
Dec 3, 2003
131 posts
11 upvotes
pitz wrote:
Dec 7th, 2008 8:16 pm
Here's a hint: if you exceed 35k Aeroplan status miles early in the year -- they'll give you Elite membership for not only the remainder of the calender year, but the *next* calender year.

Let's say you take 2 trips to Bangkok (or Singapore) in January or February, which you can get for roughly $800 a piece on United right now.

So for $1600, you'll get 35,000 AP miles, some bonus miles, a couple MLL passes, some SSWU upgrades, and 2 trips, in addition to almost 2 years of Air Canada/Aeroplan Elite status. The roughly 40k AP miles, theoretically, should be redeemable for a business class ticket anywhere in North America, with open jaws and stopovers permitted.

Some people do this for fun, its known as a 'mileage run'. There's an entire frequent flyer community devoted to this -- www.flyertalk.com .
Hi pitz, do you mind providing some details on the $800 flights to Bangkok/Singapore on United? I tried searching in Jan and Feb on both united.ca and .com but everything is around USD$1100 all in. Any help you can provide is appreciated as I will be going to SE Asia, and I'm pretty tempted to do what you mentioned above! :cheesygri
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commie wrote:
Dec 8th, 2008 11:12 am
I would categorize the Canadian MLL to be somewhere in the middle of the pact...It is much better than the United's Red Carpet club in the united states. with the RCC you're lucky to get a bag of chips...and alcohol is NOT free.
At least there is free alcohol and somewhat edible food in the MLL.
But the MLL pails in comparison to the lounges in Asia or Europe. The lounges Thai lounge in HKG and the ANA lounge in Narita, which AC shares with is 100% better than any Canadian MLL. Especially the ANA lounge, they have a hot made to order noodle bar, sushi, alcohol, etc...
Best lounge in the world has to be The Wing in HKG (Cathay Pacific), I believe it won some awards. An amazing noodle bar, lots of hot food, unlimited coffee and alcohol and a nice place to freshen up when in transit or before a long flight. MLL in YYZ is pretty much garbage when you compare it to that.
Moderator
Jun 9, 2005
7039 posts
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Scarborough
tng11 wrote:
Dec 9th, 2008 8:44 pm
Best lounge in the world has to be The Wing in HKG (Cathay Pacific), I believe it won some awards. An amazing noodle bar, lots of hot food, unlimited coffee and alcohol and a nice place to freshen up when in transit or before a long flight. MLL in YYZ is pretty much garbage when you compare it to that.
How can you get access to it?

And anyone knows which CCs give free access to MLL?
Jr. Member
Dec 3, 2003
131 posts
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wesleyw wrote:
Dec 9th, 2008 8:59 pm
How can you get access to it?

And anyone knows which CCs give free access to MLL?
The Amex Aeroplan Platinum card does, but I think the annual fee is $499/year...
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Nov 18, 2008
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wesleyw wrote:
Dec 9th, 2008 8:59 pm
How can you get access to it?

And anyone knows which CCs give free access to MLL?
You get access to it if you're a Marco Polo Club member or if you're flying Business/First Class within the oneworld alliance. (BA, AF and some others) Unfortunately the Cathay Pacific Visa with RBC doesn't give you a high enough tier, but you can get Silver with 2 YYZ-HKG return flights every year (which I make every year).
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
12869 posts
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The only reason I use the MLL is just to relax. If I am with a friend then we have a few drinks; otherwise could care less.

...yes some decent food would be nice.

...wireless is good. Most larger airports do not offer it free.

For me the real perk is not the upgrades as with many corporate travel programs you have to purchase Tango fare which for the most part is not upgradeable with the regular certificates, rather it is boarding first and getting space for my luggage.
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