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SJC-YVR-NRT; five hour layover in YVR. Which lounge would you recommend?

SJC-YVR-NRT; five hour layover in YVR. Which lounge would you recommend?

Old Aug 6, 18, 4:40 am
  #1  
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SJC-YVR-NRT; five hour layover in YVR. Which lounge would you recommend?

I am flying from SJC to YVR to NRT this week in Business. I have never flown on Air Canada.

I have a five hour layover in YVR. Which lounge would you recommend? Is there a lounge with shower access?

For the flight, I understand there will not be wifi (ugh!). I have not read great things about the meal.

I am in seat 5K.

I'm starting to have a little anxiety since I have never flown Air Canada, and I have never connected in Vancouver. Thank you in advance for any insight. I will continue browsing this forum as well.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 4:47 am
  #2  
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Nothing to worry about

AC has new intl lounge that even has someone cooking noodles around lunchtime which is just before your flight.

AC uses a pod style business seat which you can look up on their website - some on this Forum like them, others donít including myself - of course YMMV

and if your really adventurous- with 5 hours you can actually leave the airport, take the rail service right in front of the terminal to downtown- round trip takes an hour, 2 hours walking about still leaves plenty of time to get through security rather than wasting away in a lounge

have s great trip

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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:02 am
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Let's start with the connection process first. When you arrive in YVR, you'll clear customs (should be fast, especially if you have a Nexus card), then walk to the international departures terminal (it's all in one large building) and clear security there. If you have checked bags you may need to pick them up and recheck them in before clearing security again (FTers from YVR please correct me if this has been updated from last time I was there). In terms of connection time you've got plenty of time!

In terms of lounges you'll have access to Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounge (MLL). There are two lounges you should be able to access, one near the domestic gates (i.e. near gate 30) and another near the international gates (i.e. near gate 52). When I visited YVR last year for a flight to AKL, the MLL was brand spanking new and had a very good selection of food. In general MLLs are better than any lounge you'll find in the US from the legacies like UA or DL. The domestic lounge has a shower you can use if you want to wash up before your flight. I believe at YVR you can walk between the domestic and international gate areas without having to re-clear security (FTers correct me if I'm off base here). Sadly there are no *A lounges at SJC although I'm guessing that won't be a concern for you.

As for the airline to worry about here, especially if you're flying in J (I hear the 777 can get downright packed in Y though). They are a very safe airline and the hard and soft product are easily as good as the likes of UA or AA in J! In particular in J the AC aircrafts feature an all-aisle configuration meaning you'll be able to get out of your seat without waking someone else up! The major gripes with the J product on AC is deflate-gate and meals. The former has to do with the peculiar habit some J seats have of deflating themselves making you feel like you're laying on a metal chair. There have been reports that this issue has been sorted out and I suspect that if this were to happen to you they would either move you to another seat or if that wasn't available give you a sizeable credit for a future flight. Meals can be hit or miss although I hear the ramen in J on that flight is respectable.

IMHO I'd say you made the right decision flying AC, especially if TPIR. The AC J product is consistently a solid choice you've got a lie flat with all aisle access and no neighbours, what else would you want? As a Canadian, I personally tend to stick with UA but that's only because I almost exclusively fly the cheapest, dirtiest UA fare I can find on flights, then use my UA Gold status to give me an amazing E+ seat. Sadly this option isn't available when flying Y with AC without forking out additional money and I'd go so far as to argue that Y service on the 777 is way better on UA than AC. Certainly the 757 TATL Y service on UA is miles ahead of the 767 TATL service with AC Rogue!

Finally, make sure you sign up for a FFP like UA's MilagePlus since the amount of reward miles and status miles you'll rack up from the trip is huge (i.e. nearly 22,000 miles nearly enough to redeem for a roundtrip North American award on UA and half way to UA Gold).

I'll let cow, nomad and the rest of the AC crew comment on this route since I tend to mostly fly on UA/NH/LX/LH.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:07 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by skybluesea View Post
Nothing to worry about

AC has new intl lounge that even has someone cooking noodles around lunchtime which is just before your flight.

AC uses a pod style business seat which you can look up on their website - some on this Forum like them, others donít including myself - of course YMMV

and if your really adventurous- with 5 hours you can actually leave the airport, take the rail service right in front of the terminal to downtown- round trip takes an hour, 2 hours walking about still leaves plenty of time to get through security rather than wasting away in a lounge

have s great trip

Thank you for your help.

I have studied the pods. It seems like there are mixed reviews.

I'm not sure I am adventurous/brave enough to leave the airport, but will look into it. Thank you!
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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:18 am
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Also if you've got status with an airline (i.e. UA Gold) or are flying back in J, please oh please check out the NH lounge at NRT. Easily one of the best lounges in Asia on shower quality alone (i.e. squeaky clean and loaded with amenities). They've also got a sushi and ramen bar and a buffet that makes the UC look like the appetizer station at a Ponderosa. The booze ain't bad either Finally, if that wasn't enough to convince you, they also have a sleeping section with blackout curtain and massage chairs that will whisk you to sleep.There are other lounges at NRT you would also have access to like the UC (which some FTers report have slightly better water pressure than the NH club but I'd argue the cleanliness and amenities alone make it way better than the UC).

I should also mention that while you're in Tokyo, make sure you check out the fish market and more specifically the sushi vendors in that area. They open as early as 5 AM and the experience is well worth the cost of admission!

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:19 am
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As you are connecting to an international flight in YVR you do not need to pick up your bag, it will be automatically transferred.

Regarding your seat 5K: if you are a big window watcher, you may want to pick another window seat (if there are any left) since 5A and 5K have only one window instead of two like the others.

Have a good trip!
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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:25 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Let's start with the connection process first. When you arrive in YVR, you'll clear customs (should be fast, especially if you have a Nexus card), then walk to the international departures terminal (it's all in one large building) and clear security there. If you have checked bags you may need to pick them up and recheck them in before clearing security again (FTers from YVR please correct me if this has been updated from last time I was there). In terms of connection time you've got plenty of time!

In terms of lounges you'll have access to Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounge (MLL). There are two lounges you should be able to access, one near the domestic gates (i.e. near gate 30) and another near the international gates (i.e. near gate 52). When I visited YVR last year for a flight to AKL, the MLL was brand spanking new and had a very good selection of food. In general MLLs are better than any lounge you'll find in the US from the legacies like UA or DL. The domestic lounge has a shower you can use if you want to wash up before your flight. I believe at YVR you can walk between the domestic and international gate areas without having to re-clear security (FTers correct me if I'm off base here). Sadly there are no *A lounges at SJC although I'm guessing that won't be a concern for you.

As for the airline to worry about here, especially if you're flying in J (I hear the 777 can get downright packed in Y though). They are a very safe airline and the hard and soft product are easily as good as the likes of UA or AA in J! In particular in J the AC aircrafts feature an all-aisle configuration meaning you'll be able to get out of your seat without waking someone else up! The major gripes with the J product on AC is deflate-gate and meals. The former has to do with the peculiar habit some J seats have of deflating themselves making you feel like you're laying on a metal chair. There have been reports that this issue has been sorted out and I suspect that if this were to happen to you they would either move you to another seat or if that wasn't available give you a sizeable credit for a future flight. Meals can be hit or miss although I hear the ramen in J on that flight is respectable.

IMHO I'd say you made the right decision flying AC, especially if TPIR. The AC J product is consistently a solid choice you've got a lie flat with all aisle access and no neighbours, what else would you want? As a Canadian, I personally tend to stick with UA but that's only because I almost exclusively fly the cheapest, dirtiest UA fare I can find on flights, then use my UA Gold status to give me an amazing E+ seat. Sadly this option isn't available when flying Y with AC without forking out additional money and I'd go so far as to argue that Y service on the 777 is way better on UA than AC. Certainly the 757 TATL Y service on UA is miles ahead of the 767 TATL service with AC Rogue!

Finally, make sure you sign up for a FFP like UA's MilagePlus since the amount of reward miles and status miles you'll rack up from the trip is huge (i.e. nearly 22,000 miles nearly enough to redeem for a roundtrip North American award on UA and half way to UA Gold).

I'll let cow, nomad and the rest of the AC crew comment on this route since I tend to mostly fly on UA/NH/LX/LH.

Safe Travels,

James
James, you are amazing! Thank you so much for your help! I am actually 1K on United, so I do have the FFP all set. I have never flown Air Canada, and I have never flown through Canada, and any time I fly internationally, I get some anxiety, especially when it comes to figuring out lounges, where to sit on planes, etc. I think the YVR-NRT segment is scheduled to be 9 1/2 hours, which is a long time on a plane. I am fortunate to be able to fly business.

I appreciate your time and help. This gives me a much better idea of what to expect in YVR and eases some of my anxiety. I am a little bummed that there is no wifi on the plane (it never dawned on me that a major airline wouldn't have wifi these days), but hopefully I will be able to sleep during most of the flight.

Thank you again!
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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by ACflyerDE View Post
As you are connecting to an international flight in YVR you do not need to pick up your bag, it will be automatically transferred.

Regarding your seat 5K: if you are a big window watcher, you may want to pick another window seat (if there are any left) since 5A and 5K have only one window instead of two like the others.

Have a good trip!
That is great to know. There seems to be quite a bit of availability right now, so I will move to 6K. Thank you for the tip!!!
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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by DrinkingCoffee View Post
I am a little bummed that there is no wifi on the plane (it never dawned on me that a major airline wouldn't have wifi these days), but hopefully I will be able to sleep during most of the flight.
For many frequent flyers the lack of working wifi and live TV at 40,000 ft is a rare blessing to be unplugged from all the chaos, turmoil and stress on the ground! Do you really want to be getting notifications from the NYT reporting the latest episode of Trump Says the Darnedest Things?
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Old Aug 6, 18, 6:35 am
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Originally Posted by ACflyerDE View Post
As you are connecting to an international flight in YVR you do not need to pick up your bag, it will be automatically transferred.

Regarding your seat 5K: if you are a big window watcher, you may want to pick another window seat (if there are any left) since 5A and 5K have only one window instead of two like the others.

Have a good trip!
If I may add to that, if you are flying TB to INTL at YVR, I believe the connection process changed in February 2018 from what the above poster posted. It's called ITI (Intransit to International). On arrival into YVR from SJC you stay on the high level and follow the signs for international connections. You then go to a kiosk, scan your boarding pass and passport. Then you go to down to level 3 International Departures and to your outbound gate (with a stop at the Maple Leaf Lounge in your case, lol).

No clearing Canada Customs, no picking up and rechecking bags, no going through security again, etc.. At least that is what is supposed to happen. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

It is all part of the ACTransit strategy that is supposed to make flying AC so appealing to US passengers. Easy - and friendly - to connect at AC's hubs at YVR/YYZ/YUL.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 6:55 am
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OP,
go to Yvr.ca and check out cnx process - changes from time to time so this will be your most accurate source
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Old Aug 6, 18, 8:05 am
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https://www.staralliance.com/en/lounge-finder

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Old Aug 6, 18, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by YYC009 View Post
If I may add to that, if you are flying TB to INTL at YVR, I believe the connection process changed in February 2018 from what the above poster posted. It's called ITI (Intransit to International). On arrival into YVR from SJC you stay on the high level and follow the signs for international connections. You then go to a kiosk, scan your boarding pass and passport. Then you go to down to level 3 International Departures and to your outbound gate (with a stop at the Maple Leaf Lounge in your case, lol).
Aside from the kiosk (which just replaced a human officer), it has been that way for many, many years now. (You are still 'clearing' Canada immigration with the kiosk, and need to be admissible to Canada etc.). Security re-check coming from the US are not required in this process (from some other countries they are, but in those cases you are just sent to the left to a dedicated screening lane).

In summary on the outbound flight:

- Bags are checked through to NRT
- Follow signs from international connections (globe icon)
- Present passport and boarding pass at kiosk/to workers as needed
- Proceed to departure gate.

Assuming you are flying the same itinerary in reverse:

- Bags are checked through to SJC
- Follow signs for US connections (American flag icon)
- Clear US transit security
- Use US passport kiosk (or Global Entry kiosk)
- Your boarding pass will be scanned by a YVR employee. If your checked bags have been processed (photographed), you will be directed to proceed to the US customs officer. If not, you will be directed to a seating area where you watch for your name on a screen and then proceed to the US customs officer
- Proceed to your departure gate.

Also, OP, I will assume you are a US citizen. However if not, you are required to have a Canadian eTA to transit in Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...m_campaign=eta
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Old Aug 6, 18, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
I believe at YVR you can walk between the domestic and international gate areas without having to re-clear security (FTers correct me if I'm off base here).
AFAIK this is not the case as pax cannot go freely between domestic/international departures areas. I believe that if you want to access the domestic lounge youíll need to come out via the customs hall and re-clear security for the domestic pier (which may involve convincing security to let you pass through domestic checkpoint with an international BP). Not worth the hassle IMHO. If you have Priority Pass you could use the Plaza Premium lounge which I believe has a shower.

A 5 hr cnx will likely mean 3.5 hours in the lounge, which IMHO is a fairly long time. OP, you might not feel adventurous enough to head downtown, but if itís not raining, you might want to consider leaving the airport for a short amount of time.

Iíve never been, but YVR has an outlet mall you could go to (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/McAr...couver_Airport). I believe Templeton station is within the free zone on Canada Line from the YVR station and should only be a few minutes to get there. Locals could possibly chime in with other nearby suggestions.
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Last edited by YEG USER; Aug 6, 18 at 9:11 am
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Old Aug 6, 18, 10:01 am
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Yes train is free to tempelton stn,

Richmond nearby if you like although nothing to do except shop here. Although better shops at Oakridge Mall which is easy to get to in about 15 mins without change of train.

and if you do not wish to venture far, The Fairmont Hotel is on top of intl terminal with great restaurant and fabulous view too. You can then go outside as little park with trail right in front of intl terminal.

unfortunately, depending on day of week the AC intl lounge can get pretty crowded so bit noisy for my taste.

All minor matters, have s great trip

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