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AC Lounge Access - physical locations and rules (2022 onwards)

Old Aug 16, 22, 12:18 pm
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Last edit by: Adam Smith
This wiki will attempt to cover the ability to access various lounges operated by AC. Since many travellers are not familiar with the layout of Canadian airports, we will detail both physical access as well as rules.


Overview of lounges

AC has three types of lounges:
  • Maple Leaf Lounges (MLLs): essentially, regular lounges
  • Caf: caf-style lounge with limited access and grab-and-go
  • Signature Suites: essentially, only for long-haul international business class passengers
Additionally, AC shares an arrivals lounge with UA at LHR for eligible customers.

Locations & Physical Access

Lounges are in the following locations:



Note that most of the Canadian airports used by AC have separate areas for domestic, transborder ("TB", i.e. to the US), and international flights. MLLs are often referred to based on which area of the terminal theyre in, e.g. YYZ Dom is the domestic lounge in YYZ, YUL Intl is the international lounge at YUL. Except when connecting from a domestic flight to a TB/international one, you can only use a lounge in the area from which your flight departs. For instance, a passenger flying from YYZ to LGA cannot use the YYZ Dom MLL as CATSA will not allow them to access the domestic wing; a passenger flying YXE-YYZ-LGA could use the YYZ Dom MLL as they will already be in the domestic area on arrival.

YYZ, YVR, and YUL have segregated international departures areas. The international MLLs cannot be accessed before domestic flights. In other locations, a "domestic" MLL can also be accessed before international flights.

Please note that while the US is a separate country, it is NOT an "international" destination in the way most Canadian airports and AC are set up. You can NEVER access the international lounges when departing on a flight to the US. (Passengers connecting in YVR between a domestic and US flight and following the connections path will enter the international departures area prior to the US area and although can physically access the international MLL, you will not be admitted and will be directed to the US area).

Lounges in transborder areas are after US customs pre-clearance, and can only be accessed by customers travelling to the US.


Access Rules

MLLs

Can be accessed for customers holding a SAME DAY DEPARTING boarding pass (for a flight operated by AC or another *A member) based on:
  • Status
    • Aeroplan 35K (domestic and transborder only; no guests; until June 1 2023 - no access on or after)
    • Aeroplan 50K and up (spouse/partner, dependent children, and one guest)
    • Star Alliance Gold (one guest)
    • VA Velocity Platinum or Gold (one guest)
    • Emirates SkyWards Platinum or Gold (one guest)
  • Class of service:
    • Business class (on AC or another *A carrier)
    • Premium rouge (on flights within Canada, to the U.S and Sun destinations, indicated by cabin code J on your boarding pass)
  • Passes (passes may only be valid for certain locations, e.g. domestic/TB - Assume your pass is not valid for any International Lounge)
    • Given out to those with AC status
    • Given out to certain credit card holders
    • Purchased directly from AC as an add-on to the flight, either in advance or at the lounge
  • Credit cards (no passes required, only for MLLs located within Canada and the US. No access to LHR, CDG, or FRA lounges):
    • TD VIP (one guest through 31 December 2023)
    • CIBC VIP (one guest through 31 December 2023)
    • Amex Aeroplan Reserve cards

Domestic Lounges can also be accessed by those ARRIVING on an Air Canada Mainline, Rouge or Express flight, for those holding 50K status and higher.


Signature Suites

Signature Suites require both (a) an eligible fare and (b) an eligible destination. Your flight must be a flight operated by Air Canada that is departing internationally from Toronto or Vancouver. It doesnt matter whether you bought the ticket through AC or if youre on an AC codeshare, or if your itinerary has other international connections. Unless your flight is operated by Air Canada, and is advertised as Signature Class, and is departing internationally from Toronto or Vancouver, youre not eligible. The only exception is Emirates First Class - see below.

Eligible fares:
  • Paid business class (originally booked in J, C, D, Z, or P classes)
  • Business Class (Flexible) Aeroplan tickets - note that only Air Canada can ticket Flexible reward tickets; the website may incorrectly display a partner reward as Flexible
  • First Class (Flexible) Aeroplan tickets when travelling on an Air Canada segment in Business Class
  • Emirates First Class (one guest)

Eligible destinations:
  • South America (Colombia and south)
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Australia and New Zealand

NOT accessible to:
  • Passengers in business class on any type of upgrades (eUpgrades, Last-Minute Upgrades, bid upgrades, Star Alliance Upgrade Awards)
  • Anyone booked in Business Class (Lowest) reward tickets
  • Anyone booked on a reward ticket through a partner airline, e.g. United MileagePlus, Miles & More, etc
  • Passengers flying internationally with Air Canada, but who are not departing on an international Air Canada flight from Toronto or Vancouver. Example, if you are arriving on an international flight, but connecting to a US or domestic flight - you will NOT have access to the suite.

Cafe

Can be accessed by those with a departing domestic boarding pass (no arrivals benefit for the Cafe) based on:
  • Status
    • Aeroplan 50K and up (one guest)
    • Star Alliance Gold (one guest)
    • Emirates SkyWards Platinum or Gold (one guest)
  • Class of service:
    • Business class
    • Premium rouge
  • Credit cards:
    • TD VIP (one guest through 31 December 2023)
    • CIBC VIP (one guest through 31 December 2023)
    • Amex Aeroplan Reserve cards
Passengers arriving on a domestic flight with a connection to a US or international destination, although you can physically access the cafe, you will not be admitted. eGates have been updated to enforce the access policy.

LHR Arrivals Lounge

AC shares an arrivals lounge with UA at LHR, accessible to the following customers upon exiting the baggage hall in Terminal 2:
  • Business Class
  • Aeroplan Super Elite (one guest) when arriving on an Air Canada flight.
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AC Lounge Access - physical locations and rules (2022 onwards)

Old Nov 17, 22, 7:01 pm
  #346  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC SEMM / HH Diamond
Posts: 2,954
Originally Posted by stimpy
Sorry I should have looked that up, but I thought UA was only in C. I'll try out the terminal A club in a month.
In a month from now (specifically, any date after Dec 8th) AC in EWR will be in the new terminal A.
https://thepointsguy.com/news/newark...-a-first-look/

Depending on when you fly, the new lounges may or may not be open ...
The Central Plaza will also be home to three airline lounges located on the mezzanine level above the concessions.

The south side of the lounge area will be home to an American Admirals Club and Delta Sky Club, while the north side of this space will be dedicated to a new United Club thatll also welcome eligible Air Canada and other Star Alliance flyers.

These lounges wont be ready when the terminal opens Dec. 8
canopus27 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 7:03 pm
  #347  
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Aeroplan 75K
Posts: 122
Originally Posted by canopus27
In a month from now (specifically, any date after Dec 8th) AC in EWR will be in the new terminal A.
https://thepointsguy.com/news/newark...-a-first-look/

Depending on when you fly, the new lounges may or may not be open ...
Hot damn that is a nice new terminal. First LGA and now EWR... both looking mighty good. Hope the lounge experience will get better too.....
mb4wong is offline  
Old Nov 18, 22, 4:01 pm
  #348  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: yxh
Posts: 179
Lounge access YY"

Just a quick question, we booked a flight YYC to MCO with connection in EWR with United in United First (c) and United put us on AC584. My question is will we be able to access the Aspire lounge after customs?
Thanks
Medhatter is online now  
Old Nov 18, 22, 6:42 pm
  #349  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Programs: AC 50K, WS Gold, MB Titanium, National EE, UA Silver
Posts: 235
Originally Posted by Medhatter
Just a quick question, we booked a flight YYC to MCO with connection in EWR with United in United First (c) and United put us on AC584. My question is will we be able to access the Aspire lounge after customs?
Thanks
Isn't Aspire a priority pass lounge?
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Old Nov 18, 22, 9:04 pm
  #350  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,999
If you're flying AC J, yes.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Nov 21, 22, 1:01 pm
  #351  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: YYC
Programs: Marriott LTP - Aeroplan 50K
Posts: 675
Purchase MLL Access?

Hi everyone,

I'm just 35K so far this year and am out of passes. My wife and I are traveling on the red eye from YYC to YYZ and then on to PHL on Dec 2 and back again on Dec 4.

Can I purchase MLL access for her or is it dependent on lounge capacity? If the former doesn't work, is there someone who will be in the YYC MLL on Thursday, Dec 1 in the evening that would be willing to guest her in? With this trip I should be able to make 50K and would be more than willing to return the favour at a later date.

Thanks for any information anyone can provide :-)

Cheers,

Singlepoint
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Old Nov 21, 22, 1:10 pm
  #352  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC 50K, Marriott Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 1,463
If your fare is Flex or higher, then yes. Access your booking on AC.com and click on Add/Change Travel Options. You will be offered to purchase MLL access for $50 (Flex), $40 (Comfort), $25 (Latitude).
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Old Nov 21, 22, 2:08 pm
  #353  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: A3 Gold, LH SEN, DL PM
Posts: 56
SS Entry has been denied for flight AC092. Ticketstock 220 (LH) Business Class / Signature Class
Ticket shown on screenshot. The Loungeagent said the access is not on the BP. But the rules say BK P and AC operated flight needed to access. So in my opinion the access rules meet up. The Ticket has never been changed nor it's an upgrade into business class. It was originally booked as Business Class flight.
Anyone has a clue why is that ?

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Last edited by 1nsane; Nov 21, 22 at 2:13 pm
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Old Nov 21, 22, 2:25 pm
  #354  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC*SE 2MM
Posts: 15,761
Originally Posted by 1nsane
SS Entry has been denied for flight AC092. Ticketstock 220 (LH) Business Class / Signature Class
Ticket shown on screenshot. The Loungeagent said the access is not on the BP. But the rules say BK P and AC operated flight needed to access. So in my opinion the access rules meet up. The Ticket has never been changed nor it's an upgrade into business class. It was originally booked as Business Class flight.
Anyone has a clue why is that ?
Seems odd - try tracking down a Concierge and see if they can address it. Could be a new person.

If you are there now, I assume you are in the sterile area, so go to the Maple Leaf Lounge and have them get a Concierge for you.
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The Lev is offline  
Old Nov 21, 22, 2:31 pm
  #355  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: A3 Gold, LH SEN, DL PM
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by The Lev
Seems odd - try tracking down a Concierge and see if they can address it. Could be a new person.

If you are there now, I assume you are in the sterile area, so go to the Maple Leaf Lounge and have them get a Concierge for you.
2 Persons already checked the Boarding pass and deny the access. (Concierges) They refer that it is not on the Boarding pass...
Would an AC service desk landside be helpful?
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Old Nov 21, 22, 2:49 pm
  #356  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Originally Posted by 1nsane
2 Persons already checked the Boarding pass and deny the access. (Concierges) They refer that it is not on the Boarding pass...
Would an AC service desk landside be helpful?
As a last resort yes, but before you do that, try to get it sorted with somebody who can do more than stare at a boarding pass. Try the Maple leaf Lounge first and explain your problem and ask them where to go to get it resolved.

1nsane, part of the problem may be if you have a non-AC printed boarding pass, it might not show the info so if you can get someone to reprint your boarding pass it might show the appropriate invitation.
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Last edited by Adam Smith; Nov 21, 22 at 2:54 pm Reason: Merge consecutive posts by same user
The Lev is offline  
Old Nov 21, 22, 2:54 pm
  #357  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: A3 Gold, LH SEN, DL PM
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by The Lev
1nsane, part of the problem may be if you have a non-AC printed boarding pass, it might not show the info so if you can get someone to reprint your boarding pass it might show the appropriate invitation.
has been reprinted with no success.

Originally Posted by The Lev
As a last resort yes, but before you do that, try to get it sorted with somebody who can do more than stare at a boarding pass. Try the Maple leaf Lounge first and explain your problem and ask them where to go to get it resolved.

1nsane, part of the problem may be if you have a non-AC printed boarding pass, it might not show the info so if you can get someone to reprint your boarding pass it might show the appropriate invitation.
Ok had a talk to a supervisor. She looked up the Fare Rules of this Ticket and said that Signature Lounge is excluded. What a mess ..

Last edited by Adam Smith; Nov 21, 22 at 3:15 pm Reason: Merge consecutive posts by same user
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Old Nov 21, 22, 3:05 pm
  #358  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, DL PM, WS Silver, BA Bronze, Marriott Titanium, Hilton/Radisson Gold, Accor Silver
Posts: 15,331
Originally Posted by 1nsane
has been reprinted with no success.
I'm not sure why they're focusing on what's printed on your BP. They should be able to look up the booking and see that it's a revenue P class ticket.
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Old Nov 21, 22, 3:14 pm
  #359  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC*SE 2MM
Posts: 15,761
Originally Posted by 1nsane
Ok had a talk to a supervisor. She looked up the Fare Rules of this Ticket and said that Signature Lounge is excluded. What a mess ..
Sounds like you need to involve LH since they were the ones who created the ticket. Try calling them, going to the gate where the LH flight departs at 18:20 (not sure they'll be able to help you) or go landside.

Did they explain why the fare rules say it's excluded?
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Old Nov 21, 22, 3:23 pm
  #360  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, DL PM, WS Silver, BA Bronze, Marriott Titanium, Hilton/Radisson Gold, Accor Silver
Posts: 15,331
Originally Posted by 1nsane
Ok had a talk to a supervisor. She looked up the Fare Rules of this Ticket and said that Signature Lounge is excluded. What a mess ..
I can't find the fare rules for PNCDX7NL, but no LH group fare beginning with PNC that I looked up mentions anything about SS access in the fare rules. And it seems like an odd thing to include in the rules only for a specific fare.
Adam Smith is offline  

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