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

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

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Old Sep 19, 22, 7:40 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: canadiancow
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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

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.

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


Access Rules

MLLs - https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...f-lounges.html

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)
    • Aeroplan 50K and up (spouse, dependent children, and one guest)
    • Star Alliance Gold (one guest)
    • VA Velocity Platinum or Gold (one guest)
  • Class of service:
    • Business class (on AC or another *A carrier)
    • Premium rouge
  • Passes (passes may only be valid for certain locations, e.g. domestic/TB)
    • 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):
    • TD VIP
    • CIBC VIP
    • 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 departing internationally from Toronto or Vancouver, youre not eligible.

Eligible fares:
  • Paid business class (originally booked in J, C, D, Z, or P classes)
  • Business Class (Flexible) Aeroplan tickets

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

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 - this includes any rewards ticketed by an Aeroplan partner, 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)
  • Class of service:
    • Business class
    • Premium rouge
  • Credit cards:
    • TD VIP
    • CIBC VIP
    • Amex Aeroplan Reserve cards
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Old Apr 21, 22, 10:17 am
  #31  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
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Originally Posted by ChrisA330 View Post
Originally Posted by PAULO77 View Post
I am trying to sneak in by paying the (minimal) points difference between Business and Business Flexible! I'll give them a call to be 100% certain that it wont work.
That's not cheeky, that's a waste of an Aeroplan agent's time.
Also a complete waste of your own time. When the Aeroplan agent pulls up the booking, it will very clearly show it's a Latitude reward with an eUp, not a Business Lowest reward. There's zero chance of this working.
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Old Apr 21, 22, 10:23 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Also a complete waste of your own time. When the Aeroplan agent pulls up the booking, it will very clearly show it's a Latitude reward with an eUp, not a Business Lowest reward. There's zero chance of this working.
Originally Posted by loganre17 View Post
That's not how it works - you will pay the difference between latitude and current price of Business flex - again, you're not on a business fare. You're in economy, just in a nicer seat
Understood!

I have to call about baby bassinet and child seating anyway. I promise that I wont ask......
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Old May 4, 22, 8:05 am
  #33  
 
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sorry if this question is repetitive:
Does the entire itinerary need to be booked as flex award for access or only the YYZ-xxx portion? I booked YYZ-FRA with outbound as business flex award and the return as business lowest.
Thanks
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Old May 4, 22, 9:32 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by CanTraveller View Post
sorry if this question is repetitive:
Does the entire itinerary need to be booked as flex award for access or only the YYZ-xxx portion? I booked YYZ-FRA with outbound as business flex award and the return as business lowest.
Thanks
AFAIK it is only the segment that is relevant - it is akin to buying a business class ticket on the outbound and economy on the return, which would also gain you entry.
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Old May 10, 22, 4:30 pm
  #35  
 
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I just purchased a revenue ticket for YYZ-DOH on AC (then on QR onwards to Asia) through QR. The code for YYZ-DOH segment (and onwards) is R. Would I have any issue using the signature suite? I have used the suite in the past when AC ticket was bought through LH, but the ticket code corresponded to AC codes.
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Old May 10, 22, 4:33 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by escherfan View Post
I just purchased a revenue ticket for YYZ-DOH on AC (then on QR onwards to Asia) through QR. The code for YYZ-DOH segment (and onwards) is R. Would I have any issue using the signature suite? I have used the suite in the past when AC ticket was bought through LH, but the ticket code corresponded to AC codes.
Should you have any issue? No.

Will you? I could easily see them saying "Sir, you're booked in R class. Upgrades aren't allowed".
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Old May 10, 22, 4:36 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Should you have any issue? No.

Will you? I could easily see them saying "Sir, you're booked in R class. Upgrades aren't allowed".
Thanks, that's exactly what I'm worried about. We'll see!
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Old May 10, 22, 5:23 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by escherfan View Post
I just purchased a revenue ticket for YYZ-DOH on AC (then on QR onwards to Asia) through QR. The code for YYZ-DOH segment (and onwards) is R. Would I have any issue using the signature suite? I have used the suite in the past when AC ticket was bought through LH, but the ticket code corresponded to AC codes.
Is R class what you see from QR, or is that what you see if youre pulling up your booking on AC?
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Old May 10, 22, 6:01 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by ChrisA330 View Post
Is R class what you see from QR, or is that what you see if youre pulling up your booking on AC?
IIRC if you're booked on QR 1234 operated by AC, the AC site will still show QR 1234 in R class.

I've definitely drilled pretty far down into 1A to try to get underlying fare classes for the operating airline, and I haven't seen the data.
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Old May 14, 22, 5:26 pm
  #40  
 
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YYZ SS access yyz-edi...

Sorry but I have searched but no luck. Just in the process of booking yyz-edi as part of a yvr-yyz-edi and return in J and was wondering if the yyz-edi was a SS route. Something in the back of my tiny brain says its not and I cannot find anything on the AC website to confirm or deny. Sooo, can the resident experts here provide any clarity please?
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Old May 14, 22, 5:36 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by TheOnlyWayTo Fly View Post
Sorry but I have searched but no luck. Just in the process of booking yyz-edi as part of a yvr-yyz-edi and return in J and was wondering if the yyz-edi was a SS route. Something in the back of my tiny brain says its not and I cannot find anything on the AC website to confirm or deny. Sooo, can the resident experts here provide any clarity please?
From what I can see it is mainline AC 787 so as long as you are on revenue J or flexible J reward youd have SS service and lounge access.
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Old May 15, 22, 11:39 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by yyzgigi View Post
From what I can see it is mainline AC 787 so as long as you are on revenue J or flexible J reward youd have SS service and lounge access.
Pretty sure there is no SS on a narrow-bodied transcon, SS is only on widebodies. So if you book Flex J or Paid J on a A321 YVR-YYZ, you would get SS in YYZ. I might be wrong but thats how I interpreted what Signature Class/SS service is.
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Old May 15, 22, 3:55 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by MillennialMiles View Post
Pretty sure there is no SS on a narrow-bodied transcon, SS is only on widebodies. So if you book Flex J or Paid J on a A321 YVR-YYZ, you would get SS in YYZ. I might be wrong but thats how I interpreted what Signature Class/SS service is.
No, you do not get Signature Suite access for North America, central America and Caribbean flights. If one day AC starts flying 321XLR to Europe, I'd imagine business class passengers would get SS access or they would sell it as premium economy similar to UA with their new flight to the Azores.
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Old May 22, 22, 9:48 am
  #44  
 
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We are on a AC business ‘P’ flight from YYZ to SFO that was booked by United as part of a ticket to get to Tahiti. There is no corresponding UA code share flight. Would we be eligible for the SS? Thanks!
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Old May 22, 22, 11:19 am
  #45  
 
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No, you won't have access.

For lots of reasons, including (but not limited to) the fact that you won't even be in the right part of the airport.

The flight to SFO will be from the US departure area and the signature suite is in the international departure area.
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