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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 May 22, 22, 3:14 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 429
Originally Posted by The Lev View Post
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.
I can attest to this being correct. OH recently flew on a flex/lowest J award. I believe much venison carpaccio was consumed...
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Old May 24, 22, 2:58 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Programs: AC SuperElite // Marriott Gold Elite
Posts: 24
SS Access with Z class Business

Hello all - I know that having booked an Aeroplan Business Lowest redemption, I don't get SS access. However, I had a schedule change & was rebooked by the agent on different flights and everything is now showing in Z class (once in awhile being SE still has some pull). So...any thoughts on whether that might now work for SS access? Per the eligible fare classes, Z should work. It's not make or break as we'll be connecting and won't have a lot of time anyway but I'd like to bring my wife in as she hasn't been though I've been in many times pre-pandemic (when I used to go to Asia/Europe/Middle East every couple of weeks). I'll likely try anyway, but any thoughts or past experience with something similar is appreciated.

Last edited by stuartma; May 24, 22 at 3:12 pm
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Old May 24, 22, 3:40 pm
  #48  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Programs: Who needs status when you have credit card?
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Originally Posted by stuartma View Post
Hello all - I know that having booked an Aeroplan Business Lowest redemption, I don't get SS access. However, I had a schedule change & was rebooked by the agent on different flights and everything is now showing in Z class (once in awhile being SE still has some pull). So...any thoughts on whether that might now work for SS access? Per the eligible fare classes, Z should work. It's not make or break as we'll be connecting and won't have a lot of time anyway but I'd like to bring my wife in as she hasn't been though I've been in many times pre-pandemic (when I used to go to Asia/Europe/Middle East every couple of weeks). I'll likely try anyway, but any thoughts or past experience with something similar is appreciated.
Try it and let us know.
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Old May 24, 22, 4:00 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by stuartma View Post
Hello all - I know that having booked an Aeroplan Business Lowest redemption, I don't get SS access. However, I had a schedule change & was rebooked by the agent on different flights and everything is now showing in Z class (once in awhile being SE still has some pull). So...any thoughts on whether that might now work for SS access? Per the eligible fare classes, Z should work. It's not make or break as we'll be connecting and won't have a lot of time anyway but I'd like to bring my wife in as she hasn't been though I've been in many times pre-pandemic (when I used to go to Asia/Europe/Middle East every couple of weeks). I'll likely try anyway, but any thoughts or past experience with something similar is appreciated.
Per the rules, no, you don't have access.

You can very easily book business lowest in Z. It's not eligible.
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Old May 24, 22, 5:36 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: YYZ
Programs: Aeroplan, TD.
Posts: 451
Hello we will be at YYZ for 5hrs before our flight to LHR via YUL. Can we use the Signature suite lounge when we are flying Domestic? we are on award ticket business class. Thanks.
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Old May 24, 22, 5:48 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: YOW
Programs: AC 75K
Posts: 548
Originally Posted by Ramz View Post
Hello we will be at YYZ for 5hrs before our flight to LHR via YUL. Can we use the Signature suite lounge when we are flying Domestic? we are on award ticket business class. Thanks.
No the business leg must be departing directly from YYZ.
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Old May 24, 22, 5:55 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: YYZ
Programs: Aeroplan, TD.
Posts: 451
Originally Posted by WesternCDN View Post
No the business leg must be departing directly from YYZ.
Sorry we are starting out from YYZ to LHR via YUL
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Old May 24, 22, 6:01 pm
  #53  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by Ramz View Post
Sorry we are starting out from YYZ to LHR via YUL
Yes, the long-haul business leg to Europe, South America, Asia etc must originate in YYZ. If you were flying YUL-YYZ-LHR, or just YYZ-LHR, you would have access if you were on an eligible business class fare.
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Old May 24, 22, 6:18 pm
  #54  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: YYZ
Programs: Aeroplan, TD.
Posts: 451
Originally Posted by WesternCDN View Post
Yes, the long-haul business leg to Europe, South America, Asia etc must originate in YYZ. If you were flying YUL-YYZ-LHR, or just YYZ-LHR, you would have access if you were on an eligible business class fare.
Just to be clear even though we are flying domestic to YUL then LHR we can use signature suite lounge??
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Old May 24, 22, 6:20 pm
  #55  
m.y
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Originally Posted by Ramz View Post
Just to be clear even though we are flying domestic to YUL then LHR we can use signature suite lounge??
​​​​​​That is incorrect, no access to SS on the domestic leg.
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Old May 24, 22, 6:34 pm
  #56  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by m.y View Post
​​​​​​That is incorrect, no access to SS on the domestic leg.
While that is the policy, I think there should be some exceptions. Someone flying signature to BRU shouldn't be completely ineligible for the SS if they don't want to connect in Europe.

Edit: didn't think about the international departures area issue

Last edited by Quail; May 24, 22 at 6:56 pm
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Old May 24, 22, 6:47 pm
  #57  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: YYZ
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Originally Posted by m.y View Post
​​​​​​That is incorrect, no access to SS on the domestic leg.
That's not what I wanted to hear..LOL we should be allowed in and not penalized because its the only option we had to book to LHR via YUL and the other options were either a mixed cabin or huge amount of points to redeem for business class.
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Old May 24, 22, 6:53 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Ramz View Post
Just to be clear even though we are flying domestic to YUL then LHR we can use signature suite lounge??

Not only are you not allowed, but you would not have access to international departure anyway.
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Old May 24, 22, 6:56 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Not only are you not allowed, but you would not have access to international departure anyway.
Fair enough thanks.
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Old May 25, 22, 12:45 am
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Ramz View Post
That's not what I wanted to hear..LOL we should be allowed in and not penalized because its the only option we had to book to LHR via YUL and the other options were either a mixed cabin or huge amount of points to redeem for business class.
Translation: "We didn't want to pay what AC wanted for a non-stop with SS access"

It wasn't the only option. It was the only option you were happy with.
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