Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Air Canada | Aeroplan
Reload this Page >

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

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

    Hide Wikipost
Old Sep 19, 22, 7:40 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: canadiancow
Wiki Link
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
  • Café: café-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 they’re 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 doesn’t matter whether you bought the ticket through AC or if you’re 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, you’re 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
Print Wikipost

Old Jun 4, 22, 5:05 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: AA Exp., Bonvoy something, UA 2MM, Hyatt Globalist, Columbia Record & Tape Club Triple Diamond VIP
Posts: 546
Signature suite and chauffeured transfer if ticketed on United?

I’m traveling YUL-YYZ, connecting to DUB in paid business class (listed as P class on my receipt). The ticket was issued on UA stock.

Does anyone know if I’ll be eligible to use the Signature Suite or for the chauffeured transfer to the Signature Suite from a domestic flight? In the past, my tickets have always been purchased through AC but for since my return from LHR to SFO is on United, I ended up buying from UA.

Thanks in advance for your insider knowledge!
embarcadero1 is offline  
Old Jun 4, 22, 6:15 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC SE MM, UA MP 1K, Hyatt Globalist, SPG Platinum, hhonors Gold
Posts: 3,322
Originally Posted by embarcadero1 View Post
I’m traveling YUL-YYZ, connecting to DUB in paid business class (listed as P class on my receipt). The ticket was issued on UA stock.

Does anyone know if I’ll be eligible to use the Signature Suite or for the chauffeured transfer to the Signature Suite from a domestic flight? In the past, my tickets have always been purchased through AC but for since my return from LHR to SFO is on United, I ended up buying from UA.

Thanks in advance for your insider knowledge!
The ticket stock doesn’t matter. You will have access to the lounge. Limo service is not guaranteed, but you may also be selected to receive.
yyzgigi is online now  
Old Jun 5, 22, 8:17 pm
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PDX
Programs: AS/UA/DL
Posts: 33
Does anyone have information related to the following? We have Business Class Flexible Reward tickets in I class booking on AC equipment from SFO to YYZ with a two hour layover followed by a night flight on AC equipment from YYZ to GRU. Since the flight reward tickets were booked through the United Airlines website using MileagePlus miles, it looks like we are excluded from the Signature Suite by the following language. Am I reading it correctly? Thank you.

Only Aeroplan flight rewards booked as a Business Class Flexible Reward or a First Class Flexible Reward in J, C, D, Z, P, I booking classes are eligible for access. . . . Business Class flight rewards booked and ticketed by partner airlines, . . . will be excluded.
John Portland is offline  
Old Jun 5, 22, 8:24 pm
  #64  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 39,948
Originally Posted by John Portland View Post
Does anyone have information related to the following? We have Business Class Flexible Reward tickets in I class booking on AC equipment from SFO to YYZ with a two hour layover followed by a night flight on AC equipment from YYZ to GRU. Since the flight reward tickets were booked through the United Airlines website using MileagePlus miles, it looks like we are excluded from the Signature Suite by the following language. Am I reading it correctly? Thank you.
They're not "busines flexible" if they were booked through a partner.
canadiancow is offline  
Old Jun 5, 22, 9:16 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PDX
Programs: AS/UA/DL
Posts: 33
The booking for this reservation that is displayed on the Air Canada website, accessed by using the Air Canada booking code, and the printed itinerary from the Air Canada website, prominently state that these are “Business Class (flexible) tickets.” These words appear in large print taking up about 1/3 of the page just beside the flight information.
John Portland is offline  
Old Jun 5, 22, 9:29 pm
  #66  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: YEG, SFO, JR JY-13
Programs: AC 75K and also 25K on account I don’t use
Posts: 544
Originally Posted by John Portland View Post
The booking for this reservation that is displayed on the Air Canada website, accessed by using the Air Canada booking code, and the printed itinerary from the Air Canada website, prominently state that these are “Business Class (flexible) tickets.” These words appear in large print taking up about 1/3 of the page just beside the flight information.
I know what you're talking about, but the fare brand displayed part of an overall murky naming scheme, it really sucks how confusing it is. This happens when booking through non-AC channels. If a Business Class Flexible reward was booked through Aeroplan (the fare brand eligible for YYZ SS), it would say: "Business Class - Flexible Reward". Note the hyphen and the word "reward". Also note the capitalization because it's an actual brand of fares that you can purchase (your other option would be Business Class Lowest)

Because you didn't book through Aeroplan, it's simply showing a slightly different naming convention to refer to your unrestricted business class award, that Air Canada acknowledges that they will transport you on.

A better example to reinforce my point would be through a recent experience where I booked an economy class ticket via Expedia. You might know that Air Canada has Flex (a restricted economy fare) and Latitude (an unrestricted economy fare) fare brands when booking directly through AC. When you book a full fare (Y/B) through an online travel agent, and look up the reservation on AC's site, it'll show up as "Economy (flexible)" (note no hyphen, parentheses, no Economy "Class", and no proper noun for fare brand) because the website doesn't infer the fare brand at this point when showing the fare you booked...probably because I wasn't presented with the brands when booking through non-AC

Your business class ticket happens to be a flexible ticket that UA sold you, but it's not the Business Class Flexible fare brand that AC sells you allowing you entry

Of course, all this is moot if you have a paid business class fare to an eligible Signature Suite destination, regardless of who issued the ticket. Air Canada can obviously detect that, and you deep down in your heart would know you'd be able to enter

Last edited by asovse1; Jun 5, 22 at 9:42 pm
asovse1 is offline  
Old Jun 7, 22, 10:23 am
  #67  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC Black Card
Posts: 12
YYZ MLL Entry Requirements

Good afternoon,
Was flying out of YYZ to LIS a few weeks ago in Lufthansa economy class. I have a CIBC Aeroplan Visa infinite privilege card, which as I understand entitles me to MLL lounge access in Toronto. However, after talking with the international MLL agents, I was denied entry because my ticket was booked with Lufthansa, not AC. However, I don't see anything about this in the Credit Card Terms and Conditions (it just states that you need to have a valid ticket w/ Star alliance). I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else / if it was a valid reason to deny entry.
PS. after reproaching them and showing the terms they let me in... but still said it was technically against the rules.
Bobert59 is offline  
Old Jun 7, 22, 10:43 am
  #68  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: YVR
Programs: AC E75K, WJ Gold, NEXUS, Marriott Gold
Posts: 264
Did you link your Aeroplan # with your Lufthansa booking?
ChrisA330 and canadiancow like this.
trek604 is offline  
Old Jun 7, 22, 11:30 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: YOW
Programs: AC E50K *G
Posts: 6,962
Originally Posted by Bobert59 View Post
…they let me in... but still said it was technically against the rules.
Lounge agents are human, and we don't like to admit mistakes, so we add little excuses to save face.
zorn is offline  
Old Jun 7, 22, 11:54 am
  #70  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 39,948
Originally Posted by trek604 View Post
Did you link your Aeroplan # with your Lufthansa booking?
I think this is an important question.

The terms are definitely clear, but why did the system say no?
canadiancow is offline  
Old Jun 7, 22, 12:08 pm
  #71  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: YVR
Programs: AC Super Elite, Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 4,472
I'd write in on this - you probably won't get anything but it'll give them a chance for retraining. I had similar issues at the YVR transport MLL years ago every time I tried to guest a pax on another *Alliance flight than mine (agent insisted they had to be on the same flight). Wrote in a couple times, and then it never happened again.

(side note, I believe the official *Gold rules for partner lounges have changed that they have to be on the same flight, but AC still allows any *Alliance flight)
yvr76 is offline  
Old Jun 7, 22, 12:12 pm
  #72  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: YVR
Programs: AC E75K, WJ Gold, NEXUS, Marriott Gold
Posts: 264
Before writing in the important question to answer is if the AP# was linked on the LH res.

Relax before your flight

Access select Maple Leaf Lounges™ and Air Canada Cafés™1, 2
1 The Aeroplan number of the person accessing the benefit must be included in the qualifying reservation, and the name on the airline reservation must be identical to the name on the Aeroplan account of the traveller.

https://www.cibc.com/en/personal-ban...lege-card.html
trek604 is offline  
Old Jun 7, 22, 12:25 pm
  #73  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 416
Originally Posted by yvr76 View Post
(side note, I believe the official *Gold rules for partner lounges have changed that they have to be on the same flight, but AC still allows any *Alliance flight)
I was able to, travelling on AC a couple of weeks ago, guest a colleague travelling on UA the United Club at SFO T3 using my AP *G. The only condition the lounge gatekeepers gave was that my colleague had to leave when I did because he was my guest.
vancouver25k is offline  
Old Jun 7, 22, 12:52 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: YEG, SFO, JR JY-13
Programs: AC 75K and also 25K on account I don’t use
Posts: 544
There's a memorable MLL agent at YYZ Domestic who dresses down Black card holders when they simply flash their card requesting entry but didn't put their AP number on their boarding pass. Now that is proper training. He does offer to add their Aeroplan number to their reservation, though, and gasp, the scanner glows green now! Unfortunately for me it means I spend a few minutes in line waiting to get in, which is annoying, I've seen it twice now.

Originally Posted by yvr76 View Post
(side note, I believe the official *Gold rules for partner lounges have changed that they have to be on the same flight, but AC still allows any *Alliance flight)
yes, the *G rules changed in May 2021. For the MLL, I've always understood the wording on the MLL eligibility page that Aeroplan Elites are able to guest anybody on any *A flight...I still think MLL is subject to the *G rules for non-AC *G
Bobert59 likes this.
asovse1 is offline  
Old Jun 7, 22, 1:54 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC Black Card
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by trek604 View Post
Did you link your Aeroplan # with your Lufthansa booking?
Yes, I'm not sure how to check now since the itinerary is finished but it was linked when the ticket was purchased.

Originally Posted by zorn View Post
Lounge agents are human, and we don't like to admit mistakes, so we add little excuses to save face.
Could definitely be this yeah, just wanted to make sure it wasn't something I was missing. Next time an excuse that doesn't cause me to question my comprehension skills would be appreciated though :P

Originally Posted by vancouver25k View Post
I was able to, travelling on AC a couple of weeks ago, guest a colleague travelling on UA the United Club at SFO T3 using my AP *G. The only condition the lounge gatekeepers gave was that my colleague had to leave when I did because he was my guest.
Good to hear it was probably just me then.

Originally Posted by yvr76 View Post
I'd write in on this - you probably won't get anything but it'll give them a chance for retraining. I had similar issues at the YVR transport MLL years ago every time I tried to guest a pax on another *Alliance flight than mine (agent insisted they had to be on the same flight). Wrote in a couple times, and then it never happened again.

(side note, I believe the official *Gold rules for partner lounges have changed that they have to be on the same flight, but AC still allows any *Alliance flight)
Will do, isn't a big deal but I'm assuming most people would probably just give up instead of going back with the terms and arguing with the agents for a bit. Would suck to miss out on the lounge because they didn't know the proper rules.
Bobert59 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread