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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 Nov 21, 22, 6:13 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
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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; until June 1 2023 - no access on or after)
    • 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 advertised as Signature Class, 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 Jun 7, 22, 1:52 pm
  #76  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: YEG, SFO, JR JY-13
Programs: AC 75K and also 25K on account I don’t use
Posts: 579
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 online now  
Old Jun 7, 22, 2:54 pm
  #77  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC 25K/Black Card
Posts: 14
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 online now  
Old Jun 7, 22, 3:32 pm
  #78  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Programs: Amex Plat, Hilton Diamond, SPG Gold, Carlson Gold, CM Presidential / *A Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 1,490
Originally Posted by Bobert59 View Post
Yes, I'm not sure how to check now since the itinerary is finished but it was linked when the ticket was purchased.
Check to see if the miles posted
pmarrsouth is online now  
Old Jun 7, 22, 3:54 pm
  #79  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC 25K/Black Card
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
Check to see if the miles posted
They did not post, but I believe this is just because it was a "K" booking class which doesn't appear on Air Canada's Chart. Maybe that sounds weird but since the tickets were only $4 rt (+$300 in tax), I wouldn't blame them for not wanting to give out points.
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Bobert59 is online now  
Old Jun 9, 22, 10:29 am
  #80  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: YVR
Programs: AC Super Elite, Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 4,482
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.
Airlines are always able to allow more flexibility. It's just that the minimum threshold of *Gold rules changed.

Back in the day *Gold would get you 3 bags AC at 70 lbs, similar to Elites. Now it just gets you the minimum +1 bag.
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Old Jun 10, 22, 8:45 pm
  #81  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: ba silver
Posts: 530
I have a question about access. I paid a little over $ 900 for a one way ticket to Bogota from Montreal via YYZ. Flight is Singature on an A-330. Return does not involve YYZ and on points so irrelevant.

If they decide to change to a narrow body with no Signature would I lose access to the suite?

Might not matter anyways since if they change to a narrow body or even worse Rouge the flight I can cancel and get a voucher or points and fly on AA for hundreds less with FL access, as I have BA Silver.
stevendorechester is offline  
Old Jun 11, 22, 8:53 am
  #82  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto - YYZ
Programs: Aeroplan/Hilton Gold/Marriott Bonvoy Titanium/Accor/Hyatt Gold Passport
Posts: 5,715
Originally Posted by stevendorechester View Post
I have a question about access. I paid a little over $ 900 for a one way ticket to Bogota from Montreal via YYZ. Flight is Singature on an A-330. Return does not involve YYZ and on points so irrelevant.

If they decide to change to a narrow body with no Signature would I lose access to the suite?

Might not matter anyways since if they change to a narrow body or even worse Rouge the flight I can cancel and get a voucher or points and fly on AA for hundreds less with FL access, as I have BA Silver.
It would change to narrow body in the most irregular of situations. That route is cargo heavy supported by wide body operations. The only narrow body that currently has the range is the 737MAX. Highly, highly unlikely.

Last edited by ACYYZ/SD; Jun 11, 22 at 11:31 am
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Old Jun 14, 22, 7:33 am
  #83  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC 25K/Black Card
Posts: 14
Angry

Just had another encounter with a maple leaf lounge, this time in YYZ transborder. Agent denied entry and said to call visa as I wasn't showing up as a premium passenger in their system. Said to call visa, after calling they said everything is ok in their system and told me to call Aeroplan (ran out of time before my flight boarded, will call them when I get the chance). But it's definitely an interesting problem as I didn't even have priority boarding with my flight yesterday. Haven't seen this happen to anyone else and can't find anything about it online weirdly enough. I'll post another update after calling Aeroplan.
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Old Jun 16, 22, 6:33 am
  #84  
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 22
Hi - This is a first post on this forum because I want to ground my expectations and not get excited for the SS if I'm going to be turned away at the door. I purchased a PE ticket to Europe out of YYZ and then, almost immediately, had second thoughts and paid cash to rebook as business class. The ticket shows up as P in my bookings. My concern is that the ticket wasn't "originally" booked as business class - do you think I'll be able to get in?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 16, 22, 6:46 am
  #85  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Toronto, ON
Programs: AC 75K
Posts: 5,910
Originally Posted by TorTraveler View Post
Hi - This is a first post on this forum because I want to ground my expectations and not get excited for the SS if I'm going to be turned away at the door. I purchased a PE ticket to Europe out of YYZ and then, almost immediately, had second thoughts and paid cash to rebook as business class. The ticket shows up as P in my bookings. My concern is that the ticket wasn't "originally" booked as business class - do you think I'll be able to get in?

Thanks!
Yes, youll be eligible to enter.
ChrisA330 is offline  
Old Jun 16, 22, 6:48 am
  #86  
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 22
Thanks! Looking forward to seeing it for the first time.
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Old Jun 16, 22, 7:36 am
  #87  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 6
Questions in regards to in and out privilege's. I am flying out of YYZ to FCO, I have access to the SS lounge based my my fare type. That being said, I arrive at YYZ 7 hours early from YXU. I have my grandmother joining my on this journey, however she will be checking in from YYZ. If I leave the lounge to go grab her after already being in there, am I able to get back in? Or is it a one time use type of deal? If we leave the lounge, to find our flight has been delayed (Which has been the case with this flight) are we able to head back up to the lounge?

TIA!
Daniel Zea is offline  
Old Jun 16, 22, 10:03 am
  #88  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: YVR
Programs: AC50K, *A Gold, Marriott Titanium, Hilton Gold
Posts: 228
Originally Posted by Daniel Zea View Post
Questions in regards to in and out privilege's. I am flying out of YYZ to FCO, I have access to the SS lounge based my my fare type. That being said, I arrive at YYZ 7 hours early from YXU. I have my grandmother joining my on this journey, however she will be checking in from YYZ. If I leave the lounge to go grab her after already being in there, am I able to get back in? Or is it a one time use type of deal? If we leave the lounge, to find our flight has been delayed (Which has been the case with this flight) are we able to head back up to the lounge?

TIA!
No issues.
loganre17 is offline  
Old Jun 16, 22, 10:06 am
  #89  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC S100K, SPG G, Hilton G,Nexus/GE, Amex MR Plat, Hyatt Plat,IHG Plat E
Posts: 4,194
Originally Posted by Daniel Zea View Post
Questions in regards to in and out privilege's. I am flying out of YYZ to FCO, I have access to the SS lounge based my my fare type. That being said, I arrive at YYZ 7 hours early from YXU. I have my grandmother joining my on this journey, however she will be checking in from YYZ. If I leave the lounge to go grab her after already being in there, am I able to get back in? Or is it a one time use type of deal? If we leave the lounge, to find our flight has been delayed (Which has been the case with this flight) are we able to head back up to the lounge?

TIA!
You can reenter.
vernonc is online now  
Old Jun 17, 22, 3:58 am
  #90  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: west coast best coast
Programs: TINDER GOLD, STARBUCKS GOLD, COSTCO EXECUTIVE!!
Posts: 3,888
Air Canada Signature Class customers travelling on an Air Canada-operated flight (to Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia) originally booked and ticketed in the following booking classes will be eligible for access to the Air Canada Signature Suite: J, C, D, Z, P. 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.


Sorry for the dumb question: if you have a Flexible Reward but are NOT flying Air Canada for the long-haul, do you have access?

Why do they mention a First Class Flexible Reward, if Air Canada does not have First Class?
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