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)

Old Aug 16, 2022, 1:18 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: canadiancow
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:



Notes:
  • YYZ Transborder: there are 2 MLLs, a full MLL right after US CBP and a second, small MLL near the regional gates
  • YYC Transborder: AC provides access to the Aspire lounge for status and J pax (no passes/credit cards)
  • YTZ Caf: the Caf at YTZ is an Aspire lounge (accessible via Priority Pass and other programs) co-branded by AC
  • EWR: the MLL is a co-branding of the United lounge in Terminal A; access rules are not entirely clear


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

NEW Effective June 13, 2023
Access to Maple Leaf Lounges, Air Canada Cafs, and Signature Suites will be limited to three hours prior to scheduled departure time. Please note that this policy does not apply during flight connections or flight delays.


While it is not published at the time of writing this, the internal policy now exempts SEs and most passengers with reported disabilities (eg WCHR) from the three hour rule for Maple Leaf Lounges, but not the Signature Suite.

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
  • 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 MLLs in Canada, and MLLs in the USA, 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.

Cafs

Can be accessed by those with a departing domestic boarding pass (no arrivals benefit for the Caf) 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 (there is no business class service from YTZ, but a business class boarding pass for the subsequent flight enables access)
    • 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 Caf, you will not be admitted. eGates have been updated to enforce the access policy.

While it is not published, the internal policy exempts SEs from that requirement, so you should be admitted.

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 (Including upgrades to J)
  • Aeroplan Super Elite (one guest) when arriving on an Air Canada flight.
Print Wikipost

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

Old Jun 16, 2022, 6:33 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 30
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!
TorTraveler is offline  
Old Jun 16, 2022, 6:46 am
  #92  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Toronto, ON
Programs: AC 75K
Posts: 6,344
Originally Posted by TorTraveler
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, 2022, 6:48 am
  #93  
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 30
Thanks! Looking forward to seeing it for the first time.
TorTraveler is offline  
Old Jun 16, 2022, 7:36 am
  #94  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 7
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, 2022, 10:03 am
  #95  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: YVR/YYZ
Programs: AC50K, *A Gold, Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 363
Originally Posted by Daniel Zea
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, 2022, 10:06 am
  #96  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC SE MM, Bonvoy Plat, Hilton G,Nexus, Amex MR Plat,IHG Plat
Posts: 4,399
Originally Posted by Daniel Zea
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 offline  
Old Jun 17, 2022, 3:58 am
  #97  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: west coast best coast
Programs: TINDER GOLD, STARBUCKS GOLD, COSTCO EXECUTIVE!!
Posts: 3,984
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?
keitherson is online now  
Old Jun 17, 2022, 4:11 am
  #98  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: YOW
Programs: AC SE, FOTSG Platinum
Posts: 5,665
Originally Posted by keitherson
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?
"Air Canada Signature Class customers travelling on an Air Canada-operated flight..."

Originally Posted by keitherson
Why do they mention a First Class Flexible Reward, if Air Canada does not have First Class?
Because you can book things like YYZ-FRA-JNB, with the first leg in AC J and the second leg in LH F.
YOWgary is offline  
Old Jun 19, 2022, 10:02 am
  #99  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC*SE 2MM
Posts: 16,540
I flew overnight from YYZ - FRA and had some time on my hands before catching a train so I thought I'd go to the MLL there. The lounge person told me that I could not access the lounge as it was not an arrivals lounge and I didn't have an onward connection. I've never been denied access to other MLL's when using after my flight. Is this a special rule for FRA, is it because the flight is overnight so it is no longer "same day" or was the lounge person making up rules on the fly?
The Lev is offline  
Old Jun 19, 2022, 12:54 pm
  #100  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, SQ Silver, Bonvoy Tit LTG, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond
Posts: 44,033
Originally Posted by The Lev
I flew overnight from YYZ - FRA and had some time on my hands before catching a train so I thought I'd go to the MLL there. The lounge person told me that I could not access the lounge as it was not an arrivals lounge and I didn't have an onward connection. I've never been denied access to other MLL's when using after my flight. Is this a special rule for FRA, is it because the flight is overnight so it is no longer "same day" or was the lounge person making up rules on the fly?
Emphasis mine.
In addition, you may access the domestic Maple Leaf Lounges at airports in Canada and the U.S. upon arriving on an Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express flight.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Jun 26, 2022, 10:04 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NY Tri state- but hangs out in nicer weather in west coast
Programs: CO Plat, National VIP, Avis PC,
Posts: 577
Lounge Access flying out of YYZ

Hi,

I am flying out of YYZ with my wife and three children. I have United Club Membership, Priority Pass membership, and Amex Platinum Business Card, and my wife has a Priority Pass membership as well. We also have an Amex Personal Platinum and Amex Business Gold card, but dont have them with us.
Using a combination of these cards, would I be able to get my entire family into the lounge?

Thank you
ghurty is offline  
Old Jun 26, 2022, 10:15 pm
  #102  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.98MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 66,181
No UC membership family access at *A partner lounges, you will have just one guest allowed
You will only be able to use one access method, not using multiple methods. So not additional quests.


If the AC ML allows Priority Pass, that also is limited to one quest

You have to ask if the ML offers a paid access pass for the third child.

But as this a ML access question, will move to AC Forum
WineCountryUA
UA coModerator
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jun 27, 2022, 8:18 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: YYZ
Programs: All Accor Plat, 1865 Voyager, AE E35K, HH Gold,Hyatt, Hrtz Gold, Marriott Gold, NEXUS
Posts: 1,657
Originally Posted by ghurty
Hi,

I am flying out of YYZ with my wife and three children. I have United Club Membership, Priority Pass membership, and Amex Platinum Business Card, and my wife has a Priority Pass membership as well. We also have an Amex Personal Platinum and Amex Business Gold card, but dont have them with us.
Using a combination of these cards, would I be able to get my entire family into the lounge?

Thank you
I think you can get access to the Plaza Premium Lounges at YYZ for 2 of you and 2 guests with your 2 AMEX Platinum cards, but I think you will need to have them with you. Also, if one of your children is under 2, they are free.
vernonc likes this.
allbrosca is offline  
Old Jul 2, 2022, 10:17 am
  #104  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: YXU
Programs: AC SE100K, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite, IHG Platinum Elite
Posts: 326
On a domestic-international connection, will the Caf let me in before I head to the E gates? Figure with the lines for the international MLL as of late I could at least grab a latte to go to nurse during the wait!

Last edited by talkeryxu; Jul 2, 2022 at 1:13 pm Reason: Correct typo.
talkeryxu is offline  
Old Jul 2, 2022, 11:01 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Ideally YOW, but probably not
Programs: AC SE*MM
Posts: 1,801
Originally Posted by talkeryxu
On a domestic-international connection, will the Caf let me in before I had to the E gates? Figure with the lines for the international MLL as of late I could at least grab a latte to go to nurse during the wait!
Yes, they will.
RatherBeInYOW is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.