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

Old Aug 16, 22, 1:18 pm
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Last edit by: yowcat
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:



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

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 (on flights within Canada, to the U.S and Sun destinations, indicated by cabin code J on your boarding pass)
  • 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 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
  • 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 - 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)
    • Emirates SkyWards Platinum or Gold (one guest)
  • Class of service:
    • Business class
    • 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 cafe, you will not be admitted. eGates have been updated to enforce the access policy.

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
  • Aeroplan Super Elite (one guest) when arriving on an Air Canada flight.
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AC Lounge Access - physical locations and rules (2022 onwards)

Old Aug 16, 22, 11:38 am
  #121  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: YVR
Programs: AC SE, HH Gold, Marriott Titanium, National EE, Sixt Platinum, Hertz PC, AVIS PC
Posts: 1,732
I would have used a pass for the guest and taken this up later with CS.

Ron.
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Old Aug 16, 22, 12:21 pm
  #122  
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A new *A rule requires "same flight". I haven't encountered it anywhere. And while I could see AC requiring a UA*G be on the same flight as their guest (since they only get reimbursed for entry in accordance with *A rules), I don't think their intention would be for it to apply to an AC*G.

And I certainly don't think they've actually done anything, given it isn't mentioned on AC's site (whereas UA's site does have that blurb).
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Old Aug 16, 22, 12:39 pm
  #123  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Am I allowed to visit both the MLL and the cafe on the same day?
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Old Aug 16, 22, 12:39 pm
  #124  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Posts: 40
I've guested others who weren't on my flight and I'm just 50k. I would feel let down & embarrassed if an agent incorrectly denied my guest.
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Old Aug 16, 22, 12:45 pm
  #125  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Originally Posted by hitek0007 View Post
Am I allowed to visit both the MLL and the cafe on the same day?
Yes
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Old Aug 16, 22, 1:25 pm
  #126  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
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Moderator note: I'm trying to cut down the number of repetitive lounge access questions with this thread. I've put together a pretty comprehensive wiki, but perhaps some fellow FTers could assist in fleshing it out, e.g. guesting rules.
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Old Aug 16, 22, 1:29 pm
  #127  
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I added some guest rules, and clarified the Premium rouge, since not all PR is marketed as J, and therefore not always eligible.
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Old Aug 16, 22, 1:38 pm
  #128  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Also needs to be added: mixed cabin itineraries and arrivals access. Should we maintain dedicated threads for those, or now that we have a lounge access rules thread more broadly, can those just live here? Throwing this out for consideration.

Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I added some guest rules, and clarified the Premium rouge, since not all PR is marketed as J, and therefore not always eligible.
I don't think that's true anymore. Since AC got rid of the rouge 767s, I'm pretty sure everywhere rouge flies, Premium rouge J, isn't it? That used to apply to places like BOG and ZAG, but I'm pretty sure BGI, CUN, etc, it's J.
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Old Aug 16, 22, 1:41 pm
  #129  
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
I don't think that's true anymore. Since AC got rid of the rouge 767s, I'm pretty sure everywhere rouge flies, Premium rouge J, isn't it? That used to apply to places like BOG and ZAG, but I'm pretty sure BGI, CUN, etc, it's J.
I stand corrected.

One thing about the chart of lounge locations... It might be confusing to someone flying YOW/YHZ/YYT-LHR, suggesting they don't have access to a MLL.

Same-ish for YYC.

It might be worth merging the cells in those rows and showing one check for both columns?
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Old Aug 16, 22, 5:05 pm
  #130  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 95
I have TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege credit card. I booked my husband and my ticket all under one reservation - economy class.
Do they allow both my husband and me to MLL domestic lounge in Toronto?
Thanks!
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Old Aug 16, 22, 6:22 pm
  #131  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 629
Wiki says
Cafe

Can be accessed based on:
  • Status
    • Aeroplan 50K and up (spouse, dependent children, and one guest)
I thought it was only one guest and no family? I can confirm this week and update wiki if not already updated.
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Old Aug 16, 22, 6:44 pm
  #132  
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Originally Posted by vancouver25k View Post
Wiki says


I thought it was only one guest and no family? I can confirm this week and update wiki if not already updated.
You're correct; my bad.

Clearly I copy/pasted too quickly.
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Old Aug 17, 22, 6:06 am
  #133  
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Originally Posted by HSBC View Post
I have TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege credit card. I booked my husband and my ticket all under one reservation - economy class.
Do they allow both my husband and me to MLL domestic lounge in Toronto?
Thanks!
If he is a secondary card holder yes, otherwise you will have to pay a guest fee (I believe $20) to have him admitted.

Per the small print in the card rules: "A Primary Cardholder and Additional Cardholder(s) are each entitled to complimentary access to any Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge located in Canada and the United States, including International Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges in Canada and the United States when travelling on an international itinerary. Access excludes Air Canada Signature Suites and lounges operated by third parties, such as Star Alliance member airlines. Guests of Primary Cardholders or Additional Cardholders may enter upon paying an applicable fee."
https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-ba...rivilege-card/

If you had the Amex version, you could bring a guest for free and the CIBC card has that benefit up until the end of this year.
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Old Aug 19, 22, 10:08 am
  #134  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: YLW
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I think it might be time for AC to have a CC line and a Elite line at the MLL’s.
I have found in the last half dozen times both in YVR and YYZ there has been people in line talking to agents and it always be in relation to the lounge access with there credit card. Yesterday at YVR Dom lounge, a family of 4 were trying to access the lounge and were having a discussion how they had a credit card which allowed them access. The agent began to explain the policy and rules, and specifically inquired about the 2 adult kids who must be under the age of 24, this is where it got interesting. The parents explained “oh they are dependents that still live at home…. “ at this point the other agent had finished explaining to another guest something about credit card holders entering…. Now it was time for a few of us waiting to actually just scan our boarding passes and enter another over crowded lounge.
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Old Aug 19, 22, 10:37 am
  #135  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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A couple with a TD Visa Infinite Aeroplan card were turned away at the YYZ domestic because they were on an international itinerary. They said they were sent to this lounge by the check-in agent because their card didn't give them access to the international MLL, but the lounge agent was firm in insisting that they weren't allowing any international travellers in at all. Is that a common occurrence or was the lounge agent simply looking for an excuse to turn the couple away?
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