Old Aug 26, 22, 6:21 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Adam Smith
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UPDATED HERE January 2, 2022

Boarding Process

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...g-by-zone.html

Pre-boarding: Customers who have requested wheelchair assistance
Zone 1: J and SE customers
Zone 2: 75K, 50K, 35K, 25K, Star Alliance Gold, Premium Economy, Latitude and Primary or Secondary Cardholder on Aeroplan black credit cards
Zone 2.5:
- Passengers travelling with children under the age of 6 or who require additional time to board the aircraft
- Passengers travelling with a musical instrument as part of their carry-on baggage
Zone 3: Comfort fares, passengers who purchased preferred seats in advance
Zones 3, 4 and 5: General boarding (back to front). AC Express flights will not have Zone 5.
Zone 6: Economy Basic

Companions travelling on the same PNR as an Aeroplan Elite/*Gold member will receive the same priority boarding zone.

Original thread covering 2014-2019 can be found here
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Zoned Boarding (2020 onwards)

Old Jan 14, 20, 6:39 pm
  #1  
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Zoned Boarding (2020 onwards)

So last night on AC967 I noticed that the zone 1 lineup was a little long. Started chatting with a family in the line that told me they were given zone 1 to compensate for the 4hr delay. I found that interesting. I mentioned to them that zone 1 is supposed to be reserved for Business Class or Super Elite and they told me they were neither.

Another interesting tidbit was that on the outbound a few days earlier (AC966) I overheard the gate agent saying there were 66 people in zone 1...Based on the meal orders and the onboard product manager (or whatever they are called, the agents that roam various flights to make sure everyone is happy) I was one of maybe 2 SE's in the business cabin.

Last edited by Nitehawk; Jan 15, 20 at 2:32 am Reason: Add details of AC966
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Old Jan 14, 20, 7:11 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Nitehawk View Post
So last night on AC967 I noticed that the zone 1 lineup was a little long. Started chatting with a family in the line that told me they were given zone 1 to compensate for the 4hr delay. I found that interesting. I mentioned to them that zone 1 is supposed to be reserved for Business Class or Super Elite and they told me they were neither. Another interesting tidbit was that on the outbound a few days earlier (AC966) I overheard the gate agent saying there were 66 people in zone 1...Based on the meal orders and the onboard product manager (or whatever they are called, the agents that roam various flights to make sure everyone is happy) I was one of maybe 2 SE's in the business cabin.
For 66 zone 1 on a 333, there would have to be 39 passengers in Y who are either SE or on the same PNR as an SE.

That seems unlikely, but not impossible.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 7:37 pm
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Sunday at YVR, boarding a flight to PHX.

Departure time, 40 minutes past boarding time, no boarding announcements yet. Obviously the flight is departing late, but being bored and all I ask the male GA for an estimated delay. He says, annoyed, "can't you see I've already started boarding?" Then he says - in a normal voice, not on the PA: "Zone 4." Turns out he's been "boarding" for 15 or 20 minutes whoever is standing within earshot of the podium (keep in mind this is one of the gates that shares a seating area with the adjacent gates - the GAs of which are all making PA announcements that drown out whatever our GA is saying) and thinks he's about to complete boarding despite having, by my estimate when I got on the plane, about 12 people on a 767. When I board, I ask the agent who scans my BP: "do you realize you aren't making any announcements and no one knows you're boarding?" She shrugs, nods in the direction of the male GA and says "this is how he prefers to do it".

I'm more baffled than annoyed.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 8:12 pm
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There's just something 'off' about those flights to PHX apparently.
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Old Jan 18, 20, 4:04 pm
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Our boarding zone on aot boarding pass has *.
no number: we shally get zone 2 with our Aeroplan visa infinite or whatever its called. We requested a wheelchair at the arrival city as they need to be booked. In Toronto we usually just pick one up when arrive at YYZ I push my wife :
would the wheelchair request replace any boarding zone and thats why its not listed
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Old Jan 18, 20, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by aircrashsurvivor View Post
Our boarding zone on aot boarding pass has *.
no number: we shally get zone 2 with our Aeroplan visa infinite or whatever its called. We requested a wheelchair at the arrival city as they need to be booked. In Toronto we usually just pick one up when arrive at YYZ I push my wife :
would the wheelchair request replace any boarding zone and thats why its not listed
Yes. I had same * when I had my mother with me. Otherwise I am Zone 1 as SE.
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Old Jan 18, 20, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by visitor View Post
Yes. I had same * when I had my mother with me. Otherwise I am Zone 1 as SE.
Right. Zone * is special assistance. Usually boards before zone 1.
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Old Feb 2, 20, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by pewpew View Post
Interestingly I had one PNR with three passengers: 2*G 1 non status. The former had zone 2; the latter had zone 5 on the inbound. On the outbound, all had zone 2...
Back in November, YYC-SFO outbound, LAX-YVR-YYC inbound, I was P25K while my 2 companions had no status. I somehow had Zone 2 (I expected Zone 3 since I only bought the standard fare) on my BP while they had Zone 4, this happened for all the flights. I asked the agent in YYC and SFO why that is when I went to check bags and they had no idea.
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Old Feb 2, 20, 4:27 pm
  #9  
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Being on the same PNR has never been sufficient to share zones with lower-status companions.

You also need to check in at the same time. Through OLCI, that's easy. Check all the boxes.

At the counter, more often than not, they seem to check us in "separately", so I get zone 1, and my companion does not.
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Old Feb 2, 20, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Being on the same PNR has never been sufficient to share zones with lower-status companions.

You also need to check in at the same time. Through OLCI, that's easy. Check all the boxes.
Did the OLCI check in with all 3 at the same time, the counter was literally just for bag drop
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Old Feb 7, 20, 1:00 pm
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I just checked in online. While my boarding pass for the first leg has a zone number printed on it, the second one doesn't. Why did this happen? How will I know when to board?
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Old Feb 7, 20, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Nagoya172 View Post
How will I know when to board?
I dont know why this happened, but they usually announce that if you dont have a Zone number printed on your boarding pass, then you should board with one of the later zones (Zone 5 I think).
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Old Feb 10, 20, 8:44 am
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I haven’t seen this on mainline in a while, but Z1 & Z2 were called simultaneously at LAX today
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Old Feb 10, 20, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by ffsim View Post
I havent seen this on mainline in a while, but Z1 & Z2 were called simultaneously at LAX today
I witnessed this a few times between YYZ/YTZ-YUL. In one instance Z1 line was empty.
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Old Feb 10, 20, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by songsc View Post
I witnessed this a few times between YYZ/YTZ-YUL. In one instance Z1 line was empty.
YTZ-YUL isn't mainline and has no J so it's quite possible there were no zone 1. But I'm not standing up until the make the announcement, and I still want zone 1.

YYZ-YUL that's much less likely.

LAX-YYZ... there were people in zone 1.
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