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New AC lounges for Toronto, San Francisco, Montreal, Vancouver (M. Nasr interview)

New AC lounges for Toronto, San Francisco, Montreal, Vancouver (M. Nasr interview)

Old May 28, 2023, 4:59 am
  #1  
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New AC lounges for Toronto, San Francisco, Montreal, Vancouver (M. Nasr interview)

Just sharing some details on AC's lounge roadmap, as detailed by AC's Mark Nasr in an interview late last week.

There are a few key takeouts here:
  • a refresh on the way for key domestic and international Maple Leaf Lounges in line with that new 'warmer' Air Canada brand language
  • a 'new model' / 'new concept' lounge at Toronto to open in northern summer 2023 (expect an official announcement in the coming weeks) with seating for 133 travellers, a hot and cold buffet, bar and ‘grab & go’ facility
  • opening of the San Francisco Maple Leaf Lounge will be in second half of June
  • Montreal to get an Air Canada Cafe in 2024
  • Vancouver to get an Air Canada Cafe in 2025, which will also see an "evolution" of the original concept with a more modern 'cafe / co-working' vibe
More at https://www.executivetraveller.com/n...real-vancouver

[Quick disclosure: I'm the editor-in-chief at Executive Traveller, this info came from an interview with Mark Nasr during his quick trip to Sydney, and I'm happy to reply to questions or share anything else that comes up from this]

Last edited by djsflynn; May 28, 2023 at 5:13 am
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Old May 28, 2023, 8:43 am
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Pure speculation but I wonder if the "twist" for the new 133 person AC lounge at YYZ domestic will be that it's either a domestic Signature Suite open only to J passengers OR perhaps an SE lounge.

It's not entirely true that SFO will be AC's first lounge on the US west coast - they had operated a lounge at LAX for many years before migrating to the Star Alliance lounge. Did Mark Nasr indicate what they will do about UA Star Golds who don't get entry into UA's Clubs for domestic flights wandering over to the SFO MLL? Maybe that's why it has capacity for 120 people, although that could get quickly overwhelmed.
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Old May 28, 2023, 9:18 am
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Good news.

I don't think the lounge size increase ("average of 30%") is enough but when coupled with a Cafe in YUL / YVR (whose domestic lounges are both overcrowded disasters right now) maybe this will be enough to make the domestic lounge situation reasonable again.
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Old May 28, 2023, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by The Lev
It's not entirely true that SFO will be AC's first lounge on the US west coast - they had operated a lounge at LAX for many years before migrating to the Star Alliance lounge.
Ah, didn't know that - thanks, will look into that and edit as necessary.

Did Mark Nasr indicate what they will do about UA Star Golds who don't get entry into UA's Clubs for domestic flights wandering over to the SFO MLL? Maybe that's why it has capacity for 120 people, although that could get quickly overwhelmed.
We didn't have time to get into specifics of entry for SFO, and to be honest even if we had more time for the interview that's not something I would have asked but he certainly didn't volunteer anything about access as that's pretty 'granular' in relation to the broader overview of the future loungescape.
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Old May 28, 2023, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by RatherBeInYOW
Good news.

I don't think the lounge size increase ("average of 30%") is enough but when coupled with a Cafe in YUL / YVR (whose domestic lounges are both overcrowded disasters right now) maybe this will be enough to make the domestic lounge situation reasonable again.
Also remember the elimination of access for 35K'ers as of June. Hopefully (maybe) that helps?
Or maybe (unfortunately) just offset by all the credit card access...

Regardless looking forward to expanded offerings across the network + especially in YVR.
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Old May 28, 2023, 9:53 am
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Thanks, that's interesting.

No love for poor little YEG! I hope this means more power plugs, but I'd settle for the Cafe-style to go coffee cups in YYC/YVR (or everywhere) (YYC because at least they make decent cafe style drinks so it would make sense).

I wonder if the YVR refresh can help handle things like the airflow because that Dom/TB lounges get just so hot with the windows it's uncomfortably muggy in there.

The scale is entirely different but the food/drink variety of WS' YYC Lounge is really something. Perhaps this will be more competitive with that style of lounge (obviously one or two is different than a domestic network of them).
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Old May 28, 2023, 10:20 am
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It sucks that Ottawa isnt getting AC cafe :-(
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Old May 28, 2023, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by The Lev
It's not entirely true that SFO will be AC's first lounge on the US west coast - they had operated a lounge at LAX for many years before migrating to the Star Alliance lounge.
The MLL at LAX is still there in T6, no?
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Old May 28, 2023, 11:13 am
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The overcrowding in the domestic lounges continues to be a massive issue. It has been a bit better for SE's with the SE/paid J line up. Being mostly on the west coast, YVR's domestic lounge could easily be twice the size. Additional lounge facilities at YVR not coming till 2025 seems a poor decision. And agree that YEG needs a refresh but it's pretty clear that AC is focused on its three hubs as well as eastern Canada and is leaving Alberta to WS.
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Old May 28, 2023, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by EdmFlyBoi
The overcrowding in the domestic lounges continues to be a massive issue. It has been a bit better for SE's with the SE/paid J line up. Being mostly on the west coast, YVR's domestic lounge could easily be twice the size. Additional lounge facilities at YVR not coming till 2025 seems a poor decision. And agree that YEG needs a refresh but it's pretty clear that AC is focused on its three hubs as well as eastern Canada and is leaving Alberta to WS.
I'm surprised they haven't made use of that downstairs area that used to be the business area, or maybe it's become too important as storage/behind the scenes space.

I haven't bothered with YYZ main lounge in ages for the same reason (fullness), but it's also a pain to go up to vs finding out YVR is crammed.
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Old May 28, 2023, 11:25 am
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Pure shot in the dark - but any reason why AC woudn't open a presecurity lounge that would benefit Dom/Intl (perhaps US pax albeit a little farther away). Would help with destination requirements, but keep it tight - perhaps SE only.
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Old May 28, 2023, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by loganre17
Pure shot in the dark - but any reason why AC woudn't open a presecurity lounge that would benefit Dom/Intl (perhaps US pax albeit a little farther away). Would help with destination requirements, but keep it tight - perhaps SE only.
I can't imagine why? It's not like you don't need to clear some kind of security for !DOM destinations.
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Old May 28, 2023, 11:57 am
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I took my first and last flights on AC yesterday. YVR-YUL-IAD. Whole experience from beginning to end was sub par. Lounges useless. Agents useless.
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Old May 28, 2023, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by RatherBeInYOW
Good news.

I don't think the lounge size increase ("average of 30%") is enough but when coupled with a Cafe in YUL / YVR (whose domestic lounges are both overcrowded disasters right now) maybe this will be enough to make the domestic lounge situation reasonable again.
I take this to mean that they are just jamming 30% more chairs in, not that they are increasing the space at all.
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Old May 28, 2023, 12:11 pm
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I was the first person in the YVR US-bound MLL this morning (6:15am) and it took all of an hour for it to fill out. On a Sunday! Sheesh...
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