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Montreal YUL 5 hour layover, coming from ORD on Air Canada

Montreal YUL 5 hour layover, coming from ORD on Air Canada

Old Oct 10, 18, 7:13 pm
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Montreal YUL 5 hour layover, coming from ORD on Air Canada

Hi, I'm flying Air Canada ORD-TLV with a 5 hour layover in Montreal. My layover is on a Sunday, from 1pm-5pm. Is it worth trying to take the bus into the city for an hour or so? A google search and a forum search here were older posts, and I'm asking again in case things have changed for better or worse. TIA
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Old Oct 11, 18, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by SteveOh View Post
Hi, I'm flying Air Canada ORD-TLV with a 5 hour layover in Montreal. My layover is on a Sunday, from 1pm-5pm. Is it worth trying to take the bus into the city for an hour or so? A google search and a forum search here were older posts, and I'm asking again in case things have changed for better or worse. TIA
If you're referring to the 747 bus, it can take up to 30 to 40 minutes one way just to get to Lionel-Groulx station depending on traffic. Sometimes it can take up to an hour especially in the late afternoon.
There is constant construction (a way of life there) on the Autoroute 20 and the bus often takes detours, and such detour routes can change often.

If you actually want to get into the heart of downtown, then you'll probably take a green or orange line train eastward from Lionel-Groulx which adds extra time.

So IMHO, it will be tight. Probably best to store your carry-on before making the quick trek downtown if you wish to do so.

I do this PITA bus ride often.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 2:38 pm
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1pm-5pm is only a 4h layover in my book, and that's not enough for a meaningful trip downtown by 747 bus, which doesn't run too often on Sundays. You'd definitely be spending much more time waiting for and being on a bus than actually being in town.

Of course, taxis would be much faster and more convenient on Sundays at that time, but you're looking at 2x$45 - hardly worth it, no?
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Old Oct 11, 18, 6:17 pm
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You also say you're coming in from ORD, which means you'll be clearing immigration in YUL, and also waiting to pickup and transfer any checked baggage you may have. If you have Nexus, then you'll clear customs fast and just need to wait for your bag, but otherwise it all depends on how many flights are coming in. It's a Sunday, but it could take a bit.

Given that and re-clearing security... not worth it IMHO.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
You also say you're coming in from ORD, which means you'll be clearing immigration in YUL, and also waiting to pickup and transfer any checked baggage you may have. If you have Nexus, then you'll clear customs fast and just need to wait for your bag, but otherwise it all depends on how many flights are coming in. It's a Sunday, but it could take a bit.

Given that and re-clearing security... not worth it IMHO.
TB-Intl pax on AC haven't had to touch their bags in years and CBSA processing takes place using automated kiosks in a dedicated transit lounge that delivers pa directly into the departures area. Pax can then leave this area if they with to step groundside through the domestic arrivals area and not even need to slow down for the sometimes busy CBSA exit area. CATSA processing is also not required for these flights. While I support the views of other posters who indicate that the trip into town isn't advisable within the time available it's absolutely not due to the reasons you mention.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 8:28 pm
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Possible? Yes.
Expensive (to make it)? Likely.
Tight? Potentially.
Worth it? No, imho.

I guess my question is why do you want to go downtown. To meet someone, to say you’ve been there, to get better than airport food, just to avoid 4h (if AC is actually on time) in the airport etc... Might make a difference

Edit: You said 5h from 1pm-5pm which is 4h. Doesn’t make much difference based on being Sunday afternoon however. Time of year (summer vs winter at least) might make a difference.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 5:11 pm
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I personally wouldn't even do this on a domestic connection, having flown into and out of YUL on such 4-hour-ish layovers.

But OP, if you want to spend 1.75-ish fulfilling hours somewhere downtown, then go for it! Let us know what you ended up doing downtown.
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Old Oct 14, 18, 8:19 am
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I made a typo - my layover is from 1-6. Also I was told today that the old city is what I should see, not downtown. But thanks all for confirming the risk in this.

Separately, if I stay at the airport is the Delta lounge worth spending the hours at? I have a Delta Amex so I think I can get in for $29.

Either way, if I attempt the trip in I’ll report back on my success or failure.
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Old Oct 14, 18, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by SteveOh View Post
I made a typo - my layover is from 1-6. Also I was told today that the old city is what I should see, not downtown. But thanks all for confirming the risk in this.

Old Montreal is just east (and a tad south) (next to) downtown. You'll still have to take the subway from Lionel-Groulx after getting off the 747 bus (assuming you'll take the bus).

But with Uber or Téo out of YUL, that might be your best/quickest option, but not cheapest. You'll probably be able to get a solid couple hours in Old Montreal if the timing is right.
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Old Oct 14, 18, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by SteveOh View Post
If I stay at the airport is the Delta lounge worth spending the hours at? I have a Delta Amex so I think I can get in for $29.
There's no Delia lounge at YUL. I think there's a SkyTeam lounge of some sort (I think KLM) in the international departures area, but it's not a Sky Club and probably won't have the $29 Amex access.
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Old Oct 14, 18, 3:17 pm
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I wasted about 15 minutes deciding whether to take the 747 in or not. Decided to go for it. Clearing customs took no time, literally, maybe because it was Sunday. Departed at 1:45 arrived at 2:30. Walked through Chinatown and into the old city. Grabbed a poutine with smoked meat at Montréal Poutine. Walked over to Place Jacques-Cartier and ate on a park bench across from Ben & Jerry’s and watched a flamenco dancer. By then it was just after 3 and I headed back to the bus stop. I saw the bus from across the street, jaywalked across then ran (really) to it with my carryon. Right when I got to the bus it started pulling away. Thankfully someone waved him to stop. Even with some kind of detour we got back to YUL a little after 4 (major congestion on the entrance road). I tried to give my $10 pass to someone in the ticket line back at the terminal but they said it’s no good anymore. Whatever. I headed to security. I’m not sure what I would have done if I’d had more time, but on the ride back I saw some people entering the cathedral and it occurred to me that would have been nice to do too. Next time. Glad I went there
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Old Oct 14, 18, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by SteveOh View Post
I wasted about 15 minutes deciding whether to take the 747 in or not. Decided to go for it. Clearing customs took no time, literally, maybe because it was Sunday. Departed at 1:45 arrived at 2:30. Walked through Chinatown and into the old city. Grabbed a poutine with smoked meat at Montréal Poutine. Walked over to Place Jacques-Cartier and ate on a park bench across from Ben & Jerry’s and watched a flamenco dancer. By then it was just after 3 and I headed back to the bus stop. I saw the bus from across the street, jaywalked across then ran (really) to it with my carryon. Right when I got to the bus it started pulling away. Thankfully someone waved him to stop. Even with some kind of detour we got back to YUL a little after 4 (major congestion on the entrance road). I tried to give my $10 pass to someone in the ticket line back at the terminal but they said it’s no good anymore. Whatever. I headed to security. I’m not sure what I would have done if I’d had more time, but on the ride back I saw some people entering the cathedral and it occurred to me that would have been nice to do too. Next time. Glad I went there
Nice!

And yes, I also give my day pass to someone else at the airport when I return the same day, and they are always thankful.
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