Westjet Lounge at YUL?

Old Mar 29, 19, 11:40 pm
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Westjet Lounge at YUL?

Do WS Gold and Plat. get comp access to the National Bank World MasterCard Lounge at YUL or is it just the 10% discount as implied on the WS website?

I'm going to have a couple of hours to burn in YUL on Thursday and am looking for somewhere to do it in relative comfort.

Thx
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Old Mar 30, 19, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
Do WS Gold and Plat. get comp access to the National Bank World MasterCard Lounge at YUL or is it just the 10% discount as implied on the WS website?

I'm going to have a couple of hours to burn in YUL on Thursday and am looking for somewhere to do it in relative comfort.

Thx
Gold and Platinum are entitled to unlimited lounge access for themselves and up to 5 family members.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by calgaryhhr View Post
Gold and Platinum are entitled to unlimited lounge access for themselves and up to 5 family members.
Thanks.

But then I found this on the lounge website (not WS site)....

"Effective April 3, 2019, for reasons beyond our control, Montréal-Trudeau Airport will separate the domestic and international areas.
What the changes mean for you:

The shops and lounges in the international area, which includes the National Bank Lounge, are only accessible to travellers flying to international destinations (other than Canada and the U.S.). "

So this leaves no lounge for WS customers flying domestic from/through YUL.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:13 am
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That's because YUL is separating the international and domestic areas. You'll need an international boarding pass to enter the international gate area.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
Thanks.

But then I found this on the lounge website (not WS site)....

"Effective April 3, 2019, for reasons beyond our control, Montréal-Trudeau Airport will separate the domestic and international areas.
What the changes mean for you:

The shops and lounges in the international area, which includes the National Bank Lounge, are only accessible to travellers flying to international destinations (other than Canada and the U.S.). "

So this leaves no lounge for WS customers flying domestic from/through YUL.
Yeah if that statement is accurate then a lounge will not be available for passengers travelling domestically or to the USA. That is a shame because the National Bank Lounge is quite nice. I would assume that a new lounge should be opening soon as a replacement because I can't imagine an airport like Montreal not having a domestic lounge for passengers not travelling with AC.

I just checked my Priority Pass app and it is updated to show that the National Bank Lounge is no longer accessible for Canadian and US bound travellers. No other lounges are listed in YUL.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by smallmj View Post
That's because YUL is separating the international and domestic areas. You'll need an international boarding pass to enter the international gate area.
General problem with the Montreal airport. Same problem for AMEX Platinum or Priority Pass, who use the same lounge.. Basically YUL now has no domestic lounge other than the one owned and operated by Air Canada.

Even Quebec City and Winnipeg have lounge options available. However but YUL and YXE are distinguishing themselves with sub-standard options and they both need to get their acts together.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
General problem with the Montreal airport. Same problem for AMEX Platinum or Priority Pass, who use the same lounge.. Basically YUL now has no domestic lounge other than the one owned and operated by Air Canada.

Even Quebec City and Winnipeg have lounge options available. However but YUL and YXE are distinguishing themselves with sub-standard options and they both need to get their acts together.
My last two visits to both YUL and YXE were disastrous, so my hope of either of them "getting their act together" are not high.....and anyway, WS would actually want to have a lounge at YUL and as far as I can judge from their actions, they have little interest in doing anything but the bare minimum at YUL.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
My last two visits to both YUL and YXE were disastrous, so my hope of either of them "getting their act together" are not high.....and anyway, WS would actually want to have a lounge at YUL and as far as I can judge from their actions, they have little interest in doing anything but the bare minimum at YUL.
Yes, WS ability to execute on a lounge strategy has been how can I say it? Slow, reserved, mediocre? At least AMEX and Plaza Premium have done better. It will be a major problem for YUL. At YXE, they finally had the MLL built but they do need to get their act together with another lounge that WS can use.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by smallmj View Post
That's because YUL is separating the international and domestic areas. You'll need an international boarding pass to enter the international gate area.
If true this is really disappointing news. It looks like another Canadian airport is following the nonsense of YYZ and segregating terminals by what flight you actually have. Meanwhile in the states i can access whatever terminal I damn well please so long as I have a same day boarding pass departing from the airport. You may think I'm splitting hairs here but there are tons of legitimate uses for accessing terminals you technically shouldn't be in.

In particular, as OP noted there are often better lounges in the other terminals. In the case of YUL it's the difference between a MLL with a shower and one without. And AC would point out that as a domestic pax you can access that Intl MLL in certain circumstances. At other airports I've been to this month different terminals means the difference between the *A lounge at LAX with it's shower suites, outdoor terrace with tarmac view and good food at TBIT versus no lounge since I was travelling DOM as UA Gold. In IAD it meant the difference between the TK lounge with it's shower or no lounge since I was travelling DOM as UA Gold. Just yesterday when I was at Newark it was the difference between accessing the wonderful LH lounge in Terminal B and SK lounge there as well with great menus and facilities versus sticking to the United Club at Terminal C with it's cash bar and cookies!

This is also going to be a double whammy for Westjetter Elites mark my words on that count. Why? Because many of the airline lounges have backed away from the contract model. Most recently AC pulled out of priority pass. As the lounge options become more limited and access to other terminals is denied you'll struggle to find any terminal to use. Which is fine if you're a fat cat like me who flies * exclusively and has status but for everyone else... I'm not so sure!

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Apr 1, 19, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
If true this is really disappointing news. It looks like another Canadian airport is following the nonsense of YYZ and segregating terminals by what flight you actually have. Meanwhile in the states i can access whatever terminal I damn well please so long as I have a same day boarding pass departing from the airport. You may think I'm splitting hairs here but there are tons of legitimate uses for accessing terminals you technically shouldn't be in.
??? I'd say that when it comes to major Canadian airports YUL is the exception, and not the norm. Even then, YUL is simply going back to how things were a few years ago. YYZ, YYC, YVR all have separate domestic, transborder and international areas. YUL isn't "following the nonsense of YYZ."

IMHO comparisons to US airports are not warranted/valid. AFAIK there are no US airports where you can pre-clear immigration for another country and USA also requires all pax to go through customs when arriving in USA (see note below). There is no way to pre-clear pax in Canada without segregating pax. In addition, Canadian airports are trying to set-up to allow (mostly) sterile international to international connections. There are some situations where pax (who are not normally entitled to enter Canada) are permitted to transit at a Canadian airport if they meet certain other requirements for onward travel. There are also some minor differences such as airports have set up in international areas to allow for you to buy duty free and carry it with you at time of purchase, instead of having to claim it at the gate like they do in USA. While there may be valid reasons for a passenger to want to access an international area, IMHO those reasons pale in comparison to the logistical reasons the airport authorities, CBSA, etc. have for segregating international pax. Airports aren't going to design their terminals around the preferences of a relatively small number of pax who want to access a FF lounge.

Which approach is better, that's a matter of opinion, but it appears that major Canadian airports have decided they'd prefer to segregate their pax.

Note - an example of the need to clear customs in USA was AC's previous YVR-HNL-SYD flight. IIRC pax would clear US customs in HNL only if they weren't continuing on to SYD; those pax who didn't disembark in HNL would remain onboard (or go to a secure holding area) and not have to go through US customs. After 9/11 that changed and all pax bound for SYD had to go through YVR pre-clearance for US. Over time AC obtained aircraft that could fly YVR-SYD non-stop eliminating the need for US pre-clearance for Canada-Australia pax.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
If true this is really disappointing news. It looks like another Canadian airport is following the nonsense of YYZ and segregating terminals by what flight you actually have. Meanwhile in the states i can access whatever terminal I damn well please so long as I have a same day boarding pass departing from the airport. You may think I'm splitting hairs here but there are tons of legitimate uses for accessing terminals you technically shouldn't be in.

.......

This is also going to be a double whammy for Westjetter Elites mark my words on that count. Why? Because many of the airline lounges have backed away from the contract model. Most recently AC pulled out of priority pass. As the lounge options become more limited and access to other terminals is denied you'll struggle to find any terminal to use. Which is fine if you're a fat cat like me who flies * exclusively and has status but for everyone else... I'm not so sure!

Safe Travels,

James
Segregated International, Domestic and US actually makes a lot of sense and is closer to how the rest of the world does it. The US it the odd example.

That said, not having another domestic lounge is a major problem and shows a lack of planning and understanding the customer journey on the part of the airport operator. Take Vancouver as an example. Two Plaza Premium lounges exist in domestic departures. It is a big airport, with a bid domestic departures area. Obviously Plaza Premium needs to be in both the WestJet and AC area.

For priority pass members YVR also offers two lounge options for International departures. Both the Plaza Premium and Sky Team lounge.

Getting back to Montreal. The domestic maple leaf lounges have never offered priority pass access. A few of the overseas and US Maple Leaf lounges have and some still do. The Maple Leaf lounge in Newark accept Priority pass outside of peak hours.

Clear opportunity here for WestJet to open up a domestic lounge in Montreal and accept Priority Pass. They can use Priority pass to subsidize their lounge.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 3:38 am
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Originally Posted by YEG USER View Post
??? I'd say that when it comes to major Canadian airports YUL is the exception, and not the norm. Even then, YUL is simply going back to how things were a few years ago. YYZ, YYC, YVR all have separate domestic, transborder and international areas. YUL isn't "following the nonsense of YYZ."

IMHO comparisons to US airports are not warranted/valid. AFAIK there are no US airports where you can pre-clear immigration for another country and USA also requires all pax to go through customs when arriving in USA (see note below). There is no way to pre-clear pax in Canada without segregating pax.
I agree with you here that for TB traffic it must be sterile, since technically that part of the airport is no longer on Canadian soil. However, AFAIK the International departures area is still on Canadian soil and it's only until you are on the aircraft that you are considered outside of Canada from an immigration standpoint.

Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
Segregated International, Domestic and US actually makes a lot of sense and is closer to how the rest of the world does it.
Is it really? What about SIN where you can stroll between gates to visit whatever lounge/service you want all without clearing security (since that's done at the gate level)? Can't comment about elsewhere but I suspect there are other explains of airports taking a common sense approach to travel.

Getting back to the topic at hand, the point I'm making is that it is often the case at many airports, Canadian and otherwise to be stuck in a situation where there are limited or even no services available let alone lounges. To provide another example, the purgatory known at the TB departure area of YOW which IIRC consists of a bar and a Tim Horton's and that's it! It's no wonder then that many frequent flyers travelling out the US via YOW first enter the domestic terminal to use the MLL and services on offer there which are significantly more than that of the TB area.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Apr 2, 19, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
since technically that part of the airport is no longer on Canadian soil.
A common misconception, but completely incorrect. Canadian law still applies in the TB area. There have been some updates to the agreement with the US (not sure if they're in effect yet) where US customs officials can detain certain personnel going through customs, but the TB pre-clearance area is 100% Canadian soil. If you were to steal something from a TB shop, get in a fight, or break any other law, you would be arrested by Canadian authorities. Once you go through US customs at a Canadian airport, you are segregated and pre-cleared to land in the US without going through further customs, that is all (US reserves the right to make everyone go through CBP formalities upon arrival, if they so choose, which is why pre-cleared aircraft must arrive at official points of entry in US.

Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Is it really? What about SIN where you can stroll between gates to visit whatever lounge/service you want all without clearing security (since that's done at the gate level)? Can't comment about elsewhere but I suspect there are other explains of airports taking a common sense approach to travel.
Agree that there are examples out there of non-segregated airports, but you might not want to use SIN as an example. I'm not aware of a domestic aviation market in SIN.

I also agree that additional services post-security are always a welcome benefit, but that isn't the same argument as not having segregated departure areas.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:02 pm
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All of this back and forth is well and good, SIN, YYZ, yes, they're all better or worse than each other but right now, I'm sitting in the Tim Hortons using the crappy YUL WiFi waiting for someone to come in on another flight......because WestJet doesn't have a domestic lounge at YUL.....and they tell me they are trying to attract the business customer. I'll believe it when I see it.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
All of this back and forth is well and good, SIN, YYZ, yes, they're all better or worse than each other but right now, I'm sitting in the Tim Hortons using the crappy YUL WiFi waiting for someone to come in on another flight......because WestJet doesn't have a domestic lounge at YUL.....and they tell me they are trying to attract the business customer. I'll believe it when I see it.
I for one, dislike having US pre-clearance. I have no idea why airports spend big bucks housing them. It segments airports like the YOW, YUL for example where you no longer have facilities, you have to pay to house US immigration/border officers and their facilities which are costly, for virtually no benefit. As a NEXUS card holder, I try to avoid if possible flying through airports in Canada that have US pre-clearance.

It is usually easier and faster clearing US immigration in the USA not Canada. I wish all Canadian airports got rid of US pre-clearance.

Finally, any rumors on a Domestic YUL lounge or Priority Pass lounge opening there?
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