Air Canada Signature Suite lounge at Vancouver to open mid-March

Vancouver's new business class-only lounge will flourish a proudly Canadian aesthetic in food, drink and design.

By David Flynn, February 11 2020
Air Canada Signature Suite lounge at Vancouver to open mid-March

Air Canada’s new Signature Suite lounge at Vancouver International Airport should give the flag-carrier’s international business class travellers good reason to turn up a little early for their flight.

Due to open mid-March, it will be only the second lounge in Air Canada’s flagship network, following the Signature Suite Toronto which opened in December 2017.

Air Canada describes its Signature Suite lounge concept as “a haven away from the airport hustle… where you can enjoy spectacular service in the restaurant dining room and bar area, work peacefully in the quiet work area or take advantage of a personalised concierge service, there to take care of all of your travel needs.”

The dining room and bar at Air Canada's debut Signature Suite lounge in Toronto.
The dining room and bar at Air Canada's debut Signature Suite lounge in Toronto.

As with its east coast sibling, expect an upmarket vibe with highly local design influences in materials (such as maple woods) and artwork, and a strong focus on quality dining before hopping onto your international Air Canada flight.

Here’s the Executive Traveller executive summary on Air Canada’s Signature Suite lounge at Vancouver.

When will Air Canada’s Signature Suite lounge at Vancouver open?

Executive Traveller understands that Air Canada’s Signature Suite Vancouver lounge will open in the middle of March 2020, shortly after an invitation-only media preview behind held on March 12. 

Where is Air Canada’s Signature Suite Vancouver lounge located?

Air Canada’s Signature Suite Vancouver lounge is said to be located above the airline’s international Maple Leaf Lounge, opposite gate 52 of the Pier D departure level.

Having these two lounges co-sited makes plenty of sense, not just in terms of operations but also access – because Air Canada has very strict rules on who can and cannot use its Signature Suite lounges.

Local artwork at Air Canada's debut Signature Suite lounge in Toronto.
Local artwork at Air Canada's debut Signature Suite lounge in Toronto.

Who can access the Air Canada Signature Suite lounge at Vancouver?

Like its Toronto sibling, the Signature Suite Vancouver will be exclusive to business class passengers travelling on a paid ticket.

(More specifically, those are Air Canada flights booked in J, C, D, P and Z ticketing classes.)

If you’ve obtained your business class ticket using frequent flyer miles, either through an outright award booking or an upgrade, the Signature Suite Vancouver will be off-limits and you’ll have to make do with the Maple Leaf Lounge downstairs.

Air Canada's strict Signature Lounge access policy excludes business class tickets booked with points.
Air Canada's strict Signature Lounge access policy excludes business class tickets booked with points.

The same applies to frequent flyers travelling in premium economy or economy: even the loftiest status is unwelcome at the Signature Suite’s welcome desk.

You’ll also need to be on an intercontinental Air Canada flight: domestic hops within Canada, as well as flights to the USA, won’t qualify for access (those flights leave from seperate domestic and ‘transborder’ terminals at Vancouver, each of which has its own Maple Leaf Lounge).

Finally, it’s likely that the Signature Suite Vancouver – again in keeping with the Signature Suite Toronto – will be restricted to Air Canada passengers and not open to other Star Alliance airlines flying out of Vancouver’s international terminal: a roster which includes Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, EVA Air and Lufthansa.

Dining at Air Canada’s Signature Suite Vancouver

David Hawksworth, a son of Vancouver and considered one of Canada’s leading culinary talents, is behind Air Canada’s Signature Suite catering, both in the air and on the ground.

Canadian chef David Hawksworth plans to elevate the in-lounge dining experience.
Canadian chef David Hawksworth plans to elevate the in-lounge dining experience.

The Signature Suite Vancouver will feature an extensive buffet of hot and cold dishes, with an à la carte dining room serving up expect staples ranging from hearty steaks and the ‘Hawksworth beef burger’ through to an array of Asian-inspired dishes.

Air Canada's Signature Suite lounges place a strong emphasis on pre-flight dining.
Air Canada's Signature Suite lounges place a strong emphasis on pre-flight dining.

(We continue to hear praise for the albacore tuna tataki, Korean fried cauliflower, miso sablefish, chicken curry and beef rendang which have all made appearances at the Signature Suite Toronto.)

Expect restaurant-grade dishes at the Signature Suite's à la carte dining room.
Expect restaurant-grade dishes at the Signature Suite's à la carte dining room.

The dining room’s seasonal menu will draw heavily on Canadian produce, with over 90% of the ingredients locally sourced. There’ll also be a tended bar with barista-pulled coffee and a range of premium wines, spirits and cocktails, as well as Moët & Chandon champagne, plus a ‘quick bites’ bar menu.

Try a signature cocktail at the Signature Suite.
Try a signature cocktail at the Signature Suite.

Other facilities at Air Canada’s Signature Suite Vancouver

The footprint of the Air Canada Signature Suite Vancouver flows through zones for dining, relaxing and working, peppered with AC and USB power outlets.

The Signature Suite lounges have areas set aside for dining, working and relaxing.
The Signature Suite lounges have areas set aside for dining, working and relaxing.
Air Canada's Signature Suite Toronto includes this socially-minded conversation nook.
Air Canada's Signature Suite Toronto includes this socially-minded conversation nook.

It’s not known if the lounge will have its own showers or if those will be shared – albeit on a priority use basis – with the Maple Leaf Lounge, as is the practice in Toronto.

Executive Traveller will present a full report and review of the Air Canada’s Signature Suite Vancouver lounge following its media opening on March 12, 2020.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

qantas

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 114

Will be there in a couple of months thanks for the great news

If the Toronto Signature lounge is anything to go by, the Vancouver Signature lounge will be up there with the best 'business class' lounges of the world. I've visited the Toronto lounge before flying to Hong Kong with Air Canada, and the quality and presentation of food at the restaurant was exceptional. Great variety of seating and great use of space, the only shortcomings are that the Signature lounge doesn't have its own showers and there are not enough AC/USB outlets, especially around the dining room. Hopefully the Vancouver lounge addresses both of those issues.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 591

I found their regular lounge at LHR to be the worst of the four Star lounges at T2. Lack of food and quite small compared to the neighbouring SQ lounge. Hopefully these signature lounges will become more widespread outside of Canada in the future. Still waiting for the UA Polaris lounge at LHR, however their UA CLub there is already decent.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jul 2018

Total posts 12

So for SYD-YVR-EWR flyers, presumably this lounge would only be accessible prior to the YVR-SYD flight, not the YVR-EWR leg?


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