Boarding by Zone

Flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express are boarded by zone at most airports. The zone corresponding to your seat is clearly printed on your Air Canada-issued boarding pass.

Boarding Priority Eligible Customers
Pre-boarding Customers who have requested wheelchair assistance are invited to board first.
Zone 1

Board with zone 1*:

  • when you travel in Business Class, or in Premium Rouge on a domestic or Caribbean flight
  • as an Altitude Super Elite 100K member
More about zone 1 boarding
Zone 2

Board with zone 2*:

  • when you travel in Premium Economy Class, or in Premium Rouge on an international flight
  • when you purchase a Latitude fare
  • as an Altitude Elite 75K, 50K, 35K or Star Alliance Gold member

Select TD and CIBC credit card holders are also invited to board with zone 2.

More about zone 2 boarding
Family Boarding / Musical Instruments

You will be invited to board before general boarding starts if:

  • you are travelling with children under the age of 6 or require additional time to board the aircraft
  • you are travelling with a musical instrument as part of your carry-on baggage
General Boarding –
Zone 3

Board with zone 3, at the very start of general boarding:

  • if your boarding pass displays zone 3
  • as an Altitude Prestige 25K member
  • when you purchase a Preferred seat
Preferred Seats purchased through an agent at the check-in counter or at the gate are not eligible for early Zone 3 boarding.
General Boarding –
Zones 4 and 5
Board with zones 4 or 5 on flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, or 4 on flights operated by Air Canada Express.


* Priority guests in zones 1 and 2 may continue to use dedicated lanes, available at most of our gates, to board at any time once general boarding has started.

Other airlines

If you are checking in with another airline and your boarding pass for your connecting flight on Air Canada does not include a zone number, you are invited to board with zone 5 on flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, or zone 4 on flights operated by Air Canada Express, unless you are entitled to board in zone 1 or 2.

Boarding gate deadlines

In order to ensure an on-time departure, we require all customers to be present at the gate at the boarding gate deadline.