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 Process

Customers who have requested wheelchair assistance are invited to board first.

Priority customers seated in zones 1 and 2 board next:

  • Zone 1: Includes customers seated in Business Class, Premium rouge on domestic and Caribbean flights, as well as our Altitude Super Elite 100K members.
  • Zone 2: Includes customers seated in Premium Economy Class, Premium rouge on International flights, as well as those travelling on a Latitude fare. Altitude Elite 75K, 50K, 35K and Star Alliance Gold members are also invited to board with zone 2, as well as select TD and CIBC credit card holders.

    Altitude Super Elite 100K, Elite 75K, 50K, 35K or Star Alliance members may invite immediate family members (including spouse, common-law, same sex partner and dependent children) and one travel companion to board with them even if not travelling on the same reservation.

    And, as per usual, travel companions of Altitude Super Elite 100K, Elite 75K, 50K, 35K and Star Alliance Gold customers as well as select TD/CIBC credit card holders booked on the same reservation and checking in at the same time will receive the same boarding zone as the Altitude member or credit card holder (excluding group bookings).

Passengers travelling with children under the age of 6 or who require additional time to board the aircraft are invited to board next, before general boarding starts.

Passengers travelling with a musical instrument as part of their carry-on baggage will also be able to board in advance of general boarding.

General boarding for our Economy Class customers includes zones 3 to 5 on flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, or zones 3 and 4 on flights operated by Air Canada Express. Priority customers 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.

Customers who have purchased a Preferred seat board with zone 3, at the very start of general boarding. Note that early boarding is offered to Air Canada Vacations customers who purchase a Preferred Seat on or after November 15, 2016.

Preferred Seats purchased through an agent at the check-in counter or at the gate are not eligible for early Zone 3 boarding.

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.