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It is not the case, AC has three separate lounges in YUL: aircanada.com - Maple Leaf Lounges
The airport map clearly shows the separation: http://montrealvisitorsguide.com/wp-content/uploads/montreal-airport-general-map.jpg
Yes but I don't think average australians (even with the most modern passport) can use a USA smart gate or can we?
I don't travel enough to LOTFAP to have much of a view ... however, recently flew Montreal - Miami and loved the pre clearance.
If pre clearance impacted on F lounging - I wouldn't want anything to do with it!
How long did pre clearance take vs usual immigration in say JFK?
Very efficient and user friendly. Checked-in, dropped the bags, through security and then processed by a US agent that had just transferred to Montreal from middle America. Took no longer than departing from SYD or anywhere else.
Landing at MIA was a delight - collected the bags and walked out like it was a domestic sector. Brilliant set-up!
Do passports still get a stamp if going through the smart gate?
Whilst I've never been denied entry into a country, there is always that nagging "What if" scenario which plays over in my head. What If I get there and find out I didn't read over the Visa / Waiver terms and conditions correctly, what if I haven't got the right numbers attached to my passport, what if I forgot to get a set of numbers attached to my passport, what if I get there and they are convinced I'm not going to be abiding by whatever entry conditions I said I was going to abide by.
Checked bags need to go through customs as well, not just you through immigration.... it could simply be a case of you go through US immi to get to gates 8 / 9 just before you board the plane, that'll still allow you to access the normal set of amenities for all international travelers (eg lounges, DF shops, restaurants / cafe's, kids play area's etc...)