The Complete Guide to Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)

Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) is the primary international gateway serving Quebec, as well as the regions of Atlantic Canada and Eastern Ontario.

It’s the leading Canadian airport located east of the Great Lakes, and the fourth busiest airport in Canada by passenger volume.

Location and Transportation

Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) is located 35 minutes southwest of Downtown Montreal, at 975 Boulevard Roméo-Vachon Nord, Dorval, Quebec, Canada. Dorval is part of Greater Montreal.

Montreal’s primary airport is well connected by public transport. Société de transport de Montréal (STM), Greater Montreal’s public transport company, runs several bus routes out of the airport.

STM operates the following airport bus services:

  • The 747 YUL Aéroport Montreal-Trudeau / Centre-ville shuttle runs 24/7 between Montreal Trudeau International Airport and Downtown Montreal. A one-way fare is $11, but you can also continue to use it for 24 hours from the time of validation.
  • Bus 204 connects the airport with Dorval train station.
  • Bus 209 connects the airport with Roxboro-Pierrefonds station.
  • Bus 460 connects the airport with the Galeries D’Anjou shopping mall.

Other companies also operate services, including:

  • Orleans Express offers coach services between Montreal’s airport and the cities of Ottawa, Quebec, and Trois Rivieres.
  • Aeroshuttle Minibus offers transportation to Sherbrooke, Magog/Orford, Bromont, Granby, L’Ange Gardien, and Richelieu.
  • VIA Rail Canada offers a minibus service to the VIA Rail station in Dorval for connections to cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Windsor. The shuttle may be booked as part of a rail ticket.

Taxis operate at a fixed rate to Downtown Montreal and by meter with a minimum charge for other destinations. You can hire them from door 23 at arrivals, where a dispatcher is waiting.

Limos, on the other hand, are priced by distance and vehicle type. You can hire them from Door 24 at arrivals, where a dispatcher is available 7am–2am.

Rideshare services available are Uber and a local startup called Eva. Uber pick-up points are Door 8 on the departures level and Door 21 on the arrivals level, while for Eva, the pick-up point is door 8 on the departures level.

As for car rentals, the following companies are available on-site at Montreal Trudeau International Airport:

  • Avis/Budget
  • Dollar/Thrifty
  • Enterprise
  • Hertz
  • National/Alamo

Terminals

Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport has a single terminal straightforwardly set on two levels – the lower level is for arrivals, while the upper level is for departures.

Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport – Exterior

The terminal is then divided into three departure and arrival zones, plus the public area.

The public area on the arrivals level has a few restaurants, a convenience store, and a currency exchange desk. Meanwhile, on the departures area, the public area has restaurants, shops, and baggage services near the check-in desks.

After security, the Canada zone is where domestic boarding gates 1–49 are located. Note that gates 17–34 are separated from the main concourse by a pedestrian tunnel.

The International zone is where boarding gates 50–68 are located.

The Canada and International zones are connected airside, sharing one security checkpoint. To access the International zone, you’ll need to scan your boarding pass at an automatic kiosk, which will grant you entry.

Lastly, the USA zone is where boarding gates 72–89 are located. As the name suggests, this zone is reserved for transborder flights to the US, and as a pre-clearance area, it isn’t connected to the two other zones airside.

Airlines and Destinations

One of Canada’s key gateways, Montreal Airport connects passengers to almost 150 destinations in 46 countries across five continents.

And being the primary airport of the French-speaking Canada, it has the distinction of hosting direct flights to other French-speaking destinations like Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, as well as several cities in France.

Smaller regional airlines also fly from Montreal to the more remote regions in Quebec.

The following airlines operate in and out of Montreal Airport:

Star Alliance

  • Air Canada
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • SWISS
  • TAP Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

Oneworld

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian

SkyTeam

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France
  • Delta
  • KLM

Other Airlines

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Algerie
  • Air Creebec
  • Air Inuit
  • Air Saint Pierre
  • Air Transat
  • Azores Airlines
  • Canada Jetlines
  • Canadian North
  • Corsair
  • Flair Airlines
  • Lynx Air
  • Pascan Aviation
  • Porter Airlines
  • Provincial Airlines
  • Tunisair
  • WestJet

Lounges

Currently, there are six lounges that are operational at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Some are accessible for a fee or with a membership, while others are reserved for those with a premium cabin ticket or elite status.

Air Canada Lounges

Being Air Canada’s hub in Quebec, Montreal Airport has three Maple Leaf Lounges, with one lounge per departure zone.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal (International)

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal (Domestic) is located between gates 1 and 3 in the Canada zone. It’s open 4:15am–9:30pm daily.

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal (Transborder) is located between gates 72 and 73 in the USA zone. It’s open 4:30am–7:30pm Mondays through Fridays, 5am–7:30pm Saturdays, and 5:15am–7:30pm Sundays.

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal (International) is located near gate 52. It’s open 6:15am–9:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and from 6:15am–10:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Other Lounges

The Air France/KLM Lounge in Montreal is managed by Plaza Premium Lounge. To access the lounge if you’re not on an Air France or KLM flight, the latter’s entry rules apply — that is, it takes the American Express Platinum Card, as well as eligible credit cards through their program partner DragonPass.

Air France/KLM Lounge Montreal – Entrance

Located near gate 57 in the International zone, the lounge is open daily 5am–10pm.

The National Bank Lounge is accessible to holders of the bank’s credit cards, as well as those with Priority Pass or DragonPass memberships. Located near gate 53 in the International zone, it’s open daily 4am–10pm.

The Desjardins Odyssey Lounge is exclusively available for the Quebec-based bank’s cardholders. Located near gate 63 at the international zone, it’s open daily from 4am until the last flight of the day, which is usually around 10pm.

For US-bound passengers, check out the Desjardins Odyssey Lounge – Plaza Premium Lounge, located near gate 76 in the transborder area.

Priority Services

If you’re flying a premium cabin, hold elite status, and/or certain credit cards, the airline you’re flying with typically offer these services:

  • Priority check-in counters
  • Priority security clearance
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Lounge access

Air Canada provides the services above to its premium cabin passengers and elite members. And with Montreal being one of its hubs, you can expect a priority check-in area as well.

But aside from airline-provided benefits, there are also a slew of other priority services at Montreal Airport available to passengers regardless of airline and class of travel.

First, if you hold a Visa Infinite Privilege card, you can access priority security by simply presenting your card to the attendant at the Visa-branded turnstiles. This service is available at all entries leading to the three departure zones.

Alternatively, you can also use YUL Express. A collaboration with CLEAR, this service allows you to schedule a timeframe for security screening, so you’re in the front of the line by the time you arrive.

YUL Express is operational 3:30–9am and 3–8pm at security checkpoint A (domestic and international flights), and 4:30–7am and 1pm–6pm at security checkpoint C (transborder flights).

If you’re entering the US through Montreal Airport’s pre-clearance facility, you may also take advantage of Mobile Passport Control, which allows you to complete your entry declarations in advance and access an express line for free.

Its Canadian counterpart is Advance CBSA Declaration. This free service expedites your entry into Canada by allowing you to complete your declarations ahead and also allowing you to access an express queue.

These are especially useful for those who are not enrolled with trusted traveler programs, such as NEXUS and Global Entry, which, by the way, you may also use at Montreal Airport if you happen to have them.

Airport Hotels

There’s just one hotel with direct access to the terminal, the Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel. It can be accessed from the public area on the departures floor.

Montreal Marriott In-Terminal Hotel

Alternatively, there are plenty of hotels with shuttle services from the airport, including:

  • Auberge de l’Aeroport Inn
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal Airport
  • Embassy Suites Montreal Airport
  • Holiday Inn Montreal Airport
  • Holiday Inn Pointe-Claire
  • Courtyard Montreal Airport
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Montreal Airport
  • Quality Hotel Dorval
  • Quality Inn & Suites P.E. Trudeau Airport
  • Radisson Hotel Montreal Airport
  • Sheraton Montreal Airport Hotel

International Transfers

First and foremost, if you’re arriving from outside Canada, as a general rule, you must satisfy Canada’s entry requirements, especially when it comes to travel documentation like visas and electronic travel authorizations (eTAs).

Even if you’re only connecting between international flights (e.g., Zurich–Montreal–Cancun), you must still present your documents to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Then, if you’re connecting to the United States, you must also undergo US pre-clearance, which allows you to clear customs and immigration at Montreal Airport.

As mentioned, Montreal Airport only has one terminal, and its Canada and International zones are connected airside.

This means that if you’re connecting from a domestic Canada flight to an international, non-US flight, you’ll simply need to head to your next gate without security clearance in between.

But if you’re connecting from an international flight to another, you’ll need to undergo security inspection aside from a passport/document check, unless you’re arriving from the US or the EU.

If your flights are on one ticket, your bags are likely to be checked-through to your final destination, unless you’re arriving internationally and catching a connecting domestic Canada flight.

In that case, you’ll need to pick your bags up, clear them through customs, and re-check them in with the airline carrying you to your domestic destination.

To be sure, you should ask the airline’s ground staff at your departure point or upon arrival if your bags will follow you all the way to your destination. You can also check out Air Canada’s airport guide for Montreal Airport.

US Pre-Clearance

If you’re departing on or connecting to a flight to the United States, you must clear US customs and immigration at Montreal Airport’s pre-clearance facility. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents process departing and connecting passengers at the USA zone from 4:30am to 8pm.

To expedite your US pre-clearance, you may use NEXUS, Global Entry, or Mobile Passport Control.