The future of air travel is upon us! Starting May 15, Air Canada will be implementing a number of new measures onboard their aircraft, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The new protocol will include taking temperatures, onboard care-kits, and extra room in economy class.
On Monday, Canada’s largest airline revealed that flying will look a little different for the time being, as the company makes moves to implement COVID-19 restrictions.
Beginning on May 15, all passengers will be required to have their temperature taken prior to flying, and those who test above 37.5 C will be denied boarding.
In addition, customers will be asked a series of health-related questions before flying, in order to “determine their fitness to fly.” If the new questionnaire raises any red flags, travellers will be forced to stay on the ground.
Things will also look a little different in the cabin. In economy class, passengers will no longer be required to sit directly next to someone else, as the company will automatically block the sale of adjacent seats.
All guests will also be given dedicated "care kits," which will contain hand sanitizers and other health items.
Even if you're travelling with family and friends, physical distancing protocol will be in place at all times!
According to the airline, the new rules are there to “provide customers greater peace of mind during all stages of travel,” as well as reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The company claims to be the first airline in the Americas to screen for temperature prior to flying, and they’ve got even bigger plans for the future.
Their statement promises to continue to introduce further screening tools as they become available, including blood oxygen level tests.
Last month, the airline also introduced mandatory face masks onboard all routes.
As of April 20, all passengers have been asked to wear face coverings when checking in and boarding an Air Canada flight in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 wherever possible.
In addition, temporary adjustments were made to the airline's services, such as the removal of pillows and blankets.
The company confirmed that anybody who is denied boarding due to COVID-19 concerns will be able to rebook at no additional cost, as long as they provide a medical clearance to travel.
For those who have had their flights cancelled due to the pandemic, the airline is currently only offering travel credit rather than a monetary refund.
It seems that the airline is expecting air travel to resume by December. Air Canada's VP of Cargo Tim Strauss said recently, "I think that by Christmas you will see a significant amount of flying again."
However, he did say that he doesn't imagine that Air Canada will be flying anywhere near 100% or even 70% by the end of this year.
Air Canada's international flights will remain suspended until at least June. Canada-U.S. flights have also been grounded until May 22, but this is subject to change depending on the countries' border restrictions.
On April 17, the two countries reportedly agreed to keep the border closed for an additional 30 days.
"We do not feel that reopening the border any time soon is likely," Trudeau said at the time.
As for Air Canada, it seems that they're fully equipped with what's needed to ensure their passengers' safety when restrictions begin to lift.