Air Canada YVR > AUA-9

You may be wondering what it’s been like to fly during the pandemic, particularly if your travel desires take you outside of Canada. Last month, we boarded an Air Canada flight to Toronto’s Pearson International, continuing to Aruba, and experienced the airline’s CleanCare+ enhancement protocols.

Much thought went into planning this trip, from point A to B (and back home again). For one thing, many airlines, Air Canada included, are offering reduced domestic and international service, so you’ve got to be smart about connections, travel dates and availability — and prepare to be flexible!

Air Canada YVR > AUA-2

After researching the where and when of our winter escape, we wanted the booking, pre-boarding, on-board and arrival to be as uncomplicated as possible, given the current situation.

Once we booked our Air Canada flights, we made sure to get our destination requirements in order. As an example, the Aruban government requires a negative Molecular COVID-19 test result 72 hours prior to the actual Aruba flight, plus compulsory insurance regardless of what insurance policy you and/or your airline already provide.

Air Canada Boeing 700-300ER


Before you go through security, there are health screening questions and contactless infrared temperature checks. Frequent high-touch areas such as check-in counters and kiosks are continually disinfected.

Select Air Canada counters offer virtual queuing in place of physical lineups to minimize wait times and contact. You’re now able to print bag tags and check in your luggage by scanning your boarding pass via TouchFree Bag Check.

Hand sanitizer dispensers are commonplace now at all Canadian airports and every Air Canada employee wears a face mask and gloves.

Air Canada YVR > AUA-8


If you’re booked into economy and your flight is reaching capacity, you’ll receive a notification email prior to check-in, to allow for upgrade options if you prefer more space onboard.

Each time an aircraft overnights, it gets a thorough cleaning, including the inside of each overhead bin to help keep luggage clean. All high-touch areas (seat buckles, seat controls, armrests, cabin windows and shades) are sanitized with a hospital-grade disinfectant before each flight. Additional preventive measures include mandatory face coverings and adjusted onboard services to better protect both passengers and employees.

Air Canada YVR > AUA-3

At our seats, we’re each provided a mask, bottle of water, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a headset and snack.

Air Canada has taken all safety measures possible to sanitize high-touch points around the cabin and use disinfectant in the regular cleaning of their lavatories, with a supply of antiseptic wipes available there as well.

As for air filtration, they’ve installed HEPA filtration systems to capture 99.9% of airborne particles, and continually refresh cabin air.

Air Canada YVR > AUA-4
[From Aruba to Toronto: Texan-style chicken, cornbread, black beans, zucchini, panna cotta]

On-Board Service

In order to minimize contact with passengers, Air Canada offers pre-packaged meals in all cabins. Bar service is currently integrated with meal service. Offered in business class are menus created by Montreal chef/restaurateur Chef Antonio Park.

Air Canada YVR > AUA

Maple Leaf Lounge at YVR

If you’re visiting Air Canada’s Maple Leaf lounges, a few changes there include regular cleaning of separate sections throughout the day, with sections closed off for a short while as they go through a cleaning rotation. Magazines and newspapers have been replaced by digital service PressReader. The washrooms each have an assistant on duty to ensure disinfecting and sanitizing between customers (showers are closed for now). You can order a meal to be delivered to your seat by scanning a QR code at your table.

Air Canada YVR > AUA-7
[Parsley omelette, pastries, chicken sausage, roasted red skin potatoes, fruit, yogurt, nuts]

Maple Leaf Lounge at Toronto Pearson

Toronto’s fourth-floor Maple Leaf Lounge contains signage throughout to organize flow around seating areas. In place of the regular buffet service are masked attendants to take your coffee/tea/juice orders as well as to hand out grab-and-go fruit cups, yogurt parfaits and other small items (we arrived in time for breakfast ahead of our 8:10 am flight to Vancouver).

Air Canada YVR > AUA-6 Air Canada YVR > AUA-5
[Contactless menu ordering with food delivered straight to your lounge seat]

Similar to YVR, some seats have been removed to allow proper physical distancing between lounge guests. Visit Air Canada online for updates and additional CleanCare+ safety features.

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