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Canadian Airlines are Relaxing Policies to Fight Covid-19

Coronavirus has affected many regions across the world. Such an uncertain turn of events brings along a change of plans for many travelers.

Airports and airlines understand that some of your travel plans are unavoidable and essential. PHAC (Public Health Agency of Canada) says that Canadians are at a low risk of contracting the virus as of now.

Even, CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t recommend canceling essential travel plans.

Therefore, airlines and health and government agencies are working together for the convenience of passengers.

Also, airline policies regarding cancelation and flight change have been relaxed. But first, take a look at the preventive measures by the major Canadian airlines.

Preventive Measures

1. Air Canada

Last year, Air Canada partnered with a third-party company monitoring infectious diseases. The latter provides the former with all the latest data in real-time.

  • Prevention Practices:

The airline follows effective practices to prevent and handle communicable diseases. Air Canada also strictly adheres to the guidelines of health authorities.

  • General Protocol:

The airline has also devised a general protocol to handle suspected passengers. Even though each case varies, the staff is trained to manage the situation. This includes consulting the airline’s medical desk or a third-party health advisor.

  • HEPA:

All Air Canada flights have air filtration. These are High-Efficiency Particulate Air systems that kill 99.9% particles in the air inside the aircraft

  • Routine Cleaning:

Hospital-grade disinfectants are being used to clean all hard surfaces of the aircraft. After every flight frequently touched areas and sanitized with antibacterial agents.

2. WestJet

WestJet is observing preventive measures such as:

  • Aircraft Grooming:

WestJet follows a strict aircraft cleaning program. After each flight, the aircraft is given a light groom. However, after every 24 hours, airplanes undergo a hyper-focused groom.

  • Improved Disinfectants:

The WestJet cleaning staff is using two new disinfectants to help prevent the spread of viral diseases.

  • Enhanced Cleaning Techniques:

Table trays, seatback pockets, headrests, seat buckles, and other high touch areas are sanitized and cleaned thoroughly.

  • HEPA:

Air filtration systems are in place to ensure the safety of onboard passengers. These systems use viral removal technology.

3. Air Transat

Air Transat is also doing its bit in protecting its passengers.

  • Team of Experts:

Air Transat has a group of people monitoring the spread of the virus. The multidisciplinary team follows a strict protocol. Every airline staff member is well-versed in dealing with an emergency situation.

  • Cleaning Checklists:

The housekeeping and cleaning staff is to follow checklists to contain the disease. Best practices are being demonstrated.

  • HEPA:

Air Transat is using effective air filtration systems to clean the air.

Policy Changes

Nearly all Canadian Airlines carriers have made changes in their airline policies to manage the coronavirus outbreak.

1. Air Canada

Air Canada has suspended many flights to high-risk areas in Europe, Middle-East, and China. While service to other regions remains unaffected. For instance, you can still book airline tickets from Canada to India.

(a) Cancelation and Flight Change Policy

Refer to the following pointers for a brief look at the changes in Air Canada’s policy:

  • Booking and Flight Schedule:

If the Air Canada ticket booking was made before March 4th for a flight scheduled before April 30th cancelation carries no fee.

  • Refund:

You get a refund in the form of travel credit. Avail the same against future travel plans with the airline before or by 31st December 2020.

  • Air Canada Air Tickets:

You are eligible for a refund only if your ticket is issued by Air Canada.

To cross-check, examine your flight ticket number. If it starts with Air Canada’s carrier code “014” you are eligible for a refund.

  • Single Changes:

Passengers can make a single change for free up to 2 hours before the original time for flight departure.

  • Applicability:

The one-time free flight change applies to all aeroplane bookings. Also, regardless of the cabin, all Air Canada published fares are eligible for a free single ticket change.

2. WestJet

If you have booked WestJet Canada air ticket and want to cancel non-essential travel or want to fly to safer destinations, use WestJet’s website.

(a) WestJet’s Relaxed Cancelation and Flight Change Policy

WestJet is relaxing policies to help passengers tackle coronavirus better. If you have an existing flight ticket booking with WestJet, you will observe that the airline is cooperating when it comes to flight cancelation and change.

  • One-time Change Fee Waiver:

If your reservation was made between March 3 and March 21, you can make a one-time change in the flight ticket for free. However, you can only make changes up to 24 hours before departure.

  • WestJet Vacation Booking:

For bookings made before 3rd March, no flight change or cancelation fee is applicable. However, make sure you cancel or make changes 24 hours before the flight departs. The airline will refund the unused travel credit in the form of WestJet Dollars.

  • Group Booking:

The WestJet’s relaxed policies do not apply to group bookings. You will have to get in touch with the airline regarding group booking cancelations.

3. Air Transat

If your Air Transat flight undergoes cancelation, you will get another flight. However, if the airline fails to provide you with an alternative travel arrangement, you will get a refund.

The airline will credit the total unused value back. You can use this to book cheap flights in the future.

(a) Air Transat Flight Change and Cancelation Policy

  • Air Transat allows you to make changes in your itinerary. This includes changing travel dates, destinations, and even the hotel.
  • Passengers can reschedule travel within 12 months of the original departure date.