Updated travel guidelines

A useful step-by-step guide for preparing for travel

Our network is expanding again, but some service changes and travel restrictions will remain in place. As part of our new end-to-end health and safety program, Air Canada CleanCare+, some of our processes have changed. Prepare for your next trip and learn what to expect with this step-by-step guide designed to simplify your travels.

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Check your eligibility

See if you're eligible to travel and follow the government requirements for your destination, which may include completing mandatory entry forms prior to departure. Passengers providing false or misleading information may be liable to a monetary penalty.

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Packing for your trip

If you are planning on checking in bags, ensure you follow the guidelines and maximize each checked bag, as a minimum cabin baggage allowance will be enforced.

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Checking in

Our check-in process has changed to better protect you, by minimizing contact.

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At the airport

Extra precautions will be taken throughout your journey and some airport service offerings may be temporarily adjusted. It is important to arrive well in advance of your flight. See recommended arrival times.

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Boarding

Our boarding process has changed to ensure appropriate distancing and minimize contact.

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Onboard

We have adjusted our onboard service to minimize touchpoints between our employees and customers.

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Deplaning and collecting your bags

Help us maintain distancing by following the deplaning announcements, and minimizing the number of travellers and time spent at the baggage carousel.

Check-in


Check-in will proceed as follows:

Advance self-service check-in

You should always check-in remotely via the Air Canada Mobile App or online at aircanada.com. You will need to indicate the exact number of checked bags and ensure you pay for all fees (e.g. excess baggage) to avoid any transactions and additional wait time at the airport. If you need to make changes once you’ve finished packing or while at the airport, you can always modify the number of checked bags via the Air Canada Mobile App or at aircanada.com.

For international travel, please ensure that your passport information is entered accurately.

Self-service zone in select airports*

One customer per travel party will enter a self-service zone with automated kiosks, with separate and designated waiting areas respecting physical distancing. Gloves will be provided for those that need to touch the kiosk screens.

We’d like to remind you that maintaining your distance from others is essential throughout all stages of your journey and will be supported during check-in.

*Available at airports in the following cities: Toronto (Pearson), Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.

Virtual queuing

  • A virtual queuing system will be introduced at select Customer Service Desks within Canadian airports, which will significantly reduce line ups to facilitate physical distancing. How it works:
    1. Scan the QR code displayed at entry of queue
    2. A virtual ticket will get dispatched to your smart phone
  • You’ll receive a notification to proceed to the counter for assistance

Carry-on baggage: touchless verification and enforcement

In order to facilitate the boarding process and limit the need for physical interactions at the departure gate and on board, all customers will be required to comply with verification measures pre-security, or at the gate.

New technologies will be introduced at select airports* to automatically size and measure carry-on baggage for compliance, making the carry-on baggage policy verification process touchless.

*In the following cities: Toronto (Pearson), Montreal, and Ottawa.

TouchFree Bag Check at select airports*

Now at most major Canadian airports, you can check your bags in a completely touchless way when travelling within Canada. Look for signs for TouchFree Bag Check.

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  1. Check-in for your flight via the Air Canada Mobile App or at aircanada.com and get your boarding pass in advance.
  2. Indicate the exact number of bags you need to check-in and pay applicable fees in advance.
  3. At the airport, proceed to dedicated TouchFree Bag Check kiosks and:
    • Scan your mobile boarding pass
    • Print your bag tags and attach
  4. Proceed to TouchFree Bag Drop. Drop your bags off while following the indicated flow of movement.

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At the airport


To account for enhanced safety measures at the airport, it is important to arrive well in advance of your flight. See recommended arrival times.

Extra precautions will be taken at the airport:

  • Face coverings will be mandatory throughout your entire journey. Masks will be available on demand in airports and on board.
  • Mandatory hand sanitizing prior to entering any self-service zone or check-in area
  • Health questions must be answered at check-in, the boarding gate, or both.
  • Infrared temperature checks will be taken at the airport, either by Air Canada employees or a third party.
    • Customers must have a maximum temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius to be permitted on board, except for flights to/from China where the maximum temperature is 37.3 degrees Celsius.
  • All payments at the airport and on board will be cashless unless prohibited by law.
  • Some of our lounges may be temporarily closed.and some check-in areas or terminals may have been temporarily relocated. Visit our for a complete list of closures and relocations. s.

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Boarding


Customers must remain seated until their boarding zone is called and will be required to scan their own boarding pass. Boarding gates will close 30 minutes prior to departure to ensure a more secure boarding process.

The following is the new order for boarding:

  1. Customers who have requested wheelchair assistance or who self-identify as having a disability and need more time to board.
  2. Zones 1 and 2 (may also board at any time).
  3. Families with children under the age of 6, or those travelling with musical instruments (may also board when their zone is called).
  4. Zones 3 to 8, from back-to-front, window-middle-aisle.

Additional distancing measures will include:

  • Gates in proximity will be assigned limited flights for greater distancing while boarding.
  • If bus operations are required, the number of buses will be increased to ensure appropriate distancing.

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Onboard


As of late July, we’ve introduced enhancements to our onboard service.

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Please note, for those over the age of 2, wearing a face covering while travelling is a mandatory requirement issued by Transport Canada. All non-compliance cases will be reported to Transport Canada, and could result in a financial penalty.

Masks with an exhalation valve, bandanas, and scarves, have been deemed ineffective in the protection against COVID-19, according to requirements outlined by Transport Canada. As such, they no longer qualify as acceptable face coverings when travelling with us. Learn more about what is accepted as an effective face covering.

If you have a medical certificate confirming that there is a medical reason preventing you from wearing a face covering during your travel, you must provide this to Air Canada. Once you have obtained your medical certificate, please contact the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk.

Along with the implementation of Air Canada CleanCare+, these onboard services have been changed:

  • Cabin grooming standards have been augmented.
  • HEPA filtration systems capture 99.9% of airborne particles and continually refresh cabin air.
  • Complimentary Customer Care Kits will be provided and include a 30 ml hand sanitizer, 2 antiseptic wipes, a mask, gloves, a headset, a water bottle, and a snack, all in a bag that doubles as a disposable waste bag.
  • Amenity kits and sanitized sleep amenities (pillows, blankets, duvets and mattress pads) will be provided.
  • In addition to the two antiseptic wipes provided in your Customer Care Kit, additional wipes will be provided with meals and in all lavatories.
  • To facilitate distancing and streamline service, meal and bar service has also been altered. Find out all the details about the meal and bar service offerings specific to each of our onboard cabins

For a full list of onboard and other service offering changes, make sure to frequently visit our service offering changes page.

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Deplaning and baggage


The deplaning process and baggage pick-up process will be as follows:

  • Onboard announcements will be made to ask customers to maintain distancing while deplaning.
  • Carousels used will be adjusted to increase distance.
  • Baggage will be spaced out upon delivery.
  • Only one customer per travel party should approach the carousel to collect baggage.

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