Although we cannot let our guard down, there is a refreshing spirit of optimism heading into autumn in Canada that the worst of COVID-19 is thankfully behind us. Everywhere, people are resuming their favourite activities, including travel.
In welcoming back customers, we think you will be pleasantly surprised to find that Air Canada has been busy enhancing its products and services over the past year. Many of these innovations began with our desire to increase your safety, but we also designed them to permanently add to your convenience.
In particular, customers will find the airport experience now offers many touchless options. These begin even before you leave home, with a new mobile and Web solution to obtain, in advance, validation of necessary COVID-related travel documents.
At many of our airports, you can print your baggage tags simply by scanning your boarding pass and, at our major Canadian airports, check your bags using our self-service drop-off. For those with carry-on bags, we are introducing no-touch, electronic sizers that will instantly measure your bag to ensure it meets Transport Canada requirements, eliminating the steel-cage sizer. And, as you make your way to the aircraft, you may in the future find boarding is further streamlined, as we are investigating the optional use of biometrics after a successful facial-recognition technology launch in collaboration with customs officials in San Francisco.
Those using Air Canada’s reopened Maple Leaf Lounges or the Toronto Pearson Café will admit themselves with touchless access technology. In lounges at our main hubs, customers will be able to order from their seats through a special QR code, with food and drinks delivered right to their table.
The touchless experience continues on board. On our Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, customers can order Bistro products from their seatback video system. Our goal is to expand this option across the fleet, and we will be testing out other on-demand services.
We will continue to devise ways to make your trip quicker, more convenient and seamless through new technology. But we know customers like human interaction, so our people will still be there to provide Air Canada’s warm and courteous service every step of the way, because there is no app for that.
The letter from Mike appears in enRoute Magazine, Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight magazine found onboard all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights. This edition is from the September/October issue.