It’s peak travel season and Canadian airports from coast to coast are bursting at the seams. Roch Lefebvre, Air Canada Service Director and seasoned traveller, has seen it all and offers expert tips.
Q: Where do you suggest Canadians visit?
A: Well, I’ve been working as a coach on our new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which is flying to some pretty cool cities like Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, London, Paris, Zurich and Tel Aviv. Not only would I recommend any of these, the new planes are also a must to experience.
Q: What should passengers absolutely have on their to-do list before traveling?
A: Most people bring too much. Check your carry-on and checked baggage allowances, including dimensions, before packing.
Double check the details of your itinerary including name spelling, date, time, seat assignment etc., are correct to avoid delays or worse, a missed flight.
Most importantly, ensure your valuables including keys, money, cameras, required medication, and jewelry are kept in a small carry-on bag which must fit under a seat. You’ll want to have these items with you at all times.
Q: What are time savers to decrease the stress of flying?
A: Checking-in online up to 24 hours before departure and selecting your seats before arriving at the airport gives you peace of mind. An electronic boarding pass is sent to your email or phone, which may be used to get through security and board the plane.
Avoid rushing – get to the airport in plenty of time. A Nexus card, the Government’s program that expedites getting though security, is a must for frequent jet setters. It could be the difference between enjoying a coffee before your flight and having to run to the gate.
Q: What's the best way to know if your flight is on time?
A: Now passengers with an Apple Watch may receive notifications that prompt them when it's time to check-in and board. Even if you don’t have one, anyone with a mobile device can sign up for email flight updates at aircanada.com/flightnotification.
Q: What personal safety precautions should I take?
- Ask hotel staff for the places to go and to avoid. It’s important to always be aware of your surroundings, and not venture too far from busy areas.
- Leave an itinerary for the day on your hotel bedside table and don’t carry the room card key and room number together.
- Keep the hotel business card in your wallet.
- Always use the hotel’s safety deposit box to protect your valuables.
- Know which way and where the stairs are from your room to exit your hotel floor.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: Above all, relax, use common sense and enjoy your travels. When you see the red maple leaf on the tail of an Air Canada aircraft, you know you’re one step from home.