This past week, Air Canada has introduced a whole suite of health and safety measures to reassure its customers amid this global health crisis. Collectively, the new policies have been given the name “Air Canada CleanCare+.” Hopefully, this new way of operating will provide travelers the peace of mind they need.
What is CleanCare+ all about?
Air Canada’s CleanCare+ is simply a branded name for a list of 30 health and safety-related practices that have been firmly implemented, from stepping into the airport through to the inflight experience.
Many of these procedures and policies aren’t totally newsworthy. Some have been in place for quite some time and have already been practiced extensively by airlines all around the world.
While the airline’s CleanCare+ site lists 30 separate practices, some of them are repeats as the list is divided between check-in, boarding, and onboard phases of the journey. ‘Face coverings for employees’ is listed for all three phases, as is the requirement for customers to wear face coverings at each stage. Specifically, wiping and disinfecting certain objects also lengthens the list.
New and noteworthy for CleanCare+
The following practices we found to be extra noteworthy:
- Beginning May 15, 2020, Air Canada is introducing new disposable “Customer Care Kits” that include a complimentary mask, gloves, bottled water, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
- Additionally, from May 15 to June 30, 2020 the carrier will block “every adjacent seat in the economy cabin” to give more personal space.
The practice of blocking every adjacent seat in the economy cabin is a sacrifice for any airline that might have the opportunity to fill its cabin completely. Obviously, with the severe impact this crisis has had on passenger travel, any additional customers would be welcomed by the carrier.
The distribution of customer care kits is something that is, so far, a rare occurrence for airlines. While many airlines require face masks to be worn, they often require that you bring your own.
Of course, the fact that ‘protective face coverings’ are now required by the airline at check-in means that, by the time you get your customer care kit on board, you won’t have an immediate need for the complimentary mask within (at least not until the one you’re wearing becomes unusable). However, the hand sanitizer and wipes will be good for the flight as well as onward journeys. The provision of gloves is certainly a rare thing for airlines too!
While some of the new changes are amazing and a financial sacrifice for the airline, it’s a little strange that Air Canada has put all of its COVID-19 health and safety practices under a brand name complete with its own logo.
In one sense, this makes for easy reference to the whole suite of policies, but it could also come across as unnecessary marketing. Two randomly chosen examples, Delta Air Lines and Emirates, simply list their health and safety modifications without the need for specific branding.
What do you think of Air Canada’s CleanCare+? Does it make you feel safer about air travel?