Air Canada Introduces COVID-19 Cover Following WestJet

Continuing a widespread industry trend, Air Canada today announced that it is including complimentary COVID-19 insurance for eligible customers. This move by Canada’s largest airline follows carriers such as WestJet, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, and more in offering COVID coverage to its passengers. 

Air Canada is heading back to Athens this month. Photo: Heathrow Media Hub

“At Air Canada, we know people have personal, family and business reasons to travel. To give them greater confidence as they do so, we have engaged Manulife to offer all Canadian residents complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical & quarantine insurance when they book round-trip flights for travel outside of Canada.” -Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Air Canada

Coverage details

This coverage provides “emergency medical and quarantine insurance designed to give customers added confidence when booking flights and traveling abroad.”

According to the airline, if customers traveling abroad test positive for COVID-19, the coverage provided will give eligible customers the following assurances:

  • Up to Can$200,000 per insured for COVID-19 treatment medical expenses.
  • Up to Can$150 per person for quarantine costs (meals + accommodation); Up to Can$300 per family per day up to a maximum of 14 days.
  • Up to Can$500 for expenses related to returning home if the advisory from the Canadian government goes from Level 3 to Level 4 while at the destination.
Air Canada, Toronto Airport, COVID-19 Tests
Canadians traveling internationally with Air Canada now have an added level of assurance should they contract the coronavirus. Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada calls this “the most extensive geographical coverage included by a Canadian airline for Canadian residents, covering every international destination Air Canada serves.”

Air Canada’s holiday division also recently announced that coverage was being offered to customers. In fact, those booking with Air Canada Vacations will have a “COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan” provided at no additional cost. The Air Canada Vacations policy is available to all eligible customers who book a vacation package for travel by April 30th, 2021, to eligible destinations.

More conditions than other airlines

This coverage appears to be more restrictive and has more conditions than other airline offerings. The carrier’s COVID coverage is available only to new international round-trip bookings made in Canada from September 17th until October 31st, 2020. Coverage is for travel completed by April 12th, 2021. 

This stands in stark contrast to what Etihad is offering, where all Etihad tickets, regardless of the date of the booking, traveling between September 7th and December 31st will include COVID-19 insurance. Furthermore, guests with existing bookings won’t need to do anything as they are automatically enrolled in the program.

WestJet 787
Air Canada’s coverage for medical expenses is twice the amount covered by WestJet. Photo: WestJet

The monetary coverage itself is less than other airlines as well. At Can$200,000 for treatment and medical expenses, it is much lower than Virgin Atlantic’s £500,000 cover and the 150,000 offered by Emirates and Etihad. At least Air Canada’s medical expense coverage is more than WestJet’s maximum of Can$100,000.

What do you think of Air Canada’s COVID-19 insurance coverage? Would it persuade you to travel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.