Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, airlines are improving aircraft cleaning and inflight service procedures. Air Canada now has announced some major inflight service cuts.
Major inflight service cuts at Air Canada
The changes in service depend on the route per Air Canada’s announcement. For flights within Canada and to the US, Caribbean, and Central America, Air Canada is making the following changes:
- No more bar service. Instead, all passengers will receive water bottles
- Air Canada has taken away pillows and blankets on routes to and from these destinations
- No food service in Premium Economy and Economy Class (including Bistro offerings)
- Only pre-packaged meals or snacks on flights longer than two hours in Business Class (no special meal requests)
One of the exempted routes is flights between Toronto and Honolulu. In all cabin classes, Air Canada will offer complimentary pre-packaged meals. This is one of the longer flights in this category of destinations. These changes have already taken effect
In addition, on Air Canada Rouge flights, there will no longer be an offering of iPads.
Changes on long-haul flights
Inflight service on long-haul flights will change. Food service transitions will happen at a to be determined date. This will see all cabin classes receive pre-packaged food. Bar service will also be limited to water only.
In Air Canada Signature Class, there will only be blankets – no pillows.
Long-haul flights include destinations in Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.
Shuttering some lounges
As of March 18th, Air Canada is closing some lounges and altering offerings. At Air Canada’s largest hub in Toronto Pearson International Airport, Air Canada is shutting its Signature Suite.
Moreover, the airline is shutting the Air Canada Cafe also at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
In addition, Air Canada is shuttering all Maple Leaf Lounges at Toronto Pearson, Ottawa, St. John’s, Regina, and Saskatoon. The London-Heathrow Arrivals Lounge is also closed.
Open lounges will offer adjusted menu options involving prepackaged snacks and staff-assisted service for beverages. Air Canada is also taking measures to improve cleanliness at the lounges.
Lastly, the BMW Chauffeur Service is also suspended. Air Canada is making drastic cuts to its inflight and ground services. This comes as travel demand plunges and airlines are forced to deal with more passengers who are concerned about the pandemic. In addition, to reduce the spread of the virus, the Canadian airline is also ensuring that its customers and crew interact with as few items as possible where it may be spread.
These changes will significantly alter the experience for passengers in all cabin classes. Passengers should foresee these and plan for travel accordingly. You can still bring your own snacks onboard the aircraft. In addition, a personal travel pillow and blanket may also come in handy.
What do you make of Air Canada’s service alterations? Let us know in the comments!