With the busy summer season about to begin Air Canada is highlighting some essential travel tips to make the journey smoother for customers over the holidays.
As part of its commitment to customer service, Air Canada has implemented an enhanced check-in process to improve the travel experience for customers. All customers checking in through any Air Canada channel are now required to include a mobile phone number or email address through which they can be contacted directly during their trip.
Customers who have used a travel agent to book their flights should ensure the agent has provided the airline with the customer’s direct contact information. Air Canada offers customers a variety of convenient ways to check-in, including on-line, through mobile devices and at airports using kiosks, and each mode now makes providing contact information mandatory to complete the check-in process.
Today will be our busiest first day of summer ever, with 165,000 customers set to take off to destinations around the world. To make each customer’s journey as smooth as possible, Air Canada offers the following helpful tips so you can spend more time enjoying your vacation.
1. Save time. Check-in 24 hours in advance.
Check-in online at aircanada.com, mobile.aircanada.ca or via the Air Canada app (be sure to download the app for iOS or Android). You can also select/change your seat, select the number of checked baggage and pay any baggage fees in advance.
Customers must provide contact information (email or mobile number) when checking-in (mobile/kiosk/web) so that we can contact you in case of travel disruptions. If you’ve booked with a travel agent, please ensure they’ve included your contact information on your booking.
- Travelling with kids under six? We’re here to help.
- Look for Family Check-in signage at select airports (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver);
- Kids under age 6 and their family board early, before general boarding. This means extra time to store belongings and settle in;
- Once you have booked your tickets, contact us and we will assign seats for you and your kids under the age of 12 that are close together.
For added fun, you can register your child for Air Canada’s Altitude Skyriders (skyriders.aircanada.com) program to help them track their travels. Each child gets a Skyriders starter kit that consists of a friendly introduction letter, a sturdy luggage tag and a logbook to keep a record of each one of their flights.
More information on travelling with kids is available at aircanada.com/familytraveltips.
2. Is your flight on time? Confirm online 24/7 at aircanada.com/flightnotification or via the Air Canada app.
You can stay informed of flight status for all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights by signing up for Flight Notifications or calling the toll-free Air Canada flight status line at 1-888-422-7533; TTY (Hearing Impaired): 1-800-361-8071.
We also post a Daily Travel Outlook that lists possible flight disruptions due to forecasted weather or other events and provides a link to a self-service rebooking tool.
3. Arrive early. Here’s what we recommend: aircanada.com/deadlines.
Arrive early at the airport to be at the gate on time and avoid congestion that may occur during peak periods. If you are travelling to the US, please arrive 3 hours prior to departure to clear customs as well.
4. Review baggage rules. Here’s what to carry-on and check-in.
Check size and weight allowances when packing at aircanada.com/carryon as carry-on baggage will be screened and tagged. Information on checked baggage allowance is available at: http://www.aircanada.com/checked.
Consider bringing a bag that will fit under the seat in front of you as space in the overhead bins is limited. We also strongly recommend checking any bags that do not fit into our sizers to make the boarding process more efficient and prevent delays.
Put all valuables, including electronics, documentation, medication, car keys, money and jewelry, in carry-on bags and not in checked bags.
Bag Tags – Place identification INSIDE bags as well as on the outside, as external baggage name tags sometimes become detached.
Gifts – when travelling with gifts in your carry-on, remember to keep them unwrapped to facilitate security inspection.
5. Check your documentation. Avoid unnecessary surprises before your vacation takes off. Ensure that all your travel documents are valid and are not damaged, for information see: aircanada.com/traveldocumentation.
Travel within Canada
- Customers must present a valid government-issued photo identification that includes date of birth and gender for all passengers 18 years of age and older.
Travel from Canada to an international destination
- A valid passport, signed, with an expiration that meets the requirement of the destination country in required. Some countries require passports to be valid for at least 6 months or more before allowing a traveler to enter the country.
- Visas may be needed to enter the country of destination and/or when connecting via certain countries. Check IATA Travel Centre search tool for country-specific passport, visa and health entry requirements. When using a third-party website or travel agent, take the extra step of verifying the requirements of your destination country.
Travel to Canada from an international destination
- A Canadian passport for travel to Canada.
- Dual nationals may no longer use a non-Canadian passport to arrive in Canada.
Friends and family from outside Canada
- A reminder to visiting friends and family from outside Canada that the Government of Canada requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) that must be obtained prior to travel. More information is here.
Parents travelling with children
- If passports are required, all children must have their own passport. Remember that parents/legal guardians MUST NOT sign their child’s Canadian passport, as doing so invalidates it.
- Visit IATA Travel Centre and Travel and Tourism Canada or contact the embassy high commission or consulate of all countries you and your child will be visiting to confirm all entry and exit document requirements.
6. Seamless travel to the U.S. Here’s how.
Travelling to the U.S.
- Air Canada customers flying to the U.S. (from or via Canada) will clear U.S. Customs at Canadian airports before their flight. Our operations at all three primary Canadian hubs, Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL) and Vancouver (YVR) are all under one roof with no terminal transfers, meaning connections are easy, comfortable and seamless.
Travelling from the U.S.
- For our customers travelling from the U.S. through our hubs and onwards to any international destination, the seamless connection process and quick passport check means passengers don’t have to wait in customs lines, pick up bags or transfer terminals. Simply walk to the next departure gate.
For more information on connections, go here.
What else to know:
The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint lines can be longer during busy periods. The TSA recommends arriving at the airport three hours before departure if your flight is in the early morning or evening, when wait times for screening can be up to one hour. Members of Trusted Traveler Programs, such as Nexus or Global Entry, may experience normal wait times. Learn more here.
The United States requires that travellers provide additional Secure Flight information at least 72 hours before their flight or at time of booking. Please note that this requirement applies to many international flights which are deemed to over-fly the US. For more information, please consult aircanada.com/secureflight.
Eligible Air Canada customers enjoy the benefits of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre✓ program which provides accelerated security screening at most U.S. departure airports by allowing customers to keep shoes, belts and light outerwear on, and laptops and liquids in carry-on baggage. Learn more about TSA Pre✓ and how it applies to Air Canada flights.