This Busy Holiday Travel Season, Air Canada Offers Up Tips To Make Your Journey A Smoother One

Follow these six steps to make your travel experience less stressful

MONTREALDec. 5, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – The busy holiday travel season is around the corner with a peak expected between December 19, 2018 and January 5, 2019. To make your travel experience as smooth as possible, Air Canada recommends these six essential travel tips.

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.

Be sure to provide your 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 (TorontoMontreal 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 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 when: 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: 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.

Bring 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 at: 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

Canadian citizens

  • 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: aircanada.com/eta.

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 US. Here’s how.

Travelling to the USA

  • Air Canada customers flying to the US (from or via Canada) will clear US 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 USA

  • 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 two 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 Known 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.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2017 served more than 48 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 63 airports in Canada, 56 in the United States and 98 in Europe, the Middle EastAfricaAsiaAustralia, the CaribbeanMexicoCentral America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2018 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.

SOURCE Air Canada

World’s first research centre to improve Canadians’ air travel experience

Air transport allows thousands of Canadians to connect with families and explore other parts of the world. It is also at the core of Canada’s economic future. To remain a leader in the aerospace industry and keep air travel safe and enjoyable for all Canadians, we need to invest in leading-edge technologies.

oday, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the launch of the new Centre for Air Travel Research. The new centre, managed by the National Research Council of Canada, is the world’s first and only facility to study the air travel experience from start to finish; from check-in to terminal, to security, boarding, flying, and deplaning.

All businesses involved in the air travel experience, including airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and cabin equipment and systems suppliers need the right research platforms and technologies to develop and test their solutions to real-world challenges. The Centre for Air Travel Research provides the aerospace industry with a flexible, collaborative space to develop, integrate, and evaluate aerospace technologies, systems and materials.

With expertise across a wide range of disciplines, the National Research Council supports the aerospace industry in tackling various air travel challenges. Located next to the Ottawa International Airport, this unique facility will allow companies to evaluate a passenger’s complete air travel experience to improve safety, efficiency and comfort for Canadian travellers and visitors.

Quick Facts

  • In 2017, over 140 million passengers travelled through Canadian airports.
  • Last year the aerospace industry made a significant contribution to Canada’s economy through more than 188,000 direct and indirect quality jobs and over $24.5 billion in gross domestic product.
  • The Centre for Air Travel Research has five laboratories that simulate and study a passenger’s complete air travel experience.
  • In addition to offering a realistic recreation of an airport terminal, the Centre for Air Travel Research also boasts the Flexible Cabin Laboratory, complete with an A320 aircraft cabin that allows for the study of passenger flight experience, human vibration, and more.

Quotes

“Canadians want safe, efficient, affordable, and comfortable air travel services. The National Research Council of Canada’s Centre for Air Travel Research – a research and development facility – will benefit travellers, airlines, and aircraft manufacturers from around the world.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport

“Our government is working to make sure that the Canadian aerospace industry is in the best possible position to meet customers’ needs and remain competitive. By launching the world’s first and only centre dedicated to improving customers’ air travel experience, Canada is demonstrating that it’s at the leading edge of innovation.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Using a holistic approach, our simulator draws from our team’s diverse knowledge base in areas like environmental controls, vibration, avionics, and human factors to help improve passenger comfort, safety and enroute efficiency. We are proud to be investing in technology platforms that will be critical for the long-term success of the aerospace industry.”
Iain Stewart, President of the National Research Council of Canada

Associated Links

SOURCE National Research Council Canada

 

Canadians are staying in Canada

Source; ITIJ

A Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) of Canada survey has found that Canadians are favouring domestic travel over travel to the US.

According to the 2018 Smart Travellers survey, despite recent reports that travel between Canada and the US has not suffered the Trump-induced slump that many projected, 42 per cent of Canadians are planning to travel within their own country, while only 19 per cent plan to head to the US for a holiday.

When quizzed about how much of an influence the political climate in the US has had on their travel plans, 57 per cent of respondents said that they were less likely to take a trip to their neighbour. Other factors cited by survey respondents included currency conversion, with 59 per cent of Canadians saying that the exchange rate was influencing their travel decisions.

Concerningly, 19 per cent of Canadians said that they had, at some point, intentionally provided inaccurate information on a travel health insurance medical questionnaire. When asked why, 58 per cent said that they had done so in order to save money on their policy.

“The US has historically been Canada’s largest travel destination,” said THiA’s Executive Director, Will McAleer. “These results are consistent with Statistics Canada data showing a five-month decline in travel to the US. Our survey shows that many Canadian travellers will be exploring travel options within our borders.”

17 Scariest Cruise Packing Mistakes

Brittany Chrusciel | Cruise Critic 

We learned some monstrous lessons from some pretty gnarly packing mishaps. Howl along with 17 of the worst of them and keep your packing nightmares to a minimum.

Packing for a cruise isn’t just troublesome for newbies; even repeat cruisers make the mistake of packing everything they own … or leaving the most important item on the kitchen table. In theory, our checklist is at hand every time, but to err is human. Cruise Critic reached out to our forum members as well as fellow staffers for their packing mishaps. From forgetting underwear to nearly leaving the ship in just underwear, to weeding out plastic weapons from your toddler’s bag, we learned some big lessons from some pretty gnarly packing mishaps. Laugh along with 17 of the worst cruise packing mistakes.

1. Bringing Contraband

2. Leaking Toiletries

3. Forgetting Formalwear

4. Bringing Toy Weapons

5. Packing Fish

6. Not Covering Toothbrushes

7. Spilling Detergent

8. Not Stashing a Change of Clothes in Your Carry-On

9. Bringing Too Many Shoes

10. Letting Clothes Wrinkle

11. Overpacking

12. Packing Electronics in Checked Luggage

13. Forgetting Jackets

14. Not Bringing Socks

15. Packing Your Last Day Outfit

16. Not Padding Your Wine Purchases

17. Packing Passport in Checked Luggage

READ IN DETAIL HERE: 

 

RVs provide freedom for adventurous travellers, but it will cost you

By Dan Healing

THE CANADIAN PRESS

CALGARY _ The symbol of a retirement filled with travel and relaxation arrived last year for Bruce and Lisa Anderson of Calgary in the form of a 12-metre long package.

That’s how big their diesel-powered Class A motorhome is _ about the same size as a city bus with, as Bruce points out, a bigger weight-carrying capacity.

It’s big enough that it doesn’t fit into some campgrounds. It’s so big it has two wry nicknames: “Motorhome” and “My Daughter’s Inheritance.”

“Our camping experience has run the whole gamut from tent to travel trailer to motorhome,” said Bruce, acknowledging that purists might not consider it camping if you stay in air-conditioned luxury with more floor space than a small apartment.

“As a teenager, I camped under a lean-to. At age 60, I like my house on wheels.”

When it comes to buying a trailer or motorhome to get out into the great outdoors or just avoid paying hotel rates on vacation, the choices can be daunting and the price in the window just the beginning of what ownership will actually cost.

The best prices are usually seen now, at the start of the off-season, when more used units are on the market and dealers may be willing to bargain to reduce inventory, said Jeff Redmond, general manager of Bucars RV just north of Calgary.

The range of options and prices mean it’s best to have a good idea of your budget and needs before turning up at the dealership, he said.

“You can get into a really good used RV for around $5,000,” he said.

“In the new market, you can be as low as … $20,000 (for a travel trailer) and we range all the way up to over $1 million for luxury Class A diesel motorhomes.”

A scan of used campers for sale online shows a number actually being given away for free although sometimes with ominous wording such as: “Toilet works but valve to empty out sewage won’t open,” and, “Floor a little spongy and will need to be replaced.”

The total number of new camping units sold in Canada this year is expected to be about 52,000, up about five per cent over 2017, said Eleonore Hamm, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada.

Private RV sales represent about 50 per cent of used unit sales, with the rest being sold by dealers.

“If you’re buying privately, the main thing is safety,” Hamm said, adding many dealers will do safety checks for a fee.

“You want to ensure that the units have been checked, that the propane has been recertified, make sure there’s no water damage, make sure the braking system is working adequately.”

Renting is the best way to go RVing, says Brian Gronberg, CEO of Calgary-based CanaDream Corp., which counts about 85 per cent of its RV rental customers from outside of Canada.

“Nobody should buy a motorhome. They’re expensive and they are depreciating assets,” he said in an interview.

He conceded, however, that his company sells used RVs as part of its program to continually refresh its fleet of 1,200 rental units _ and CanaDream allows renters to apply their rental fees to a purchase.

The fall rental of a two-person RV might cost $100 per night from CanaDream, but a last-minute, mid-summer rental of a big motorhome that sleeps six could be $350 to $400 per night, Gronberg said.

The Andersons have learned a lot about RVing since buying their hulking unit for about $390,000. They went on a three-month vacation to Newfoundland and Labrador last summer and they are planning lengthy vacations on Vancouver Island and in the southern U.S. in future years.

Storing the unit at the dealership costs about $1,000 a year, Bruce said, more than the $500 to $600 he used to pay to store his travel trailer on a rural lot. (Many cities don’t allow RV storage on the street.)

Insurance for the motorhome costs more than for a house. Campground fees start at $40-$50 a night with power and water service but some resort-style campgrounds charge as much as $110 a night, he said. Other regular bills are for maintenance and draining the RV’s water lines before winter’s freeze.

And then there’s the cost of fuel, he said.

“Motorhoming, in my opinion, will not save you money.”

How marijuana legalization will impact your travel plans

With the legalization of marijuana in Canada happening this week, the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA) released survey results today revealing some notable insights. The survey revealed that 20 per cent of Canadians planning to travel this year are unaware of the implications of travelling with marijuana. Additionally, 22 per cent of respondents with medical marijuana prescriptions believe they can pack it in carry-ons just like any other prescription drug, regardless of where they are travelling to, once it becomes legal.

“Even though cannabis has been legalized across the country, travellers need to be vigilant if they decide to travel with the drug,” says THiA Executive Director, Will McAleer. “People work hard to enjoy their vacations and should be aware of all implications before they travel, regardless of whether they decide to travel with marijuana or not. The most popular travel destination for Canadians is the U.S., a jurisdiction where it is illegal under federal laws to possess cannabis in any form.”

Many insurers are taking the position that marijuana will be treated similarly to alcohol in terms of travelling within Canada. Which means airlines will allow passengers to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana on domestic flights after October 17th. However, it is the U.S. borders and travelling outside of Canada that Canadians must be informed about. Even though cannabis is legal in some states, it remains illegal under U.S. federal laws to possess it in any form or quantity, making it illegal to bring across the Canada-U.S. border. Penalties for doing so include legal prosecution and fines and possibly jail time.

THiA’s survey revealed that demographics play a large part in the level of awareness travellers have regarding travelling with marijuana. Thirteen per cent of boomers said that they wouldn’t anticipate any issues at the border when travelling from one legal province to another jurisdiction outside of Canada with marijuana. When asked the same question, 21 per cent of millennials believed they wouldn’t run into any issues at all. Choosing to avoid potential issues altogether, 77 per cent of boomers, and 60 per cent of millennials, believe you shouldn’t pack marijuana at all when travelling, even with a prescription.

It’s important to be mindful of what you can and cannot bring across international borders when travelling. THiA recommends always following the golden rules of travel health insurance before you leave for your vacation:

  1. Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies.
  2. Know your health and consult a health care provider if you have any questions.
  3. Know your trip – How long will you be gone? Are you a snowbird? Will you be travelling many times during the year? Do you plan to scuba dive? Find a policy that is specifically tailored to your trip.
  4. Know your rights – the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities will help provide all travelling Canadians with additional confidence in their travel insurance purchase knowing their company is supporting their rights as a consumer and making them aware of their responsibilities.

About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in September 2018, polled 1,343 respondents, ranging from ages 18 to 60+ across Canada.

About the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA)
Founded in 1998, the Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) is the national organization representing travel insurers, brokers, underwriters, re-insurers, emergency assistance companies, air ambulance companies and allied services in the travel insurance field. THiA is the leading voice of the travel insurance industry in Canada and is engaged in public education and issues relating to regulatory affairs and member communications.

SOURCE Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA)

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