Air Canada on Monday announced it will be requiring temperature checks of all passengers before they are allowed to board a flight as part of a new program in response to COVID-19, becoming the first North American airline to do so.
The program, which the airline is calling CleanCare+, will start May 15 and will have guests tested with a non-invasive infrared thermometer. Those who are deemed unfit to travel, either because of a raised temperature or because of an answer on the existing government mandated health questionnaire, will be rebooked at no cost but will have to get medically cleared before flying.
The goal with all the extra protocols is to “provide travelers with the confidence that they can book and fly safely with Air Canada,” Air Canada’s president and CEO Calin Rovinescu said.
All the safety measures are scheduled to remain in effect until the end of June.
Along with the temperature checks, Air Canada will also block the sale of adjacent seats and will be capping the total number of available seats sold for each flight, which, the carrier said, will result in no passenger sitting immediately adjacent to each other.
Once onboard, passengers will be given hand sanitizer and other health items to help keep them safe onboard. Pillows and blankets will no longer be offered, and no reading material will be available in the seat-front pockets, and attendants in-flight will now offer individual water bottles instead of bar service.
All passengers and crew members are still required to wear face coverings during their travel, from check-in to disembarkation from the flight. All passengers will also have to comply with new check-in policies that include that mandatory health questionnaire and a new boarding procedure that will get guests seated in the back of the plane onboard first.
Air Canada is still offering no change or cancellation fees on existing or new bookings.