CleanCare+: How Air Canada is Navigating Opening its Lounges During the Pandemic.

Air Canada CleanCare+

The second coming of the golden age of travel may well have come and gone. Or, at least that’s what I thought. Air Canada’s CleanCare+ is working hard to bring back some of the comforts that come with business travel.

On my recent trip to Quebec City, I got to experience CleanCare+ at both the Vancouver and Toronto airport lounges. This is my experience.

What is CleanCare+?

In a nutshell, CleanCare+ is Air Canada’s strategy to ensure passengers are kept safe while travelling during the pandemic. Although this process is end-to-end with health and safety protocols along the way, I will be digging into how CleanCare+ is applied to Air Canada’s business class lounges.

READ MORE: What’s if Like to Fly Across Canada During the Pandemic?

At the time of my travels, Air Canada had only opened up lounges in Vancouver and Toronto. Luckily, I got to experience both.


CleanCare+ at The YVR Maple Leaf Lounge

Stepping inside the Maple Leaf Lounge at YVR you’ll first notice the plexiglass bubble surrounding the agent with hand sanitizers stations throughout. Sadly, this has become the norm these days.

READ MORE: Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge Review

After checking in via touchless scan, guests follow markers on the floor which direct the flow of traffic. As noted in my write up about what it’s like to fly during the pandemic, there really isn’t much traffic to manage. Still, a requirement nonetheless.

I continued past what was once the magazine rack and found a seat. A part of CleanCare+ is reducing touchpoints. Gone are the physical magazines, replaced with downloadable digital copies via a QR code. This is a smart move for environmental reasons as well.

  –  Compare prices on Air Canada flights with Skyscanner

QR codes are also used to access food menus. Each seat has a code which allows you to order and have items delivered directly to your seat. Again, another smart feature of Air Canada’s CleanCare+.

On my visit, the menu included a chicken rice bowl and farfalle primavera pasta. Here’s what the order process looks like:

On a sad note, self-service bars may be a thing of the past. Now you have to rely on staff to pour that perfect pint of Guinness, after waiting in a line of course.

CleanCare+ at The YYZ Maple Leaf Lounge

The experience was much of the same on the other end of my flight, albeit a little bit busier.

Although there is still service to your seat, visitors can queue up for cold snack items to go. I enjoyed a great chia seed pudding for breakfast and a Sriracha chicken wrap a little later for lunch.

READ MORE: Is Air Canada’s Premium Economy Worth it?

As I had plenty of time to kill, I went for a stroll through the ghost town that Pearson Airport has become. With little traffic, it was no surprise that many shops were closed.

This made me appreciate Air Canada’s efforts with CleanCaere+ that much more. It has allowed them to open up their lounges in Vancouver and Toronto safely. Hopefully, other lounges across the country will soon follow suit.

The Future of Business Travel?

A big part of my love of travel revolves around the various business class products out there. With the safety measures and lack of service airlines are currently offering, the future of business class travel was looking bleak. That was until I experienced CleanCare+ and Air Canada’s attempt to normalize things.

Do I think things will ever be the same? No, or at least not anytime soon. Till then, the steps Air Canada is taking are in the right direction. It definitely helps add a little comfort to an overall crummy situation for air travel.

Stay tuned for my take on CleanCare+ on Air Canada’s 787-900 business class!


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Air Canada CleanCare+


 

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