Over the last few months we’ve been exploring what travel looks like “now” – because it’s changing and evolving along with the global pandemic. No one is following the situation more closely than travel expert, Lorraine Simpson – and recently, she took a tour of Toronto Pearson Airport to see all the changes they have made to keep us safe. She is here now to tell us what the inside scoop is.
Arriving Inside the Airport
First when you are going to the airport only passengers are allowed inside the building, so you really notice it being much quieter. It’s kiss and ride at the curb like the school drop off so prepare yourself first. You must wear a mask or you can not go in, no exceptions! You should bring two or three as they will not let you in without one and sometime, they get hot or come loose so bring a couple of spares. You check in online at home and either print your boarding pass or have it sent to your phone. When you get to the airport you can print your baggage tag just by scanning your boarding pass. Remember… No touching! There are people right there on hand to help you… its super easy and then you walk your bag over to the bag drop and just put it on the belt and it scans automatically and away it goes… no touching anything!
Next off we go to security and after a touchless temperature check you place your hand luggage in the sanitized bins provided and scan your own boarding pass and you go through easy. Then we are going to the Gate. I noticed quite a few restaurants were open in the airport like Bocconne by Massimo Capra and as they are not serving much in the way of refreshments on board its a good idea to pick up anything you would like on the way. I just went on the flight within Canada so no immigration or passport checks but at boarding you remove your mask just to check your ID before you get on the plane.
Heightened Airport safety measures
At the airport they are so proud of the quality of the air filters in the airport and they have invested in a state of the art air filtration system that removes 99.9% of the particular matter in the air… in other words the same quality as a hospital. To monitor this they have a full blown air monitoring station that tests the air quality all the time. Not only are they really proud of it they will share it too and have built a website just for us to go on and check the quality of the air in real time.
On the plane
I was so excited to be on a plane. I just took a short flight to Montreal and back to see how it was and oh my goodness Air Canada has gone over the top. They use electrostatic fogging machines to clean every surface. Then each plane gets a deep cleaning between flights and then on board again you have these hospital standard air filters that replace the air fully every few minutes and are cleaner than most buildings. Everyone wore masks on the plane. No food or drinks except bottles of water on short flights. We also got a bag with our own hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and a mask too if you needed an extra one. You can remove your masks to eat or drink.
Arriving Back Home
On arrival at Pearson coming home they have a prototype fogging machine you can actually walk through. I was thinking I could get a mini one at home for the kids. I figure i’d tell them you don’t want to shower ok walk through that when you come in from school with your buggy hands and your yucky backpack!
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