Business Travel in a COVID-19 World

This Post Was Originally Published on the Plus Travel Group Blog on August 4, 2020 by Mark Crone

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World is different. Nothing seems normal in a pandemic and travel is no exception. As the economy reopens and we all move forward, it’s time to travel again. Business needs to travel for a variety of reasons including company growth, customer visits, internal company meetings, etc. I flew with Air Canada from Toronto to Montreal on July 16, 2020. Here is what a business trip looks like right now:

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World – Toronto Pearson Airport

Boarding the plane in a Covid -19 world

There are more people travelling than you might think. On the day I flew, there were 15,000 passengers moving through Toronto Pearson. Airport parking was busy with 2 floors full and several other floors with minimal space. As you walk into the terminal, you will need your mask on. You’ll also be stopped by security to confirm that you are a traveller (only travellers are allowed into the airport). The terminal does not look busy, but travel activity is growing week by week. Toronto Pearson has initiated a “Healthy Airport” program in response to COVID-19. This includes anti-bacterial fogging, UV cleaning technology, enhanced sanitization, and physical distancing measures. As you make your way to check-in, you will notice these measures throughout the terminal.

Check-in and Security

Air Canada Touch Free Check-In Kiosk

Advanced check-in is now more important than ever. If your flight is busy (70% or more), and you prefer to travel on a different flight, you will have an option to change to another flight operating within three days or to the next available flight without additional fees. Touch-free check-in at select airports includes seamless TouchFree Bag Check service. During mobile check-in, select the number of checked bags, print your bag tags from dedicated kiosks, and then drop off your bags at the TouchFree Bag Drop.

You’ll see physical distancing measures in place as you line up for security, with decals every two metres on the floor. As you walk up to security, your temperature will be taken by airport personnel. You now scan your own boarding pass at security and proceed through inspection. Hand sanitization stations are available at security screening and throughout the airport.

Airport Lounges and Pre-Flight

Social Distancing  seats near a gate at Toronto Pearson Airport

If you have access to an Air Canada airport lounge, you’ll be happy to know that they have re-opened. Seating has been readjusted to provide social distancing. Food comes in a snack box and drinks are handed to you by an attendant. There are also washroom attendants. As you make your way to your departure gate, some restaurants are open and seating at the gate has been adjusted with social distancing. There are more people travelling than you would expect but there is still plenty of room for physical distancing throughout the terminal.

Boarding and On the Plane

Selfie of the Author wearing a mask while flying on the plane

The number of boarding zones has increased (8 for my flight). There are fewer travellers in each zone with boarding by window then aisle and from back to front of the plane. At boarding, you’ll show your ID and boarding pass. But you’ll be asked to pull back your mask so that the agent can see your face vs. the picture on your ID. As you board the plane, you’ll be handed the Clean Care Kit (if you are flying Air Canada). The Kit includes a mask, antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves, water bottle, a headset, and a snack. Seating is spaced out as much as possible. Given current travel activity, it would be odd to have someone beside you. Announcements on board will always remind you of COVID protocols including wearing your mask over your mouth and nose (unless eating or drinking).

Air Canada Clean Care Kit

At Montreal Airport

There are 3 security entrance points at Montreal Airport. As you enter, you will be required to sanitize your hands and have your temperature taken by infrared thermometer. Virtually every airport, including Montreal, follows updated COVID specific health and safety protocols. You are encouraged to use mobile check-in; you must wear a face mask; physical distancing measures are in place; and enhanced sanitization processes are ongoing.

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World – Summary

With the many biosafety protocols and procedures in place for travel, it quite frankly feels safer to travel than to buy groceries. It felt great to travel again as it seemed to for everyone else on the plane. The travel industry has spent considerable time and effort in developing new procedures to build trust and confidence- and it works! It really is time to travel. And business travel needs to happen to facilitate economic growth. Updated travel guidelines and procedures are the new norm and we are all ready for takeoff!

Flying on an airplane

Feel free to reach out for more information and to inquire about an updated travel program with Plus Travel Group. 

Check out my previous post for more information – Is it the right time to travel again?

20 thoughts on “Business Travel in a COVID-19 World

  1. Travel for a while August 7, 2020 / 2:40 am

    This post is reassuring. I believe it’s probably safer to fly with all the measures taken than do many of our daily activities. And you’re right, businesses have to move on and that includes traveling, we just have to accept that this is our new reality for a while.

  2. Vinn August 11, 2020 / 5:42 am

    Thanks for sharing all these details. Air Canada imposes strict protocols thereby making passengers more secure during travels. Safer than buying groceries! The Clean care kit gives more assurance to passengers and how well they are taken care of in time of COVID19.

  3. Mrs D August 13, 2020 / 2:03 pm

    This is such a detailed post on what to expect when travelling by plane. Thanks for sharing, I love that air canada have given like packs with masks and of course a snack!

    Thanks for sharing
    Mrs D

    • markstraveljournal August 13, 2020 / 3:46 pm

      It really was a nice and comfortable flying experience. Many thanks for the comments.

  4. Victoria August 14, 2020 / 8:33 am

    Thank you so much for sharing all this information, this was truly such an amazing post. I have been very wary of travelling right now due to everything that has been going on and I know some airlines in my country has not been as strict as AirCanada and the airport there which I think some of the airports over here should take note off.

    • markstraveljournal August 14, 2020 / 8:55 am

      Thanks. It’s very much about proper protocols at the airport and when flying. It was great to travel again and felt very normal (except for the mask). Cheers,

  5. Ellie Wright August 14, 2020 / 5:20 pm

    Wow, it’s so interesting to see how air travel is functioning at this time. It seems to be organised pretty well 🙂

    • markstraveljournal August 14, 2020 / 5:49 pm

      It is very well organized and well thought out. Thanks for the comments

  6. Nishtha Pande` August 16, 2020 / 11:34 am

    This post is so reassuring. I needed to travel in the upcoming weeks and this really helps put my mind at a little ease. Not the same though but I guess we should get used to the new normal. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    MagicandBliss |

  7. glowsteady August 17, 2020 / 10:53 am

    This was really interesting, I haven’t travelled yet and the thought does still make me slightly nervous. I can’t see me going far for a little while yet, but it’s great that they provide you with that little clean pack too. It’s reassuring to see that good measures appear to be in place.


    • markstraveljournal August 17, 2020 / 12:30 pm

      Everything you can think of and then some with safety and cleanliness is in place. Thanks for the comments

  8. Jen | Dreamer's Chalk August 29, 2020 / 8:18 pm

    Kudos to airports for the reassuring health and safety measures! You are right, it feels safer than buying groceries!

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