Travel tips # 3 — Air Canada’s tips for a smooth summer vacation


Summer is here and if you haven’t booked a flight yet — or at the very least, brainstormed on the destination — it’s time to start planning your vacation. Keep your head above water and scheme like a boss with Air Canada’s tips and tricks for a foolproof vacay you’re sure to remember.

Credit: Gettyimages – Nicolas McComber

STAY INFORMED ONLINE

As a traveller, you need to stay on top of your flight status — departure time, gate changes and more. Technology has enriched our travelling experiences: you no longer have to rely on old school methods such as screens in the airport or toll free flight status numbers, as you can opt for flight status notification via email and text message. Some airlines also offer rebooking tools and various flight-related apps.

CHECKING IN AND BOARDING

You should no longer be doing this at the airport – not even from a kiosk.

Within 24 hours of your flight’s departure time, you can go through the check in process from your mobile device or computer. Select or change your seat and select your number of checked baggage, all to spend less time at the airport.

For flights within Canada, you should drop off your luggage an hour and a half before your flight. Some may think that is more than enough, but keep in mind check-in/baggage drop off ends 45 minutes before your flight and the gates usually close 15 or 30 minutes after boarding.

Connections:

If you are connecting to the U.S. through Toronto Pearson International Airport, you need to take note of when your flight leaves from Toronto. If your departure is before 10 am, chances are you will hit the busiest time of day at customs. Try and book the flights at least a few hours apart.

Credit: Gettyimages – Zdenka Simekova

AVOID CARRY-ON TROUBLES

The last thing you want to happen right before a flight is to learn your bag is not carry-on compliant and will need to be checked at the very last minute. This can delay the flight and just be flat-out frustrating. As airlines have started cracking down on their carry-on luggage restrictions in recent years, keep in mind the following:

  • Air Canada’s carry-on luggage dimensions are 5” X 15.5” X 9”.
  • Be sure to keep all your valuables with you in your carry-on bag.
  • Government regulations only allow 100ml/100g/3.4oz per liquid, gel or aerosol item on board the aircraft.
  • Electronic devices powered by lithium batteries must be in your carry-on. Laptops, tablets and mobile phones fall under this category.
  • In light of recent events, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is prohibited on any Air Canada flight.

OTHER OVERSIZED ITEMS

Collapsible strollers are recommended as they can be checked at the gate before the flight. They are delivered to you at the gate after you reach your destination.

Sporting equipment should be pre-registered up to 24 hours prior to your departure by contacting your flight provider. If you have other oversized items you think may exceed the airline regulations, take the time to visit the airline’s website for procedures to follow.

Credit: Gettyimages – seb_ra

YOUR DOCUMENTATION

  • Did you know that, as per government regulations, the name you provide when booking your flight is required to be exactly the same as it appears in the travel documents you provide? This can cause a discrepancy when the airlines verify your booking.
  • Parents, do not sign your child’s Canadian passport – this will make it invalid! Instead, just have appropriate documents ready (birth certificate showing the name of both parents or legal guardians).

And of course, international flights require a valid passport and sometimes a visa to enter the country, while domestic travel requires government-issued photo ID for those passengers 18 years of age or older.

Most importantly – enjoy your travels!