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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Air Canada to begin re-opening Maple Leaf Lounges with new biosafety measures


Hot off the wire is this latest news from Air Canada that they will begin to re-open some of their Maple Leaf lounges this week. The first to open will be the Maple Leaf Lounge at Toronto Pearson D Gates on July 24:
"We are pleased to welcome eligible customers again to one of our Maple Leaf Lounges at our primary Toronto Pearson hub. The Maple Leaf Lounge experience has been completely re-thought with a range of industry-leading biosafety measures in place for the safety of customers and employees alike. We are introducing electrostatic spraying in our Lounges as part of our significantly enhanced cleaning procedures for additional peace of mind, and launching new touchless processes, such as the ability to order pre-packaged food directly to your seat from your smartphone. When the Air Canada CafĂ© reopens later this year, customers will also benefit from touchless self-entry, a process which we are looking to implement at other lounges. We will progressively re-open other Maple Leaf Lounges throughout our network starting with Montreal Trudeau Airport and Vancouver International Airport by early fall in time for the expected resumption of more business travel," said Andrew Yiu, Vice President, Product, at Air Canada"

Air Canada CleanCare+: Maple Leaf Lounges Re-Open With New Biosecurity Measures from Air Canada on Vimeo.

Based on the video the Maple Leaf Lounge experience will be very different than what we were all accustomed to prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gone are the buffets and self service bar. Gone are the magazines and newspapers. Now food service will be provided as pre-packaged options that you'll order via the Air Canada app and have it brought to your seat. The same goes for the beverage service as it will be assisted now and no longer self service.

This is how Air Canada describes the Food and beverage service:
In the lounge, meals can be ordered and delivered straight to your table through the new Maple Leaf Lounge @ la table service simply by scanning an NFC or QR code found at the table.
In addition, customers can select from two cold meal options, pre-packaged and sealed in our convenient meal snack bag. During select times, hot options and a kid’s menu are also available. A shrimp roll offering will also be available in the evenings from our culinary partner, chef Antonio Park.
Meal options are adjusted based on time of day, and an antiseptic wipe and a disposable cutlerly roll will be provided with each meal.
There will also be assisted bar service with our full bar offering.
 Air Canada will provide digital options for magazines and other reading materials. Essentially most high traffic touch points have been eliminated. They will be cleaning all seats and tables after each use and will have dedicated washroom attendants who will be making sure washrooms are properly sanitized. Check in counters will have plexiglass shields in place and all customers and employees will be required to have face coverings.

The Toronto lounge that is opening will be the only one to operate for just over a month as Air Canada then plans to open lounges in Montreal and Vancouver by Labour Day. The video mentions Calgary and Ottawa will follow suit sometime in the future and possibly some overseas locations as well.

You can learn more about Air Canada's Service Offerings Changes here.

Recommended reading: Rewards Canada's Guide to Business Class Lounge Access

Image via Air Canada 

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