Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


IDEAS: Air Canada Introduces New Tracking Tool for Baggage and Mobility Aids

7 months ago

Air Canada is launching a new feature within its mobile app that will enable customers to track their baggage and mobility aids in real time.

Air Canada Customers Can Now Track their Baggage and Mobility Aids while Travelling in Canada.
Credit: Air Canada

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than one in every 100 wheelchairs and scooters that travel in the cargo hold of an aircraft on domestic flights are damaged, delayed, or lost.

The tracking feature, which is integrated into the Air Canada mobile app, will provide updates on items at key milestones throughout the journey, and has been implemented to provide travelers with ‘added confidence and improve the overall customer experience through greater convenience,’ according to Air Canada.

Although only available to customers traveling within Canada at present, Air Canada expects the feature to be expanded to U.S. flights next year. 

“At Air Canada, we know that apart from a safe, comfortable journey, the prompt delivery of baggage and mobility aids is a top priority for our customers. We already achieve a very high reliability rate, but to further elevate our service we are introducing a new tracking feature in the Air Canada mobile app to give customers real-time information, greater certainty about the movement of their belongings during their trip, and heightened convenience,” said Tom Stevens, vice president, customer experience and operations strategy at Air Canada in a release.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


IDEAS: Air Canada Unveils Upgraded Airbus A321

8 months ago

Air Canada has unveiled the first of its upgraded Airbus A321’s, featuring a host of new features that have been implemented to improve ‘customer comfort’.

Air Canada Unveils Upgraded Airbus A321
Credit: Air Canada

The new aircraft, which has been redesigned from nose to tail, features a new cabin interior along with a range of new technologies, including a new in-flight entertainment system with bluetooth audio, free high-speed internet, larger overhead bins, upgraded seating, LED mood lighting and exterior cameras.

The new cabins will also see a reduced fuel consumption of more than 2.4 million litres per year when the work has been completed across the entire fleet, thanks to a weight reduction of approximately 240 kilograms. 

“We’re proud to welcome customers on board to experience the comfort, convenience, and connectivity of our latest cabins. These upgraded fleet interiors will align the A320s and A321s to the highly popular A220 experience, further strengthening our industry leading product offering,” said Mark Nasr, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Digital, and President of Aeroplan.

“Additionally, new features such as our inflight entertainment system streaming exterior aircraft camera feeds, Bluetooth connectivity, and free, fast internet connectivity will be extremely popular with travelers. We will continue advancing our product leadership by trialing more new in-flight experiences with this A321 and expanding those learnings to additional aircraft in our fleet.”  

Retrofitting on Air Canada’s remaining Airbus A321s and A320s will begin this fall and is slated to be completed by the end of 2025.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


Newark Airport Sets Opening Date for First New Terminal in 34 Years

2 years ago

It’s not often that travelers have something to look forward to at Newark Liberty International Airport. The new $2.7 billion Terminal A will open in December, the latest in a series of major airport projects opening around the U.S. this year.

The first 21 gates of the 33-gate facility will open on December 8, officials said Tuesday. The remaining gates open in 2023. Air Canada, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and United Airlines will operate from the terminal initially, and Delta Air Lines will join them next year. The old Terminal A, which opened in 1973, will be demolished.

The last new terminal to open at Newark airport was Terminal C in 1988.

Inside the new Terminal A at Newark airport
The security checkpoint in the new Terminal A at Newark airport. (PANYNJ)

United, which has a large hub at Newark, will use up to 15 gates in the new Terminal A. The airline plans to operate flights to around 23 destinations — including to Atlanta, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego, and Seattle-Tacoma — from the facility, Newark Chief Pilot Captain Fabian Garcia said in September.

The new terminal at Newark is the latest in a series of big airport investments around the U.S. this year. New or expanded facilities at Denver, Los Angeles, New York LaGuardia, Orlando, Phoenix Sky Harbor, Seattle-Tacoma, and Washington Dulles airports have all opened in recent months.

Construction of Terminal A at Newark began in 2018.


Canada to Lift Last Covid, Mask Restrictions

2 years ago

Canada will end all entry restrictions on October 1, with major national airlines Air Canada and WestJet welcoming the change.

Gone are requirements that certain travelers provide proof of vaccination, undergo pre- or post-arrival testing, or quarantine or isolate after arrival, the Canadian government said on Monday. Fully vaccinated travelers have not been subject to most of these rules since March 1. The country also lifted mask requirements for planes and trains.

Toronto CN Tower Skyline
(Can Pac Swire/Flickr)

“Air Canada welcomes the removal of these restrictions,” Air Canada Chief Operating Officer Craig Landry said. “We believe it will greatly facilitate travel, help to continue stabilizing the country’s air transport sector and support Canada’s economy.”

WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech echoed Landry’s comments in a separate statement, adding that the “announcement aligns with the travel policies of other major nations.”

International airline seats to Canada is down 19 percent compared to 2019 in September, according to Diio by Cirium schedules. For comparison, international seats to the U.S. — where travel restrictions were eased months ago — are down just 15 percent.


Air Canada Adds Only Nonstop Between Thailand And North America

2 years ago

Air Canada will offer the only nonstop flight between North America and Thailand this winter when it adds new service to Bangkok.

The Star Alliance carrier will connect Vancouver and Bangkok from December 1 to April 14, Air Canada said Monday. The route is the first between North America and Thailand since Thai Airways ended nonstop flights between Bangkok and Los Angeles in 2012, Cirium schedule data show.

In addition, Air Canada will also resume service between Toronto and Mumbai, which was suspended in March 2020, with a stop in London Heathrow due to the closure of Russian airspace on October 29. Both the Bangkok and Mumbai routes will be served with Boeing 787 aircraft.

(Air Canada)

“We continue to pursue our strategy of expanding our global network in response to pent-up demand, and expect to operate approximately 81 per cent of our 2019 international capacity this winter,” Air Canada Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management Mark Galardo said in a statement.