Flying in Canada during the Covid-19 Pandemic
The decision to fly during the pandemic was a difficult one to make, but after taking many precautions and doing lots of research, we decided to book our flights. Our flight was short (55 minutes) and was from YYC (Calgary International Airport) to YLW (Kelowna International Airport). We booked our flight over four months in advance, but we knew there was the option to cancel at the last minute (24 hours before the flight) if we needed to. Another aspect of our trip that made it unique was we were traveling with our kitten underneath the seat of the airplane. Since this was our first time travelling with a pet in the cabin, it was a very new experience flying!
Going Through Security
Throughout the airport in Calgary, everyone is required to wear masks and social distance. Everyone we saw abided by these rules, which was great to see. The actual airport and security was not busy in the slightest bit, which was great when travelling with a pet through security. We had to take Remi (our kitten) out of her carrier and I carried her through with me while all of our bags/purses went through the scanner. It was a very easy and quick process since there was nobody there, and that eased my nerves a lot! Before we went through TSA, we had to stand in front of this camera-like device which was quickly taking everyone's temperature. If you have a fever, you are prohibited from boarding the flight.
It’s important to note that all the restaurants in the airport were closed since Alberta’s restrictions require it. I was happy to see that the convenience store beside our gate was open! So if you need to purchase any snacks or drinks for the flight after security, you can expect the convenience stores to be open.
On the Plane
Since we were travelling with a pet in the cabin, we got to be one of the first to board the plane which was nice! We were on a smaller plane (2 people in each aisle) which was great because we didn’t have anyone sitting right beside us in our aisle, it was just us. As we boarded the plane, the flight attendant safely handed out sanitizing wipes if people wanted to take one to wipe down their own seat and armrests. We took the wipes and wiped down literally everything around our seats and I liked this because it gave me peace of mind that everything was sanitized because I did it myself.
When everyone boarded I was surprised how full the plane was. The reason for this was because since less people are travelling, they cancel certain flights and put everyone on just one or two planes that are more full. This doesn’t violate any of the restrictions, but it is different than at the beginning of the pandemic. At the beginning there were mandates that people needed to be spaced out, but after empirical studies were done, it was found that transmission of the virus on planes is very low. Dr. Teresa Tam talked about this study and said that it’s very rare to see transmission of Covid-19 on aircrafts because the air in the cabin is filtered 20-30 times per hour during flights. Since the air filtration can be controlled, it’s a much safer environment to be in than just inside someone’s house.
You can read more about this study HERE, if you’re interested in learning more!
My trip stayed within Canada, but there are very strict new rules about flying back into Canada from somewhere outside of Canada (international flights). So be sure to read the restrictions and rules before you make your decision to fly. Also, even within Canada, different provinces have different restrictions, so be sure to do your research before making the decision to fly somewhere!
Overall the whole experience was very seamless and easy. It’s important to be cautious, but don’t let the cautiousness turn into paranoia or crippling anxiety. In the end, it’s your choice if you feel safe flying during the pandemic and multiple different factors can play into this decision. If you have any more questions about my experience flying during the Covid-19 pandemic (with a pet in the cabin), feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a DM on Instagram!