I’m just back off the plane from spending two weeks in Newfoundland. Newfoundland opened to fully vaccinated Canadians on July 2nd, and we were on the plane soon after my youngest daughter’s 2nd vaccine. We had a wonderful trip, and a fantastic family reunion.
I wanted to share with you my experience on getting back onboard a plane for the first time since February 2020. So, hopefully this will address any concerns you might have about getting in the air again. And, of course, I’ll then be available to help you start flying again too.
So – here’s the first thing. Ottawa airport was dead, dead. The long-term outdoor parking garage has been closed during CoVid – so you have to park in what is normally short-term parking in the covered lot. And while that interior space was pretty full, we didn’t have any trouble getting a spot on a Friday afternoon. It was pretty weird to see the empty long-term lot when we first pulled up, though. I went to the airport 2 hours in advance for the domestic flight to Toronto, fearing lines and queues – but we had plenty of time in Ottawa. (Toronto was busier.)
Inside, the Ottawa airport was pretty empty. The construction (redesigning eating areas for future) and re-routing for CoVid protocols takes departures up from the normal level. And there are tall, contactless temperature-taking machines that require you to stand still to get your temperature taken. There were banks of empty seats in the gate waiting area, even with every second seat marked off to ensure social distancing. You’re checked in normally for boarding passes and luggage, and again at the gate, with your masks on, but you’re asked to lower your mask to ensure your face matches your photo id. Once you get onboard with Air Canada, we were handed personal CoVid protection kits with a mask, hand sanitizer, and wipes. Small bottled water was offered onboard the plane.
Connecting through Toronto airport was busier. It had the feel of pre-CoVid days, albeit everyone was wearing masks. However, there were few restaurants or shops open. We did find one spot to have a meal and a beverage, and got seated early (again, I’d left several hours between connecting flights, in an abundance of caution with new CoVid protocols), but we were fine as we were already inside the secured area.
It was so wonderful to be on a plane again. The excitement of boarding was amazing.
And we were so happy to look down on fluffy white clouds.
Arriving in Newfoundland required us to show proof that we had been doubly-vaccinated, and that we had uploaded proof of our vaccines to the Newfoundland government site. see https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/travel/arriving-in-newfoundland-and-labrador/travelling/ We were greeted and met at the entry point of airport by people who reviewed our documentation with us before we were allowed to continue to our luggage. Arriving at 1:30 am in the morning did not shortcut any processes, but fortunately everything moved well.
We had a fantastic time visiting with my mom and family, and it was so nice to be able to be in my home province again. We visited Gros Morne National Park at least 4 different times, and hiked Western Brook Pond, the Tablelands, Baker’s Brook Falls, and visited Rocky Harbour and Woody Point. We hiked Bottle Cove and Lobster Head Trail on the west coast, as well as Blomidon Pond. We visited family, played cards, cooked great meals, and generally had a wonderful vacation.
It was so nice to be flying again!
Let me know where you’d like to go first!