air canada covid test

Air Canada is giving free Crave subscriptions to passengers who take a COVID test

Air Canada hopes that passengers will be willing to take a COVID-19 test upon landing at Toronto Pearson Airport, and they're offering some serious incentives to make it happen.

The Canadian airline is giving all participants a 30-day free subscription to Crave if they take a test (three weeks longer than the standard free trial period, for reference).

Passengers will also get 14-day access to a digital newsstand and be entered to win free airline tickets.

The offer only applies to international passengers landing in Toronto.

The free test consists of a quick swab at the airport, with results posted within 48 hours.

Passengers are asked to complete two more tests — at the seven-day and 14-day mark, coinciding with the federal government's quarantine period — which will be picked up by a courier service.

So why the push to test passengers?

Well, Air Canada continues to lose money as long as the government keeps hefty travel restrictions in place; in fact, the airline reported a staggering $1.75 billion loss on July 31 as a result of the pandemic.

But the airline is hoping to change that.

"Air Canada has advocated for the adoption of rational, science-based measures in Canada relating to COVID-19, to allow for the prudent easing of travel restrictions and the mandatory 14-day quarantine," said Dr. Jim Chung, chief medical officer at Air Canada, in a Sept. 3 press release.

Chung added that the airline hopes the testing will provide alternatives to "the current blanket restrictions."

Air Canada isn't the only airline planning to offer COVID-19 tests to passengers in Canada.

Rival airline WestJet is teaming up with Vancouver International Airport to offer COVID-19 tests in the upcoming weeks.

"We understand that COVID-19 testing is a rapidly evolving field with many unknowns. But we also know that we must continue to search for solutions," the airline said in an Aug. 28 press release.

WestJet added that they hope the testing will "help restart the global aviation industry in a safe manner."

No word yet on whether WestJet's testing will provide passengers with free TV subscriptions, too.

Lead photo by

Ethan McArthur

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