Insights. Inspiration. Ideas.
Insights. Inspiration. Ideas.
We’ve been waiting for this moment since COVID first hit the news and everything shut down, holding our breaths anxiously for that next trip in an all-too-tiny seat on an all-too-small plane. Months of staring at destination vacations on computer screens, turned into a year and a half of wondering when pixels would turn into reality; dreams haunted by memories of “anywhere but here,” turned into recurring nightmares of a staycation in Brighton. Now that we’ve weathered the storm and red lists grow greener by the day, what does the reality of flying look like? After travelling to and from Canada, one of the stricter countries in the world for COVID regulations, I can say that you can safely exhale now… though don’t be surprised when your next breath is in a queue.
Now that we’ve weathered the storm and red lists grow greener by the day, what does the reality of flying look like?
First off, let me say that travel has never been a particularly romantic experience for me. Some people love the anticipation of preparing for the trip, filling bags with purpose-purchased clothes and sunglasses that they’ve only ever worn indoors because, let’s face it, this is England. Their excitement builds with every thought of white, sandy beaches and sweet drinks soon to be consumed in copious quantities. It all crescendos as their wait to board the plane to somewhere else, somewhere better, comes to an end.
While that wasn’t my experience for many years (I’m an anxious-flyer), packing my bag to go home had never been so easy. I am ecstatic that I can finally see my family again, or go to an actual beach somewhere warm over the winter. Two years ago, I would have dreaded the idea of writing out travel checklists and going over them, but now I almost look forward to them. The bad news is that COVID has only made said lists longer, and more expensive. The good news is that although it seems complicated now, things will surely only get more streamlined from here… right? Let’s find out!
I couldn’t tell you how many people at Heathrow seemed dumbfounded by the idea of completing additional COVID-related tests/paperwork prior to arrival. Here are some of the things that I had to do in order to get on the flight: fill out a Canadian customs arrival form, upload proof of vaccination, upload proof of a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before departure time), download the VeriFly app, and present proof of Canadian citizenship. And I needed to have all of this proof in digital or physical form. All of this was checked by agents at the check-in desk and AGAIN at the gate before boarding. Remember those fancy self-service check-in kiosks designed to speed up the process? They’re purposely cordoned off and gathering dust, destined not to be used again until at least some point in late 2022 or beyond. As much as all of this document-checking is painful, it’s to avoid the rather unpleasant and costly alternative of being refused entry to Canada after a long-transatlantic haul.
After a nearly 8 hour flight, I could almost be forgiven for thinking I was home free once my plane landed, but it wasn’t meant to be. In an effort to control the number of people in the customs hall, only 5–10 rows of passengers were let off the plane at a time. For yours truly, whose seat was in row 53 (a number that will be seared into my memory for the rest of my life), that meant an additional two hours on the plane before I was allowed to queue to speak to an agent. If you’re planning on travelling to the US or Canada with any sort of regularity, do yourself a favour and get a NEXUS card or Trusted Traveller designation ASAP. For the price of $50 and an interview, you’re essentially buying a fast pass through security and customs. It saved me 1-2 hours of standing in a queue at customs, and is good for 10 years. People spend more than that to join the short line at Disney World, though I can’t promise Mickey Mouse at the end of the queue.
Next up was getting through customs. As much as the typical “friendly Canadian” stereotype tends to hold true – and our love for all things maple (keep your disgusting corn syrup away from me) – Canadian customs agents are incredibly keen on ensuring that all COVID paperwork and documentation is completed properly, even if that means being rather stoic. But is that the price you pay to enforce rules that protect Canadian lives?
As sure as maple is the superior syrup, all things are relative, so let’s take a look at how you lot are doing things on the other side of the pond.
It's six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.
On the return to the UK, the differences weren’t remarkable to begin with: you need proof of a negative rapid antigen test (significantly cheaper and less accurate than PCR) taken no more than 72 hours before flight departure, proof that you’ve booked a Day 2 test after arrival, and a completed passenger locator form. While this is the nuts and bolts of flying these days, the reality is that the new rules are only as good as the enforcement. None of my COVID-related information was checked on arrival in the UK. Customs was so busy that they weren’t checking the details and just wanted to make sure you were visiting legally. If you had a passport, or a BRP (biometric residence permit for non-citizens), you were passed along.
So sure, things have changed a lot, and yes, there are more steps to remember before you fly. But, as much as things have changed, we’re adding wearing face masks, taking medical tests, and spending longer in a queue, to already taking off our shoes, throwing out liquids containers, and getting body scans. Flying hasn’t been a fun-filled experience for decades now, so what do these new measures really add up to? As the saying goes: it’s six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.
It’s exciting that travel is back, and while the world is still finding its feet, the steps ahead will only get more sure and land on rapidly solidifying ground.
MCCGLC Limited operates within the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679). We work within the principles of fair data processing, namely:
This notice sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us, as data controller and a data processor. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.
This notice covers how we treat any personal information that we collect and receive as part of our broader operating processes. This includes information from our clients, supplier and other third parties we come into contact with in the provision of our services.
We do not sell or pass on any personal information about our clients, suppliers, employees and other business associates. We only use any information shared with us for provision of our services and in that capacity operate as a data controller and, to the extent that we process the data, as a data processor.
This statement tells you what information we collect, the steps we take to protect and secure it, how we use and share information, and finally, how you can contact us with questions or concerns.
We have a privacy notice regarding our CCTV system. You can request a copy of this by contacting us at email@example.com.
(a) Personal Information. We collect personal information (e.g., name, email address, phone number, etc.) when you:
Our services are not intended for children and we do not knowingly collect data relating to children.
We also maintain a database of prospective clients justified under a Legitimate Interest Assessment where we collate names and contact details of business to business decision makers who are known buyers of our services.
(b) Other User Information When you use our services, we may collect additional contextual information about your company as well as your design and aesthetics preferences. We do not link this additional data to any other information we collect about you and do not undertake any profiling activity from this type of data.
(c) Financial Information If you contract with either as a client or a supplier, we will require some financial information in order to process the financial transactions. This information includes your name, address, telephone number, bank details and other information necessary.
(d) Use of our Website The personal data or personal information we collect about you is made up of the information you give us or gained through our communications with you.
You can access and browse our website without disclosing your personal data.
(e) IP Addresses and Cookies. We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration. This is statistical data about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual. For the same reason, we may obtain information about your general internet usage by using a cookie file which is stored on the hard drive of your computer.
Uses made of the information
We use this information held about you in the following ways:
We may also contact you by email, post or telephone. Please note that where you have provided sensitive data to us, we shall only use your sensitive data for the purpose for which the data was provided to us.
You have the right to withdraw consent to marketing at any time by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We strive to provide you with choices regarding certain personal data uses, particularly around marketing and advertising.
Note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please email email@example.com if you need details about the specific legal ground we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground has been set out in the table below.
Please note that at the time you contact us, it may be the case that we no longer process, hold or store your personal information/data as data processor, in which case we would advise you of this and the need to contact the data controller.
Disclosure of this information
We may disclose your personal information to third parties:
Sales and Service Delivery. MCCGLC uses personal data for developing and issuing sales proposals and for providing its products and services – and justifies this under the legal basis of “Contract”.
Marketing Emails and Messages. MCCGLC uses personal data to update existing clients and prospective B2B client with information about our services. We justify this through a “Legitimate Interests” assessment and offer opt-out functionality for those no longer wishing to hear from us in this way.
Emails and other Communications to Third Parties MCCGLC uses data provided by clients to inform and enable their suppliers to perform key operational tasks. We justify this through a “Legitimate Interests” assessment.
Engagement Emails and Vital Information to Event Registrants. MCCGLC captures registration details of event attendees where it has been contracted to do so by clients and justifies this through “Consent”. This may include rudimentary medical data captured for an attendees vital interest, such as dietary requirements, allergies or accessibility / inclusivity requirements. Our processes provide full transparency that this data is then shared with the client.
Administrative and Legal. We process small amounts of employee and subcontractor data under the legal basis of “Contract” and, if in the Vital Interests of the data subject, or with specific consent, or to comply with Employment or Health and Safety or another Legal requirement will hold special category data such as medical history or driving convictions.
MCCGLC does not share, sell, rent or trade personal information with any third parties for marketing or promotional purposes. It will only share limited data with suppliers where required operationally and with clients (where the data has been collected on their behalf in the first instance).
It does share employee data for administrative and legal purposes.
It also reserves the right to share data with relevant authorities if compelled to do so to comply with legal obligations.
We will retain existing client information for as long as a client is with us or as needed to provide our services – and where required to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements. We will retain all client data until any such time that we receive a request to opt-out.
Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal data are available upon request.
We use physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect personal information – our IT arrangements aspire to “Data Protection by Design” and should be able to detect a significant data breach. Where such a breach could result in discrimination, damage to reputation, financial loss, loss of confidentiality or any other significant economic or social disadvantage we will notify the ICO, if we are the Controller, or our client, in the event they are the Controller. Where a breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individual data subjects, we will also notify those concerned directly and at the earliest practical opportunity. We shall then fully investigate a data breach and implement corrective action to prevent recurrence.
By using our services or providing personal information to us, you are consenting to MCCGLC communicating with you electronically regarding security, privacy, and administrative issues related to your use of our services. We may email you if a security breach occurs at the email address you have provided to us.
Data transmissions over the Internet are not 100% secure. Consequently, we cannot guarantee or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission, we use reasonable efforts to ensure security on our systems.
We strive to ensure that all those engaging with us are informed of our arrangements for processing personal data through this Notice.
We will respond to data requests within 1 month and will only charge for requests that are manifestly unfounded or excessive. If we have grounds to refuse a request we will inform the data subject and make them aware of their right to complain to the ICO or to seek civil action – again within 1 month of receiving the request
For personal data obtained directly from a data subject under the legal basis of consent – and obtained indirectly from a data subject under the legal basis of legitimate interest – we will erase a data subject’s personal data upon receipt of a request / opt-out notification. For personal data held under the legal basis of “Contract” or “Vital Interests” or “Legal Obligations” we will endeavour to erase data upon request but will not be able to do so if holding the data is necessary to fulfil our legal obligations or may be necessary as evidence in a future legal action involving us. In cases where we cannot erase the data for these reasons we shall inform the data subject and make them aware of their right to complain to the ICO or to seek civil action.
For personal data obtained directly from a data subject under the legal basis of consent – and obtained indirectly from a data subject under the legal basis of legitimate interest – we will restrict the processing of a data subject’s personal data upon receipt of a request / opt-out notification. For personal data held under the legal basis of “Contract” or “Vital Interests” or “Legal Obligations” we will endeavour to facilitate the requested restriction upon request but will not be able to do so if restricting the processing of the data prevents us from fulfilling our legal obligations or the current processing of the data may be necessary as evidence in a future legal action involving us. In cases where we cannot restrict the processing of the data for these reasons we shall inform the data subject and make them aware of their right to complain to the ICO or to seek civil action.
For personal data obtained directly from a data subject under the legal basis of consent – we shall provide, upon receiving a request, the data that we hold in a standard, widely accessible format
For personal data obtained directly from a data subject under the legal basis of consent – and obtained indirectly from a data subject under the legal basis of legitimate interest – we will cease to process a data subject’s personal data upon receipt of a request / opt-out notification
MCCGLC reserves the right to revise, modify, or update this notice at any time. We will notify you via email about material changes in the way we treat personal data or by placing a prominent notice on this website.
If you have a privacy concern regarding MCCGLC, or this notice, you may contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.