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Aircraft spraying?

while reading another forum dedicated to travel, they mention that Air Canada sprays the cabin with insecticide during descent to certain countries.

has anyone experienced this on flights coming from Toronto?

We’ve traveled to Asia and didn’t experience this.


Yep… Every flight I have taken down to Cuba it has been done …
Some times you don’t even notice it … and when you do notice it … its not a problem … no smell etc …

Yep. I’ve noticed it on many flights to and from Cuba.
I usually bury my face in my jacket for a few minutes. Although I’m sure it’s perfectly safe, I’m not a huge fan of pesticides.

I find it interesting that I was not notified that this was common procedure in the brochure, when we booked with a TA, or on the AC website when I made ‘fake’ booking on AC’s website to see how full the aircraft was.

It doesn’t change me going there, but it would be nice to know facts like this before getting a face full of pesticides at 10K ft.

sinecure, every flight I’ve ever been on to Cuba has been sprayed, and depending on where you flew into Asia you likely got sprayed there too. It’s done very low key and it doesn’t smell at all compared to the old days.

We flew into Taiwan, and Thailand.

I don’t know about Thailand, but you likely got dosed flying into Taiwan. They sprayed the airplane I was on coming from Australia.

Disinsection doesn’t happen nearly as often as it did years ago - back in the day you sometimes got absolutely soaked in foul smelling poison - but depending on where you’re flying from it’s still fairly common in quite a few countries around the world. The chemicals they use today are very unobtrusive though. Honestly, I bet you ingest more pollutants during a couple of hot muggy days in Toronto than you do on a dozen airplanes landing in Cuba…

Hi there,

I remember the first time we flew to Cuba and they sprayed the cabin but the last couple of times i didn’t notice it. It could be that the first time we were there was in the summer months and the last couple of times were in the winter months.Could be the season.

We flew Air Canada in January and they announced about 5 minutes before that they were going to spray the aircraft to comply with Cuban law. We also noticed when we picked up our luggage that it was damp also. Not sure if they spray the bags as they come off the plane?? Not a problem, no smell or vapours.

i know they do it but you would never know it happened when your on the plane no smell and you don’t see anything at all, but i wish i had so one time we were leaving Cuba the bugs were very bad at the airport and they were coming on the plane with the people we were in club class and i know all the bugs stayed in club class with us, i know we all killed them for 15 min or more

Thought it was an air freshener last time. A few minutes before landing.
With all the air-borne, bad air bugs, a good spray, 4 or 5 times on the way down and twice that on the way back might protect us as nicely as we protect Cuban agriculture.

Haven’t been on a flight to Cuba yet where they didn’t spray before landing. All airlines have to do it- it’s the law!

These days, the airlines are less overt about the procedure so most passengers don’t even know about it.

I recall a passenger sitting beside us commenting on what a lovely air freshener the airline must be using.

Probably was me, YVRck.

Even though it smells nice or doesn’t smell at all, it’s still pesticide and I’m sure it’s not good for us.

Now that being said, I’m sure the rum and cigars I consume all week are far worse on my system. :smiley:

Sunwing did not spray during descent this year as far as I know, nor the last 3 flight with them. They may be using the “residual” method of spraying. Funny thing, Sunwing is not on the Transport Canada list.


Disinsection involves the spraying of insecticide in various areas of the aircraft, including the flight deck and the passenger cabin. This procedure, which is intended to prevent the transmission of disease by insects, has been in place for a number of years in various parts of the world and has been considered to be a necessary public health measure in many International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Contracting States.

There are three methods of disinsection that have been found to be effective. The first method, known as “blocks away” disinsection, takes place after passengers have boarded and the doors have been closed, prior to take-off. The aircraft is treated by crew members walking through the cabins discharging approved single shot aerosols in the prescribed dosage. Cargo holds are sprayed prior to departure and the flight deck is sprayed prior to boarding by the crew.

The second method consists of pre-flight and “top-of-descent” spraying. It is similar to “blocks away” except that the aircraft cabin is sprayed on the ground prior to passengers boarding, using an aerosol containing a residual insecticide. At the time this method is used, lockers can be opened and there is no inconvenience to passengers. Pre flight spraying is followed by a further in-flight space spraying of the cabin carried out at “top of descent” as the aircraft starts its descent to the arrival airport.

The third method consists of residual treatment. The internal surfaces of the aircraft, excluding food preparation areas, are regularly sprayed with a residual insecticide to ensure that if an insect gains access to the aircraft and lands on a surface, it will receive an effective dose of insecticide. Insofar as efficiency, convenience and safety of passengers with predisposition to adverse health reactions are concerned, the residual disinsection method provides the most assurance. It remains effective for eight weeks and does not expose crews or passengers to aerosol sprays.