If you haven’t personally encountered it first-hand as a traveler, you’ve likely heard of the exasperating mayhem that Toronto’s Pearson Airport has become lately.
Though air travel is not ever exactly a joy, getting through the hub has been worse than usual lately amid security and airline staffing shortages, and increased demand butting against flight schedules that were decreased due to lockdowns.
@OmarAlghabra @marcomendicino @TorontoPearson @CityNewsTO @ CP24 @PeelPolice Absolute chaos at Pearson T3 Arrivals yesterday afternoon at 430pm. Is this acceptable. People missed connecting flights. 1.5 hours to clear Customs in my Home country Ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/LsMOlvwJez
– barry. (@barrydoak) April 27, 2022
People have been encountering absolutely brutal lineups at security and customs, many of them missing their flights as a result, especially connections.
Though passengers are now advised to arrive at least 2 hours prior to their flight if it’s domestic (vs. the previous allotment of an hour), and at least 3 hours prior if it’s international (a timeframe that used to be 1.5 hours), the lines are unpredictable and these times aren’t often possible with connections.
– Lori Kilmartin (@LoriKilmartin) April 29, 2022
Many are fretting about connecting flights that have hardly more than an hour between the first and second leg, which may not be enough if you’re traveling domestically for one flight, and internationally for the second, and thus may have to do security (and for the US, customs) all over again.
@TorontoPearson I have a flight from Calgary to Toronto connecting to Orlando in a few weeks all with WestJet. My connection time is 1 hr and 15 minutes, given the long lines at customs / security do I have even a chance to make this connection for a 7am flight?
– •• Kaitlin •• (@VanishingWitch) May 6, 2022
Multiple people have been hitting up airlines and Pearson itself to inquire about connecting flight times, and also to ask if guidelines for the time between connections will be changing given how busy the airport has been.
@TorontoPearson With the recent suggestion to arrive early for flights departing YYZ, are you amending suggested guidelines for connecting flights? With the current delays, what is your suggested minimum connection time for domestic to the US?
– dtc (@deliciateo) May 4, 2022
Additional checks for new documentation such as proof of vax, proof of a negative C ** ID test (if traveling to a country that requires it), and / or ArriveCan (for those on their way home and connecting in Canada) have also been slowing things down and causing people to miss flights.
@WestJet, came to know about very disappointing information. Lots of People from connecting flights got delayed in security / Covid19 check @TorontoPearson & Flight # WS671 left as tiered passengers watched. Appreciated the fact that next day ticket was provided.
– JD (@ JD78741001) April 29, 2022
And even planes that land at Pearson on time have been held up on the tarmac for hours in many cases to avoid funneling even more people into an already extremely-backed up lines at Canadian customs.
@TorontoPearson Flight AC8839 passengerss waiting to get off the plane. I feel bad for those waiting tp catch their connecting flights.
Get your act together!
– Kalofagas Greek Food (@kalofagas) May 2, 2022
It seems that in these circumstances, at least some airlines are permitting passengers with connecting flights to deplane before the rest, enraging those left on board.
I’m sorry for your wait. Additional @GovCanHealth health checks are still in place at Canada’s borders, increasing processing times. During busy periods we may hold passengers in designated areas to create a safer space as customs works hard to process passengers.
– Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) April 28, 2022
Essentially, at many stages of departure or arrival and for many reasons, things have been an utter mess, and many are demanding that stakeholders hire more personnel immediately as a result – which they are trying to do.
Was like that on Saturday too. I flew to Zurich then Milan. Met people over here who also complain about the gong show in @TorontoPearson Horrible. Needs to hire specialty planners for help.
– 🌻Loretta 😷🐈⬛🙌 (@lettienets) May 3, 2022
“We are acutely aware of the extreme wait times that passengers are facing within Toronto Pearson,” the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates the airport, said in a release on the subject on Wednesday.
It proceeded to call on the federal government to streamline or fully get rid of C ** ID requirements that slow down inbound travel, including random testing, and help to increase staffing levels.
“Wait times for departing passengers at security screening points are being negatively impacted by staffing challenges,” the release continues. “Moreover, international arriving passengers are facing bottlenecks and very lengthy delays in border processing – a direct result of legacy public health requirements.”