Toronto Pearson Holiday Travel Tips

Toronto Pearson Holiday Travel Tips

Toronto Pearson International Airport reopened its second-busiest runway Monday morning after an eight-month rehabilitation project. The $80 million project took a year and a half to complete.

“As Canada’s busiest airport and one of the busiest in North America, the return of this runway at Pearson Airport will move air passengers safely and smoothly in and out of the GTA,” said Transport Canada Minister Omar Alghabra in a news release. .

And just in time for the holiday season too.

A spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) told CTV News Toronto that the holidays tend to be “very busy,” especially for families.

Over the summer, Pearson passengers faced hour-long flight delays, long lines or missing bags. Outside of once being named the world’s worst airport for delays, Pearson ranked among the continent’s five worst airports for overall customer satisfaction in September.

Since then, the GTAA says it has worked with airlines and government partners to “enhance the travel experience.”

“We have seen great improvements since then [the] given the coordinated work of Pearson and airport partners over the summer to smooth the passenger experience,” GTAA Tori Gass said in an emailed statement.

“This work is progressing and we expect improvements to continue through the holiday season.”

Some of that work, according to Gass, includes working with airlines in advance to “make sure they balance their activity with their resources.”


Holiday travelers are advised to allow extra time and arrive at the airport early.

Gass advises those flying domestically to arrive two hours before their flight, while international travelers are advised to arrive three hours early.

According to Gass, there are a number of websites and apps Pearson travelers can use to make their travel day run smoothly.

To reserve a seat in the security line, passengers can first contact YYZ Express to reserve a show time. Flyers can also view all Pearson Airport wait times from check-in to customs on the wait time dashboard.

Travelers looking to book a flight when it’s not busy can check Pearson’s peak travel times to find out what times are not the busiest, which is based on historical Toronto airport travel data.

If your travel takes you south of the border into the United States, fliers can download the Passport Control application backed by US Customs and Border Protection.

Eligible travelers can submit their passport information online and complete a customs declaration form before crossing the border.

There is also a pre-clearance feature on the ArriveCan app where passengers can enter their customs information up to 72 hours before their flight home. Gass says this “could make the immigration process smoother.”

Finally, Gass advises travelers to “be mindful” of the weather this time of year, as it can affect travel.

“During winter weather, passengers may experience delays because we prioritize safety,” Gass said. “We advise them to check the weather forecast before their flight and be prepared if their flight is affected.”

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