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Toronto Pearson International Airport

pman

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I arrived from Paris yesterday to find the T1 immigration hall packed with more people than I’ve ever seen. The Canada/US side had a huge backup of people who had checked in at a kiosk and were waiting to get out. They formed a line in the kiosk area that basically took up all remaining space as it wove around. I didn’t time how long it took to clear immigration, but my guess is that this was the worst I’ve ever seen at YYZ, and I travel a lot. Funnily enough, my daughter said the same thing about her arrival from DC on Tuesday. On the plus side, our luggage had arrived at the carousel and been unloaded by the time we made it to baggage claim.
 

Tuscani01

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I arrived from Paris yesterday to find the T1 immigration hall packed with more people than I’ve ever seen. The Canada/US side had a huge backup of people who had checked in at a kiosk and were waiting to get out. They formed a line in the kiosk area that basically took up all remaining space as it wove around. I didn’t time how long it took to clear immigration, but my guess is that this was the worst I’ve ever seen at YYZ, and I travel a lot. Funnily enough, my daughter said the same thing about her arrival from DC on Tuesday. On the plus side, our luggage had arrived at the carousel and been unloaded by the time we made it to baggage claim.
I had the same issue at T3 with my arrival from Lisbon on Tuesday. I have never seen such a big line in my life of flying. They were pushing people into the kiosk area even if there weren't any available kiosks. The line wound through the queuing lanes, down the hall, up the escalator, and beyond. Once you finished at the Kiosk, you were then funneled into another line to get through a customs gate - and that line was starting to blend in with the kiosk line as I got closer to customs. Passengers were so pissed and the directions from staff were lacking as they were too busy trying to corral the crowds. The only good thing was I didn't have to speak to anyone at customs. They were just letting people walk through because it was unmanageable. It was also funny walking through the queue line, and reaching a row where every single column in the customs area was smack in the middle of the aisle. Anyone with larger suitcases or strollers had to cross to the other side of the queue and then move back into the line in order to get around them.

We landed 50 minutes early and even had to wait on the plane for 30 minutes - as the flight crew was told customs was full and we could not deplane.

By far the worst I have ever seen, out of any airport I've ever been to.
 

treplow

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It's pretty obvious the GTA needs another true international airport, whether it's building out YHM or building one from scratch at Pickering.
 

kEiThZ

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Yeah. Pearson is not fully built out yet. Nobody is talking about that. They need the billion for the extra runway. They need the $11 billion for the transit terminal. The probably need $3-5 billion to replace Terminal 3 and finish the buildout of T1. I wish they'd update their ADP to reflect all that and get on with discussing a financing plan with both Transport Canada and the CIB.
 

pman

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Or expanding it's currently facilities, not these mealy mouth half measures.
The immigration hall isn’t the only problem. The gates at the end of the T1 international pier are far too crowded most evenings. The whole pier is simply too small for the peak volumes it services now, let alone accommodating for growth. For that matter, it gets pretty crowded in the T3 international departures area late at night, at least near the gate Cathay uses. Am I correct to believe GTAA has no credible plans to address these issues?
 

kEiThZ

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Am I correct to believe GTAA has no credible plans to address these issues?
I get the impression that it's less the GTAA than their customers: the airlines. There's no appetite for higher fees to fund more development. Airlines aren't as concerned about crowding as they are fees. Frequent flyers have lounges. So really, it's only the occasional flyer complaining about the crowding. And airlines aren't as motivated to cater to them.
 

thethrows

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How is Montreal and Vancouver financing their expansions? YUL's, in particular, seems to be pretty significant.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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I get the impression that it's less the GTAA than their customers: the airlines. There's no appetite for higher fees to fund more development. Airlines aren't as concerned about crowding as they are fees. Frequent flyers have lounges. So really, it's only the occasional flyer complaining about the crowding. And airlines aren't as motivated to cater to them.
Airlines don't really care about what happens inside the terminals, aside from their lounges I guess, they can offload a 255 passenger 787-8 or a 400 passenger 777-300 at any gate and pay relatively the same fee to the airport authority. It is up to the GTAA to ensure there is enough space (floor space), services, and amenities to handle the larger crowds. Obviously any space/amenity expansion is funded mainly from airport fees and yes airlines do not have an appetite for increased fees.
 

kEiThZ

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How is Montreal and Vancouver financing their expansions?
Fees.

People forget how the GTAA was accused of building a Taj Mahal when they built T1.

The airlines want to see GTAA debt levels come down and user fees stay flat. This is why they've slowed down to just building a new pier every few years.
 

thethrows

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Fees.

People forget how the GTAA was accused of building a Taj Mahal when they built T1.

The airlines want to see GTAA debt levels come down and user fees stay flat. This is why they've slowed down to just building a new pier every few years.
GTAA hasn't undertaken a significant expansion program in awhile. I haven't gone through the financials, but do you see their fees coming down? Or are they keeping them at the same level (the carriers are not going away) as a means to help finance a future expansion? I assume then that YUL and YVR debt loads will increase as a result of their expansions, possibly raising their landing fees to something comparable with YYZ. Also, why does the master plan indicate that an air side expansion is not on the horizon, when the airport is so slot restricted? I presume the business case doesn't justify the expense - though that is counterintuitive to me as I would have thought that greater passenger growth and more flights would motivate an air side expansion.
 

vatche

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It’s interesting how in the past year Austrian and Brussels airlines both dropped Toronto for Montreal and air canada picked up the slack. Swiss air also flys to yul but not yyz. Basically the European airlines choose yul over yyz.
Why is that?
 

raptor

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It’s interesting how in the past year Austrian and Brussels airlines both dropped Toronto for Montreal and air canada picked up the slack. Swiss air also flys to yul but not yyz. Basically the European airlines choose yul over yyz.
Why is that?
Brussels Airlines still flies out of YYZ, so no need to generalize
 

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