News   Jul 17, 2024
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Toronto Pearson International Airport

I flew through Pearson T1 domestically mid-day Sunday. Zero line-up at security - though not the busiest time of day.

Everything I heard there is that the main issue is a lack of security staff. So a GTAA problem (and their security sub). Looking online at hiring - not a surprise given the poor wage offerings.
 
I flew through Pearson T1 domestically mid-day Sunday. Zero line-up at security - though not the busiest time of day.

Everything I heard there is that the main issue is a lack of security staff. So a GTAA problem (and their security sub). Looking online at hiring - not a surprise given the poor wage offerings.
Zero line up Friday at 4am too, but I can see why it gets busy. Only one X-ray was in operation and so many people don’t pay attention when told to remove all belongings and put all bags through. I watched as the guy in front of me was asked to remove item by item, and then still tried to walk through with a bag and had to be directed back to the bins.

One big flight, and that line would be insane.
 
Duncan Dee- Former COO of Air Canada.


Duncan Dee is a former airline chief operating officer that has been railing against the airport chaos at Pearson for two months now.


According to him, unless the government acts decisively within the next three weeks (when summer travel reaches its peak), things are only going to get much worse.


"What's happening right now is a total and complete meltdown on some very, very basic government services," said Dee.


Dee was appointed by the government to be on the panel to review Canada's Transportation Act in 2014, taking part in an in-depth dive of all aspects of the transportation industry in Canada.


The panel had made it clear at that time that the air security component of the air transportation sector in Canada was fundamentally broken, calling for significant changes to the way air security is run in Canada.


Dee has anticipated these events for years now, making it known to the government that these changes had to be made.


"What's happening now is basically what's been happening for years. The only reason why it's so public now is it can no longer be ignored. This is not something that's a surprise to me at all. This is in fact something that was predicted and totally predictable."


Canada's air security system is unique in the world. While in most countries the security provider and security regulator are two separate entities, Canada is run by multiple different agencies and unions that each have their own separate performance strategies and training modules.


This results in a lack of consistency and accountability across the air security system - it's impossible to hold anyone accountable or put together a national standard, what Dee calls a "multiple headed beast" and "dog's breakfast of an accountability matrix" - a recipe for disaster that could have been foretold years ago.
 
Zero line up Friday at 4am too, but I can see why it gets busy. Only one X-ray was in operation and so many people don’t pay attention when told to remove all belongings and put all bags through. I watched as the guy in front of me was asked to remove item by item, and then still tried to walk through with a bag and had to be directed back to the bins.
At the same time they don't help themselves. I was looking for signage as I approached the X-Ray to see what I should put in; there was none. I was caught by surprise they wanted my hoodie.

Meanwhile other place want shoes and/or belts. (Where I try and put them all in my carry-on, and then walk for a while in my socks in a passive aggressive protest - that seems to scandalize some in Asia).
 
I haven't been following the hoopla around Pearson's delays. Are these occurring at departures, arrivals, or both?

Both. My sister flies nearly every other week for work. Recently flew to Vancouver with WestJet and said was it was a breeze. Although my neighbors daughter recently was stuck in a 3 hour plus line and missed her flight. My sister said key issues are in the morning - from opening to about 9:30am and then in the mid afternoon - 3-6pm. Worst lines are for US flights because you need to also clear customs at Pearson.

Here are some more good tips..

Travel advisor Christiane Cormier said passengers moving through Pearson this week and throughout the summer ought to “be prepared and pack your patience.”

Cormier said people should be arriving for their flights at least three hours ahead of schedule, “maybe even four if you’re going to Pearson.”

“Get to the airport as early as humanly possible, make sure that you check in online if possible the day before … make sure that all your passport and personal information is in there so when you get to the airport you can use the self serve kiosks, get your bag tags, drop off your bags and head to security,” she said.

There have been delays and long waits reported at Pearson since April, with the airport and airlines pointing to staffing issues and increased demand for travel.


Travel experts point out there are certain days and times during the week that are typically less crowded at airports.

Flying mid-week on a Tuesday or Wednesday should be less busy than a Monday, which is a popular day to fly for business travellers, whereas leisure travellers generally flock to airports on Fridays. As well, evenings after 6 p.m. are generally less crowded than first thing in the morning.

“It’s customs, it is the airport, it is the airlines, it’s everybody. They are just struggling to staff up,” Cormier said about the cause of the travel chaos.

 
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I am at the airport right now flight Air Canada domestic. I decided to show up 4 hours before the flight reading horror stories. I arrived at 11:45 am and it took me 10 minutes from entering the airport to reaching my gate. Now need to kill time and find an outlet to charge my phone.
 
I am at the airport right now flight Air Canada domestic. I decided to show up 4 hours before the flight reading horror stories. I arrived at 11:45 am and it took me 10 minutes from entering the airport to reaching my gate. Now need to kill time and find an outlet to charge my phone.

That's almost enough time to justify the lounge fee.

Edit: Looks like Plaza lounges are closed for renovations, and Air Canada lounges aren't doing pay-at-the-door.
 
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That's almost enough time to justify the lounge fee.

Edit: Looks like Plaza lounges are closed for renovations, and Air Canada lounges aren't doing pay-at-the-door.
Plaza lounges are not all closed. I have booked for early July for T1 intl departures and plan to go very early just in case. Hoping it is worth the $.
 
This is not why Pearson has delays. Scrapping random testing isn't going to magically solve the labour shortage. This incompetent management will make up any excuse.


While I certainly agree that airport management are not blameless, the problem with airport delays is worldwide and there are MANY reasons.
 
While I certainly agree that airport management are not blameless, the problem with airport delays is worldwide and there are MANY reasons.

Of course. But the majority of the blame is on management. You pay workers poverty wages in horrible conditions during a world wide pandemic, what you do expect? Over the years they privatize, privatize, privatize, and contract out to the cheapest paying companies. You get what you paid for. As nfitz said exactly what i have been hearing for years. Everything I heard there is that the main issue is a lack of security staff. So a GTAA problem (and their security sub). Looking online at hiring - not a surprise given the poor wage offerings.

Workers at Charles de Gaulle are striking for more pay, with a quarter of flights canceled


 
Of course. But the majority of the blame is on management. You pay workers poverty wages in horrible conditions during a world wide pandemic, what you do expect? Over the years they privatize, privatize, privatize, and contract out to the cheapest paying companies. You get what you paid for. As nfitz said exactly what i have been hearing for years. Everything I heard there is that the main issue is a lack of security staff. So a GTAA problem (and their security sub). Looking online at hiring - not a surprise given the poor wage offerings.

Quick question - How many times does it have to be said, both in this thread, and in the news media, that the security services at Pearson, as well as other Canadian airports is provided by Canada Air Transport Security Agency - not by Pearson Airport, or the other local airport authorities?

How many times - before GTAA stops being blamed for the issues with the security process (as well as with the arrival screening processing, which is provided by the Canadian Boarder Services Agency - not by Pearson Airport / GTAA)?

If I may repeat myself - Pearson Airport management does not provide or operate either the security services at Pearson, or the arriving international passenger screening services. Both are operated by agencies of the federal government.

I agree there are issues to be resolved. But I must admit being tired of seeing GTAA management being falsely blamed, as in the above posts, for things which are not their responsibility.

And as a by-the-way. We are in now in London, having flown out of Pearson Terminal 1 last night. Fourth in line for CATSA screening, through Zone D security in 5 minutes (Zone E was more backed up, so CTSA was diverting departing passengers towards Zone D screening to balance the load), and we were at our gate three hours before departure. No problems at all with Air Canada check in, no problems with Security.
 
And as a by-the-way. We are in now in London, having flown out of Pearson Terminal 1 last night. Fourth in line for CATSA screening, through Zone D security in 5 minutes (Zone E was more backed up, so CTSA was diverting departing passengers towards Zone D screening to balance the load), and we were at our gate three hours before departure. No problems at all with Air Canada check in, no problems with Security.
How does that work? They send them to D, and then those passenger pretend they have an international "connection" and head to E?
 
How does that work? They send them to D, and then those passenger pretend they have an international "connection" and head to E?
They have ways for people to get from different sections of the airport past security like for example at terminal 3 they have gates that are both for Us and domestic departures they just close off part of the area when they need to move people around.
 

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