toronto pearson airport

Toronto Pearson was just voted the best large airport in North America

It may not be anyone's favourite place to spend a day (or two), but Toronto's Pearson International Airport is better than the rest when it comes to North American flight hubs.

The busy airport—Canada's largest both by size and volume—has once again been ranked number one for "customer experience" out of all airports across the continent that serve more than 40 million passengers per year.

And this is no arbitrary industry accolade.

Awarded by Airports Council International (ACI) as part of the organization's annual Airport Service Quality Awards, the distinction comes as a direct result of feedback from passengers.

"The Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards celebrate the achievements of airports in delivering the best customer experience and they represent the highest possible accolade for airport operators around the world," said ACI World Director General Angela Gittens in a release announcing this year's ASQ winners on Wednesday.

"ACI's ASQ is the only globally-established programme that provides objective measurement and benchmarking for airports to help drive their performance."

Pearson, which is operated by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), has now won the customer experience award in its category twice in a row (though this year it did tie for the top spot with Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport).

Within the past year alone, Pearson has introduced therapy dogs, in-terminal musical performances, faster security screening lanes, 400 new digital screens and 27 new retail, food and beverage vendors.

They've also revitalized 80 washrooms, enhanced free WiFi speed tenfold, and installed state-of-the-art Mamava nursing pods.

"We're doubly pleased to be recognized as the most improved airport in this category, with improvements in nearly 90 per cent of the customer experience indicators measured," said GTAA CEO Howard Eng of the news on Wednesday.

"This demonstrates how our passengers can count on Pearson to deliver a great travel experience and get them to their destinations smoothly, reliably and comfortably."

Or, at least more comfortably than what might have been expected in the past. I mean, we still all need to sit on planes, and that's never a good time.

Lead photo by

Toronto Pearson

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