Here's why Pearson Airport in Toronto is such a hot mess right now
With the pandemic ongoing, it's no surprise that flying in or out of Toronto's Pearson Airport lately has been a less than ideal experience.
On top of questionable social distancing from various travellers there's lately been many complaints of luggage delays with some people claiming they've had to wait hours after landing before finally receiving their luggage and being able to leave the airport.
Others meanwhile, have collected photos of hundreds of bags piled up across the floor with no indicators in sight of which bag arrived from which flight, leaving travellers to play the world's worst game of hide'n'seek.
Meghna Dhingra, a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant who herself just flew from Calgary to Toronto says she was shocked at just how bad her experience at Pearson was.
"From the Calgary airport, their system was so secure and properly done, everything was done very nicely. But over here it was totally different," Dhingra told blogTO.
"Nobody was there. Everything was closed but there was literally nobody other than cleaning people, and there were still flights coming."
Horrible Air Canada. Or Toronto Airport YYZ. No contact, no staff, no body to answer why luggage are taking more than 2 hours for pick ups. pic.twitter.com/TGjsHHyLQD— Meghna Dhingra (@SplReporter) August 17, 2021
Dhingra explained that her family waited nearly two hours for their luggage to arrive after a conveyer belt stopped and there were no employees around to offer assistance or explanation.
I just found out that Pearson airport has an estimated 1-3 hours to get through everything off of an international flight... and people have said longer, and they're losing luggage... I'm not stressed. Are you stressed? Because, I'm definitely not stressed-I'm very stressed.— The Exhausted One (@BoxingtonEsq) August 19, 2021
Not wanting to shoulder any of the blame, Beverly MacDonald, a spokeperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority says it all has to do with customs, explaining that "when customs hall processing times are higher, there can be a buildup of luggage in the baggage hall."
And even though they know custom processing times are currently a lot higher, they haven't adjusted their usual baggage handling processes.
For the person / people responsible for the farcical baggage handling to be fired is not enough. Pearson Airport should be fined for the pathetic service today. pic.twitter.com/mhI3olVeOh— Tom Sanderson (@TomSand95218190) August 15, 2021
"Bags are removed from the carousels and organized proactively so that when passengers complete the customs process, they are able to collect their bags while other flights are unloaded onto the carousel," MacDonald explained to blogTO.
MacDonald also made sure to mention that baggage unloading and delivery is ultimately the responsibility of each airline, so if there's chaos in the baggage collection area, it's really the airlines fault and not anything the airport can really control.
@AirCanada Why must I stay up to 1am to receive my lost luggage? Radicicolous.— Steve Chaves (@arpeggisilence) August 18, 2021
3 hours at Pearson Airport with NO luggage services and then waited on the phone for 5+ hours the next day to put in a trace for my luggage. From start to finish, a HORRIBLE customer experience!
Airlines are also deflectling the blame. In a statement previously supplied to blogTO, Air Canada explained that because of the new travel restrictions and space limitations inside Pearson's arrival hall, operations are far from normal or ideal.
"Measures by third parties to control crowding in the terminal...can...impact our baggage handling as crews are not able to unload aircraft as they normally would."
Another few hours of my life lost to the void of Pearson Airport pic.twitter.com/Vl2qW2rYvg— Sarah Wapner (@SarahWapner) August 13, 2021
And if you think the situation is a nightmare for people traveling solo, just imagine what it's like for families.
Recent traveller Elvira Omarbagaeva wrote to blogTO stating that her plane landed at the airport with her childen at 4 p.m. this week but they didn't get out of there with their bags until five hours later.
"I am shocked there was no separate line for parents with kids under one year at least...it was pure torture...shame...I mean we all knew it's tough returning to Canada...but man...so many illogical steps and such a poor communication."
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