yyz express

Toronto's Pearson Airport will now let you reserve a spot in one of their huge lineups

Waiting in line at the airport suckkkks, especially when said airport is famous for being a terrible place to spend time.

Toronto's Pearson International Airport has been ranking among the worst in the world recently for its frequent delaysquality of service, shoddy baggage handling and sprawling lineups that can take longer for a passenger to get through than the duration of their actual flight.

But alas, they're not making our travels more hellish on purpose.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson, has been putting in serious effort over the past few months, rolling out new features like eGates, advance declaration formsAI-assisted baggage transportation and helpful tip sheets to make flying easier... or at least a bit easier than it has been since lockdowns lifted and air travel resumed with a chaotic bang.

On Thursday, the airport authority announced another feature intended to help quell crowds and get things moving along: A security line reservation system.

"Toronto Pearson has introduced a new program that allows departing travellers to reserve a spot in the security line ahead of their flight, called YYZ Express," announced the GTAA. "This virtual booking system was introduced to help streamline the passenger flow and ease wait times for travellers flying International and Domestic."

YYZ Express is free to use and requires no type of membership. Passengers (or groups of passengers of up to 10 people) can simply make an online reservation up to 72 hours before their flight and show up at the scheduled screening time.

Reservations and walk-up appointments are available daily for all Domestic and International departing passengers at the Terminal 1 D Gates security screening point from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the Terminal 3 B and C Gates security screening points from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Here's how to use it, per Pearson's website:

  • Sign up using this webpage before your flight, or when you arrive at the airport.
  • Select the airline you're flying with, destination, and flight number, along with your name, number of people in your group, and contact information.
  • The system will display available booking times to choose from. Once a booking time is selected, a QR code is sent via email for you to present to airport staff at the security checkpoint within 15 minutes of your scheduled time.
  • Go to your assigned checkpoint at your scheduled time and look for the virtual queue logo.
  • Show airport staff the QR code you received by email and go through the screening.

Bing, bang, boom. It almost seems... too good to be true. But according to the air authority, 96 per cent of passengers who used the YYZ Express program at Pearson during a pilot project in October reported "an overall positive experience."

Let's hope that positivity bleeds over into the hectic holiday travel season, making the process of getting through Pearson a bit easier than it has been lately.

"Your time while traveling is important, let us help with YYZ Express," reads an explainer page about the program. "With less time waiting, you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy."

Overpriced Hudson News fashion rags, here I come!

Lead photo by

Sai Kit Chu Photography

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