pearson airport delays

People are now afraid to fly in and out of Toronto Pearson Airport

Catching a flight or landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport has always been a borderline Kafkaesque experience, but the setting has become much more hellish this spring as the major air travel hub deals with an unprecedented slowdown in security processing, departures, and arrivals over the past few weeks.

It's an issue that's grown so bad that people are now terrified of passing through the airport, all as reports continue to emerge of travellers being delayed, missing connecting flights, and in one unpleasant incident, being stuck on the tarmac in a sweltering plane for hours.

Early in May, Pearson Airport issued a statement pinning the blame on understaffing, specifically the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), a Crown Corporation that handles security screening at airports across the country.

CATSA's understaffing has had a cascading effect of long lines and delayed flights, the airport advising at the beginning of the month that "departing passengers have been experiencing longer than expected wait times at CATSA security screening points."

The issue continues to cause headaches at Canada's busiest airport and has become so bad that Pearson had to issue a statement pleading with travellers to stop harassing airport staff.

Word has gotten around, and travellers looking to get away or even just return home are now anxious about just what awaits them at Pearson.

People that should be excited about a long-awaited return to normal travel conditions are instead worrying about their upcoming flights.

The delays and long lines have been blamed on staffing, an anecdotal account of the madness claiming that just under one-fifth of the available check-in counters were staffed and operating.

While travellers are unlikely to find a way around using Pearson on short notice, there are a few tips and tricks that can ensure anyone departing catches their flight, though it isn't as simple for those connecting to a different flight in Toronto.

Lead photo by

Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Travel

You can explore a Titanic-era steamship in Ontario this summer

This historic small town in Ontario is surrounded by natural wonder

Passenger denied Lululemon reimbursement after WestJet baggage delay

These 3 Ontario destinations were just crowned among Canada's best 'hidden gems'

New US border rules soon to kick in for Canadians travelling with a dog

Famous Cheltenham Badlands near Toronto about to reopen with one big change this year

Ontario just got a stunning new $45 million lakefront museum

How to spend a weekend in and around Ontario's 'Amazon river'