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

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Travel

5 incredible spas near Toronto you need to visit at least once

Niagara Falls just got a new tunnel and viewing platform

You can dig for your own crystals at a mine in Ontario this summer and it's free

The Agawa Canyon train ride takes you to breathtaking views and waterfalls in Ontario

People are now complaining about a lack of lineups at Toronto's Pearson Airport

Toronto could soon be getting a high-speed ferry service to Niagara Falls

You can now ride a cruise ship from Ontario to Greenland and Iceland

Canada is getting new rules for flight refunds when there's travel delays