pearson airport news

Toronto airport has had to ask travellers to stop harassing staff amid ongoing delays

Now that everyone has hopped back on the non-essential travel bandwagon, airports have been an overcrowded mess, and Toronto's Pearson International is no exception; in fact, it appears to be one of the worst.

If you're catching a flight these days, you can expect to wait more than an hour at security, and will want to reserve at least that much time for customs if you're heading to the U.S.

Coming home isn't any better, either, as passengers have been forced to wait in aircrafts on the tarmac four hours after landing as border agents work through discouragingly long customs backlogs, their lineups snaking around multiple parts of the building.

People are understandably getting frustrated with the chaos as airports and airlines struggle to keep up with increased demand, all with very limited staffing and time-consuming pandemic protocols still in place.

While the airport and other stakeholders have been acknowledging the issues, as well as advising people to arrive way earlier than the before times and to do their part to expedite the process, some travellers are not dealing with the nightmare situation in the best way.

Tensions have apparently gotten so heated during the departure and arrival process that Pearson had to issue a PSA asking residents not to harass security, border and other workers.

"We know delays are frustrating. We feel it, too," reads a tweet from the airport posted on Friday.

"Our airport workers are doing their best to help you reach your destination and a little kindness goes a long way. Please be respectful with frontline workers — threats and abusive language are not tolerated."

Though the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs the hub, was hesitant to expand further or outline specific incidents, a representative did confirm to blogTO that some customers have taken to "venting their feelings" about lineups and delays to personnel, whether on-site at the terminal or on social media.

"All airport frontline employees are working hard to manage an incredibly challenging situation on the ground," they said. "We issued this general reminder to be kind as our airport workers are doing everything they can... we appreciate that this is frustrating."

As many note in the replies to the tweet, airport and airline teams seem to be overrun and exhausted amid the staffing woes, which certainly doesn't help during employee-customer interactions.

The GTAA has called on the federal government to help with staffing and other resources, and to drop the "legacy public health requirements in response to COVID-19" that are slowing things down.

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