Travellers flying within Canada are being asked to arrive at Toronto Pearson International Airport at least two hours ahead of their flights amid longer-than-usual delays at security screening.
A spokesperson for The Greater Toronto Airport Authority issued the warning Tuesday morning, urging travellers to not only arrive early, but be prepared to pass through security by having all relevant documentation and items on hand.
“Domestic departing passengers are asked to arrive at least two hours ahead of their scheduled flight and international departing passengers are asked to arrive at least three hours ahead of their scheduled flight,” they said.
It’s typical for domestic travellers to arrive closer to 90 minutes ahead of their flight.
The problems began Monday morning, with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) confirming to CTV News Toronto that they were experiencing issues with staffing.
Individuals flying out of Pearson took to social media Monday saying they were stuck in “a chaotic situation” due to long lines and delays at security.
“CATSA’s screening contractors are not immune to the recruitment and retention challenges experienced by the broader commercial aviation industry,” the CATSA said in a statement.
“Prior to the pandemic, resources could be cross-utilized more efficiently between the transborder and domestic and international checkpoints due to staggered passenger peaks. As air travel recovers we are observing simultaneous peaks, which can result in passengers flooding more than one security checkpoint at a time, making the redistribution of resources to address these passenger volumes more challenging.”
One traveller told CP24 that he missed his flight on Monday after waiting in line for over an hour and a half and had to return on Tuesday.
While there were delays reported early Tuesday morning, the lines appear to have cleared. According to CATSA’s website, the wait time around 9:30 a.m. is less than 10 minutes.
Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said travellers could see long lines at the airports for weeks while the airport gathers the resources it requires.
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