Long lines and staffing issues at Pearson Airport

It’s ridiculous! It’s really not well organizedsaid Adam Brazier, who was traveling home with his family to Prince Edward Island on Monday afternoon.

A lot of people are getting into the wrong queues right now because there’s no one telling us which queues to get into.

Matthew Green, NDP MP for Hamilton Centre, arrived at Pearson Airport about 90 minutes before his domestic flight, which was scheduled to depart at 8:10 a.m. for Ottawa. According to him, when he arrived, there were about 500 people lined up outside the check-in gate. The scene was disorganized and chaotiche said.

The airport lacked employees, was unprepared and unable to cope with the bottleneckaccording to him.

Mr. Green missed his flight and had to wait two hours before taking another one.

On the airport’s Twitter account, a message was posted on Monday morning advising travelers to allow themselves plenty of extra time and check their flight status before leaving for the terminal.

We would like to remind passengers that employees in the terminals do their bestthe airport said in a statement.

Shortage of staff

This situation was repeated in several Canadian airports on Monday. A shortage of security screening officers is said to be at the root of the problem.

In Vancouver, the waits were particularly long. Passengers have reported missing domestic flights due to delays in security checks.

In an email to The Canadian News, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) said it was doing everything in its power to resolve the problem, but was not finding enough workers.

L’CATSAwhich is the federal crown corporation responsible for all passenger security screening, says that once it manages to hire enough new screening officers, it will also take time to train them.

Mr. Green believes it is totally unacceptable that the airport could not have anticipated the increase in post-pandemic travel.

What I’ve heard from the staff is that it’s now the third day of basically chaos [à l’aéroport Pearson]did he declare.

They knew this was happening, but we received no communication from Air Canada to let us know.

Delays over the next few weeks

Speaking to reporters in Ottawa on Monday, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said he shared the concerns of travelers facing delays as the country continues to experience a huge resurgence of appetite for travel.

I am a traveler myself and have seen the queues get longer over the past few weeksdid he declare.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says he is aware of the situation. (Archives)

Photo: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld

Mr. Alghabra says Transport Canada worked with theCATSA to ensure we have adequate resources to meet this influx of travel requests.

Asked when these problems could be resolved, Mr. Alghabra did not come forward.

I don’t think we’ll be able to fix this immediatelyhe said, adding that it will take at least a few weeks.

Stressed travelers

Anticipating long lines and a massive influx of travellers, Manvir Jutla arrived five hours early for his 4 p.m. flight to Vancouver.

I won’t miss my flighthe said, laughing.

Jen Baba is not so confident.

I’m a little stressed, we [avons] a lot of luggageshe said. I hope we won’t be late.

Karan Panchal, who is traveling to India, said he is still not sure what time his flight was due to take off.

My boarding pass has a different time and my flight time displayed is differenthe said.

With information from The Canadian News


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