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Here's one way travellers are avoiding the massive delays at Toronto Pearson Airport

Ongoing delays at Toronto Pearson International Airport have seen passengers waiting on tarmacs and in long lines, and some travelers are now deciding to reroute their plans – many through Billy Bishop Airport on the Toronto islands.

The delays were first reported in late April, with the airport attributing them to staffing issues.

Earlier this month, the chief operating officer of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), Craig Bradbrook, told CP24 the delays could become “unsustainable” as we move into the summer season, as the authority predicts to see approximately 45,000 international arrivals a day during this time.

To avoid waiting in long lines or adding hours to their travel days, some are rethinking their upcoming travel plans.

Toronto resident Chris Tindel told CTV News Toronto Thursday he’s made alternative plans for his business trip in June, originally booked out of Pearson.

“I have to fly to San Francisco in a couple weeks for work,” he said.

Tindel explained that he heard of the delays through a friend who recently flew out of Pearson, arriving three hours early, but still having to sprint for their flight.

“I have meetings the same day, so I don't want to miss risking my flight,” he said.

Instead, he booked a flight from Billy Bishop to New York City, and will fly from there to San Francisco.

“I've decided to pay out of pocket for the New York leg of the trip,” he said. “So this has cost me more, and means I'm away from my family for longer,” acknowledging not everyone would be able to book a secondary flight.

“I’m lucky I'm able to do that.”

Another Toronto resident, Derek Smith, told CTV News Toronto Thursday he’s planning on doing the same thing.

“It’s just the reliability of being able to make the flight,” he said.

Smith booked his original flight out of Pearson through his points. “But, a good deal out of Pearson is only a good deal if you're on the plane when it takes off,” he said.

He said the change has helped to make him feel more confident that he’ll avoid delays.

“The island isn’t perfect, but right now, I've got way more confidence in a flight taking off from the island with me on the plane than I do even as a Nexus holder out of Pearson.”

When reached for a statement, Billy Bishop said they can only speak to ongoings at their own airport, but noted that April was their busiest month since the onset of the pandemic.

"In April 2022, passenger volumes reached more than 100,000 passengers at Billy Bishop Airport, which is the highest number in a single month since the pandemic began," Executive Vice President Gene Cabral said.

"We are seeing pent-up demand for travel and are looking forward to seeing more and more travellers fly out of our convenient airport in downtown Toronto as we approach the summer months."



The GTAA says they are working on relieving the long waits, and recommend departing passengers arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.

They also recommend passengers have their boarding passes ready, be prepared to remove electric devices from luggage and avoid wearing clothing with metal in order to minimize security wait times.

For arriving passengers, the airport asks travelers to fill out their ArriveCan apps prior to arriving at customs to speed the process up. 

Looking ahead at the long weeked, the GTAA says it's "generally [a] busier time" and is advising travellers plan accordingly. Top Stories

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