Canada's busiest airport battles delays ahead of summer travel

# 20 May 2022 23:00 (UTC +04:00)

As Canada's busiest airport, in Toronto, grapples with unusually long lines, a global airline trade group has urged Canadian authorities to take action to curb the hours-long queues ahead of the upcoming summer travel season, APA reports citing Reuters.

Airports from Canada to England are wrestling with long-lines and delays, as a staffing crunch combined with surging travel demand following a pandemic-induced slump raises fears of chaos in some regions ahead of the busy summer season.

In Canada, frustrated passengers have taken to social media in recent weeks to vent their anger, posting photos and videos of long lines at customs and security and piled-up baggage at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Those images are fueling further calls for relief, as travelers arrive early, or avoid the airport ahead of the long holiday weekend for Victoria Day on May 23.

On Friday morning, cars were backed up around 500 metres (0.5 km) to get to the airport's Terminal 1 departures area, with hundreds of passengers inside waiting to reach the security checkpoints.

One traveler arriving from New Delhi said passengers were held on the plane for an additional 20 minutes at the gate due to lines at customs. Such delays have stranded some planes for hours.

"Passengers are expecting predictability and are paying a security fee to be efficiently processed," said the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) regional vice president for the Americas in a May 17 letter to three Canadian ministers.

"Unfortunately, during this past weekend passengers were held onboard aircraft, in some cases for more than 185 minutes, because of overcrowding in arrivals."