TORONTO — With the year’s busiest travel season now underway, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has released travel tips and advice for those travelling this summer.
Together with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), GTAA says that these tips were designed to help passengers move through the travel experience as smoothly as possible. Canada’s major airports have struggled to keep up with travel demand amid staffing issues in recent weeks.
“We’ve been supporting our government agencies and airline partners to help manage difficult situations at the airport and we’re using this opportunity to prepared passengers for the travel journey, especially when many families are travelling with small children,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the GTAA.
At an event held at Toronto Pearson, CATSA officials brought several examples of items passengers were not permitted to take through security, and stressed the importance of ensuring that liquids, aerosols and gels are in order before going through security screening.
“Even before the pandemic, the most common items passengers were prohibited from taking through the screening area were liquids, aerosols and gels over 100 millilitres in size,” said Sandra Alvarez, spokesperson for CATSA. “This continues to be the biggest offender, which is why we’re working with the GTAA to provide passengers with information on what’s permitted in their carry-on to make their experience smoother.”
Travellers at Toronto Pearson will notice additional signage, video screens sharing screening tips and designated tables that provide a convenient location for passengers to sort through their bags and dispose of any items that aren’t allowed in carry-on.
More tips to move through security easily include:
- Have your boarding pass ready to be inspected by the officer.
- Wear easy-to-remove outerwear, as well as clothing, shoes and belts without metal parts.
- Place coins, keys and small metal items in your carry-on bag.
- Make sure your liquids, aerosols and gels are in containers no larger than 100ml. Place these items in a clear, 1L resealable plastic bag and place it in the bin (one bag per passenger).
- Unpack your laptop computer and place it in the bin, with nothing on top or underneath it. Place your resealable plastic bag in the bin with your laptop so it’s easy to identify.
- Ensure that all electronic devices, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops can be removed from cases and powered on.
- While in line, remove your outerwear, including coats and jackets.
For more information, passengers can visit the CATSA website and download the “Breeze through security” mobile app (available for Apple and Android devices). In addition to wait times, there’s information on what can and can’t be brought through security and helpful tips about the screening process.
The GTAA is also working closely with other partners to enhance the airport experience with a strong focus on technology. Self-serve bag drops are available across both terminals for departing passengers to check their bags without the need to speak to an agent; Pearson offers a variety of convenient parking options that can all be booked online prior to travel; and travellers can save time when ordering food at the airport through a world’s-first partnership with Uber Eats.
Departing domestic passengers are advised to arrive at the airport at least two hours ahead of their flight and three hours for departing international passengers.
As passengers have been experiencing bottlenecks in the international arrival process, the CBSA was on hand to advise all travellers coming to Canada to ensure they’ve filled out their health information in ArriveCAN.
“To save time, passengers can take advantage of the Advance CBSA Declaration ON LINE feature within ArriveCAN to fill in their customs and immigration declaration. This can be done up to 72 hours in advance of flying to save time upon arrival. By the end of June, this feature will also be available on the ArriveCAN mobile App,” said Lisa Janes, Regional Director General, Greater Toronto Area Region, Canada Border Services Agency.
Moreover, CBSA and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority have made 25 additional kiosks available in the customs hall areas at Toronto Pearson. The GTAA is committed over the long term to working with partners to leverage technological solutions to improve the passenger experience.
Arriving passengers should be aware that the Government of Canada has announced that mandatory randomized testing for fully vaccinated, international arriving passengers will be suspended until June 30. Passengers arriving to Pearson from international destinations in June can learn more about the announcement and what it means for their travel plans by visiting the Government of Canada’s website.
Despite the above changes, international arriving passengers should be aware that a number of government measures are still in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Passengers arriving from international destinations will experience additional screening and health checks, which may result in delays. Passengers should be prepared for an arrivals process that may take longer than it did pre-pandemic depending on their specific set of circumstances.
Before travellers even arrive at the airport, there are steps they can take to ensure their trip is as smooth as possible. Passengers can check-in online from home to speed up the process and they should ensure they have all the required travel documents for their destination.