78% of travellers satisfied with experience at Pearson Airport in Mississauga: poll

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Published September 28, 2023 at 5:15 pm

Pearson Airport in Mississauga

Pearson Airport in Mississauga continues to fight back against what it has described as overblown media and public criticism related to travellers’ frustrating experiences at Canada’s biggest and busiest airport dating back to early 2022.

And officials at the embattled airport are using their own polling numbers to do so.

A new poll conducted on behalf of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs Pearson, shows that 78 per cent of travellers through the airport in the past three months were satisfied with their experience.

The findings come from an online survey of 2,032 adult Canadians that was conducted from Aug. 29 to Sept. 7.

The latest poll was conducted by Toronto-based market researcher Pollara Strategic Insights, which conducted a similar poll this past spring that showed 75 per cent of travellers through the airport in the past year were satisfied with their Pearson experience.

Pearson officials said earlier this year that results from the initial poll serve as evidence that not only has the situation improved dramatically, but that it wasn’t as bad as media reports made it out to be in 2022.

Poll officials agree that the situation in 2023 at Pearson and elsewhere seems to be much improved from a year earlier.

“After much public grumbling about lineups at airports across North America in the summer of 2022, travellers appear in a good mood about their experiences this year,” said Dan Arnold, Pollara’s chief strategy officer.

The latest poll also showed that travellers through Pearson are more than twice as likely to be satisfied rather than dissatisfied with all aspects of airport service tested, including the check-in process, terminal facilities and baggage claim.

“This improved airport experience is partly being driven by increased usage of new digital tools at the airport, including a live wait times dashboard, interactive digital maps and YYZ Express,” Pollara officials said in published poll results. “At least 78 per cent of users of these digital tools report a good experience, and the majority of users say they are likely to use them again.”

Still, widespread media reports and data from aviation industry sources in the past 12 to 15 months have indicated the situation may not have been, nor continue to be, that rosy at Pearson.

Pearson has faced scathing criticism since mid-2022 in both media and aviation circles since COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted and air travel significantly picked up once again in Canada and worldwide.

Criticism hit its height in summer 2022 and again during the holiday season last December when travellers quickly returned to the air in unexpectedly large numbers.

In summer 2022, Pearson Airport was consistently ranked among the world’s worst airports for delayed/cancelled flights and huge lineups inside terminals. Lost and temporarily misplaced luggage was also a source of frustration for many travellers as they made their way through Pearson.

GTAA officials said earlier this year that significant improvements have been and will continue to be made at Pearson to make the experience for travellers much smoother.

Poll results back in June 2023 showed 75 per cent of travellers through Pearson Airport were satisfied with the experience.

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