Hundreds of flights take off from Pearson Airport in Mississauga today


Published March 11, 2022 at 11:53 am

Airplanes carrying covid to Pearson Airport in Mississauga

More than 370 flights are taking off from Pearson Airport in Mississauga today (March 11) in what’s expected to be the busiest travel day in two years.

Tens of thousands of travellers have already boarded or will board 372 flights bound for dozens of different sunny and warm destinations to get away for March Break, which officially begins Monday.

Cancun, Punta Cana, Nassau, Montego Bay and various spots in the southern United States including Florida, Palm Springs and Las Vegas represent just a small sample of where people are headed today.

The downside for travellers is that they can expect huge crowds, lineups and possible delays as the airport anticipates its busiest travel day since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With March Break running March 14-18, many travellers are looking to escape the cold a few days in advance.

Some 85,000 travellers are expected to be departing from or arriving at Pearson on Friday, the majority of those anticipated to be departing passengers, Pearson officials say.

“This will mark the busiest travel day at the airport since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago,” the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs Pearson, said in a news release. “Pearson wants passengers who are travelling for March Break to know what they can do to make their airport experience as smooth as possible as many may be travelling for the first time in two years or more.”

While a number of travel restrictions have been eased, existing government health measures will make for a travel experience that differs greatly from pre-pandemic times, the GTAA notes.

“For the March Break period, delays are possible and longer wait times are to be expected due to many COVID-19 health measures still in place,” the airport says. “Pearson is working closely with airlines and government agencies to find every efficiency possible, but passengers should be aware that coming out of the pandemic, all companies and government agencies operating at the airport sometimes face staffing challenges similar to those in other service sectors.”

Pearson officials ask travellers to be patient as they make their way through the airport during March Break.

Travellers taking flights out of Pearson are urged to arrive at the airport 90 minutes in advance of domestic flights and at least three hours prior to international flights.

For passengers arriving at Pearson Airport, GTAA officials have some advice as well.

“Due to government measures 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,” officials say. “Passengers should be prepared for an arrivals process that may take significantly longer than it did pre-pandemic depending on their specific set of circumstances. When going through customs, passengers will be required to answer additional health questions.”

Travellers are advised to check for the latest guidelines.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising