Impending winter storm could disrupt travel at Pearson Airport in Mississauga


Published December 20, 2022 at 5:31 pm

Pearson Airport snow

Travellers planning to fly out of Pearson Airport in Mississauga later this week are being urged to check the status of their flight ahead of time as a strong winter storm expected to hit the area could impact travel plans.

Pearson officials say it’s a good idea to check the status of flights even a full day ahead of time in order to get up-to-date information faster.

Forecasts for southern Ontario show a huge storm tracking from the southwest is expected to bring large amounts of rain, freezing rain and snow in addition to high winds to Mississauga and the rest of the GTA starting Thursday and worsening Friday and Saturday.

Airport officials say there are several things travellers can do to make their holiday travel experience that much smoother, whether during bad weather or just busy times at Pearson.

“The holiday season is traditionally one of the busiest times of year at Pearson and this year is expected to be particularly busy, as passenger traffic has steadily increased since the summer,” Pearson officials said in a recent news release.

To help make the experience easier, Pearson and its airport partners have introduced a number of tools aimed at making flying easier, Pearson officials say.

These include:

  • YYZ Express: an online reservation program that allows travellers to book a spot in the security line ahead of their flight, up to 72 hours in advance. This will help speed up the security wait time for passengers
  • Mobile Passport Control: an app introduced by United States Customs and Border Protection that allows travellers to digitally submit their information for a smoother departures experience from Pearson if they’re travelling to the U.S.
  • A live wait times dashboard launched by Pearson providing travellers with real-time information ahead of arriving at the airport
  • A peak travel times dashboard introduced by Pearson so passengers can look ahead to know if they’ll be passing through the airport during a busy period
  • Advance Declaration offered by the Canada Border Services Agency that lets travellers submit their customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours in advance of flying into Canada, giving them a faster border experience and saving them time at Pearson. And new at Pearson, passengers who complete Advance Declaration will have access to an Express Lane in the customs area, further saving them time

“The air travel industry is fully open and much improved since the summer when travel restarted and our modernization agenda with partners across the industry has led to new tools for passengers to prepare for holiday travel,” said Deborah Flint, president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which runs Pearson. “For the first large-scale Christmas holiday travel season since 2019, we are excited to welcome passengers and thank the employees at the airlines, government agencies and other partners for their dedication to passengers during this season.”

Passengers continue to be advised to arrive three hours ahead of an international flight and two hours ahead of a domestic flight.

The week leading up to Christmas is expected to be the busiest time as well as the days around Jan. 9, when kids return to school. While the airport will be busy, passenger levels are expected to still be below pre-pandemic numbers, airport officials note.

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