5 Pearson Airport Hacks That Will Make Travelling Faster & A Lot Easier Over The Holidays

Avoid the lineups and long wait times! ✈️

Baggage claim at Toronto Pearson Airport.

Baggage claim at Toronto Pearson Airport.

Toronto Pearson Airport

Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) is gearing up for what could be its busiest holiday travel season since before the COVID-19 pandemic and, to help, the airport is sharing some pro tips to help make the passenger experience less stressful during this time of the year.

Since a rather chaotic summer, Pearson has steadily unveiled a list of new measures that are meant to help reduce wait times and ease the burden for anyone making their way through Canada's busiest airport.

"During this busy holiday season we’re expecting as many as 130,000 passengers a day at our peak," said GTAA spokesperson Rachel Bertone in a statement to Narcity. The numbers are still expected to be below pre-pandemic figures.

Passenger traffic at Pearson has steadily increased since the summer, and the latest data provided by the airport shows continued improvements, with only 3% of flights cancelled between November 28 and December 4.

During the holidays, the week leading up to Christmas is expected to be the busiest time at Pearson, as well as the days around January 9, when kids return to school.

In preparation for the sheer number of people getting ready to hop on a plane and head home or on vacation for the holidays, here are 5 tips for anyone flying through Pearson Airport over the next month or so.

YYZ Express

YYZ Express is a new virtual system that was launched by Pearson Airport in November that allows you to book your spot in line at airport security.

You can book a spot up to 72 hours in advance and secure a 15-minute time slot that, if you show up on time for, could help you to skip the line. However, appointment availability is limited.

According to Pearson Airport, reservations and walk-up appointments for YYZ Express are available for all Domestic and international passengers at Terminal 1 D Gates security screening point from 5:00 am to 1:00 pm and Terminal 3 B and C Gates security screening point from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm. As of right now, the virtual booking system is not currently available for flights departing to the United States.

Mobile Passport Control

​This one is for anyone travelling to the US from Pearson Airport.

Earlier this year, US Customs and Border Protection unveiled the Mobile Passport Control app, which passengers headed for the states can use to submit their travel information and documents ahead of time to speed up the departures process.

The app eliminates the need for a declaration form and, according to Pearson, is "especially useful for you if you’re travelling with your family, as it allows for a single household to submit one transaction."

Canada Advanced Declaration

Just like the Mobile Passport Control app for anyone travelling to the US, anyone arriving in Canada has the option to submit their customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours in advance with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). This can be done through the ArriveCAN app.

New for the 2022 holiday season, Pearson said anyone who submits those documents ahead of time will "have access to an express lane in the customs area" which could also help reduce wait times.

Wait Times Dashboard

Pearson Airport also has a live wait times dashboard that can be used to plan ahead on the day you've got a flight scheduled.

The dashboard shows how long it will take you to get through airport security or customs in each terminal and also keeps tabs on the check-in lineups at each airline desk.

Peak Travel Times Dashboard

More data to help you plan in advance can be found on Pearson's peak travel times dashboard.

While it's still recommended that you arrive "at least 3 hours in advance" for flights outside of Canada and "at least 2 hours in advance" for flights within Canada, the dashboard shows the times you may want to avoid making your way through terminals 1 and 3.

The dashboard shows the busiest times to be departing and arriving at Pearson Airport.

On top of these tips to help reduce wait times for passengers, Pearson is also reminding everyone travelling with holiday gifts to leave them unwrapped.


Travelling during the holidays can get stressful with airport congestion and long wait times. Here are tips to help make travelling a little easier this season from Toronto Pearson Airport. #pearsonairport #torontopearson #traveltips #canada #toronto #greenscreen

Stuart McGinn
Stuart McGinn was the Money Editor for Narcity Media and focused mainly on covering topics ranging from personal finance, to real estate, and careers. Stuart is from Ottawa and is now based in Toronto.