Pearson Airport Is Giving Tips On How To Travel This March Break & Delays Are Possible

Brace yourselves this season!

Toronto Pearson Airport fliers waiting in line at international arrivals.
Toronto Associate Editor

Toronto Pearson Airport fliers waiting in line at international arrivals.

Hands up if you've ever been on a family vacation that has had something go wrong?

Well, with March break just around the corner, Toronto Pearson Airport is giving travellers some tips for how to prepare when flying with them then so their travel experience can carry on without a hitch.

"The busiest day of the period is expected to be on March 11, when approximately 85,000 passengers will arrive or depart at Pearson," the Greater Toronto Airports Authority wrote in the March 9 announcement.

"This will mark the busiest travel day at the airport since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago."

Throughout the pandemic, fliers have had to deal with a variety of travel restrictions, like testing requirements and quarantine hotels. And, while some travel restrictions have eased, flying is a different experience than what it was back in 2019.

If you're flying into Pearson

With the travel restrictions still currently in place, the Toronto airport reminds international travellers there will likely be some delays when touching down due to additional screening and health checks.

"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," airport officials said.

"When going through customs, passengers will be required to answer additional health questions."

If you're wondering if there's a way to speed up the arrivals process, Pearson encourages international fliers to use the Advanced Canadian Border Services Agency Declaration feature on ArriveCAN. All you have to do is fill out this declaration online no more than 72 hours before your flight makes its way to Canada.

Fully vaccinated travellers coming into Canada from abroad will also have to show a legit pre-arrival COVID-19 antigen test taken at most a day before the scheduled flight, or a molecular test no more than 72 hours beforehand.

If you're flying out of Toronto's airport

Pearson recommends all travellers taking off from the airport give themselves even more time before checking in for their flight.

"In addition to process changes, passengers may experience longer wait times during check-in, security and boarding their aircraft as there are still additional screening questions and health checks in place at Canada's airports," GTAA officials wrote.

So, how much earlier should you arrive for your flight?

Like they have said before, the GTAA suggests coming to Pearson at least an hour and a half before domestic flights, and no less than three hours before an international flight.

What else do I need to know?

Masks will still be required — of all passengers and employees — when inside the airport with some exceptions for kids under the age of two or if you're eating in one of their lounges.

As of February 28, the feds updated its travel rules so that fully vaccinated travellers coming into Canada will only need to take a PCR test when they land if they are randomly chosen to do so. Plus, travellers won't have to quarantine while they are waiting for their results.

Safe travels, everyone!

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor