Pearson, are you good? 😬
If you have a flight coming into Toronto Pearson Airport anytime soon, there is a chance you might get hit with some pretty crazy crowds.
After arriving at the airport on July 25, Twitter user Shawn Stewart posted a video of hoards of travellers crammed together and waiting in what could be described as a massive blob.
@TorontoPearson @CBCNews @globalnews someone needs to look at the total insanity that customs at Pearson is - the… https://t.co/v1fb33e73d— shawn stewart (@shawn stewart) 1627250479.0
"It took about 45-1 hour to get through the actual customs area, but we waited almost an hour to get off our plane because it was [deboarded] in a socially distanced way to avoid what ended up happening in customs," Twitter user Shawn Stewart told Narcity.
Stewart said that while the wait experienced at customs wasn't unheard of for Pearson, the "disorganization and amount of people crammed together" was something he'd never seen before.
"At some points customers were helping others find empty machines or troubleshoot problems they were having with them, which to me really showed where the system was lacking," Stewart added.
Other Twitter users have also posted photos of the hectic lines at Pearson.
"Just absolute chaos coming home. No organization, no one giving direction, lines barely moving", a user with the handle @Akal792 wrote.
@torontopearson wtf guys. Just absolute chaos coming home. No organization, no one giving direction, lines barely m… https://t.co/g1C5BG7uBf— Almir (@Almir) 1627257124.0
"Passengers are expected to physically distance"
Narcity reached out to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which is responsible for managing Pearson Airport, regarding the severe crowding, and a spokesperson said they are working closely with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and air carriers to ensure passengers travel "as quickly and safely as possible."
"Signage and decals have been placed throughout the airport to remind passengers and employees to maintain a safe physical distance whenever possible," Beverly MacDonald, a spokesperson for the GTAA, told Narcity. "Passengers are expected to physically distance whenever they're able and staff will continue to enforce this policy where applicable."
MacDonald also cited the government's latest travel requirements as a potential cause for delays, as the process for arriving international travellers is different "from the pre-COVID experience" since they will have to undergo "additional screening and health checks."
"There are a variety of factors that impact wait times upon arrival, including additional health screening due to government travel requirements, vaccination status, immigration processing, multiple flights arriving at the same time and more," MacDonald continued.
Pearson Airport initially planned to separate incoming passengers by vaccination status but eventually scrapped the decision a few days after announcing it.
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