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I Flew Out Of Pearson Airport After The New Travel Rules Kicked In & Here's How It Went

Canada's travel rules were updated on Tuesday, September 7, opening up the country's borders to allow fully vaccinated international travellers to visit the Great White North. It also happened to be the day that I was flying back home to Calgary from Toronto Pearson Airport, and I'll admit, I was a little nervous about what my travel day would be like.

Even though I was flying within the country, Pearson advised domestic passengers to arrive at least 90 minutes before their flight. My partner and I arrived two hours before our flight to avoid problems, and honestly, the extra time was definitely not needed.

Alex Arsenych | Narcity

Check-in

We got to the airport at 12:30 p.m. for our flight that was leaving for Calgary at 2:55 p.m. We had already checked in online hours before so we had our boarding passes loaded on our phones, and didn't have to spend time at a kiosk. I always opt for an early online passenger check-in to save time, but the lineup to check in at the airport wasn't long anyway.

I do, however, avoid checking in luggage any time I can, because going through baggage claim is a nightmare, and my patience runs out within 20 minutes of waiting to see my bag on the conveyor belt. Plus, after hearing how terribly things went the last time travel rules were updated, there was no way I was going to test my luck now.

I knew I could pack light since I was only gone for a long weekend. Both my partner and I had carry-ons — I had an overstuffed tote bag where I put my Ziploc of toiletries for easy access later on, and my partner had his backpack and a rolling bag.

Alex Arsenych | Narcity

Security

After showing the airport attendant our boarding passes, we walked past all the kiosks and directly to the security check for the D gates.

The security line had barely anyone in it and it took no more than 10 minutes to go through the entire process. If my partner's bags weren't flagged for an extra security check (I blame the plethora of comic books he insisted to bring back with him), we would have been out of there in half the time.

It only took us 15 minutes to go from the entrance of Pearson Airport to our gate at D20, which was a welcome surprise.

Alex Arsenych | Narcity

Boarding

We decided to grab a drink at one of the airport restaurants to kill some extra time before boarding. Since it was around lunchtime, all the restos were packed and had long lineups outside. This was probably the busiest part of our entire airport experience that day.

We did a lap around the gates to decide where we wanted to drink before settling into one of the barstools at Roger Mooking's Twist. With the stress of potential travel obstacles finally melting away as I sipped my beer, all we had left to do was wait to board the plane.

We didn't spend a lot of time at Twist, but by the time we got to our gate, most of the seats in the departure lounge were already taken. Pearson Airport has indicated which seats you can and can't sit in in order to accommodate for physical distancing. Upon doing a quick scan, we managed to get seats in the back right corner.

Alex Arsenych | Narcity

Our plane began boarding right on time, and there were no extraneous delays or hold-ups during the boarding process. The flight was a breeze and we touched down at YYC in no time.

All in all, flying out of Pearson for a domestic flight was totally chill and not as stressful as I thought it would be.

What I recommend for anyone flying via Pearson Airport:

1. Check in online before getting to the airport, so you have your boarding pass ready to go.

2. Avoid checking luggage, if you can.

3. Check Toronto Pearson's website or Twitter page to stay up to date about any possible delays or changes that might affect your flight.

4. If you have time, take a load off and grab a drink. You're about to take a trip!

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

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