Alberta Mirror

Tensions grow over passenger delays at airports

Alberta

Key takeaways: 

  • Passengers are being held on airplanes for hours due to a lack of airport area.
  • The Canadian Airports Council states congestion at airports is pushing passengers to stay on airplanes upon coming, sometimes for over an hour.

When Trevor Lau’s Air Canada flight from Orlando landed at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Monday, he didn’t know he’d be staying over two hours on the airplane.

But due to staffing problems at customs, the flight team told him they’d only let passengers with connecting flights land promptly.

“People were getting upset and disgruntled, complaining, and they were taking it out on the flawed flight attendants,” Lau said.

Eventually, after hours passed, passengers were allowed to leave. A flight attendant stated that the wait wasn’t that bad compared to what they’d experienced lately.

But the ordeal wasn’t entirely over — a long line at customs awaited.

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due to staffing problems at customs, the flight team told him they’d only let passengers with connecting flights land promptly

Lau’s experience isn’t exceptional. International arrivals at Canadian airports are so supported that people are being held on planes for over an hour after they land because there isn’t sufficient room for the long lineups of travelers, says the Canadian Airports Council.

Lau says he doesn’t know who to accuse of the delay — but the council does.

It’s asking the federal government to do away with random tests and public health inquiries at customs to reduce passengers’ severe delays when they come to Canada.

The extra measures mean it takes four times longer to process people as they come than before the pandemic, said the council’s interim president Monette Pasher. That was fine when people weren’t traveling, but now it’s become a severe issue.

“We’re seeing that we cannot have these public health conditions and testing at our borders as we get back to regular travel,” she said.

Source – cbc.ca

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