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Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

Old Apr 15th 2024, 11:16 pm
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Default Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

I am often wondering if it's down to the airport or the airline to define boarding procedures for an airplane? Or is it Canadian vs. British legislation? Or simply unpractical architecture of the gates at YYZ vs at LHR ? ( Mostly always one of the satellite terminals of T2 )

Reason for asking:

I have flown LHR to YYZ many times with Air Canada too often to keep track on how often I've done it. The boarding in LHR with Air Canada is always a breeze, the boarding in YYZ with Air Canada is always a problem. Long queues, even blocking other travellers heading to other airport gates and calling some passengers out personally by name for whatever reason is always happening while boarding at YYZ, whilst in LHR everything happens with a lot of ease.

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Old Apr 16th 2024, 2:20 pm
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Default Re: Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

To me it always seems like it's due to when they announce they will start boarding soon - also normally saying the zone they will start first with - everyone just gets up and blocks things, thinking it will get them on the plane quicker. There's also the boarding pass and passport check, and people not having those things ready, and in addition families and larger groups not having things ready.

This stuff is not limited to Air Canada, seems to be all airlines I've travelled on.
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Old Apr 16th 2024, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

Originally Posted by sharkus
To me it always seems like it's due to when they announce they will start boarding soon - also normally saying the zone they will start first with - everyone just gets up and blocks things, thinking it will get them on the plane quicker. There's also the boarding pass and passport check, and people not having those things ready, and in addition families and larger groups not having things ready.

This stuff is not limited to Air Canada, seems to be all airlines I've travelled on.
Yep, but as said, it might not be an airline thing at all. Boarding at LHR seems to go way smoother than at YYZ.

I would largely guess that boarding procedures are down to the airline, but maybe it's also mentality as well.

Brits know how to move masses more efficiently than Canadians do, that's my impression.
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Old Apr 17th 2024, 2:49 am
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Default Re: Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

I find the area in front of the gates very cramped at Pearson- not very deep and they always seem to have planes with similar departure times close together, so the queues are mixed up. I also find the acoustics very poor and the announcements re boarding very difficult to understand so passengers are unsure whether they’ve been called or not, so move just in case. At Heathrow, it’s a much more open area, the gates are further apart and the announcements easier to hear and understand.
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Old Apr 17th 2024, 5:12 am
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Default Re: Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

Airlines generally set their own boarding procedures. Air Canada use zones numbered 1-5 and it's the same anytime I've flown with Air Canada, no matter which airport. As other posters have mentioned, there is more room at LHR than YYZ so that's maybe why it doesn't seem as chaotic at LHR.



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Old Apr 18th 2024, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

Air Canada boards by zone 1 - 5. Zone number is determined by fare class - Biz, Premium Economy and whether you've purchased an expensive flexible economy ticket vs the cheapest one you could find - and frequent flyer programme status and/or whether you have certain air Canada credit cards. So if you are flying biz you'll be zone 1. If you have a certain frequent flyer status level you'll be zone 2 or 3 irrespective of the ticket you've purchased.

You'll often see elderly travellers being preboarded. Families sometimes get special treatment as well but generally not in my experience with AC. The people being called to the desk could be for document checks - you've travelled on an internal flight first and they want to check your passport before boarding for the international flight - or they could be standby passengers or those waitlist for e-upgrades through the frequent flyer programme. AC now has a pretty good app which will actually update itself with a new boarding pass when this happens.

Boarding system is down to the airlines. All use some system of zones and priority. Pearson is a bit of a sh1t show in international departures as there is not really enough immediate gate space by each gate for lines to assemble. The lines also don't seem to be policed as aggressively/assertively as they are at Heathrow. At Heathrow, you get a document and security check before you get in the appropriate line. So if you are lining up for zone 1 with a zone 5 boarding pass, you'll get turfed to the back of the line! AC goes from the B gates at LHR (with the long walk in the tunnel under the apron) which have much more room than the Pearson departure area. The exception is the Halifax flight which generally goes from an A gate which is much more cramped.



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Old Apr 20th 2024, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat
Air Canada boards by zone 1 - 5. Zone number is determined by fare class - Biz, Premium Economy and whether you've purchased an expensive flexible economy ticket vs the cheapest one you could find - and frequent flyer programme status and/or whether you have certain air Canada credit cards. So if you are flying biz you'll be zone 1. If you have a certain frequent flyer status level you'll be zone 2 or 3 irrespective of the ticket you've purchased.
I understand why I'm always Zone 5 now.

I always thought it was to board based on speed and never understood why it was a gong show with people sitting everywhere.

I've learned to not rush across from the bar at Pearson now- take my sweet time as I always sit in the aisle.
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Old Apr 21st 2024, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

Originally Posted by JamesM
I understand why I'm always Zone 5 now.

I always thought it was to board based on speed and never understood why it was a gong show with people sitting everywhere.

I've learned to not rush across from the bar at Pearson now- take my sweet time as I always sit in the aisle.
Zone 3-5 are general economy boarding (as well as comfort/latitude fares) based on whether you have a window/middle/aisle seat, with zone 5 being the aisle.
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Old Apr 21st 2024, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Boarding Procedures at YYZ with Air Canada?

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat
Air Canada boards by zone 1 - 5. Zone number is determined by fare class - Biz, Premium Economy and whether you've purchased an expensive flexible economy ticket vs the cheapest one you could find - and frequent flyer programme status and/or whether you have certain air Canada credit cards. So if you are flying biz you'll be zone 1. If you have a certain frequent flyer status level you'll be zone 2 or 3 irrespective of the ticket you've purchased.

You'll often see elderly travellers being preboarded. Families sometimes get special treatment as well but generally not in my experience with AC. The people being called to the desk could be for document checks - you've travelled on an internal flight first and they want to check your passport before boarding for the international flight - or they could be standby passengers or those waitlist for e-upgrades through the frequent flyer programme. AC now has a pretty good app which will actually update itself with a new boarding pass when this happens.

Boarding system is down to the airlines. All use some system of zones and priority. Pearson is a bit of a sh1t show in international departures as there is not really enough immediate gate space by each gate for lines to assemble. The lines also don't seem to be policed as aggressively/assertively as they are at Heathrow. At Heathrow, you get a document and security check before you get in the appropriate line. So if you are lining up for zone 1 with a zone 5 boarding pass, you'll get turfed to the back of the line! AC goes from the B gates at LHR (with the long walk in the tunnel under the apron) which have much more room than the Pearson departure area. The exception is the Halifax flight which generally goes from an A gate which is much more cramped.

Never flown with AC, but even the likes of Easyjet will pre-board elderly pax, and those who have mobility issues. Its simply not safe for those of us who walk like snails, clinging onto our sticks & wheelchairs, to board with the general crush. The special assistance teams are employed by the airport, rather than the airline, and make travelling so much easier for some of us.
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