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a recent Pearson experience

a recent Pearson experience

Old Aug 21st 2023, 12:59 pm
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Default a recent Pearson experience

Oh my... flew into Pearson on 2 August and out again on the 16th. I had noted dbd33 [& others] views on the unsuitability of the place, but assumed they had just not had an opportunity to go through Gatwick recently. But what an absolute cluster. I will skip all the detail but it is hard to believe that anyone is actually managing the place. It did take us only just under two hours to get groundside from stepping off the plane [which itself was delayed by an apparently ad hoc checking of passports at the airbridge exit, thereby holding up everyone on the plane]. This relative speediness was only because we were standing in the right random spot when a new exit was carved out of the swarm of people swamping those border control machines and the queue to have the machine printout checked [it was a single swarm, but multi purpose]. I don't think I have ever been to such a disorganised airport. And the staff... clearly not happy to be there.

I would never have believed that Heathrow would be the high water mark, but on the return, opening the doors to groundside was just over 15 minutes. Inbetween was a JFK arrival and departure, which was much closer to the Heathrow experience than Pearson.

I am going to take dbd33's advice and use Buffalo in the future.
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Old Aug 21st 2023, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Originally Posted by I am I said
Oh my... flew into Pearson on 2 August and out again on the 16th. I had noted dbd33 [& others] views on the unsuitability of the place, but assumed they had just not had an opportunity to go through Gatwick recently. But what an absolute cluster. I will skip all the detail but it is hard to believe that anyone is actually managing the place. It did take us only just under two hours to get groundside from stepping off the plane [which itself was delayed by an apparently ad hoc checking of passports at the airbridge exit, thereby holding up everyone on the plane]. This relative speediness was only because we were standing in the right random spot when a new exit was carved out of the swarm of people swamping those border control machines and the queue to have the machine printout checked [it was a single swarm, but multi purpose]. I don't think I have ever been to such a disorganised airport. And the staff... clearly not happy to be there.

I would never have believed that Heathrow would be the high water mark, but on the return, opening the doors to groundside was just over 15 minutes. Inbetween was a JFK arrival and departure, which was much closer to the Heathrow experience than Pearson.

I am going to take dbd33's advice and use Buffalo in the future.
Note that I go through Gatwick two or three times a year and will do so again in September. I also go through Geneva quite often (not a shining example of Swiss efficiency). I hear people complain about both airports sigh inwardly, "not been to Toronto" I think.
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Old Aug 21st 2023, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

I've seldom stopped in Toronto, so primarily my experience is as a transit passenger. Aside from one dreadful experience with a US immigration officer - which isn't Pearson's fault - it's all be relatively smooth. I think not having to collect bags at Pearson is the important thing!
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Old Aug 21st 2023, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat
I've seldom stopped in Toronto, so primarily my experience is as a transit passenger. Aside from one dreadful experience with a US immigration officer - which isn't Pearson's fault - it's all be relatively smooth. I think not having to collect bags at Pearson is the important thing!
Bags are often late but that's just time wasted. The immigration procedure, the paper in mouth thing, is ridiculous; it's both time wasted and anger generated on all sides. I think though that what really gets me down about Pearson is that there's no attempt to improve it; the immigration procedures are worse now than when you could fill in the forms on the plane in advance of arrival. The processes were always poorly thought out but now the equipment is old and breaks down compounding the problems, As always, I wonder how it can be that an airport is run by people who have plainly never tried another airport.

Last edited by dbd33; Aug 21st 2023 at 9:42 pm.
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Old Aug 21st 2023, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat
I've seldom stopped in Toronto, so primarily my experience is as a transit passenger. Aside from one dreadful experience with a US immigration officer - which isn't Pearson's fault - it's all be relatively smooth. I think not having to collect bags at Pearson is the important thing!
Nexus...Nexus....Nexus....

I can't say this enough.

Well worth the money and time investment.
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Old Aug 22nd 2023, 3:29 am
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Strange but true, but I think the only time we have come through Pearson immigration was all the way back in 1973 when we made our first trip back to the UK.

All our subsequent trips, including in 1975 (only 2 years later) were direct flights from Vancouver to London or Manchester. We have been transit passengers through Pearson on domestic flights, and would cheerfully replace that with a transit through Ottawa!
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Old Aug 22nd 2023, 7:37 am
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Originally Posted by dbd33
Bags are often late but that's just time wasted.
On this trip, we were directed to the wrong baggage carousel. Eventually found our bags where they had been offloaded from a carousel to somewhere almost close by.

Originally Posted by dbd33
.he processes were always poorly thought out but now the equipment is old and breaks down compounding the problems..
It was the decision to route the 'paper in the mouth' queue **through** the machines that was the most intriguing, meaning people who had already done their machine thing were crammed next to people trying to do the machine thing. That also meant the machines furthest from the arrival gates were underused as those in the back were unaware that many people ahead of them already had their slip of paper.

On the US Border control thing, my [then] 16 year old son on a solo trip got the full effect: pulled into a back room, harassed, bullied. As you said, that is on the US authorities. To be fair, he only had the student visa in his passport and a soft copy of the visa letter, not the original hard copy, so clearly up to no good. Apparently it took some convincing that he had not sold the hard copy, presumably on the black market to someone who does not understand the role played by computers in immigration. On this visit - ~4 years later - he still flagged up on the US border system and was asked a few targeted questions.
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Old Aug 22nd 2023, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Originally Posted by JamesM
Nexus...Nexus....Nexus....

I can't say this enough.

Well worth the money and time investment.
Can't get Nexus in St John's, would have to travel to an airport with US immigration. I've never managed to try and schedule that with a trip for another purpose & it's not worth scheduling one specifically with the amount of travel I do these days. (substantially lower than 5-6 years ago)
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Old Aug 22nd 2023, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Awful place, always avoid when possible.
Last time we flew in from London it took about 2 hours in total from stepping off the plane to getting in the car.
They'd mixed up a load of bags from an Air India flight and it was a free for all scrummage.
The staff there don't seem to care and the whole experience is depressing.
Then when you do manage to get out you have the wonderful 403/401 to look forward to..
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Old Aug 22nd 2023, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Last time I flew back to UK (May 2023) I flew from Montreal and it was very efficient. I didn't take any checked bags and I caught the train from my local VIA rail station and got the shuttle to the airport from there. I would definitely do it again.

The return journey the plane landed at 4.10pm and I had a train to catch at 5.20pm and made it by 10 minutes ....again I didn't take checked baggage so maybe that cut down a lot of wasted time.
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Old Aug 22nd 2023, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Originally Posted by DMajor
Awful place, always avoid when possible.
Last time we flew in from London it took about 2 hours in total from stepping off the plane to getting in the car.
They'd mixed up a load of bags from an Air India flight and it was a free for all scrummage.
The staff there don't seem to care and the whole experience is depressing.
Then when you do manage to get out you have the wonderful 403/401 to look forward to..

To be fair to the airport administration, when the carousels were installed they didn't consider how many bags can fit on an aeroplane nor that multiple aeroplanes might arrive contemporaneously. There are always more bags than space on the carousel; it's just not set up for people arriving and, short of using a different approach for new terminals, there's not really anything they can do. Again, I think the key thing would have been to have the airport designers and managers visit another airport. I suspect this is a parochical thing, they don't go travel beyond Etobicoke.
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Old Aug 22nd 2023, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

I've had three flights from Pearson to Gatwick and back over the last year. Gatwick was very good. Just use the eGates and off you go. My girlfriend was, after going through the eGate, asking if that was it, no other immigration stuff, and I said nope. Pearson. Well, it's the usual shit show it's been nearly every time I've come through it. The second trip wasn't too bad through immigration, I was prepared for being in a huge line-up for an hour and half, but it was maybe 20 minutes if that.The first and third trips were back to usual stupidly long wait times. I really wish they could use the same setup as Gatwick, The last thing anyone needs on their return home is to deal with a stupidly long line.
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Old Aug 28th 2023, 8:45 am
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

I dont find Peason Airport too bad, although there was a security guard there who could hear that was was late for a connecting flight and for some reason we had to go through security again (renovations), and he waited for us to pack everthing back in our carry on cases before coming over to ask me to take my laptop out again and turn it on to verify it was real... just to make sure we missed our flight. Montreal however, reminds of an old drinking pub, the carpet is thread bare brown coloured and sticky
The path you take for connecting flights is fustrating, they check boarding slip 5 times, just to slow everyone down and make you miss your flight. it looks like your still in the 70's including the toilets where unless you are absolutly desparate, you are better of going in the plane.

I also hate Montreal airport even more after we flew our dog to canada this year and they just threw his create down on the floor by the baggage reclaim area and left him there alone, the create was twisted and water was all over him the the force it was dropped or thrown so he couldnt even drink, and there was no staff to be seen. As we got through security we could hear him crying and hyperventilating it took us 40 minutes to get him to calm down and breath properly, we thought we was going to lose him at one point.

I fly from heathrow terminal 2 and this is light clean and spacious, and they have some new xray scanners which take the stress out of security and are amazingly clean, the only part that then lets tourists down is the trains if there isnt a strike, they need more and clearer signs, I see soo many confused passangers wandering around between the heathrow express and underground as they are labelled poorly.
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Old Aug 29th 2023, 7:28 am
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Originally Posted by twinturbo
I dont find Peason Airport too bad, although there was a security guard there who could hear that was was late for a connecting flight and for some reason we had to go through security again (renovations), and he waited for us to pack everthing back in our carry on cases before coming over to ask me to take my laptop out again and turn it on to verify it was real... just to make sure we missed our flight. Montreal however, reminds of an old drinking pub, the carpet is thread bare brown coloured and sticky
The path you take for connecting flights is fustrating, they check boarding slip 5 times, just to slow everyone down and make you miss your flight. it looks like your still in the 70's including the toilets where unless you are absolutly desparate, you are better of going in the plane.

I also hate Montreal airport even more after we flew our dog to canada this year and they just threw his create down on the floor by the baggage reclaim area and left him there alone, the create was twisted and water was all over him the the force it was dropped or thrown so he couldnt even drink, and there was no staff to be seen. As we got through security we could hear him crying and hyperventilating it took us 40 minutes to get him to calm down and breath properly, we thought we was going to lose him at one point.

I fly from heathrow terminal 2 and this is light clean and spacious, and they have some new xray scanners which take the stress out of security and are amazingly clean, the only part that then lets tourists down is the trains if there isnt a strike, they need more and clearer signs, I see soo many confused passangers wandering around between the heathrow express and underground as they are labelled poorly.
Oh, don't tell me that... I had Montreal on the list of potential entry points to bypass Toronto.

I agree on the train signage at Heathrow.. I **know** there is a stairway route from the Underground to the Central Bus Station, but I can not find it, I end up having to use the lift.
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Old Aug 29th 2023, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: a recent Pearson experience

Fred drifting....

Halifax is an annoyance when connecting from an international flight from the UK to domestic. They do have the setup for transit pax to go through a seperate immigration area/kiosks and thence straight into airside departures. I've used it, once. But it seems to be always closed off now, forcing you to clear immigration, pick up your bags (if you have them) and then dump them back on to a transit belt. Then you have to deal with legendary enormous queue for security to get back airside. It's a study in inefficiency.

I know the COO at YHZ, she used to be the marketing VP at St John's. I should get around to asking her why this is the case but I suspect the answer will be "CBSA".
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