It’s safe to say that 2022 was not a good year for Toronto Pearson International Airport, and the busy travel hub just took another embarrassing slap to the face.
Canada’s busiest airport may have rebounded from the dark days of travel restrictions, but it struggled to handle the bounceback during the busy spring and summer travel seasons, making for humiliating headlines around the world as passengers suffered through long lines and frequently chaotic conditions.
A trip in or out of Pearson this year could be best described as ‘stressful,’ so much so that travel website hawaiianislands.com has bestowed our airport with the unfortunate title of “the most stressful airport in North America.”
Pearson landed near top marks — or technically the worst score — in sentiment analysis of over 1,500 Google reviews covering more than 500 airports around the world, and out-failed every other airport in North America.
A whopping 76 per cent of reviews for the airport indicated passenger stress, more than any other air travel hub on the continent, with commonly cited phrases including “customs,” “immigration,” “layover,” “embarrassment,” and “lost luggage.”
In addition to its continental title, Pearson was the fourth-worst airport for stressful reviews worldwide, trailing only Manchester, U.K., Heraklion International Airport in Greece, and London Stansted, U.K.
It’s pretty understandable why Pearson has people stressing based on the staggering 52.5 per cent of flights delayed between May 26 and July 19, 2022, outpacing every other airport in the world in this category.
Hawaiianislands’ report notes the chaos was so bad that the airport’s largest carrier, Air Canada, was forced to cut back on summer flights and offer fee-free ticket changes in response to “longer than usual delays.”
Living up to its new title, Pearson Airport was once again plunged into chaos on Thursday morning, when a heavy fog blanketed the region resulting in dozens of flights being delayed. Though you can’t exactly blame the airport this time.
(2/2) Passengers are recommended to check their flight time and status with their airline before leaving for the airport.
— Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) November 24, 2022
It’s worth noting that this shameful title is based on the peak misery travellers experienced during the spring and summer months.
To its credit, Pearson Airport has drastically improved the experience for travellers in the months since all the chaos, implementing new time-saving measures and even allowing passengers to schedule security check-in times for smoother processing.