YYZ – Could there be a Worse Canadian Hub?

By far, YYZ has to be one of the worst airports to have to transit for travel. They do not make the experience at all pleasant.

On my recent trip, we departed from YVR after having a wonderful experience going through security clearance and getting to the gate. Yes, this was only a domestic flight so it did not include going through pre-clearance at YVR. I should also state that I work for YVR, but in my previous life at Air Canada, I traveled extensively and believe that I am completely objective when it comes to assessing airport experiences.

We arrived at YYZ right on time and had 90 minutes for our connecting flight. We made our way to gate 177 in Terminal 1 and this was the first problem. The signage is just plain confusing. My wife had no idea where to go. I was able to direct our course knowing essentially what section the International flights depart from. We made it to the gate security section where we were directed by an agent to detour down this set of escalators. I knew this was bad and told the agent that we were going to gate 177 for a Frankfurt departure. She was insistent that we had to go down the escalator. As feared, this took us to Canada customs and once downstairs, they would not let us out without clearing. We stood in line, filled out our customs declaration form even though we realistically had not left Canadian soil. We were finally cleared by the agent after having to repeat our story many times.

We made it to the baggage area and hurried as fast as possible to get out of the secured area. One CBSA agent was extremely rude and aggressively told us that we had to get to the back of a line. Thankfully we heard an announcement telling passengers that there was another exit that was essentially completely open. We ran to that section, exited the clearance hall and ran to our gate. We made it back to the gate security area, waiting in line and ran for gate 177 to see the Air Canada agent waiting for us. We boarded the plane and thankfully said goodbye to YYZ.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.