Pearson International Airport / Photo By Alana Morgan
We can choose which airlines we fly with but we have little choice when it comes to the airports that we travel through, and — as every seasoned traveler knows — airports vary widely in efficiency, service, and facilities.
At FlightNetwork.com, we believe that airports are key to ensuring that our customers have fantastic vacations, successful business trips, and make it to important events on time. So, every year we survey Canadians to find out which airports have been providing travellers with the worst experiences, which airport qualities matter most to travellers, and which airports have improved the most in the past year.
Here are the highlights from this year’s poll:
1) Pearson International Airport is Still’the Worst’
Statistics can, however, be misleading. Since Pearson serves more customers than any other airport in Canada (nearly twice as many as the second busiest airport, Vancouver International), it’s the airport where the largest number of people are likely to have a bad experience.
FlightNetwork.com CEO Naman Budhdeo noted, “By virtue of being the busiest and largest airport in Canada, it (Pearson) is always going to have the most complaints.”
Vancouver International Airport / Photo By Leigh McAdam
2) Pearson Was, Paradoxically, Also the Most Improved Airport
On the flip side, because of the installation of self-serve border clearance for Canadian citizens, a slew of new dining options, and table-top iPads for ordering food and tracking flights, nearly half of respondents (49.1%) voted Pearson the ‘most improved’ airport in Canada.
Vancouver International Airport with its new high-speed baggage service was ranked the second most improved (19.8%) and Pierre Elliot Trudeau was third (12.9%).
3) Time = Everything
Long check-in lines were travellers’ biggest pet peeve receiving 40.2% of the vote, followed by delays clearing security with 28.5%. This is no surprise to anyone who has stood in line, afraid that they were going to miss their flight, while watching a security guard run an old woman’s purse back and forth through the x-ray machine half a dozen times.
New Pearson International Airport iPads / Photo By Matt Gibson
Delays on the way to flights were followed closely by delays leaving the airport, with long waits for baggage receiving 14.8% of votes.
4) All Improvements Aren’t Equal
The only airport improvement that all demographics (27% of men and 27.3% of women of all ages) seemed to agree on was self-serve border clearance because, let’s be honest, when you’re forced to choose between personal checks at our international borders and catching the third period of the Leafs game, you realize what’s really important in life.
Retirees (36.8%) and women (31.2%) appreciated high-speed baggage systems, while 27.7% of men said they appreciated new “food concepts” and 33.8% of 18 to 24 year-olds thought table top iPads were ‘super awesome.’
Our conclusion? If we can’t eat sushi-cheeseburgers or play Angry Birds, our top priority is getting out of the airport as fast as possible.
Do you think this survey hit the mark? Is Pearson really the worst airport in Canada?
How do you think airports could improve?
Let us know in comments below!