Toronto Pearson Terminal 3 – Not up to the mark

Recently I traveled through Pearson International Airport’s Terminal 3 on my way to and from Atlanta. It is the busiest airport in Canada. Here are some of the things that disappointed me.

1. Saving electricity is cool but turning off steep escalators for passengers arriving on a late evening flight is cruel. There are motion sensing escalators. Retrofit your escalators with such sensors. My mom has a knee problem and was forced to climb up these steep escalators when she was traveling though terminal 3.

2. It was around midnight and the automated walkways were turned off too. When operating, they were not very smooth… jerky at times.

3. If you are going to the United States you better keep at least 2 hours in hand. The US immigration process happens before you board the flight and the lineups are usually very long.

4. This has more to do with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Long after I have gone through the immigration kiosk and right before entering into the area where friends and family wait, I met a border agent (well, now I know he was a border agent) whose job was to collect the copy of customs declaration form I was carrying around. Those of us who do not travel outside of Canada very frequently don’t really know “what’s next”. As I was walking towards this person I was on the phone with my friend who was outside to pick me up . Did not see any sign that said I may not use a phone at this point. He pointed his finger towards me and asked me to finish my phone call and then proceed. Said to me “Finish your call first and then proceed whenever you’re ready. This is not a place where you should be on the phone.” I found his tone very condescending. No disrespect to Canada Border Services Agency (you guys do a great job) but the immigration process at Terminal 3 is at best very unclear. This person, who was sitting at a tall desk, did not look nearly as professional as the border agents upstairs by the kiosks and I had no clue that I was still going through immigration. And if phones are banned, there should be signs posted. No?

In my opinion, Terminal 3 needs a facelift, a CBSA process revisit and in the meantime some immediate signage that says “no cell phones allowed until you get to your car”.

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