News departures gate airport travel

Published on July 20th, 2017 | by Alyssa Daniells

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Leaving for the USA? You may want to leave 3 hours for travelling to US from Canada.

The latest in Pearson airport security measures, passengers travelling to the US from Canada may surrender devices larger than a smartphone for inspection.

From Stateside-implemented travel bans to recent terrorist attacks, increased security is on the radars of Canadian airports.

The new security measures launched yesterday for travellers entering the USA from Canada, which will impact an average of 325,000 passengers daily. Enhanced security checks are random, which now involves screening electronic devices larger than a cellphone.

Travellers are also asked to make sure their personal electronic devices are fully charged and easily removed from their cases, or have them removed before entering security lines. This applies to passengers with a U.S. stopover.

The project, which costs $3.8 million to implement, will include expansion of canine screening and more pre-clearance locations.

Air Canada and WestJet are advising passengers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their U.S. departure,  but you may want to leave even more time.

As Flight Centre Square One‘s travel manager Amani Armanious tells her clients, “Security has to happen, regardless of flight scheduled departure time. So always be cautious and go to the airport with enough time for screening. You never know if you’re the ‘lucky’ one chosen for an extra random check, which takes an even longer time.”

If you have an upcoming flight travelling to the US from Canada, may we suggest the following:

  • arrive at the airport three hours before departure (until now, we recommended arriving two hours for Canada to USA flights);
  • expedite the process by having liquids under 100ml in carry-on in transparent, sealed bags like a Ziploc and your passport and boarding pass or smartphone ready to show;
  • wear shoes that are easy to remove and put back on;
  • fully charge your electronic devices the night before your flight, re-charge if necessary.

In April,  Toronto Pearson officials, including Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, announced an “updated screening process” for travelling to the United States.

It requires air ticket holders to pass through Canadian airport security checks, followed by U.S. customs, at  departures in Terminal One at Pearson.

Toronto Pearson airport is the fourth largest air entry point into the U.S., with 5.6 million passengers travelling to the U.S. from Canada each year.

Previously, passengers went directly to U.S. security, without baggage screened prior to entering the customs area. Now, carry-on and checked baggage will be screened.

The switch was completed after a two-year collaboration between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and air carriers.

While we can’t make your security check go any faster, we can make booking flights to the US quick and easy. Contact a Flight Centre travel consultant online, at 1 877 967 5302 or visit us at a shop near you.

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About the Author

Alyssa Daniells

Equipped with good grammar, a laptop and sense of humour, Alyssa curiously explores the world, whether it involves traversing oceans to anything historic, artistic or beautiful, or crossing the street for a dark roasted coffee refuel. Curating and creating compelling content (and the occasional alliteration!) is something she loves. Her phone storage is almost at capacity due to countless photos of Toronto, her toddler and other people's pets.



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