Second day of delays at Pearson after passengers again misdirected into restricted area

Another security issue at Toronto Pearson airport resulted in delays and confusion. Shauna Hunt reports it was caused by a similar mistake that created chaos for passengers on Thursday.

It was a second straight morning of travel chaos for people flying out of Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday after an airline worker once again directed travellers into a restricted area.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) confirms the disruption was the result of a gate agent leading domestic passengers into a transborder area of Terminal 1. CityNews has confirmed the issue involved Air Canada and that members of the Peel police airport division were brought in to assist with the security issue.

A similar issue created confusion for thousands of Pearson travellers on Thursday morning.

Airport officials confirmed Friday’s security breach caused delays through the morning and several people reported issues impacting flights headed to the U.S beginning around 6:30 a.m.

“There is a non-urgent security issue causing longer than usual wait times at T1 security,” said Toronto Pearson on X at 7:18 a.m.

A short time later, Pearson said the issue had been resolved and normal operations were resuming.

CityNews received news tips from several travellers expressing frustration and claiming the issue forced U.S. customs in Terminal 1 to temporarily stop processing passengers. One traveller said his U.S.-bound flight was finally able to depart after a 90 minute delay.

Former Toronto City Coucillor Denzil Minnan-Wong was one of the hundreds of people caught up in the chaos telling CityNews large crowds were corralled into an area for about an hour and they were completely in the dark about what was going on.

“People were getting pretty upset that there was no information – they could just say there was a security concern nothing to worry about but they said nothing and so we were left there waiting not knowing what the heck was going on,” said Minnan-Wong. “Maybe letting us in so we’re not as worried or stressed out that we’re going to miss our flights or that something horrible was going on, that would have gone a long way in making us feel more comfortable.”

Travel expert Wyane Smith says Canada’s busiest travel hub has come a long way from its rocky pandemic recovery but growing pains are to be expected

“Between the airlines, between the airport itself and between contractors there has to be a really strong communication between the three for it to work well. I’m not sure that communication is there just yet but it has improved quite a bit.”

The airport said domestic and international flights at Terminal 1, and all Terminal 3 gates remained unaffected during the issue.

Passengers are being advised to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport. The airport’s departure list showed several delayed flights to the U.S. throughout Friday morning.

Thousands of passengers flying to the U.S. were similarly faced with major delays on Thursday morning after another apparent mistake by an airline staff member.

The GTAA said that disruption was the result of a ground handler directing passengers arriving on a domestic flight into a transborder area beyond U.S. customs.

An aviation source told CityNews it was a Lynx Air flight and a contracted ground worker who was responsible for leading passengers into the wrong area.

The GTAA tells CityNews it is working with its airline partners to reinforce their training and attention to protocols.

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