Canadians vote Pearson voted worst airport in country in FlightNetwork polling
I had intended to write about Chicago today, but bad weather at O'Hare yesterday meant another bad flight. This time I got delayed five hours and didn't get home until 1 a.m. Plus there's a fun item here on Pearson, so I'll save Chicago for tomorrow and later in the week....
A poll of Canadians by FlightNetwork.Com, released today, says Pearson is widely, and I mean WIDELY, regarded as the WORST airport in Canada.
Second-worst in Canada, the poll found, is Montreal Trudeau (Dorval) at 17.7 per cent, followed by Edmonton in third at 9.9 per cent.
Poor Pearson. They've tried. They really have. They've added free wi-fi and lots of new food options and new terminals. But there's little they can do about security lineups and customs/immigration lineups, two of the biggest sources of pain for travelers.
Of those polled, 57.2 per cent cited slow security as the number one criteria for Pearson's ranking. Bad service was cited by 53.5 per cent and lack of dining spots by 49.8 per cent.
I suspect, personally, that Pearson isn't much worse than Dorval/Trudeau. It's just that not as many folks use Trudeau as Pearson. I could be wrong, but I suspect familiarity breeds some contempt in this case.
Not that I don't get pissed off by lineups or by being forced to pay $2 for a luggage cart or waiting endlessly for my bags to show up. They were pretty good yesterday, but then again I DID arrive at 11 p.m. on a Sunday night after yet another long delay at departure.
I was slated to fly out of Chicago O'Hare at 5:40 p.m. Chicago time on Sunday, but there were major storms and I didn't leave until 9:45 or so. I was lucky enough to be able to use the lounge at the United Club, spending a lot of time watching the Amazing Race.
But I have to say the United Club personnel were downright rude. I twice asked one woman at the desk about my Air Canada flight and all she would say was, "It's NOT our flight. Go ask Air Canada at the gate."
Geez, lady. How about "I'm sorry, but it's an Air Canada flight. It's got our number on it, too, but it's really their flight. I wish I could help but you'll have to go down to the gate to check. I"m sorry about that."
Is it really that hard, folks?
Anyway, I'm back home and that's what really matters. Still, five hours at Pearson and then a cancelled flight Thursday, followed by three hours sleep and an early Friday flight, followed by six hours at O'Hare on Sunday isn't my idea of the romance of travel....
Mind you, a flight attendant on my flight from Chicago said they had sat on the tarmac at Pearson for four hours prior to taking off. And she said she heard a flight from Montreal to Chicago had flown in on Sunday but was put in a holding pattern over O'Hare, only to be sent to Windsor. They apparently touched down in Windsor and sat for an hour or two or three, and then finally took off - for Montreal. She said the passengers and crew spent something like eight or nine hours on the plane and ended up right back where they started. Now THAT'S brutal.
Getting back to the Flight Network poll, one they found that Los Angeles International is rated by Canadians at the worst in the U.S. (25.9 per cent), followed by O'Hare (20) and JFK in New York 17.6). Again, those are probably three of the busiest airports Canadians use.
I don't mind O'Hare. It's busy, but it's a pretty good airport. I try not to fly in and out of Chicago in winter just to avoid weather issues, but that's another story. JFK I don't know much at all.
Los Angeles is not great but the folks at LAX are spending billions to give the place a major overhaul...
On the international front, Canadians in the Flight Network poll named London Heathrow worst (26 per cent), followed by Charles De Gaulle in Paris (13.6) and poor Pearson (13 per cent).
Vancouver was deemed best airport in Canada, which goes without saying. Great shopping, clean, good restaurant choices, free wi-fi; even a provincial liquor outlet and a huge aquarium!
In the U.S., folks liked McCarran International in Vegas the bestm while Hong Kong got support for best international airport. I don't remember much about McCarran except the one-armed bandits, but Hong Kong is a terrific airport for sure.