Those new Automated Border Kiosks went live yesterday in Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson Airport, which should help considerably with the customs process.
In a note I received from the p.r. folks at the airport, I was told the kiosks can be used by Canadian passport holders returning home.
"You enter your (customs) declaration card and scan your passport, then you get a receipt and move on. A CBSA (customs and border/security) officer checks the paperwork and then you go to the baggage hall.
"No membership, no sign up – just scan your passport."
Border rules apply, so this doesn't mean you can go sneaking in 14 gallons of Crown Royal or $5,000 worth of clothes from the cheaper American Target stores. Still, it's a big improvement.
NOVA SCOTIA COMES TO TORONTO
Here's a great idea. The folks at Nova Scotia tourism will be re-creating the world-famous Peggy's Cove Lighthouse in downtown Toronto next week.
The likeness will arise at Bay and Wellington at noon next Wednesday, May 15. So check it out. And remember: it's BYOFAC - bring your own fish and chips.
FLY ME TO THE MOON ... AND MARS
Wow. Thirty five Canadians have signed up for a one-way trip to Mars on a space flight. We haven't actually figured out how to make the trip just yet. And certainly not how to get back. But some folks are just adventurous that way. Or maybe they're depressed about the Maple Leafs' prospects.
Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Dion Phaneuf take the trip given his bonehead play in game four.
As for me, I think I'll take a pass. To quote Elton John, "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise the kids. In fact, it's cold as hell."
WestJet today announced it has once again been named Canada's most-preferred airline in a national study of Canadian flyers conducted in April of this year by Leger Marketing. The study also rated WestJet as the most trusted airline and the airline that offers the best customer service.
In a separate study also conducted by Leger Marketing, WestJet is also ranked as the most reputable transportation company in Canada. Leger's Canadian Corporate Reputation Study ranked the airline tops among six airlines, rail and bus companies.
PORTER STOPS RELEASING LOAD FACTORS
I thought something was funny the other day when WestJet reported its latest load factors, but Porter didn't follow suit. It turns out there was more to it than I thought.
The Financial Post reported today that Porter has stopped releasing its monthly figures on what percentage of its seats were filled. They claim it's normal procedure, but it seems strange that they did it for years and now, with their numbers slipping, have stopped.
In an earlier report, Porter said that for March their load factor fell 1.7 per cent to 58.1. Air Canada and WestJet have been reporting load factors higher than 80 per cent.
I'm no financial analyst but the failure to report can't be a good sign for Porter.
BOMBARDIER JET TEST COMING
The Star's Vanessa Lu reports today that the CSeries jetliner from Bombardier - the ones Porter says it wants to buy and fly out of longer runways at the Toronto Island Airport - is set to take off in late June for its first flight as promised.
“Most of the issues that could trip us up are behind us,” said Guy Hachey, president of Bombardier’s aerospace unit, after the company’s annual meeting in Montreal on Thursday.
“We’re still feeling very good about flying in June. Obviously there are always some risks until the end. I don’t anticipate any major delays if something were to happen,” Hachey told reporters.
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Jaunt.ca, a division of Torstar, has a deal on tap for the Dominican Republic, priced at $746, including $387 in taxes.
- SAVINGS: Two travellers save up to $112 by booking with Jaunt.ca!
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- All-inclusive 7-night stay at the Barcelo Puerto Plata, located in the Dominican Republic
- Includes return air from Toronto to Puerto Plata, with hotel/airport transfers in the Dominican Republic
- FREE CONNECTOR FLIGHTS: The cost of your connector flight from Kingston (ON), Ottawa or Montreal to Toronto is FREE
- OPTIONAL UPGRADE: Enhance your vacation by upgrading your airfare to Executive Class (C Class) which includes premium wines, spirits and cuisine, Maple Leaf Lounge access, extra baggage allowance, priority check-in and more!
- Accommodations in a Double Room, featuring 1 king or 2 twin beds and a balcony or terrace. Maximum occupancy: 3 adults + 1 child
- Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- Valid for travel on May 29, 2013
- Pricing (Rates are per person, plus tax):
Executive Class (C Class):
Other DATES and GATEWAYS available.
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- Valid passport required for travel from Canada
- This offer is 100% non-refundable at time of booking