Yet it was crowded as can be as seemingly all the flights were disgorging bags onto the same carousel, number 10. There seemed to be a few other carousels in use at the far end, but in my immediate area there were probably seven or eight empty carousels. Yet mine was listing seven different flights for that carousel at one point.
After waiting 20 minutes (from the time the plane reached the gate) for the first bags to finally show, we were told they were switching over to Carousel 9; a good call given the crowding at number 10. Even then, however, it took another 15 minutes or so for the first bags to show up. And on a day when the airport wasn't busy.
I’m sorry but I just don’t understand how this works. As I’m wont to do, I put out a note on Twitter and got several responses from fellow frustrated Pearson users.
I got a response today from airport officials, explaining that they haven’t been able to get definitive answers from Air Canada about their staffing levels.
They went on to say they’re “looking at better ways to allocate the carousels, and we’re working with all airlines to make sure they are moving bags onto our system asap.”
Spokesman Scott Armstrong also told me that with the introduction of automated Customs kiosks in Terminal 3 (the first ones are coming to Terminal 1 soon; maybe the third week in May) and with more folks using the Nexus pass to speed through customs, folks are getting to the baggage hall a lot faster, “which exacerbates any delay of baggage delivery.”
At least officials admit they have work to do…
If you love spring flowers as much as I do, you definitely should check out the Canadian Tulip Festival, which starts Friday in Ottawa.
From May 3 through 20, 2013, the event features special programming and more than a million tulips of every colour on display in public areas downtown. Commissioners Park alone features 300,000 bulbs.
The tulip is Ottawa’s official flower, stemming from World War II, when the Dutch Royal Family took refuge in Ottawa and Princess Margriet—the younger sister of recently retired Queen Beatrix—was born during their stay. Canadian troops played a pivotal role in the liberation of the Netherlands, so when the war ended and the Royal Family returned to Europe, they sent a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa. The gift of tulips continues to this day.
TORONTO TRAVEL NUMBERS
Toronto tourism is on the upswing. Officials with Tourism Toronto say American visits in 2011 rose 3 per cent, while last year they jumped 4.7 per cent.
When you consider the strength of the Canadian dollar and the expense of gas and airline tickets these days, those aren’t bad numbers. Mind you, cities around the world are claiming pretty significant tourism increases in general as the world economy stabilizes and business travel returns.
Still, 4.7 per cent is a decent number no matter how you slice it.
WEST JET TO MYRTLE BEACH
WestJet today begins seasonal service from Toronto to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The service runs every Thursday and Sunday from now until the end of October, making it easy to take a four-day break or a longer holiday in a market that’s always been hugely popular with Canadians.
“It’s a great long weekend spot as it’s only two hours away,” he said. “You can leave Toronto at 9:30 a.m. and be there in time to have lunch on the beach.”
Golf is obviously a big part of the draw, with some 250 courses in the area, Croyle said. I was there a couple years ago and found some tremendous courses at very reasonable prices. I especially loved Caledonia Fish and Golf Club; a fabulous layout that’s dripping with beautiful trees covered with Spanish moss and littered with flowering shrubs. There’s also a terrific clubhouse where you can sip a cool drink on a wide porch and watch golfers play over the water at the 18th hole.
Nearby Murrells Inlet is a great place to stroll and get a bite to eat, right on the water.
And I found the food to be outstanding all over town for the most part. And very reasonably priced.
Croyle said WestJet has air only options, or you can book a package and arrange a stay at a hotel, resort or condo.
They currently have four properties, all on the beach or right across from the beach, and more are on the way.
“It’s a great family destination and there’s lots of shopping, too,” Croyle said.
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Jaunt.ca, a division of Torstar, has a deal on tap for a great, 15-day trip across South America. It's priced at $5,895, including $250 in taxes, and hits on the most iconic sights on the continent.
- 15-Day/13-Night South American Wonders Tour, including visits to Rio de Janeiro (see photo at right), Buenos Aires, Iguassu Falls, Machu Picchu and more!
- Includes all international and domestic airfare, plus airport/hotel transfers throughout the tour. See Offer Details for more info.
- Includes transportation via private air conditioned vehicles, accompaniment of a licensed English speaking tour guide in Peru, Brazil & Argentina, sightseeing & entrance fees as per the itinerary and more!
- Accommodations based on double occupancy. Refer to itinerary below for hotels (or similar).
- 21 meals including daily breakfast, 4 lunches & 3 dinners
- Embark on a scintillating journey to world famous sites like Machu Picchu and Iguassu Falls
- Have unique experiences like dinner & folklore in Lima and a tango show in Buenos Aires
- Enjoy the best possible views in Brazil with trips to the top of Sugarloaf and Corcovado Mountain
- Valid for travel on November 8, December 29, 2013 & February 3, 2014
- Pricing (Rates are per person, plus tax):
November 8, 2013:
December 29, 2013:
February 3, 2014:
Single Supplement: $1200
We also offer Other TOURS to South America.
Call us at 1-855-687-5925.
- Your Flights Include: Departure airfare from Toronto to Rio de Janeiro and return airfare from Lima to Toronto, domestic round-trip flight from Rio to Iguassu, Iguassu to Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires to Lima, Lima to Cusco and Cusco to Lima.
- Accommodations Include: Windsor Plaza in Rio de Janeiro (3 Nights), Viale Cataratas in Iguassu Falls (2 Nights), Amerian Park in Buenos Aires (3 nights), Eco Inn Cusco in Cusco (4 nights) & Jose Antonio in Lima (1 night)
- Optional Tours: option to add a full day tour to Petropolis and/or a Rio by night show during stay in Rio de Janeiro at an additional cost.
- Visa, gratuities and optional tours/excursions are NOT included. Tourist visa for Brazil is required. For more information CLICK HERE
- Ferry tickets from Buenos Aires to Montevideo are required and NOT included. Additional cost of $150 per person to be paid locally.
- Valid passport required for travel from Canada
- This offer is 100% non-refundable at time of booking