Canadian airports less stressful I felt bad for the thousands of travellers who were stranded at various Canadian airports during the recent February blizzards in Central and Eastern Canada. I was one of the lucky ones. I was due to fly one snowy Friday morning from Toronto to Vancouver and got bumped to an earlier flight, which saved my butt. A colleague who was booked to fly the same route at noon that day sat on the runway at Pearson International for more than three hours. Ouch. Travelling can be stressful at any time, more so if you've got meetings scheduled and are lugging your office laptop and work-related documents instead of sun block and an extra bathing suit. I was thrilled to read a recent study by Concur, specialists in business travel, that concluded Canadian business travellers find Canadian airports less stressful than their American counterparts. [caption id="attachment_15118" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Pearson Airport[/caption]
•••Canadian business travellers were asked to identify the "top five most accommodating or hassle-free" airports in North America. Here are the results: 1. Toronto Pearson International Airport (favoured by 24 per cent) 2. Calgary International Airport (15 per cent) 3. Vancouver International Airport (13 per cent) 4. Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport (6 per cent) 5. Los Angeles International Airport (5 per cent) [caption id="attachment_15119" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Getting cozy at Montreal International Airport[/caption]
•••Los Angeles International Airport was the only airport in the United States to make it to the top five. So what are business travellers pleased about when it comes to airports of choice? Pretty much the same things as Canadians who travel for pleasure: clear signage (the easier it is to find your way around the airport the better), good food options (even more important these days when you'll likely want to bring your own food onboard when flying some airlines) and reliable Wi-Fi (everybody needs to stay connected, not just business travellers.) [caption id="attachment_15121" align="aligncenter" width="312"] Wifi at the airport: almost a must![/caption]
•••I've flown from all five of the top-listed airports and, apart from the occasional unexpected delay, having to pay $11 for a turkey sandwich, and intense security checks (sign of the times), I can't say I have any major complaint. My only gripe about Toronto Pearson International is that there's no high-speed link from the airport into the city. It's a civic embarrassment that Toronto has lagged so far behind such international airports as Heathrow in London, England and our Canadian counterparts such as Vancouver. It astounds me that it didn't happen a decade or two ago. With any luck, there won't be further delays to the Pearson-Union Station link which is scheduled to open in 2015. What do you love – or not love – about your local airport?