It’s no exaggeration to say that Toronto’s beleaguered Pearson airport has been one of the worst places in the world to travel to in recent months. Some would even have argued, before the nationwide outage of Rogers service today, that the situation at Pearson couldn’t get any worse.
They were wrong.
Like so many other establishments in Canada today, the nation’s largest airport struggles to function without solid access to debit machines, wireless service, ATMs or anything else dependent on the larger telecommunications company of Canada.
Stayed at Pearson airport for 6 hours with $2 cash, no cell service from Rogers, debit machines not working and ATMs not working either. If I’m lucky I’ll find a place that will sell me coffee on Visa.
— Bill Gomez (@BillGomez2) July 8, 2022
First, there is the question of paying for anything in the retail stores or restaurants of the huge airport; with Interac down, it’s cash only. Some places accept credit cards, but ATMs and even e-transfer services are down thanks to Interac’s reliance on Rogers.
Wishing everyone passing through Pearson today good luck and Godspeed dealing with an already problematic airport whose main supplier is you guessed it…rogers…
— Chris (Nitro) (@Nitrochram) July 8, 2022
Some passengers are reporting problems accepting their documents due to the breakdown.
Rogers Internet down across Canada.
Pearson Airport cannot process certain documents as it is dependent on Rogers.
Many banks cannot process Interac because they use Rogers.
Toronto bike share is not running as it depends on Rogers.
The problem of monopolies.
— RevDaniel (@RevDaniel) July 8, 2022
Others simply request service on their own cellphones as they wait in queues and on the tarmacs of the notoriously busy and crowded airport.
Imagine landing at Pearson Airport and having no cell service while being stranded on the runway for 1 hour.
— nftalan.eth (@AlanM__) July 8, 2022
The Greater Toronto Transport Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson, told blogTO that the flight hub is “actually seeing minor impacts from the Rogers outage.”
“This includes possible delays with fuel operations and throughput is not currently available at retail stores,” a GTAA representative explains.
It’s hard to determine from the outside which flights are delayed or canceled due to Rogers-related fuel operations and which are just… you know, normal Pearson mess right now.
Wow, I can only imagine the shit show at an already disgraced Pearson airport.
— Brenol (@Rolltide9193) July 8, 2022
The problems inside Pearson are compounded by federal government requirements that anyone arriving in the country, citizen or visitor, must complete the ArriveCAN application upon entry.
This turns out to be impossible to do for people who cannot access the internet on their phone.
Due to the current Rogers network outage, travelers may not be able to complete their ArriveCAN submission.
— Canada Border Services Agency (@CanBorder) July 8, 2022
Toronto Pearson International Airport has been plagued by huge crowds, long lines, security delays and serious baggage claim issues for months now as the world opens up to traveling again after the pandemic.
Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra acknowledged last week that the situation at Pearson was “unacceptable” and announced new measures earlier this week to help address some of the problems.
These efforts include hiring more than 1,000 additional security screening officers, installing additional customs kiosks, improving the mandatory ArriveCAN application, and forming a special task force to address security issues. air transport and the huge backlog of passport renewals.
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