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What Christmas will travelers spend in the country's airports this year?

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After a chaotic Christmas 2022 due in particular to the weather, airports and carriers intend to limit delays this year.< /p>Radio-Canada

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After a chaotic Christmas 2022 in airports across the country, establishments and carriers will try to limit delays during this year's busy holiday season.

Even though weather forecasts appear favorable, airports and airlines are preparing for any eventuality by increasing staffing levels, deploying upgraded facilities and offering guidance to passengers.

Toronto Pearson Airport expects up to 160,000 people to pass through its gates these days.

For its part, Vancouver airport, the second busiest in the country after Toronto, plans to welcome two million passengers in December, almost 250,000 more than the same period last year. #x27;last year. Christmas week alone will account for around half a million travelers.

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In December 2022 approximately 1,300 flights were canceled during the holiday season at Vancouver International Airport, affecting more than 180,000 passengers.

According to the establishment, nearly 70,000 passengers per day will pass through the airport between December 19 and 26, with peak activity on December 22, which will see almost 75,000 people.

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Surprisingly this year, everything is going well, it's very relaxed, testifies a young family who is preparing to take off from Vancouver.

We have good weather, extra staff, passengers are prepared. Operations so far have been really smooth, said Vancouver airport president Tamara Vrooman on Friday.

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To calm the anxiety of travelers this year, Freya, therapy dog ​​in the Ambulance team Saint John (ASJ) came to the rescue at Vancouver Airport.

In all airports around the world, it's a very busy time, underlines Anne-Sophie Hamel, spokesperson for Aéroports de Montréal (ADM).

Montreal airport will be able to benefit from the modernization of one of its two baggage handling areas, recently carried out at a cost of $40 million, in order to be more efficient in baggage management, she stressed.

If the weather turns bad, the airport's 124 seasonal snow plows will be ready to hit the slopes, said Ms. Hamel.

If we relive a situation similar to that of last year, when a weather bomb hit Quebec on December 23, snow removal will be done 24 hours a day, assures she.

Airports are always very busy during the holiday season. The labor shortage that has prevailed since the pandemic, unfavorable weather conditions can quickly complicate things in the management of passengers and different flights.

Earlier this year, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) released a $40 million action plan to improve operations management and passenger support in the event of an extreme weather events.

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During the holidays last year, many flights were also delayed or canceled at the airport Pearson of Toronto.

This year, Toronto Pearson Airport has improved its systems to be able to identify problems more quickly, revealed its spokesperson Sean Davidson. The facility also hired more workers capable of operating its fleet of more than 100 snow removal vehicles, including 19 new ones acquired over the past year.

There is a ton of work being done over the months, recalled Mr. Davidson.

For the moment, the atmosphere remains good in the terminals and on the tarmacs.

Looks like it will be a Christmas green.

A quote from Sean Davidson, spokesperson for Toronto Pearson Airport

According to Environment Canada's forecast, skies should be clear across much of the country by December 25, with temperatures hovering either side of 0°C. p>

Aviation industry experts recommend travelers check flight status before heading to the airport , arrive three hours before departure and use apps to speed up the check-in process.

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So far, December 22, 2023 is taking place without major inconvenience at the Vancouver airport.

When flying to the United States, the Mobile Passport Control app allows passengers to provide personal information that will give them access to a faster customs line upon arrival. A similar process exists upon return, with the ArriveCan application.

Airports also have digital tools, such as Toronto Airport's YYZ Express app, that allow travelers to schedule times to go through security, allowing them to x27;avoid the regular line and go directly to a special queue.

Despite all these measures, it is not all travelers who believe that this will be enough.

This is the case of British Columbian Holly Klitch, who had a difficult experience last x27;last year. In December 2022, she was stuck for eight days in Toronto after returning from a Caribbean cruise with her family, so she was unable to spend Christmas at home. her.

We're not going to take that risk again, she decided.

With information from The Canadian Press

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