Each airport received a frustration score of 1-100 based on the time it takes to get there; how easy it is to clear security; the quality of terminals and restrooms; amenities; and how often flights take off on schedule. Pearson gets hammered on the average drive time to and from downtown, which the study found to be 75 minutes (that's around $80 in an airport limo), the third-longest commute in North America. The Union Pearson Express rail link (pictured), slated to open in the spring of 2015, aims to cut this to around 25 minutes, which should improve YYZ's score. The one-way fares, meanwhile, look like they will come in at around $30 from downtown, which is outrageous. (More on this when the fare is actually announced.)
All other factors, besides on-time departures, are consolidated in a "Time at the terminal" category, where YYZ ranks seventh-worst. This is a bit like comparing passport-renewal offices -- they are all horrible -- but this rating seems a little unfair. I've never thought Pearson to be especially unpleasant. Perhaps survey respondents were in foul moods after the wretched, expensive commute.
The good news for Pearson -- and for all the Canadian airports listed -- is that on-time departures are relatively solid. (As the survey rightly notes: "Ultimately, the thing everyone wants most from any airport is to leave it.") No Canuck hub is among the worst 25 in this area (Toronto was 26th, at 81 per cent), with Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal Trudeau tied for the three best on-time departure rates (at 85 per cent).
"O Canada" update, anyone? "The True North strong and free (and relatively reliable when it comes to airport departures)..." Sing it with me!