It’s not hard to say that Toronto’s embattled Pearson Airport has been one of the worst places in the world to travel through in recent months. Even before today’s nationwide Rogers service outage, some may have argued that Pearson’s situation couldn’t possibly get any worse.
You were wrong.
Like so many other facilities in Canada, the country’s largest airport today struggles to function without solid access to debit machines, wireless services, ATMs, or other facilities that rely on Canada’s largest telecommunications.
Stay at Pearson Airport for 6 hours with $2 in cash, no cell phone service from Rogers, debit machines don’t work and ATMs don’t work either. If I’m lucky, I’ll find a shop that will sell me a coffee on Visa.
— Bill Gomez (@BillGomez2) July 8, 2022
First, there is the problem of paying for anything at retail stores or restaurants within the massive airport. If Interac goes down, it’s cash only. Some places accept credit autos, but ATMs and even electronic funds transfer services have failed thanks to Interac’s reliance on Rogers.
I wish everyone who goes through Pearson today the best of luck and good luck dealing with an already troubled airport whose main provider you guessed…Rogers…
— Chris(Nitro) (@Nitrochram) July 8, 2022
Some passengers are reporting problems getting their documents accepted due to the outage.
Rogers Internet down across Canada.
Pearson Airport cannot process some documents because it depends on Rogers.
Many banks cannot handle Interac because they use Rogers.
Toronto Bike Share doesn’t work because it’s dependent on Rogers.
The problem with monopolies.
— RevDaniel (@RevDaniel) July 8, 2022
Others simply wait for service on their own cell phones while waiting in lines and on the tarmac at the notoriously busy and crowded airport.
Imagine landing at Pearson Airport and then having no cell service while being stuck on the runway for 1 hour.
— nftalan.eth (@AlanM__) July 8, 2022
The Greater Toronto Transport Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson, tells blogTO that the hub is indeed seeing “minor impact from the Rogers outage.”
“These include potential delays in refueling and debit cards are not currently available in retail stores,” said a GTAA representative.
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, regular Pearson hustle right now.
Wow, I can only imagine the crappy show at an already disgraced Pearson Airport.
— Brenol (@Rolltide9193) July 8, 2022
Pearson is made even more difficult by the federal government’s requirement that everyone who arrives in the country, whether citizen or visitor, must fill out the ArriveCAN app upon entry.
This proves impossible for people who cannot access the internet with their phones.
Due to the current Rogers network outage, travelers may not be able to complete their ArriveCAN registration.
— Canadian Border Protection Agency (@CanBorder) July 8, 2022
Toronto Pearson International Airport has been plagued by huge crowds, long queues, security delays and serious baggage claim issues for months as the world reopens to travel after the pandemic.
Canada’s Transport Minister Omar Alghabra admitted last week that the situation at Pearson was “unacceptable” and earlier this week announced new measures to address some of the problems.
These efforts include hiring more than 1,000 more security screening officers, installing additional customs kiosks, improving the mandatory ArriveCAN app, and creating a dedicated task force to address air travel issues as well as a massive passport renewal backlog.