Busiest travel day of the year
Hurry up and wait.
That’s a good way to look at travelling in Canada over the Holidays.
The Friday before Christmas is traditionally the busiest day of the year for air travel. The Ottawa International Airport Authority estimates around 16,000 travellers will pass through in one day. That’s 60% higher than normal.
And it gets much worse if you have a connection in Toronto. Pearson International Airport is expecting around 121,000 travellers today.
The high volume will likely continue until Christmas Eve, taper off a bit on Christmas Day, and then pick up again until New Years Day.
That means long line-ups and potential delays are a fact of Holiday travel. It’s more important than ever to double-check your flight schedule and arrive early.
“Prepare,” says Krista Kealey of the Ottawa Airport Authority. “Having all of your documentation is really important. Knowing what you can and can’t take through security is also important.”
If you’re bringing wrapped gifts put them in your luggage and not your carry-on. If you must carry them with you leave them unwrapped or you run the risk of a security official unwrapping them for you.
If you’d rather take the train than the plane, the situation is similar over at Via Rail. They estimate around 4,000 people will get on or off a train in Ottawa today.
And this isn’t even their busiest day. Via Rail spokesperson Mylene Belanger says the busiest day for train travel in Canada is traditionally December 23rd.