Emad Barsoum writes: Flying high
When I watched the famous parody “Airplane” (1980) a long time ago, it never crossed my mind that one day this farce movie would come to reality and even be part of the daily scenes that passengers live at once upon a time one of the most important airports in the world. When we were laughing out loud at this movie, we never thought that the tears of laughter would one day be the tears of extreme anguish, frustration, and humiliation.
While the national airline of a country acts as a worldwide ambassador to it, and its performance reflects the precision, commitment, and competence of the country, so are airports, they represent the first impression that travelers get about the country, and it tells where the country stands in terms of progression, and civilization.
Lester Pearson Toronto Airport, used to be a legend among the airports on the planet earth in terms of efficiency and capability to handle massive numbers of departing and arriving flights internationally and domestically, but what happened to it to become the living nightmare for travellers?
How could the world’s number one country for living not even among the top ten best airports for travelers? However, it ranks 43 among the top 100 airports in the world. According to Skytrax!
Before the pandemic, Lester Pearson Toronto was serving around Fifty million passengers a year without any dilemmas now the number is less, but the ordeals are immense.
The journey of misery starts the moment you enter the gates of any departure terminal by standing for an extremely long time to check in, especially since online check-in is no longer accepted. After a good hour or two, another very long line for security check, aggressive and frustrated security workers, probably because of low pay, move slowly and careless about travelers, which adds more agony to travelers. After those two ultra-long lines, travelers hardly reach the departure gate, thinking that they just made it on time. However, they realize that there is no need to rush; the flight is delayed! After a significant time of delay, travelers hear the announcement that passengers must change gates, so they have to run fast carrying their belongings to another remote gate. The following shock will start, sorry, the plane is not ready, it has a problem, or oh! Your aircraft did not take off yet from another city!
No one can imagine the number of infuriation travelers would suffer from. If it’s a leisure trip, the thrill is over, and travelers prefer to be at home at that moment. If it’s a business trip, then all the excitement to achieve success and conclude deals fades away, and the business traveler would rather drop this deal and accept the losses.
The same happens at arrival but in a different sequence and with a bonus, delay or loss of luggage.
Until now we have not heard any comment or received any explanation about this severe deterioration of the one of the most important airports in the world.
Nevertheless, it is obvious that all these incidents are due to the lack or manpower, such a sarcastic excuse in an economy that suffers from a mix of inflation, recession, and unemployment.
So if we have identified the problems and know the cure, why are we not fixing them?