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Pearson airport expecting 130K passengers as March break begins

Aircraft are pictured at the gates at Toronto Pearson Airport.
Aircraft are pictured at the gates at Toronto Pearson Airport. Fred Lum / File / The Globe and Mail

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) expects Friday to be one of the busiest travel days in 2017 with March break starting for many.

Officials at Pearson airport and partner airlines have increased staff as somewhere in the neighborhood of 130,000 passengers are expected to pass through gates before the end of the day, which would mark about a 10 per cent increase compared to the same time last year.

WATCH: Taking the stress out of spring break travel

Taking the stress out of spring break travel
Taking the stress out of spring break travel

With such a large contingent of passengers expected, the GTAA is recommending these travel tips:

  • Check your flight status at torontopearson.com or with the airline.
  • Give yourself time — recommended time of arrival before catching a domestic flight on Friday is two hours, and three hours for an international flight.
  • Review baggage restrictions at catsa.gc.ca, especially rules applying to liquids and gels.
  • If parking your vehicle at the airport, book a reservation in advance to save time.
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Spokesperson Shabeen Hanifa says the biggest problem for most passengers on a busy travel day is not having enough time to execute necessary airport protocols like going through security and checking in before boarding a flight.

READ MORE: Alternative spring break destinations you should check out that are often overlooked

“The biggest tip I can give is to check all your flight information beforehand,” Hanifa told AM640, “Give yourself time to travel which means arriving early, at least two hours for a domestic flight, and three hours if heading to an international destination.”

Kids can eat free at select airport restaurants on Friday, while adults can take advantage of complimentary coat checks and WiFi is always free throughout the airport.

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