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Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

Fredericton, Canada
posts: 420
reviews: 31
Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

Hi folks,

We have a trip coming up that will see us land at Pearson (Terminal 1) at 2 am, returning from Cuba; we have a connecting flight from YYZ to our hometown taking off at 8:15 am. Given that we will have to clear customs and collect our bags, and get back early enough to clear security, etc., we calculated we'd get at most 2-3 hours in a hotel. So the easiest thing to do seems to be to check our luggage through to our connecting flight and tough it out by dozing at the airport for the intervening hours.

I was checking out tips for the airport at sleepinginairports.net and the reviews (www.sleepinginairports.net/list.asp…) have me totally confused. Several seem to imply that we will be made by security to exit the airside area. Does anyone know if this is the case? There are also conflicting reports of whether there are areas with no-armrest seating airside.

Any relevant infor or experience would be much appreciated.

8 replies to this topic
Toronto, Canada
posts: 4,960
reviews: 31
1. Re: Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

Never overnighted, but yes you will not be in the airside area. When you arrive from Cuba, you will have to go through immigration, collect your luggage and exit the luggage area. No staff will be on hand at check in areas at 230am, so it will just be you and your luggage. I know once you exit the arrivals area there are some payphones and seats, but never really looked at them that much. Later you would have to go back upstairs from the arrivals area when the counters open up in the early am.

Dartmouth, Canada
posts: 308
reviews: 5
2. Re: Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

I'm sure others can give more specific info, but I know I've slept on the floor at Pearson before ;)

I was flying home to Halifax from Saskatoon and our flight was delayed and then diverted to Windsor (massive lightning storm in Toronto). Had to cab it from Windsor to Toronto and we missed the connection in Toronto. By the time we made it to Toronto, all the AC agents had gone home for the night, so we had to wait till the AC check-in desk opened up in the morning. Myself and about 20 others slept in line on the floor. There were very few seats available, luckily I was able to get my mom one!

This was not airside though, so I'm not sure what the regulations are with staying post-security.

And FTR, the floor at Pearson is NOT comfy at all! ;)

~ martinigoddess

Fredericton, Canada
posts: 420
reviews: 31
3. Re: Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

Thank you both. That is not what I was hoping for :( (previously when connecting from Cuba we had been able to put our luggage on the "connections" conveyer belt and were then ushered through an "alternate" check-in and security setup which was much easier than front desk check-in) but it is better to be prepared than surprised. I really appreciate the information.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 4,960
reviews: 31
4. Re: Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

Ronniecat--not 100% sure about that conveyor belt...you still might actually be able to do that part of it, but they won't usher you through that alternate security line up. I have been at Pearson very early AM for a flight, and they don't even have security people there to let you airside till about 430am or a bit later.

Fredericton, Canada
posts: 420
reviews: 31
5. Re: Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

Thanks MapleG - I am *really* hoping we can re-check our luggage through Connections, even at that hour, as it will be awful to haul the big checked bags plus our carry-ons around all night. Re-checking in in the a.m. doesn't seem that bad. Crossing my fingers!

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 10,729
reviews: 182
6. Re: Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

< I am *really* hoping we can re-check our luggage through Connections, even at that hour>

Why not contact the airlines (ie. AC) and ask them. I believe they would know this, based on airport and staffing.

Fredericton, Canada
posts: 420
reviews: 31
7. Re: Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

Just wanted to follow up for the benefit of anyone researching the same question.

We collected our luggage after landing at Pearson and were then told there was no staff on the "Connections" desk, so we had to take our large and carry-on bags with us as we exited the airside area.

Once out into the public landside portion of the airport, we took an elevator to the 3rd (Departures) level. This area is divided into large parallel corridors holding various check-in counters; each corridor is given a letter of the alphabet, from A to Q, for identification purposes. (The letters are huge and impossible to miss.) I had done some research and had been told about a place called "Area Q" in the departures area, and sure enough, when we walked all the way to the end of the corridors (and the alphabet) the last area was marked "Q" and it was a large waiting area (for pax headed to the US) and it featured lots of seats without arms where a number of travelers were already sleeping. We spent the rest of the night there until the Air Canada counters opened and we could check in and check our bags.

Exhausting, but doable.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 4,960
reviews: 31
8. Re: Overnighting at Pearson International (YYZ) in Toronto

Thanks for the update ronniecat.

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