Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Canadians Shun Canadian Airport Hassles

You may recall my experience at Toronto's Pearson Airport post-gonads bomber. How I was only allowed to have one carry-on (a purse no larger than a football, advised Transport Canada). How I was barked at by Hijab Gal when I didn't hop to it quickly enough for her liking to get my pat-down for hidden explosives. How we got to the departure gate in the nick of time because the plane was already boarding, and this second layer of security (we'd already participated in the usual security rituals--the sacred shoe removal and the rest) had really slowed things down. I bring up the unpleasantness by way of prefacing this USA Today article about how Canadians have found a way to get around this foolishness--and save a few bucks in the process (my bolds):

When Jolly Khanna makes business trips to Chicago or Washington, he drives from his home in Montreal to the airport in Burlington, Vt., where he then hops on a flight.
Never mind that he has to drive roughly 90 minutes to board a plane. The trip is usually $300 cheaper than if he'd flown out of Montreal.
"The client agrees to pick up the expenses, but this saves them money," says Khanna, 38, who has his own consulting firm. "It's an hour and a half out of my time, but it keeps the client happy, and if the client is happy, they keep me employed."

Khanna isn't the only Canadian making frequent treks across the border to catch a flight. A growing number come for lower fares, fewer hassles with airport security — because they are flying domestically inside the U.S. instead of coming from abroad — and for the smaller U.S. airports that can be easier to navigate than ones in Canada's big cities.

"We're 30 miles from the border, so there's always been a base of Canadian business at this airport," says Brian Searles, director of aviation for the Burlington airport, where 40% of the passengers are Canadian. "But what's happened in the last few years ... is a significant increase in that business."

The Canadian Airports Council estimates more than 2.5 million Canadians use U.S. airports...
If airport hassles have become so onerous that Canadians are bypassing Canadian airports and flying out of the States, is it not safe to say (pun intended) that the terrorists have won?


Hinchey's Store said...

Off topic, but... I like the choice in colour on your blog!

Oh, and I know lots of people who do that even from Winnipeg down to Grand Forks or Fargo, ND. WAY CHEAPER! (I don't think the terrorists have won yet. I think people just like cheap tickets!)

Alan Adamson said...

I hit slightly different problems in January -

Almost everybody I was near in the 'queue' was talking about flying out of Buffalo in the future.