The five busiest airports in Canada have introduced a new program that allows departing passengers to reserve a spot in the security line.
Introducing the new service at these airports at the same time will create consistency and improve the passenger experience across Canadian airports.
The new service is available at:
- Calgary (YYC) – YYC Express
- Edmonton (YEG) – YEG EXPRESS
- Montreal (YUL)
- Toronto (YYZ) – YYZ Express
- Vancouver (YVR) – YVR EXPRESS
All are optional and free. And normal security lines are still there.
The basic plot is the same for all the airports but each has small variations – like opening hours, final booking time etc. Rather than duplicate all five this post concentrates on Toronto Pearson – the busiest.
Called YYZ Express, the virtual booking system at Toronto Pearson, aims to streamline the passenger flow and ease wait times for passengers flying on International and Domestic departures.
YYZ Express is free to use, and reservations and walk-up appointments are available daily for all Domestic and International departing passengers.
The program is available at Terminal 1 D Gates security screening point from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Terminal 3 B and C Gates security screening point near check-in counter #333 from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
How it works
- Passengers make the booking in advance or even when they are at the airport. Bookings are possible from 72 hours.
- They select the airline and flight number and input name, party size and email address.
- The system displays available booking times and the passenger chooses a time slot.
- Time slots are valid for 15 minutes after the specified time.
- Passengers receive an email with a QR code.
- They show the QR code at the special entrance at their booked time.
Toronto Pearson partnered with CLEAR and Copenhagen Optimization to customise the program and worked with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to help implement it within the terminals.
CLEAR and Copenhagen Optimization have also worked on a similar scheme at Munich Airport and Berlin Airport.
Free for how long?
The service is currently free. But, this is such an obvious money spinner that it has to be a big temptation for any airport to add a charge.
One of the partners involved is CLEAR, a private U.S. company that offers a paid-for security process at U.S. airports.
At U.S. airports CLEAR members verify their identity with their biometrics in a dedicated line. They then go to the front of the physical security checkpoint.
Passengers still have to go through security but using CLEAR means they can save a chunk of time spent waiting in the security line.
The standard price for CLEAR is $189 a year per person.
Other airports with time slots
A number of airports have introduced or trialled security time slots.
- Munich Airport trials security time slots
- Changi Airport trials security slot time bookings
- Passengers at Berlin Airport can book security time slots
- Amsterdam lets passengers book security time slots
- Aruba Airport introduces timed entrance to terminal
- MIA trials booked TSA screening times