There's nothing like a bad airport experience to get a much-anticipated vacation off to a bad start, or undo all of the relaxation upon return. But such is the sacrifice otherwise-happy travelers must make when flying out of Pearson International, named Canada's worst airport for the second time in as many years.
In the second poll by FlightNetwork ranking airports, Pearson was deemed 'the worst' by 36.6% of respondents (compared to 27.6% in 2010). Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport was a distant second, receiving the ire of a respectable 17.7% of respondents (16.0 in 2010), and Edmonton International rounded out Canada's worst, placing third with 9.9% (9.5% on 2010).
"Passengers have many options when choosing an airline, but when it comes to airports, they generally don't have any choice," said Naman Budhdeo, CEO of FlightNetwork. "We've seen most airlines working really hard to improve the customer experience over the past few years, but the goal of airports is simply to get people in and out."
Of those polled, 57.2% cited slow security as the number one criteria in their choice of worst Canadian airport. Bad service (53.5%) and lack of dining options (49.8%) were also top factors.
Pearson is not alone in being unpopular; south of the border, Los Angeles International isn't feeling much love either, with 25.9% of respondents choosing it as the worst in the U.S. Chicago O'Hare came a close second with an even 20%, with New York's JFK rounding out the bottom three with 17.6%.
Internationally, London Heathrow was voted worst with 26%, followed by Charles de Gaulle in Paris in second (13.6%) and Pearson in a close third (13%).
There was, however, some good news to be had: Respondents were also asked to rank those airports that are doing a great job. Vancouver International was deemed the best major airport in Canada, receiving positive reviews from 34.6% of participants. Outside of Canada, McCarran International in Las Vegas was favoured by 20%, while internationally; results were fairly evenly split, with Hong Kong International earning top honours with a modest 13% of votes.
Gravity always wins!