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A Guide to Travelling with Air Canada from Toronto Pearson International Airport

Does your next trip with Air Canada fly from or through Toronto Pearson International Airport? While this airport may be one of the busiest in Canada, it’s actually pretty easy to navigate. To help you prepare for your next vacation, we’ve outlined all you need to know right here.

Which Terminal Does Air Canada Leave From at Toronto Pearson International Airport?

From Toronto Pearson, all international and domestic Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge flights leave out of Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport. However, there are three separate sections within the airport to divide domestic (within Canada), United States and international flights.

How to Check-In with Air Canada?

You can check-in online for your Air Canada flight starting at 24 hours prior to departure. This is the recommended check-in method by Air Canada, where you can purchase any add-ons for your flight. You can either print your boarding pass at home, at an airport kiosk or have your boarding pass sent to your mobile device. At the self-serve kiosk, you are only able to check into 12 hours before your flight.

Note that at Toronto Pearson Airport there are designated check-in areas for domestic, U.S. and international flights that are clearly marked, as well as an aisle for Premium customers.

How early do I have to arrive before my flight?

For flights within Canada, you will have to check-in, get your boarding pass and deposit all checked baggage at the Baggage Drop-off counter 45 minutes before your flight departs. For all international and flights to the United States, check-in and Baggage Drop-off are required 60 minutes before your flight departs.

However, it’s recommended to arrive 2-3 hours before your flight to check-in, clear security and find your gate before boarding begins.

For all flights to the United States, U.S. customs will be completed at Toronto Pearson International Airport so be sure to leave enough time as the lines can be quite long during peak travel periods.

map of terminal 1 Toronto Pearson Airport
Terminal 1 Map Courtesy of Air Canada.com

Where Does Air Canada Fly to from Toronto Pearson International Airport?

Air Canada serves 165 destinations worldwide (including seasonal routes, Air Canada Vacations and Air Canada Rouge destinations): 34 destinations in Canada, 50 in the United States, 37 in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, 32 in Europe, the Middle East and India, 5 in Asia, 6 in South America and 1 in Australia.  

Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, together with Air Canada Express, operate non-stop service to 50 destinations in the U.S. (from Toronto Pearson). Air Canada serves more destinations in the United States from YYZ than any other carrier, accounting for about 60 per cent of total scheduled carriers’ U.S. departures and seats at YYZ.

What are Air Canada’s Fare Classes?

Air Canada offers a number of different fare options for travel within Canada and to the United States. There are five Economy fare options, Premium Economy and Business Class. While Basic Economy will give you the lowest rates, you will want to select Latitude to have options to refund or change any of your travel details. Premium Economy and Business Class are available on Air Canada flights as well.

Lounge access is available at an additional charge for Flex, Comfort, Latitude and Premium Economy levels and included with Business Class tickets. Baggage is an additional fee if you’re flying Basic or Standard, and only your first checked bag is included for Flex and Comfort. Two checked bags are included for passengers flying Latitude, Premium Economy and Business.

The fare classifications for flying to Sun Destinations and International Destinations are a little different. While the fare structure for sun destinations is similar to Canadian and U.S. flights, on international flights meal service and one checked bag is included for all fare levels. However, lounge access, seat selection, and flight itinerary changes may be at an additional charge depending on your fare option.

Air Canada Carry-on Baggage Allowance

  • Number: The Air Canada baggage allowance for carry-on luggage allows one standard article and one personal article per person. If you are travelling with an infant on your lap, you’re allowed an additional standard item.
  • Size: The max. size allowed for a standard item is 55 x 23 x 40 cm (21.5 x 9 x 15.5 inches). The max. size allowed for a personal item is 33 x 16 x 43 cm (13 x 6 x 17 inches). In both cases, this includes any wheels and handles. You must also be able to stow your carry-on baggage in an overhead compartment without assistance.
  • Extra items: Travelling with items that exceed the limit, or additional baggage or equipment, may result in additional fees for these items to be checked.

Checked Baggage Allowance and Fees

  • Size and Weight: The max. size allowed by Air Canada is 158 x 292 cm, and the max. weight is 32 kg. If your baggage exceeds these limitations, you need to contact Air Canada Cargo and will be charged an oversize baggage fee of approximately $115 CAD/USD per direction, including taxes.
  • Cost: Air Canada baggage fees vary depending on the route, the class of service, and the Air Canada Altitude status. Base fare ticket holders are required to pay a checked baggage fee as standard, whereas other fares include complimentary checked baggage. The cost varies across routes, but the first checked bag is approximately $30 CAD/USD, the second checked bag is approximately $50 CAD/USD and each additional bag is approximately $115 CAD/USD. Prices are per direction, including taxes. Check the baggage section of the Air Canada website of the latest updates and information.
  • Military Baggage Allowance: Eligible active and retired members of the Canadian and U.S. military are entitled to up to three pieces of checked baggage upon presentation of military identification. 
  • Sporting or Hunting Equipment: You can check sporting equipment and hunting equipment, but you need to make arrangements with Air Canada at least 24 hours in advance
Red suitcase at airport, airplane in background
A Guide to Travelling on Air Canada from Toronto Pearson International Airport

What add-ons can you buy with your Air Canada flight?

Depending on the fare option selected for your flight, you can add on access to Maple Leaf Lounges, checked baggage, advance seat selection and meal service to your flight. You can pre-pay for baggage when you chec- in for your flight online (either via Air Canada’s website or mobile app), from 24 hours before departure to 45 minutes before domestic flights and 60 minutes for international. The same goes for seat selection. Choosing from the preferred seat selection comes with an additional fee, but the standard seats can be selected free of charge up to two hours before your flight.

You can still purchase checked baggage from 12 hours before your flight departs until the check-in deadline at an Air Canada self-serve kiosk at your departure airport. The kiosk will give you a printed version of your boarding pass and luggage tags. For meals, purchase a prepaid voucher for the Air Canada Bistro when you book your flight or up to 24 hours before your flight is set to depart. Don’t forget to input your Aeroplan or Star Alliance number whenever you make a purchase or check-in so that you can maximize your miles rewards.

How do you get lounge access with your Air Canada flight?

Access to Maple Leaf Lounges is included for all passengers travelling on Air Canada flights in Business Class. However, if you’re travelling in Flex, Comfort, Latitude or Premium Economy, lounges may be accessed for an additional fee. Many travel credit cards and rewards programs also offer complimentary lounge access included in their plan, such as select TD and CIBC Aeroplan-affiliated cardholders. If you are a frequent Air Canada flyer, it might be worth purchasing an annual Maple Leaf Club membership.

Locations of Maple Leaf Lounges at Toronto’s Pearson Airport Terminal 1

  • Maple Leaf Lounge Domestic: Terminal 1, Airside
  • Maple Leaf Lounge International: Terminal 1, Airside, Level 3, Node F
  • Maple Leaf Lounge Transborder: Terminal 1, Airside, Level 4, Node F

If you need to re-book or reschedule a cancelled or delayed flight, how do you get help?

Air Canada has an online Flight Status tool that helps you track flight delays and cancellations. You can also get the latest flight status information by calling the Air Canada automated Flight Information System at 1-888-422-7533 (Canada or U.S.) or from other countries here. There are also customer service desks within the airport to assist you with any questions that you may have.

When an Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express flight is cancelled or is expected to be delayed due to severe weather, you can use their Delayed and Cancelled Flight Service to search for another flight or cancel your remaining flight(s) online. Be sure to also register for flight notifications so that alerts can be sent via SMS or email on any flight changes or delays as they occur.

Flight Connections Through YYZ

Connecting flights within Canada

For all flights connecting at Toronto Pearson International Airport through Toronto within Canada, departures and arrivals will be in Terminal 1 from gates D1-D57. You do not need to collect your checked baggage between flights as it will be transferred automatically.

Connecting flights between Canada and the United States

For all flights connecting through Toronto from Canada to the U.S., you do not need to claim checked baggage. Follow the purple signage to gate D20 for Connections and F gates to clear security and U.S. customs. All U.S. departures will leave from the F Gates.

If you are travelling from a Canadian destination and connecting through Toronto to the U.S. you will not need to collect your baggage, but you will have to clear security and U.S. Customs before boarding your flight. Nonetheless, it is always good to double-check with an agent when checking your bag. All flights to the U.S. depart from F Gates.

Passengers connecting through Toronto from a U.S. destination to an international flight do not have to collect checked baggage but are required to clear Canadian Customs. All international flights will depart from the E Gates.

Connecting flights between Canada and international destinations

If you are connecting in Toronto for an international destination, you do not need to claim your checked baggage. Follow the signs to gate D20 to Connections and turn left towards the E Gates and proceed to your departure gate.

For any international flights connecting through Toronto, you will have to clear customs at Toronto Pearson International Airport before boarding your flight within Canada. For all international flights arriving in Toronto, you will have to collect your checked baggage and re-check any baggage except for those travelling on flights from Europe or Japan. Connecting flights within Canada from Toronto will depart from the D Gates.

If you are connecting through Toronto between two international flights, you do not need to claim checked baggage or go through security. Simply follow the purple signage for Connections to the E Gates.

Disclaimer: Information correct as of February 25, 2019, obtained from www.aircanada.com and www.torontopearson.com. Always check with relevant authorities when booking your trip and travelling.