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siobhan1997
08-23-2007, 08:37 PM
We are leaving from Ottawa on Westjet at 7 am landing Toronto 8 am then catching another Westjet flight to US at 9:35 am.
How hard is it to change Westjet planes? Is this enough time?
Where do we do a customs clearance to go to US?
Can anyone help
THanks

almacdonald
08-23-2007, 09:05 PM
You have to pick up your luggage in Toronto, then clear customs in Toronto. As long as you don't have any major delays with your first flight or huge line ups at customs/security in Toronto you should have enough time to catch your connecting flight... but it will be close.

sheilag
08-24-2007, 05:10 AM
Check with WestJet whether you need to change terminals - with Air Canada you do now - which is why I avoid Toronto if I can (I'm flying with Delta out of Ottawa in September, and changing planes in Detroit - so I'll clear customs in Ottawa).

BTW, I hope everything goes smoothly for you. And, hopefully it will. Once, on Air Canada, our flight was a little late - we ran thru customs with our excited 3-year old (who told everyone where we were going), eager to make our flight - beat it to first in line at the gate - actually first. Then, as we were waiting to get clearance to board (agent checking our ticket), we were told we were "busted" - someone at Air Canada had made the decision we couldn't make the flight, and gave our tickets away to a standby passenger. We were furious, but despite all arguing with them, couldn't get on the flight. But that's Air Crappada for you. (We actually had to fight with them and the ombudsman for months afterwards for them to reimburse us our out-of-pocket expenses for the night we lost in the hotel and our tickets for the day.)

Anyway, you're flying WestJet - nice TV on flight down, courteous service - just cross your fingers to get thru customs earlier. (If there's anyway you could hope an hour earlier flight out of your home city, I'd do it for the piece of mind - just to give yourself some breathing room in Toronto at customs.)

almacdonald
08-24-2007, 08:39 AM
You WILL need to change terminals. You will arrive in a domestic terminal and depart from and international terminal.

almacdonald
08-24-2007, 09:10 AM
oops! nothing to see here!

AprilFool
08-24-2007, 09:45 AM
We have even worse connecting times: Winnipeg to TO 9:18
Leave TO at 10:35
I am so worried. Especially with 2 young kids and an elderly senior in tow!

brooker
08-24-2007, 12:20 PM
We have even worse connecting times: Winnipeg to TO 9:18
Leave TO at 10:35
I am so worried. Especially with 2 young kids and an elderly senior in tow!


We did it a few months ago. I believe we had about 2 hours in between. Geting thrrough customs is the slowest part. That took about 1/2 hour. Everything else was smooth. Just make sure you fill out you customs form before you reach the customs agent. I still can't understand why living in Canada and flying to the U.S we had to fill out a customs form before we entered the country. I can see when returning to Canada sure....anyway as long as things are ontime you should be ok.

brooker
08-24-2007, 12:23 PM
We are leaving from Ottawa on Westjet at 7 am landing Toronto 8 am then catching another Westjet flight to US at 9:35 am.
How hard is it to change Westjet planes? Is this enough time?
Where do we do a customs clearance to go to US?
Can anyone help
THanks


Makre sure you listen carefully where to go to pick up your luggage before clearing customs. We took a wrong turn and had to ask for directions after the fact. It was a bit hectic for a while. After that hiccup it went ok.

siobhan1997
08-24-2007, 12:40 PM
Thanks to everyone for all the help. We are not checking our bags so this should speed up the process. This is a Westjet vacations package so the flight times are set. I think it will be worth a call to Westjet to see exactly what the procedure is.

binky1
08-24-2007, 04:23 PM
sheilag: we had almost the exact same experience coming back from our Disney cruise this past February. we had about 90 minutes to make the connection in Toronto to Ottawa but our luggage was delayed in getting off the plane, then there was a huge lineup at customs and we would have made it but "oops, you are too late to make your flight.....so then we were told that there was no space on any of the 4 remaining flights to Ottawa that night"!!!!:mad: :mad:

"sure, we'll put you on standby but we can't guarantee that you'll get on at all and no, we can't give you a voucher for a hotel until 12 midnight" and oh, did I mention that we were travelling with our 18 month old and a 6 year old?!? so what do we do, rent a car and drive the 4 hours or do we wait around waiting for them to fit us on a flight?!? so they finally get us on a flight at 10:00 which then sits on the tarmac for over an hour and then they inform us that we have to get off the plane because the flight crew will have exceeded their flight hours if they make the trip to Ottawa (!?!?)

at this point, we didn't know whether to laugh or cry - we finally made it home at 3:30 a.m. - it was such a shame to end such a fabulous vacation on such a sour note

oh yeah, 2 weeks ago we flew to Newfoundland for an annual visit on Air Canada and my 6 yearold says (as we are entering the airport in Ottawa) - Mom, oh no, not Air Canada again - they were awful last time!!:rolleyes1 :rolleyes1

Happy travelling everyone,

mom_rules
08-24-2007, 04:32 PM
We're on Westjet for the first time in Nov. Can one of you experienced Westjetters give a review please? Really worried because I can't prebook my seats.

sheilag
08-24-2007, 04:38 PM
Another expatriate Newf living in Ottawa - way cool! I'm from Corner Brook - how about you?

Air Canada is awful - the time they "busted" us and gave our seats away, we had saved our pennies for a stay at the Grand Floridian, and had arranged breakfast with Cinderella at the Castle the next morning - try telling a 3-year-old who'd been over-the-moon about seeing Cindy the next morning that it wasn't going to happen. She was heartbroken, tears streaming down her face at the airport. Try explaining to AC how impt. it was to get on the flight (they'd sent our bags on that same flight - which is a no no for security reasons - but it also meant we were without toothbrushes at a Toronto airport hotel - yuck) - that they had booked for us (when they tried to tell us it was our problem that we hadn't left enough time between flights - tweedle dee and tweedle dum we had at the check in desk). I'll never fly Air Canada to Orlando again if I can help it, cause I never want to go thru that again - this Sept. I'm flying Delta, so my connections out of Ottawa are US cities. (And now AC has you change terminals once you land in Toronto to catch an international flight).

almacdonald
08-24-2007, 04:45 PM
We're on Westjet for the first time in Nov. Can one of you experienced Westjetters give a review please? Really worried because I can't prebook my seats.

Westjet is awesome! Best airline I've ever flown with!

You can check-in online 24 hours in advance for domestic flights which will pretty much guarantee your party will be seated together. However, for flights with an international destination (even if you connect domestically first,) you have to check-in at the airport... but so does everyone else. Arrive extra early if you want to ensure your party sits together. I've never had problems being seated together on Westjet this way.

drag n' fly
08-24-2007, 05:53 PM
We're on Westjet for the first time in Nov. Can one of you experienced Westjetters give a review please? Really worried because I can't prebook my seats.



You will not be disappointed flying with Westjet. They give fantastic service. Almacdonald is correct the earlier you get there the better chance of sitting together. You could try good ol fashioned bribery by bringing a few bags of candy for the employees at check-in....don't laugh they love anyone who is just as funny as they are!

yxe dad
08-24-2007, 06:55 PM
Westjet is great! They will usually bend over backwards for you if you are close to missing your flight. Although you can't pick your seats until 24hrs before your flight, they usually have some sort of system of trying to keep groups together. I once had 2 flights booked with Westjet and 2 with Airmiles on a Calgary to Orlando flight but didn't tell Westjet when I was booking the flights about the Airmiles ressie. When we got to the airport 2.5hrs before our flight I was a little worried because the lines were long for check-in and you can't do online check-in for flights to the US. When we got to the front of the line the agent told us they has already set aside 4 seats "together" for us.
With work I tend to fly once every month or so but will only fly Westjet now.

I've had too many Air Canada screw ups and and cancelled flights to ever want to step on board one of there planes again!! Last Nov I was in Las Vegas and flew JetBlue into New York where my younger brother was living at the time for a long weekend with him and my older brother. My flight arrived at 7:15pm with no problems or delays. My older brother was flying Air Canada from Regina to Toronto, and Toronto to New York arriving at 7:20pm. His first flight was ok but was told upon arrival into Toronto that is flight into New York had been cancelled due to bad weather in New York. The next flight he could get on was the next afternoon. Now I'm waiting at the same airport his flight was due into, looking for my brother who was supposed to meet me by the luggage carosel. No other flights were cancelled that day into LGA for weather. Air Canada gave NO compensation for hotel or food because they said it was an act of god and they had no control over the situation.
Two months later my mother was on the same itinerary as my older brother and they cancelled her same flight say it was weather related. They seem to cancel flights when they aren't full enough all the time and don't seem to care that we have to pay expenses such as hotel and dining at over priced airport locations.
In Dec that year we were departing Orlando with Westjet and they were 45minutes late leaving. It was due to a part they needed for a different plane being delivered to our flight and uor fllight taking in back to Canada. Westjet gave us all $75 credits for this little delay, something I've never received from Air Canada for cancelling my flights.

Sorry about my rant, in closing I just want to say, Westjet is worth every penny.

mommylo
08-24-2007, 08:09 PM
My big thumbsup to WestJet as well!! We flew with them with our DS who is autistic and they were very accomodating and understanding. The most pleasant crew I have ever encountered! Air Canada people are really grumpy :scared1: That probably explains why WestJet is doing so well and making profits and Air Canada has been on the verge of bankruptcy few times...:eek:

sheilag
08-25-2007, 07:33 AM
Westjet is our preferred airline as well - esp. for the TVs for the little ones (and DH). However, I just won't go thru Toronto if I have the choice - not taking any more chances with changing planes/ terminals and going thru customs there.

mom_rules
08-25-2007, 10:26 AM
Wow! Great to know.

I'll let you know how it goes.

happycamper83
08-26-2007, 11:07 AM
Add me to the list of happy westjet customers!! I flew with them this march YYZ to MCO and back.. the nicest flights I've ever had. Crew and service was so friendly, seats comfy, TV a big plus (watched TLC the whole way down there.. made the time fly by... err, excuse the pun!).

That being said, I fly with Air Canada more often only because they are the only airline that flies out of my local airport. I have never had any serious issues, but do find their service hit or miss... I've had some really excellent stewardesses who are constantly offering drink refills (do you want the whole can?! SURE!), extra snacks, helping me stow my luggage in an alternate location if the bin above me is already full, etc (I always fly in the very front seat if I can, especially when I have a connection to make, just so I can get off the plane and on my way quickly... but that means I can't put anything under the seat in front of me and the crew often has already used "my" overhead bin). On the other hand I've had some offer me no help and just bark commands ("you need to stow that!!"), only half heartedly offer any other service, spend most of the flight sitting in a seat reading a novel.

I find TO ridiculous with connecting flights. I don't understand why I have to go through the entire security process all over again when I've done it already and haven't left a secure area since then! It's a royal pain. Oh, and has anyone had to endure the torture of the "in field" terminal. You trek through terminal 1, along not very well marked hallways, down an escalator.. and then wait for a bus to take you to your gate. I thought I had plenty of time to make it to my flight.. I was wrong!! It took ages to get out there.

brooker
08-26-2007, 07:54 PM
We loved Westjet also. The satellite tv was great for the kids and adults.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
08-26-2007, 10:30 PM
My family and I flew WestJet last December from Toronto - Orlando and flying back home to Toronto we left from Tampa and I can say everything about WestJet was great. The check in line at Pearson was very short, the flight crew was very friendly and having the TV was amaizng. So this December we are flying them again and we are looking forward to it.

AprilFool
08-27-2007, 10:17 AM
So this is why I will never fly on Air Canada again. When my gandmother was visiting my Aunt, she passed away. My aunt made arrangements with AC to bring her body back home. She wanted to fly home with her. When my Aunt got here she found out that they put my Grandma's body on an earlier flight, cause "they had room". So her body sat here at our airport waiting for my Aunt to claim it. She just wanted to bring her home together, not shipped like a parcel and the airport knew that.

mom_rules
08-27-2007, 10:31 AM
So this is why I will never fly on Air Canada again. When my gandmother was visiting my Aunt, she passed away. My aunt made arrangements with AC to bring her body back home. She wanted to fly home with her. When my Aunt got here she found out that they put my Grandma's body on an earlier flight, cause "they had room". So her body sat here at our airport waiting for my Aunt to claim it. She just wanted to bring her home together, not shipped like a parcel and the airport knew that.

Holy cow! how insensitive.

siobhan1997
08-27-2007, 05:52 PM
Well I have spoken to Westjet Vacations and was told then when we get off the plane from Ottawa in Toronto we need to go back to the Westjet Counter in Terminal 3 and recheck in showing our passports again, and also so we can get our seat assigned. Then we have to go clear customs and security and find our new gate for the second half of our flight to the US. Seems like such a long process and not enough time. Hopefully all will work out. Its a good thing we don't have to change terminals. Will make sure to try and get a seat up front for our Ottawa - Toronto run.

Does anyone know where I can get a map of Terminal 3 in Pearson airport. Their website says it is under construction.

Northstar
08-27-2007, 06:48 PM
That's rotten about the map for Terminal 3. I suspect the reason the map isn't available online (under construction) is that the terminal itself is under construction, so things could change quickly.

I wish I could catch a good deal on Westjet, cause I've got a hate on for AC too, but because we always fly back from a city they don't serve, I usually end up with Continental or AC.

But for those of you who are avoiding AC because of the dread terminal change... apparently they have now moved all of their operations into Terminal 1 and connections to the US will no longer have to change terminals. You still have to pick up your baggage and pre-clear for the US, though.

yxe dad
08-27-2007, 07:00 PM
Why can't they assign your Toronto to Orlando seats in Ottawa??? I understand you having to clear customs and then security again but not checking in with the airline after a connecting flight. Do you overnight in Toronto, that would make sense??? We took a Westjet flight in Nov06 from Saskatoon to Orlando. We had a connection in Calgary but got our seat assinments in Saskatoon.
Just curious because for our October trip I'm flying with Westjet from Saskatoon to Calgary at 910pm, Calgary to Toronto at 105am, and Toronto to Orlando at 1035am. I hope I can get all my seat assignments right away so I can get a emergency exit row seat.

almacdonald
08-28-2007, 08:59 AM
Why can't they assign your Toronto to Orlando seats in Ottawa??? I understand you having to clear customs and then security again but not checking in with the airline after a connecting flight. Do you overnight in Toronto, that would make sense??? We took a Westjet flight in Nov06 from Saskatoon to Orlando. We had a connection in Calgary but got our seat assinments in Saskatoon.
Just curious because for our October trip I'm flying with Westjet from Saskatoon to Calgary at 910pm, Calgary to Toronto at 105am, and Toronto to Orlando at 1035am. I hope I can get all my seat assignments right away so I can get a emergency exit row seat.

Holy cow! I hope you got a good deal on that flight, it sounds like a nightmare! I thought the Calgary-Toronto, Toronto-Orlando was bad enough.

mom_rules
08-28-2007, 10:01 AM
Well, for what it's worth-westjet is giving 3xairmiles on flights booked this fall.

yxe dad
08-28-2007, 11:28 AM
Holy cow! I hope you got a good deal on that flight, it sounds like a nightmare! I thought the Calgary-Toronto, Toronto-Orlando was bad enough.

All Saskatoon to Orlando flights in Oct are a little ugly!!! I would rather fly with Westjet and have a little longer day, then take a chance on AirCanada cancelling my flights.
Besides we fly after Thanksgiving dinner, a few drinks, some turkey, and pie, I don't think I be awake on the plane for long.:rolleyes1