Tag Archives: toronto
2013-10-16

Transit Day – Toronto to San Francisco

Flight from Toronto to San Francisco

After a mere 6 hour flight on a Air Canada Airbus A319, and we are in San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and after a meander through the sprawling terminal, a shuttle train ride, and a drive, we are at out hotel in nearby San Mateo.

Australian traveller tips:

Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto.

I am impressed by how nice this airport is, as far as acoustics go. Even in the vaulted and open public spaces the people’s chatter and noise dies down and announcements can be clearly heard. Acoustics here are a top notch. It also appears the the US officials here are more relaxed and more pleasant than those we encountered in LA (LAX).

When flying from Canada to USA via Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto, be prepared for a number of things:

  • If you are flying to USA allow extra time:
    • you will need to go to the check in desk to get your checked luggage tagged.
    • you will need to lug all your luggage through The USA border protection, immigration and customs
    • you will need to go through security, including full body scanners (if you’re not lucky)
    • US based airlines generally do not offer food in domestic economy class. Get some food in the terminal, or buy some on board. Prices will be high.
  • Airport WiFi is free but slow.
  • Airport restaurants have a good selection of food, and comfortable seats, but the prices are airport prices.

San Francisco International Airport (FSO)

This is a very large airport with 3 domestic and 1 international terminal.

When arriving at, departing from,  or transiting San Francisco International Airport (FSO)

  • Allow plenty of time at the airport:
    • use the airport train to get to the terminals (can take 10 to 15 minutes or so to get you to the right place).
    • switching terminals will take time. Use the airport maps and information services to work out what terminal you are flying from. Different
    • airlines fly from different terminals, with some US domestic carriers using the interantional terminal.
    • if transiting, you might need to go through security screening again…
  • If picking up a car or dropping off a renal car, you will need to go to a most outlying part of the airport where the ‘car rental centre’ is.
  • If you need to drop off a car:
    • do this the first thing to do at the airport, (the depatrures parking/drop off area is congested)
    • take your luggage and go to airport shuttle train station to get to the correct terminal.
  • If you need to pick up a car best thing to do is:
    • get your luggage together
    • use the shuttle train to get to the rental car centre.
    • doing it in this order prevents you from having to drive around the airport roads to the arrivals area, or looking for a car park.
    • The rental car centre is closer to the freeway than the terminals.

 

2013-10-14

Transit Day – Ottawa to Toronto

Driving from Ottawa to Toronto

Route

Our GPS was programmed with “avoid tolls”, and so it took from Ottawa towards Kingston, and then along the shore of the St Laurence river and Lake Ontario to Toronto.

Traffic

Traffic was quite light until we got to Kingston and stopped for a lunch and stretch the legs break. From Kingston to Toronto, however, traffic was moving at 30 to 80 km/h, as more and more holidaymakers started to head home.

Travellers Tips

We neglected to check what public holidays, if any, our travel happened to coincide with. Lesson from this:

Always check dates of public/statutory holidays. Traffic will be much worse at the start and the end of these, so if like us, you get caught in the stream of people driving back home after a  long weekend, you will need to put up with a lot more traffic and a lot of frustrated and tired drivers who do not do ling distance driving often.