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Majority of Canadians embarrassed by service at national airports

Only 37 percent of respondents said they thought the federal government was doing enough to address the situation at airports.

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Most Canadians think the delays and general disorganization at Canada's national airports are a global embarrassment, found a new poll. A majority of Canadians also say they’re avoiding airports entirely.

Canadian airports have struggled to keep up with demand following loosened travel restrictions earlier this year. The result has been floods of horror stories on missed connections, lost bags, delayed or altogether cancelled flights, and people being trapped at the airport for days on end.

In a new poll, Ipsos says that 70 percent of Canadians now believe "the situation at Canadian airports is an embarrassment to Canada." Another 60 percent of respondents are avoiding flying until they see improvements.

Interestingly, Ipsos also found that just five percent of respondents strongly agreed they’ve been personally impacted by delays while travelling through a Canadian airport.

Last month, former NHL defenceman Ryan Whitney made international headlines after calling Toronto's Pearson Airport "the worst airport on earth." He was trapped at their airport for days before the airline found him a flight home.

When asked who was to blame for the situation at airports, 39 percent of respondents each said the airports themselves, the federal government, airlines and Canadians who were out of practice with how to conduct themselves while travelling.

Another 34 percent blamed the federal government for slowdowns at customs, while 33 percent of respondents blamed airports for delays at security checkpoints and 23 percent blamed Ottawa.

Only 37 percent of respondents said they thought the federal government was doing enough to address the situation at airports.

Respondents seemed optimistic the issues would be short-lived — 55 percent said it's a temporary issue that could be largely solved by September, while 45 percent said the problems would last beyond summertime.

Last month, the Canadian Airports Council on Tuesday called for the removal of "all vaccine requirements for air passengers and aviation employees."

Conservative leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre applauded the statement, tweeting: "Canada's airports echoing the same message they're hearing from Canadians who are frustrated by their awful travel experiences. Get rid of the mandates. All of them. Stop the COVID theatre."

Ipsos conducted the poll between July 12 and 13, using interviews with 1,001 Canadian adults, split to represent the country’s demographics.

It is considered accurate +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 had all Canadian adults been polled.

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