Check-in and Boarding Times

Flying out of Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to the U.S. or another international destination?

If you have a flight to the U.S. or another international destination that departs before 9 am, please arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to your departure time to allow for longer than normal security and customs processing times.

Before arriving at the airport:
Ensure you have submitted any pre-departure forms and complete a COVID-19 PCR test, if required. You are responsible for ensuring you meet the entry requirements of your destination.

Check-in and baggage drop-off:
To reduce congestion at security and customs, the deadline to check in and drop off checked baggage is 90 minutes before departure for any flight from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to a U.S. or international destination.

If you are checking a bag or have special baggage needs (e.g., pets), please make sure to leave yourself extra time to drop off your baggage and line up for security and customs ahead of this deadline to avoid missing your flight. We are unable to process bags after the cut-off time.

Only have carry-on baggage? Or are you a Priority or Nexus customer? You must still be checked in and in line for security and customs prior to the 90-minute cut-off time, otherwise you will likely miss your flight. Unfortunately, we are unable to make any exceptions.

Security and customs:
Specifically for flights to the U.S. departing before 9 am from Toronto Pearson, and to optimize the flow of customers, we’ve introduced a new queue system for security and customs. After you check in, look for the signage to determine which queue you should enter for your flight.

We apologize in advance for any additional wait times as we work to make your experience at Toronto Pearson as seamless as possible.

It’s important to arrive at the airport well in advance of your flight, so you have plenty of time to check in, drop off your bags and go through security screening.

  • Check-in deadlines
    To avoid delays at the airport, we encourage you to check in from 24 hours prior to departure using your Air Canada App or online. If you prefer to check in at the airport, please arrive well before the check-in deadlines indicated below.
  • Baggage drop-off
    Make sure to arrive well before the baggage drop-off counter closes, as you cannot check bags once the deadlines below have passed. Overweight baggage can take longer to check. Use our checked baggage calculator to determine your free baggage allowance and any fees.

Check-in and boarding gate deadlines
As processing times at the airport are longer than normal due to COVID-19, it’s important to respect the following deadlines for your itinerary. Failure to respect them may result in the reassignment of any reserved seats, the cancellation of reservations, and/or ineligibility for denied boarding compensation.

Itinerary When to arrive at the airport Check-in & baggage drop off deadline Boarding gate deadline** Boarding gate closes***
Within Canada 120 minutes 45 minutes 30 minutes 15 minutes
To/from the U.S. 120 minutes

From Toronto (YYZ) & Montréal (YUL):
180 minutes
(3 hours)*
60 minutes 30 minutes 15 minutes
From Toronto (YYZ) 90 minutes
International (including Mexico and the Caribbean) 180 minutes

From international airports:
240 minutes
(4 hours)
60 minutes 45 minutes 15 minutes
From Toronto (YYZ) 90 minutes

From Brussels Airport (BRU): Check-in and baggage drop-off deadline increases to 75 minutes between June 1st and October 28th, 2023.
* If you are travelling to the U.S., you must clear U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to departure in Canada. Note the following for early morning departures:

  • Pre-board security screening opens at 4:15 at Toronto-Pearson (YYZ) and at 5:00 at Montreal-Trudeau (YUL)
  • U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is open 4:30 - 20:30 at Toronto-Pearson (YYZ), and 4:30 - 20:00 at Montreal-Trudeau (YUL)

** This is the latest you should be at the departure gate, ready for boarding.
*** Arriving after this time may result in reassignment of any reserved seats, the cancellation of reservations, and/or ineligibility for denied boarding compensation.

How early can I check in?

You can check in for your flight as early as:

When can I drop off my bags?

You may check your bags at the baggage drop-off counter at the earliest:

  • 4 hours prior to departure for flights from Canada or the U.S.
  • 3 hours prior to departure for flights from all other locations.

I have a connecting flight. What should I know about minimum connection times?

For a smooth connection between flights, it's important to give yourself adequate time between your first flight's arrival and your next flight's departure, in order to allow for security checks and any necessary terminal changes. Learn more about minimum connection times.

What else do I need to know?

Check-in/baggage drop-off and boarding gate deadlines are important. Failure to respect these deadlines may result in the reassignment of any reserved seats, the cancellation of reservations, and/or ineligibility for denied boarding compensation.

Codeshare flights: If you are travelling on a codeshare flight, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the other airline’s policies on check-in times and procedures.