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For their flight to Chicago (then Maui) at 8 AM, my grandparents must travel to Pearson Airport (YYZ) from their home near North York Centre TTC Station on their own. Their plan beneath feels overkill, as they'd arrive between 2-3 AM that feels excessive! I'd appreciate feedback please.

  1. Their luggage is light. So they'd leave at midnight, then take the subway to either:

1.1. Sheppard, and take 34 GO Transit's 34 bus to YYZ.

1.2. or Lawrence, and take TTC's 52 Lawrence West to YYZ.

They eschew:

  1. Beck taxi, because their drivers appear too hazardous. A Beck driver allegedly drove away with a customer's luggage in the trunk. This Reddit thread dated 2018 alleges:

Just don't call Beck Taxi. Worst drivers ever.

They crash their cars constantly.

  1. Uber, because '[s]cheduling a ride in advance doesn't guarantee you'll be connected with a driver'. Also, its corporate culture is unethical and their drivers appear too hazardous. Nicholas Cameron was killed when his Uber driver stopped on the Gardiner Expressway's shoulder to pick up his phone. A Uber driver hit and run.

  2. renting a car near their home and driving themselves to the airport, as airport rentals cost $150 CAD more.

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    This seems entirely opinion-based. As far as I can tell you're hoping for answers that agree with you and can be used to browbeat your grandparents into following a plan that's more to your liking. But there doesn't seem to be any travel problem to be solved here, no question that would be further illuminated by facts. – Henning Makholm Jan 10 at 5:03
  • @HenningMakholm I'm not "hoping for answers that agree with you and can be used to browbeat your grandparents". I wonder if there are alternatives or one of the aforementioned methods are in fact reasonable. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jan 10 at 5:05
  • it is entirely opinion based. For some people arriving 6 hours early for a flight may seem excessive, for others it's not as they'd rather arrive 6 hours early than miss the flight due to a train or bus delay. As to options, depends heavily on personal preference. Uber can work, but as you know it depends a lot on the driver you get and some are indeed worse than unprofessional. Same with any taxi service. Busses and trains can get seriously delayed too. – jwenting Jan 10 at 5:09
  • That does sound extremely excessive, though there's only so much you can do if that's what they want to do. Lyft appears to operate in Toronto, which they might accept over Uber potentially, but it seems like they're determined to reject all other options (yes, bad things can happen with any form of transportation, but that doesn't make it likely). There is certainly no good reason to leave eight hours before their flight and spend all night waiting when there are plenty of people who will drive them for not very much money in a trip that takes about 15 minutes. – Zach Lipton Jan 10 at 5:48
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    Why not leave 12 hours earlier and grab a night at an airport hotel? Surely saner than catching busses at 2am or enduring a flight after a sleepless night. – Gray Taylor Jan 10 at 17:16
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I don't know what answer would satisfy you, as this is a purely opinion based question rather than one that could be answered with facts.

The only real condition is that they arrive at Toronto within the time frame stipulated for their international flight.

You did not mention the airline they are flying but there is a chance that the check-in counters won't be open 6 hours before the flight. Typically for international departures, check-in counters open 3 hours before the scheduled flight time.

If they are flying on Air Canada, they may be able to check-in early, get their boarding pass, go through security and enjoy time at the lounge as Toronto is a hub for Air Canada.

As a personal anecdote - your grandparents sound really like my father. He likes to leave early for the airport (according to my mom, too early "as if he needs to check the air in the tires of the plane" she once quipped). That's just how he has always been. I remember as a kid sitting on those plastic waiting chairs waiting for the counters to open and we were the first in line to check in.

Then it was another 2-3 hours of waiting in the lounge before our flight.

Maybe your grandparents just enjoy the experience of travel? You should make them aware of your concerns but if they want to arrive extra early, it may be because they feel this is best for their travel plans.

🤷‍♂️

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