In-flight catering during the Gate Gourmet strike

Food and beverage services on some flights to and from Toronto Pearson are being affected by a strike at in-flight catering firm Gate Gourmet. As a result, food and drink choices on some flights are currently more limited than usual.

All restaurants and retail outlets in the terminals are operating as normal; Gate Gourmet is an airline caterer, not a Toronto Pearson caterer. The airport has no direct role in the dispute but it is working to help minimize disruption to passengers – for example, by working with the airlines to mitigate related gate delays.

Update (Tuesday, April 30): Gate Gourmet and the union have come to an agreement to end the strike and normal in-flight catering services are expected to resume in the coming days.

Here’s what you need to know about temporary changes to on-board catering:

What is Gate Gourmet?

It’s a multinational company and a major supplier of food and beverages to the airline industry globally. It operates an in-flight meal preparation facility at Toronto Pearson that is currently experiencing a labour disruption. Toronto Pearson is one of seven Canadian airports and 135 locations where Gate Gourmet does business worldwide.

Which flights are affected?

Gate Gourmet supplies catering services to several airlines, including Air Canada and WestJet. While all airlines have taken steps to minimize disruption, some adjustments to onboard services have been unavoidable.

To find out if your flight’s catering is affected, contact your airline’s customer services team. Your airline may also email you a few days before departure to advise you of the in-flight catering options.

What can I expect on the plane?

Air Canada has said that food choices on its North American flights will be limited, but packaged snacks and water will be available on all services. Customers in premium cabins can expect a light meal and more limited beverage service than usual. There is minimal impact to international flights.

WestJet has said that flights operating on its Boeing 737 jets could experience inconsistent food and beverage service. It has advised passengers to pack snacks and beverages or purchase them in the terminal. Service on its other flights should operate as normal.

Can I take larger beverages through security while the labour dispute is on?

No. Canadian government regulations only permit liquids in bottles of 100ml or less in carry-on baggage. You can bring an empty bottle and fill it at drinking fountain beyond security or purchase water and other beverages in the departures area.

What are Gate Gourmet and the airlines doing to minimize the impact of the strike?

Gate Gourmet and the affected airlines have implemented contingency plans to reduce disruption. This includes adjusting food choices on board and stocking some flights at locations not affected by the strike.

Are restaurants in the airport affected?

No. All restaurants and retail outlets in the terminals are operating as normal.

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