Getting to Toronto Airport from Detroit: Flying vs Driving

After my first drive to Toronto, I decided that “the drive was too long and I can’t do it again.” Whine, whine, whine…  At that point, I had a pending flight reservation a few months out to Ireland and I decided that “after working a full day I just couldn’t make that drive to Toronto to make my flight.”  So I booked a flight from Windsor to Toronto at a cost of $242.  Well, that pretty much ate away at some of the savings I made by booking my flight from Toronto instead of Detroit.

Travel day came.  It took me an hour and a half to get to the Windsor airport from my work location (which happens to be equidistant to both the Windsor airport and Detroit Metro of 25 miles).   Border traffic was a bit heavy and traffic through Windsor was awful.  Once at the airport, it was easy to find a parking spot and the walk from the parking lot to the terminal was minimal.  Getting through airport security was a breeze.  Since I was arriving directly from work, I was famished.  This was NOT the place to find a variety of food outlets.   There was just one snack bar where I managed to find a tortilla wrap with chicken and lettuce inside.  It was awful. Moisture had built up inside the plastic wrap causing the tortilla to become wet and the chicken and lettuce had no flavor. I was able to buy a bottle of beer there as well.  Although I had over an hour to wait for my flight, the snack bar was closing pretty much right after I paid for my wet tortilla.

Returning to Windsor from Toronto was another story.  After my flight arrived from Ireland to Toronto, I could have hit the road and been well on my way if I hadn’t booked the Windsor flight.  Instead, I had to wait two hours before my flight even took off.   Making matters worse, the flight was overbooked because the planes Air Canada uses for this route only hold about 22 passengers.  Luckily, a flight attendant was flying on this route and she was able to ride in a jump seat which allowed me to grab her seat at the last minute.  Had it not been for that, I would have had to wait an additional hour and half to be on stand-by for the next flight.

To sum, in my opinion, flying to Toronto just isn’t worth it. The drive time from the Detroit area to Pearson International Airport in Toronto is just three and a half hours.  I really didn’t save much time on the way there; just two hours.  Likewise, on the return if I had driven instead of flying I would have been home an hour sooner and not have had the risk of being involuntarily bumped.   If the flight were $99, maybe I’d consider it, but never at the price of $242.


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