Dorval Airport opened on September 1, 1941 with 3 paved runways. In late 1960 a new $30 Million terminal was opened. At the time it was the largest airport terminal in Canada and one of the largest in the world.
In 1975 an even larger airport, Mirabel, was opened north of Montreal. It's original intention was to serve international flights whilst Dorval would be strictly a domestic terminal. However, Mirabel was so far away that there was a rebellion of sorts by Montreal passengers. This has turned Mirabel into a proverbial white elephant and it now only serves cargo and charter flights.
So Dorval has regained its prominent status as the airport most Montrealers use.
On September 9, 2003 the airport was officially renamed to "Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport".
Montreal is a gateway city, and the airport is the hub for all international travel to-and-from the city.
Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (formerly named DORVAL Airport) is located close to downtown Montreal (about 20mins), just 18km west from the downtown city core. It is the main airport for handling domestic and international travel.
Check-in and departures are located on the upper level. The passenger check-in area is always very busy. ARRIVE EARLY (2-3 hours - more if travelling internationally), and be prepared for long line-ups!! There are numerous shops, restaurants, cafés, currency exchange, travel insurance offices ATM's, and duty free shops. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminal building.
The arrivals/reception area is on the lower level (ground floor) of the terminal building. International and U.S. passengers arriving at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Int'l airport must first proceed through customs & immigration security control, then pick up their luggage at the baggage recovery console, before exiting to the public rendezvous area to meet and greet your hosts.
Taxis, limousines and L'Aéroport shuttles are all located on the lower level also, and operate 24hrs a day. They will all take you to the downtown core (about a 20min ride). If your hotel has a complimentary shuttle, it will be waiting here also. Getting to and from the airport is highly convoluted and not particularly user friendly! Roads, highways, traffic, (and drivers!) can be very intimidating. I do NOT recommend renting a car. Leave the driving to your taxi, or take the L'Aeroport bus, or use your hotel courtesy shuttle. Taxi fare to/from downtown Montreal to the airport is approximately 40$-45$ (fixed tariff).
Airport parking is just across the street via a covered walkway.
The nearest hotel is the newly built Marriott Courtyard, attached to the terminal building.
See link for airport layout: http://www.admtl.com/Passengers/AtAGlance.aspx
The nearest airport to Montreal if you are flying a discount airline would be Burlington, Vermont. If you rent a car Montreal is a little more than an hour away after you cross the Canadian border.
I don't know of any shuttles that go from Burlington to Montreal, but you can take the bus from the airport to the bus station in downtown Burlington and from there get a bus that crosses the border into Canada.
This picture registers the exactly day when I set foot in Montreal, January 18 2005. it was a very cold morning, Montreal welcome with its generous -20 celcius, immediately my great friend Pierre tried to dress myself properly.
From the airport to the city centre, when the trafic is fine, you take about 25 minutes, lucky I was a little bit closer, I had to go to Rosemont, and it takes 10 minutes!;)
But before that moment I had no idea about what was waiting for me!
They are very kind, I mean, the crew...The seats are very tight, a tall person will suffer for sure if they fly economic class. but they serve all over the country and they are better than my own VARIG AIRLINE!
I know I am brazilian but I strongly recommend you to use AIR CANADA, it is the cheaper way to fly to Brazil to and from Canada.
February 18th, 2005
it was hard to say good bye to my canadian home: MONTREAL!
This is just a warning for those of you who will be driving to out P.E.T. airport. It was formally called Dorval airport, as it is located in the municipality of Dorval. The signs on the roads have not been changed due to a debate over whose responsiblity it is to change them.
That's just like Quebec. We have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on debating something. All the meanwhile, nothing gets done!
There are 2 airports, Mirabel (which is actually closed) and Dorval / P.E.T. Just follow the signs. It is located on the Island of Montreal, on the West Island.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is named after a famous former Prime Minister of Canada. Most people refer to it as Montreal-Trudeau, or the old appelation Dorval. Complicated isn't it? It is the only major passenger airport in Montreal....passenger service at Mirabel airport, north of the city has been moth-balled.
In the recent past visitors arrived at an out-dated, inhospitable airport. It was not a nice way to arrive at Canada's most exciting city. The good news is that Montreal-Trudeau has just finished a major 700 million $ renovation. We are ready to welcome Air France's Airbus A380....woohoo! The new transborder and international jetties and international arrivals complex are really beautiful....but be ready to walk.
This is where the public waits for international and U.S. arrivals. This rendezvous area is where your hosts, friends, and family will be waiting after you pass through these doors (and after you've gone through the customs and immigration process).
MAKE SURE whoever is meeting you brings a cardboard sign, a flag, or SOMETHING to help you find one another. This whole area gets VERY crowded, chaotic, and noisy because everyone is yelling, waving, jostling for position; trying to get the attention of their loved ones. Obviously this picture was taken when there was a lull in the crowds, but believe me, it gets very chaotic upon arrivals - try and make sure you have a back up meeting place in case you miss one another!
Montreal has 2 international airports, so it's easy to fly over. The airport you'll likely end up in is Montreal Trudeau. If you don't have a ride to or from the airport, the taxi will cost you at least $20.
my means of transport were of course a plane... arriving from Europe... and the Grey Hound bus service from Montréal to Toronto and then back to Montréal... probably now I would also check for an internal flight for this too but is there any comparison with saying you also tried the best known bus company of Canada and the States?.. the one you can even see in movies... lol... :-P...
Dorval Airport (domestic, american and most international transporters) is 25km away from Downtown montreal. Taxi trip is 25$ + tip and shuttle is 11 to 19$ (round trip).
Mirabel Airport (international charter) is 55km from Montreal (yes, it's very far, I know! I hate going to this airport!). Taxi trip is 60$ + tip and shuttle is 18 to 25$ (round trip).
A little aerial view of the top of the Mont-Royal looking East toward the Olympic stadium, for your enjoyment.
There is a belvedère facing East on the way down from Mont-Royal toward Avenue du Parc (you can get to it unlawfully and with a funny U-turn on the way up from corner Mont-Royal and Av du Parc).
Here is the Plateau with its beautiful old house area, St-Denis, St-Urbain, St-Laurent (direction N-S), Maisonneuve, Rachel, Duluth, Ontario, Sherbrooke, etc... (direction E-W) with their restaurants and shops.
And why not another aerial view of the downtown area.
That is where you will find the busiest area of town : clubs, restaurants, big stores, offices, money exchanges, the underground city. South of there, you can make out the port and Old Montreal.
Flying to Montreal is simple. Trudeau International Airport is located just outside the city, near St. Laurent. Formerly called Dorval Airport, don't be confused by the name.
There are 32 different air carriers operating from Trudeau Airport. On arrivals, you'll find a Tim Horton's Cafe for coffee, a Subway for sandwiches and a cafe bar, if you'd like a drink. There are many more choices of restaurants located on departures.
From the airport, the Express Bus 747 will get you to downtown Montreal for just $8 bucks.
The Trudeau International Airport is the main airport of Montreal for both international and domestic flights. Overall, I feel that this airport is not very efficient as I had a hard time locating the airlines check-in counter when I was departing from Montreal to Singapore via London. The signages and directions were confusing, and the staff were not sure themselves and not very friendly.
If you can departing from this airport, do go there early so that you have sufficient time to figure out where is your check-in counter.
Also when I arrived late at night, the luggage took very long to unload from the plane, which is not very efficient as well.