British Columbia

Tips for stress-free air travel this holiday season

Flying out this holiday season? These tips from Vancouver International Airport will help you have a smoother journey.

Dec. 27 will likely be the busiest day at YVR this season with 74,000 to 75,000 passengers expected

The holiday season is one of the busiest for the airport, particularly Dec. 27, when up to 75,000 passengers are expected to move though the building. (Home Alone 2: Lost in New York/20th Century Fox)

Like creamy eggnog, holiday movie marathons and cookies for Santa Claus, airline travellers at Vancouver International Airport should be prepared to add one more holiday tradition to their list this year: the long airport lineup.

"Our partners at CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) are doing a great job of adding staff, and all of our partners have been working for months having extra staff ready for the extra volumes, but you can be prepared to wait a little bit longer than normal," said Reg Krake, director of customer care at Vancouver International Airport. 

The holiday season is one of the busiest for the airport, Krake said, and its busiest day is usually Dec. 27, with up to 75,000 passengers expected to move through the building.

It caps a record year for air travel at the airport.

"We're certainly seeing record volumes this year. We're going to be going over 22 million passengers this year at YVR by the end of this year," he said. 

While long lineups are probably inevitable, planning ahead can ensure smoother travel. Krake suggests doing the following for smooth travelling:

  • Check the flight status and weather conditions online, not only for YVR but also your destination, to make sure conditions are favourable there.
  • Check in online from home and get your boarding pass printed or sent right to your mobile device.
  • Follow YVR on Twitter and check so you can receive updates in real time.
  • Don't wrap gifts, especially for carry-on luggage. Everything is subject to opening. However, there will be free gift wrapping for items purchased at the airport.
  • Leave extra time — an extra hour is suggested — for getting to the airport, parking, checking in and security.
  • Don't wear extra items — like jewelry — that will slow down the process of going through security screening.
  • Check the list of prohibited items to avoid bringing them on board.

With files from The Early Edition