British Columbia

More than 85K travellers expected to fly through YVR each day over the holidays

It's the most wonderful time of the year — if you love big crowds and busy airports.

Dec. 20 marks one of the busiest days of the season

The airport is forecasting a record 26 million passengers in 2019, breaking last year's record of 25.9 million. (Tristan Le Rudulier/CBC)

It's the most wonderful time of the year — if you love big crowds and busy airports.

Friday marks one of the busiest days of the year at the Vancouver International Airport, with up to 90,000 travellers expected to pass through it.

It also kicks off the airport's holiday season, which lasts until Jan. 6. During that time, the airport is gearing up for 85,000 travellers each day.

Reg Krake, the Vancouver Airport Authority's director of customer experience, says the busiest periods also include the days following Christmas and Jan. 6.

"There's not a lot of quiet time at YVR during the holidays," he said.

"There will be times in the day on any of these days when it can be quite busy. And there may be times in the day when it can be quiet. That's why we recommend you plan ahead and leave extra time."

Record number of passengers

The airport is forecasting a record 26 million passengers in 2019, breaking last year's record of 25.9 million.

It's also busy preparing for the arrival of ride-hailing in Metro Vancouver, which is anticipated in the new year.

Andrew Grams, the airport's director of parking and ground transportation, says a designated area has been set up for ride-hailing vehicles at the arrivals section.

Ride-hail vehicles will be kept in a holding until they're matched with customers. Drop-offs will take place at the usual departure area. 

YVR officials are asking travellers to give themselves plenty of time in advance. (Tristan Le Rudulier/CBC)

YVR says to follow these holiday travel tips: 

  • Confirm travel details in advance. Check your reservations with your airline and figure out baggage specifications.
  • When packing, remember carry-on restrictions for liquids, gels and aerosols.
  • Don't wrap gifts before packing them in your carry-on or checked baggage. They may need to be inspected during screening.
  • Check the status of your flight before leaving home. Winter weather in Metro Vancouver or your destination could impact flights.
  • Check in online and print your boarding pass or download it on your mobile device.
  • Pre-book your parking stall or use the Canada Line to avoid traffic.
  • If picking up friends and family, use the short-term parking at the parkade. There's also 30 minutes of complimentary parking at the cellphone waiting area.
  • Canada Border Services Agency warns not to travel with cannabis, even though it's legal in Canada. Transporting it across the border remains illegal.

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