British Columbia

Want to skip long airport security lines in Vancouver? There's an app for that

A new program from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) will allow passengers to skip one of the most frustrating parts of the airport experience — the security checkpoint line.

YVR Express allows you to book a security screening up to 3 days before scheduled U.S.-bound flights

A group of masked people cart along suitcases in an airport.
Travellers are pictured at Vancouver International Airport on Sept. 26. A new program from the airport authority will allow U.S.-bound travellers to book a security screening time, helping them to skip the line. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A new program from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) will allow passengers to skip one of the most frustrating parts of the airport experience — the security checkpoint line.

The program, called YVR Express, will allow passengers to book a time to enter security screening up to three days before their flight takes off.

Currently, the system is set up for passengers heading to the U.S. between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. at gates in the "E" section.

If a passenger has a flight headed to the States, they can book a spot up to 72 hours before their scheduled departure and at least 90 minutes before the flight takes off.

Once they do, according to the airport authority, the passengers can walk to their assigned security checkpoint within 15 minutes of their reservation, show staff a QR code and skip the security line entirely.

"Working with our partners, we aim to expand YVR EXPRESS to our domestic and international security checkpoints at the airport over the coming months," said Robyn McVicker, a VP at the Vancouver Airport Authority, in a statement.

The move to streamline the security checkpoint lines comes amid widespread reports of delays and long lines over the summer, as security screeners said they felt underpaid and burned out.

WATCH | Passengers wait in long security lines at Vancouver airport earlier this summer:

Line up and wait: Shortage of screening staff at Vancouver International Airport creates long delays for travellers

3 months ago
Duration 0:31
Vancouver International Airport says passengers encountered longer-than-normal wait times Sunday at pre-board screening points for domestic and international departures due to a 'significant and unexpected staffing shortage' by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).

At one point in the summer, the airport was advising passengers to arrive three hours before any scheduled flight due to the long lines leading to the security checkpoints.

YVR said in its statement that it worked with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), the organization employing security screeners at airports around the country when it created the program.

It also pointed to another program that U.S.-bound passengers can use: the mobile passport control app from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency.

That app allows travellers to fill out their customs declarations and passport info, leading to shorter wait-times when they arrive.

The ArriveCAN app — which is no longer required to enter Canada after public health measures were dropped — serves a similar purpose for those returning to Canada.


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