YVR prepares for a busy holiday season; provides top travel reminders and highlights

  • December 22 expected to be the busiest day of the holiday season with an estimated 63,664 passengers
  • Airport expands YVR EXPRESS program to domestic travel starting December 13
  • Airport introduces several in-terminal festive activities for the holiday season

As British Columbians and visitors prepare for travel over the holiday season, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is reminding travellers to be prepared for their journey through the airport.

A total of approximately 1.8 million passengers are expected to fly through YVR in December 2022; during this same period in 2019, YVR welcomed 2.1 million passengers. Over the holiday season, between December 19 and January 2, December 22 is expected to be the busiest day with an estimated 63,664 passengers. For comparison, in 2019, YVR’s busiest day was December 20 with 75,877 passengers.

To help streamline the airport experience, YVR has expanded YVR EXPRESS. Starting today, travellers within Canada can reserve their spot in the security screening line at YVR, creating a more balanced flow of passengers through security screening, helping reduce wait times for security checkpoints, and providing a more predictable experience for both passengers and staff. YVR EXPRESS was first introduced for travel to the U.S. in October.

As travellers prepare for their trip, YVR offers the following travel tips and information on new processes and programs at the airport as well festive activities throughout the terminal:

  1. Know before you go: Check the current status of your flight through your airline’s website or yvr.ca before coming to the airport. Consider online check-in: Most airlines offer online check-in, meaning you can have your boarding pass emailed to your mobile device and/or printed before coming to the airport.
  2. Book your spot for security screening in advance: Consider using YVR EXPRESS to reserve your spot in security screening. YVR EXPRESS is available for those flying within Canada or to the U.S. and allows you to pre-book your spot up to 72 hours before your flight.
  3. Pack smart: Be sure to follow all Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) baggage requirements. Remember: liquids, gels and aerosols need to be in containers that are less than 100 milliliters and be packaged into one transparent, closed, and resealable plastic bag that is under one litre. Avoid wrapping holiday gifts - contents may need to be inspected during the screening progress for both carry-on and checked baggage!
  4. Arrive early to enjoy your YVR experience: We strongly encourage travellers to arrive at least 2 hours in advance of domestic flights, and 3 hours in advance of U.S. and international flights. Be sure to build in extra time on your way to the airport in case you run into inclement weather, traffic, or any other issues which could delay you.
  5. Plan your route to the airport: Consider taking the Canada Line to YVR - it can get you from downtown to the terminal door in 30 minutes or less! Driving to YVR? Be sure to pre-book your parking.
  6. Use your smartphone to speed up your time in line: Travellers heading to the U.S. can submit passport and customs declaration information through the secure Mobile Passport Control app in advance of their trip. Those returning from the U.S. or an international destination can use ArriveCAN to submit customs information and follow signs for Advance CBSA Declaration (ACD) Express Lanes to move through the customs process more quickly.
  7. Try our tasty food options: There’s something for everyone to savour when you journey through YVR! A full list of dining options, including new local brands such as Dirty Apron, can be found on yvr.ca. You can also order your meals in advance with our YVR Order Now app.
  8. Find those last-minute holiday gifts: Forgot someone on your holiday giving list? YVR’s retail shops offer an extensive array of gift options! A complete list of shops and services can be found on yvr.ca. Did you know that you can also reserve products from the duty-free shop from home and collect them before boarding your flight? Secure that last-minute gift by visiting vancouver.shopdutyfree.com
  9. Picking up someone from the airport? Be sure to use our Cellphone Waiting Area to avoid circling the terminals while you wait for your party to arrive. The Cellphone Waiting Area is a complimentary 30-minute parking lot, with free WiFi!
  10. Got questions? Keep an eye out for our YVR Guest Experience team members or Green Coat volunteers. They are stationed at Information Counters and throughout the terminal and are ready to answer any questions you may have.

YVR is pleased to also offer several festive activities throughout the terminal. Travellers can expect live entertainment, visits from Santa and his team of elves as well as a few other surprise holiday guests, pop-up activations featuring festive food and wine offerings, and a host of other seasonal activities.

For the latest travel information, visit yvr.ca or follow the airport on Twitter: @YVRairport or @YVRaeroport.


Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA): “The CBSA would like to remind travellers to be prepared when crossing the border, such as having your passport and declaration ready. To save time, use the Advance CBSA Declaration feature available in the ArriveCAN app and use the Advance CBSA Declaration express lane, both now available at YVR.” - Linell Redmond, Director, Vancouver International Airport District, Canada Border Services Agency

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA): “CATSA is well staffed and prepared for the holiday travel season at Vancouver International Airport. We encourage all passengers to arrive at the airport early to navigate parking, airline check-in and security screening, and to prepare for screening prior to their travels by checking out the “What Can I Bring” and “Travel Tips” sections of our website and mobile app.” - Sandra Alvarez, Team Lead, Client Satisfaction, CATSA