British Columbia: Airport Guide
British Columbia’s main international airport is Vancouver International Airport (IATA code YVR), which is situated on Sea Island in Richmond, approximately 12 kilometres from downtown Vancouver.
Vancouver International Airport is the second busiest airport in Canada, with flights to cities throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia. For four years running, from 2010 to 2013, it has won the Skytrax Best North American Airport award, and is recognised as one of the best airports in the world.
Vancouver International Airport is also one of eight airports in Canada with US border preclearance facilities, making for an easy entrance into the United States.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) features
The airport consists of three terminals – Domestic and International terminals, which are housed both sides of one large building, and the South Terminal, which serves mostly airlines handling routes within British Columbia.
Inside, the airport includes an extensive collection of Pacific Northwest native artwork, plenty of glass to let in natural light and, in the Arrivals hall, even a large waterfall. It includes over 160 shops and a wide range of restaurants, cafés and food kiosks.
Both the Domestic and International terminals provide free, high-speed Wi-Fi. The Domestic Terminal includes a total of three children’s play areas. In the International Terminal, a children’s area is located on Departure Level 3, opposite gate 54. Also fun for children is the public observation area on level 4 of the Domestic Terminal.
Several international currency exchange counters are available both before and after security, in the Domestic and International terminals.
The airport includes three lounges, which passengers travelling in any airline class can pay a fee to enter. One of the lounges is located after security at A Pier, in the Domestic Terminal. The other two lounges are in the International Terminal – one after security, opposite gate D53, and one on the US side of the terminal, at gate E86. The lounges include fully equipped computer workstations, showers, nap rooms and a wide choice of food and beverages.
Getting to and from the airport
Vancouver’s rapid transit rail service, Canada Line, connects the airport to downtown Vancouver and Richmond. The airport station is located between the International and Domestic terminals. The route to downtown Vancouver takes 26 minutes, and the trip to Richmond takes 18 minutes.
From the airport, you can also take a number of scheduled long-distance buses; for example some of these run to Whistler, Victoria or even to Washington state in the United States. Tickets for the bus services are available from counters at Arrivals Level 2 of the International Terminal.
Taxi stands are located just outside Domestic Terminal Arrivals, Level 2 and outside the International Arrivals greeting area.
A range of car rental counters are situated on the ground floor of the parkade, which is the covered parking area closest to the Domestic and International terminals. Visit Netflights.com for cheap car hire in Vancouver.
Flights to Calgary (YVR)