More than 100,000 passengers are expected to pass through Kelowna International Airport over the next three weeks during the busy holiday season.
The airport said it anticipates increased, but steady traffic from Dec. 19 through Jan. 8 with the busiest travel days of the season from Dec. 20 to 29.
In preparation for the crowds, the airport is advising passengers to plan ahead and prepare for longer than normal wait times at the airport to reduce travel-related stress.
Below are a few tips to help make the travel experience as easy as possible:
Consider transportation options
Although there are more than 2,600 stalls available, parking at YLW is expected to reach full capacity during this peak period. People travelling during this period should also consider alternative transportation to the airport, such as taxi and limousine services, airport shuttles, public transit or having a friend drop them off.
Explore parking options
There are a number of parking options available to travelers, and those picking up or dropping off friends and family:
- Valet Parking (must be reserved ahead of time)
- YLW also has a new cell phone waiting area near the airport plaza.
- Those needing to park at YLW should follow signage and parking lot staff directions.
Arrive at the airport early
The airport terminal building opens at 3:30 a.m. with check-in counters, pre-board screening and food services available at 4 a.m. It is recommended to check-in and drop off your baggage for domestic flights at least 90 minutes before your boarding time and at least two hours prior to international flights.
Know what you can bring through security screening
Avoid surrendering items and guarantee that your valuables make it through security screening. Search CATSA new’s permitted and non-permitted lists to see which items to pack in your carry-on and checked baggage. If you’re bringing gifts, leave them unwrapped as they may need to be inspected. Check with your airline to learn about their baggage restrictions and fees.
Confirm your airline’s identification requirements and pet policies
Check with your airline to ensure you have the required identification and valid travel documentation for everyone, including children. Some airlines have restrictions on travelling with pets during peak holiday periods. Talk to your airline in advance if you’re planning on travelling with your pet.
Several projects were recently completed to help ease congestion in the parking lots and departures lounge.
- New curb front parking meters across from the Terminal Building
- A Valet Storage Lot to accommodate greater capacity of Valet customers travelers parking their cars
- An expanded overflow parking lot for greater long-term parking capacity
- A new active play area for kids
For more holiday travel tips, visit ylw.kelowna.ca/faq.