With its fantastic sculptures, clean modern facilities, and free wireless Internet, the Vancouver International Airport is one of the best in the world. The airport lies about 14 km (8.7 miles) south of downtown Vancouver, in the City of Richmond. It is accessible by the Canada Line public transportation system as well as by car and taxi.
From Vancouver, flights depart to domestic and international destinations. About 17 million passengers used the facility in 2011.
Other airports in the Vancouver area include the downtown floatplane terminal in Coal Harbour (CXH) and Abbotsford International Airport (YXX).
Airport Contact Information:
- Airport Code: YVR
- Address: 3211 Grant McConachie Way, Sea Island, Richmond
- Phone: 604-207-7077
Getting to the Airport:
The Vancouver International Airport is easily accessible from the Vancouver area, whether by transit, taxi, or car. You can reach YVR by:
- Public Transit: The Canada Line train service connects downtown Vancouver and the airport in 26 minutes. Fares cost $8.75 to reach downtown during peak hours, and $7.50 after 6:30 p.m. and on weekends.
- Taxi Service: Many of Vancouver's hybrid vehicle taxis service the airport. The fare to downtown runs about $30-$35. For pick-up service call Yellow Cab (604-681-1111) or Vancouver Taxi (604-871-1111).
- Car Rentals: Most major car rental companies have counters at YVR, including Budget, Hertz, Avis, National/Alamo, and Dollar/Thrifty. Generally, reserving a car rental ahead online will get you the best rates.
- Driving and Parking: Driving to the airport from downtown takes about 25 minutes, but heavy traffic can slow that significantly. There are short-term, long-term, economy, and valet parking lots at the airport.
- Long Distance Buses: To travel to Whistler, Victoria, Nanaimo, or Seattle, hop on a direct coach. Various companies provide long-distance bus service to YVR.
YVR Airport Services:
- Wireless Internet: Connect to free wireless Internet through the airport. To charge laptops, cell phones, and other devices, look for the purposefully placed power outlets. I love that travelers don't have to search for outlets at YVR.
- Visitor Information: Two tourism information centers provide assistance for Vancouver and British Columbia travel planning. The desks are located in the International and Domestic terminals. Ask about making hotel reservations and booking event tickets, or just pick up some free guides and brochures.
- Dining: Coffee shops, casual eateries, and even high-end restaurants are all available at YVR. There are dining options both before and after the security check areas.
- Shopping: Books, snacks, gadgets, flowers, and souvenirs are on sale at the airport. There are also YVR duty-free stops for those traveling internationally.
- Fairmont Vancouver Airport: The hotel's 392 sound-proofed guest rooms are located within the same building as the airport, and have stunning views of the runways. A good bar, spa, and restaurant are all on-site.
- Other Services: You'll also find currency exchange, a children's play area, a chapel, a medical clinic, a dental office, a post office, and luggage storage.
Flights to Vancouver:
You can fly between Vancouver and more than 100 Canadian and international destinations. Vancouver is also a convenient layover stop when traveling from Europe to Asia or Australia.
There are direct flights between Vancouver and many major centers, including:
- British Columbia: Bella Coola, Cranbrook, Gulf Islands, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Sandspit, Smithers, Terrace, Tofino, Victoria, Williams Lake
- Alberta: Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray
- Canada: Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Whitehorse, Winnipeg, Yellowknife
- U.S.: Anchorage, Chicago, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle
- Mexico: Cancun, Mazatlan, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Varadero
- Europe: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Zurich
- Asia-Pacific: Auckland, Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo
The Vancouver airport first opened on Sea Island in 1931 with just one runway. And it was from Vancouver that Trans-Canada Air Lines (better known today as Air Canada) made its first passenger flight in 1937.