Air Travel

Flying time to Vancouver is 5½ hours from New York, 6½ hours from Montréal, 4 hours from Chicago, and 2½ hours from Los Angeles.

Security measures at Canadian airports are similar to those in the United States. Be sure you're not carrying anything that could be construed as a weapon: a letter opener, Swiss Army knife, a pair of scissors, or a toy weapon, for example.

Passengers departing from Vancouver must pay an airport-improvement fee before they can board their plane; however, this fee is now included directly in the cost of tickets, simplifying the process. The fee is C$5 for flights within British Columbia and the Yukon, C$20 for all other flights.

Airlines and Airports

Airline and Airport Airline and Airport has links to many of the world's airlines and airports.

Airline Security Issues

Transportation Security Administration. Transportation Security Administration has answers for almost every question that might come up.


The major airport is Vancouver International Airport (YVR), in the suburb of Richmond about 16 km (10 miles) south of downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver International Airport is Canada's second-busiest airport, but it's easy to get around this spacious facility. Getting through the immigration process for early-morning departures can add 45 minutes to your travel time, so plan on getting there early. Extensive duty-free shopping, dining, spa, children's play areas, and other services are available, plus free Wi-Fi. Regular courtesy shuttles run between the Main and South Terminals.

Vancouver Island is served by Victoria International Airport. Otherwise, there are domestic airports in or near many towns on the island, including Campbell River, Comox, and Nanaimo. Smaller communities without airports are served by floatplanes.

Airport Information

Ground Transportation

There are many options for getting downtown from Vancouver International Airport, a drive of about 20 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic. If you're driving, go over the Arthur Laing Bridge and north on Granville Street (also signposted as Highway 99). Signs direct you to Vancouver City center.

The fastest and cheapest way to travel downtown or to points en route is via the Canada Line, the newest addition to Vancouver's rapid-transit system, which runs downtown from the Vancouver International Airport in 25 minutes. The station is inside the airport, on level four, between the domestic and international terminals. The trains, which are fully wheelchair accessible and allow plenty of room for luggage, leave every six minutes from the airport and every three minutes from downtown Vancouver. Fares are C$3.75 each way.

Taxi stands are in front of the terminal building on domestic- and international-arrivals levels. The taxi fare to downtown is about C$38. Area cab companies include Black Top and Yellow.

Limousine service from LimoJet Gold costs between C$75 and C$95 one way; they also offer service from the airport to Whistler for C$320 each way.

Taxis and Shuttles

Black Top and Checker Cabs (604/731–1111.

AeroCar (604/298–1000 or 888/821-0021.

TransLink (604/953–3333.

Yellow Cab (604/681–1111.


Of the U.S. airlines, American, Delta, Northwest, and United fly to Vancouver. Among smaller carriers, Horizon Air (an affiliate of Alaska Airlines) flies to Vancouver and Victoria from many western U.S. cities. Many international carriers fly to Vancouver, including Air Canada, Lufthansa, Quantas, and British Airways. Canadian charter companies Air Transat and Canadian Affair fly to Vancouver, usually at lower rates than the other airlines offer.

Within Canada, regularly scheduled flights to every major city and to most smaller cities are available on Air Canada. WestJet, a regional carrier, serves most Canadian cities.

Airline Contacts

Air Canada (888/247–2262.

Alaska Airlines (800/252–7522.

American Airlines (800/222–2377.

Delta Airlines (800/221–1212.

United Airlines (800/864–8331 for U.S. reservations; 800/538–2929 for international reservations.

US Airways (800/428–4322 for U.S. and Canada reservations; 800/622–1015 for international reservations.

WestJet Airlines (800/538–5696.