The Vancouver airport is one of the busiest in Canada. In 1931, the year the airport known by the code YVR first opened, it served just over 1,000 passengers. Several upgrades and decades later, nearly than 20 million people passed through the airport, ready to do business or enjoy vacations.
In 2009, the Vancouver International Airport upgraded a number of visitor amenities, including expanding the visitor center and providing more employee training. Throughout the terminals, new brighter and larger signs have been installed, or you could ask one of the many employees for help if you have any questions. Since they're dressed in bright red vests, it's easy to find help from the people who know the Vancouver airport the best. A special customer service area is available to assist passengers who arrive on international flights. On any given day, you'll find flights to Vancouver arriving from nearly every major airport around the world, from Amsterdam to Yellowknife and every airport in between.
The Vancouver Airport has worked to streamline the passenger experiences for these people. For most airlines, passengers can check in online before they even arrive at YVR, and self-service kiosks also help save you valuable time. Several off-site locations also give you the convenience of planning ahead and checking into your flights. These locations are found at airport hotels throughout Vancouver, Whistler, and Richmond, as well as rail stations and visitor centers near the airport.
While customer service has been a focus, the airport's facilities have been expanded too, largely in preparation for the Winter Olympics. The expansion added even more restaurants and shopping options, as well as glass pedestrian bridges where you can soak in views of the far-off mountains. YVR also added a colorful aquarium—a calming way to pass the time.
Whether your flight just landed or you're waiting to depart, you'll find an array of dining and retail options at the Vancouver International Airport. In total, there's more than 160 shops and restaurants, as diverse as a full-service pharmacy to spas and chic duty-free shops. You'll find an array of international cuisine, too, suited for all palates. Whether you're a fan of sushi or hamburgers, you will find the perfect meal at any hour of the day.
A modern transportation network is available whenever you need to travel. Rail service can take you into Vancouver or nearby communities, without trouble, and limousine hires are available on demand. More than 400 taxis are in service at the Vancouver International Airport, and some are wheelchair accessible. A cadre of local hotels provide shuttles that provide convenient door-to-door service from the terminal to the front door of your chosen accommodations. If you'd like to take care of driving yourself rather than go with the airport shuttles, car rental counters can equip with with the perfect ride.
While the majority of flights arrive in Vancouver, it's not your only option for flying into southern British Columbia. The Abbotsford International Airport, nestled in the Fraser Valley, also welcomes flights from across Canada. Just five minutes from Highway 1, this airport is a straight shot from North Vancouver. Even though the airport is small, if offers a full range of service, including car rentals, food, and shopping. Passengers also can purchase Wi-Fi service that works throughout the terminals.