Vancouver Airport Guide
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Vancouver Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the name of the airport hotel in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
I would like to thank the staff of Vancouver Airport for the most beautiful, clean and comfortable airport I have ever been stuck at. - Bob and Paul
by a traveller
June 2015 - This airport is so comfortable, warm and welcoming especially for weary international travelers. It doesn't feel institutional as so many airports do. The variety of seating, artwork, water features, places to eat, sleep, shop, rest and play make it a wonderful place to spend some quality time while waiting for flights. In addition the airport is efficient; waiting for check in, security, customs, etc. is minimal; staff are friendly and helpful and most importantly grumpy passengers are few.
Have you been to Vancouver Airport recently? Write a Review!
In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Vancouver airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):
- Plaza Premium Lounge - Domestic - Location: Domestic Departures, Airside, Level 3, near Gate A2. Hours: 6am - 9pm (Sun – Fri) • 6am - 8pm (Sat). Showers are available.
- Plaza Premium Lounge - International - Location: International Departures, Airside, Level 3. Hours: 430am - 1am. Showers and nap rooms are available.
- Plaza Premium Lounge - USA Departures - Location: USA Departures, Airside, Level 3. Hours: 5am - 630 (Sun – Fri) • 5am - 6pm (Sat)
Air Canada Maple Leaf Club - Lounge Access: Book Online ($25/50) • Maple Leaf Club Membership.
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Domestic - Location: Domestic Departures, Airside. Hours: 445am - 1130pm.
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Transborder - Location: USA Departures, Airside. Hours: 530am - 1030pm.
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - International - Location: International Departures, Airside. Hours: 9am- 2am.
Free WiFi is available at Vancouver Airport.
If sleeping in Vancouver Airport does not appeal to you, there is a hotel inside the airport:
- Fairmont Vancouver Airport - (10 min walk from Domestic Terminal or 5 min walk from within International Terminal) Located inside the International Terminal, above the USA departures desk. They offer drop-in access to the Health Club for $18 per person. Day use rooms available for rent in blocks of 4, 6, or 8 hours between the hours of 8am and 8pm. Earplugs and eye masks are provided if required.
- Pacific Gateway Hotel Vancouver Airport - (5 min from the airport) A new hotel open near the airport. Free 24-hr airport shuttle available daily, no reservation required. Shuttle picks up at both terminals.
- Days Inn Vancouver Airport - (8 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle service available.
You will also find a list of other hotels that provide an airport shuttle below in our Airport Transportation section. Otherwise, to find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Vancouver Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.
- Airport Ambassadors - Steve tells us "Volunteers in green vest/jacket are located throughout the terminal and information counters airside. Staff in blue vest/jacket can be found at information counters landside and at customs hall."
- Aquarium - The airport has a large, 114,000-litre aquarium showcasing 850 indigenous sea animals. Location: International Terminal, Departures Level.
- ATMs / Cash Machines - Locations: International Arrivals (next to ICE currency exchange) • International Departure (next to ICE currency exchange) • Domestic Arrivals (next to Tim Hortons) • Domestic Level 1 (at 7-11, Scotiabank - the only one at the airport) and others scattered throughout the terminals. Update by Steve.
- Chapel - Location: International Arrivals, Arrivals Level 2, landside. Hours: 24 hours a day with Chaplain/Volunteers available 9:00AM - 7:00PM (Mon-Fri)
- Children's Play Area - Location: Domestic Terminal Food Court (landside) • Domestic Terminal Gates 3 and 43 (airside) • International Terminal - Gate 54 (airside) • Domestic Terminal, Departures Level 3, Gate 13 (airside)
- Currency Exchange - There are many ICE Currency Service locations landside and airside. There is a 24 hour location in the International Terminal, on level 3 (landside).
- Dental and Medical Clinics
This is probably here more for the airport employees, but if you have to require dental work in between flights stop by here. Location: Domestic Terminal - landside, level 1
- Food & Drinks -
There are many food options, but only a few food concessions that are open 24-hours:
»Landside: Tim Hortons • 7-11 (Domestic Terminal, Landside, Level 1)
»Airside: A&W • Subway
- Information Desks - There are 12 customer care counters throughout the airport, with representatives available 24 hours a day. Also look for the Green Coat Volunteers for help. SleepingInAirports reader Steve sent us some information regarding the information desks:
- US Departures: Departure Level 3 (Landside, next to CBSA NEXUS office) • Departure Level 3 (Landside, before Gate E security screening) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after US CBP).
- International: Departure Level 3 (Landside, above arrivals) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after security screening) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after duty free) • Arrivals (Airside, inside Customs Hall) • Arrivals (Landside, greeters hall)
- Domestic: Arrivals Level 2 (Landside, outside of carousel 4) • Departure Level 3 (Landside, next to the food court) • Departure Level 3 - LINK (Landside, next to Air Canada check-in counters) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after Gate C security) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after security Gate A to the right) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, before Monk's Grill).
- Luggage Storage & Lockers - CDS Baggage Services has two locations. International Terminal, Landside, Level 2 and Domestic Terminal, Landside, Level 2. Rates range from $5.00-8.50 per item based on a 24-hour period. Short and long term storage is available. Hours: 5am - 11pm.
- Medical Clinic - Vancouver Airport Medical Clinic. Location: Hours: 8:00AM - 5:00PM (Mon-Fri).
- Mobile Charging - Mobile charging stations are available near the seats at the gates throughout the airport.
- Observation Area - Meet your friends or watch the activity on the tarmac at the airport's observation area. There are telescopes, interactive kiosks and an interactive model of Sea Island. Location: Domestic Terminal, Level 4 (Landside). Rate: Free.
- Pharmacy - Location: Domestic Terminal, Landside, Level 1. Hours: 8:00AM - 6:00PM (Mon-Fri, closed weekends and holidays).
- Rest Zones - While the airport has no designated rest zones, there are numerous areas in the International Departures Area that have sleep friendly seating. You will find either lounge style seats near the windows or cushioned block style furniture that are often covered with airport sleepers.
- Self-Guided Tour - The airport has a self-guide walking tour of the terminal. Take some time to enjoy Cedar Connection • Public Observation Area • Supernatural World • The Jade Canoe • The Great Wave Wall • Clayoquot Welcome Figures • Ksan Totem Poles • Green Wall. [ brochure ]
- Showers - Airside - Plaza Premium Lounges (International and Domestic Terminals). Landside - The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel offers drop-in access to the Health Club, saunas and showers for $18 per person.
- Spa - Absolute Spa has 5 locations: Domestic Terminal, Landside, Level 1 • Domestic Terminal, Airside, Airside, Gate C47 • Domestic Terminal, Airside, Gate C30 • USA Terminal, Landside (Fairmont Hotel) • Airside Gate E85. Hours: Vary by location.
The airport is open 24 hours.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport
YVR is served by regional buses from Whistler, Victoria, Duke Point (Nanaimo) on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Washington State in the United States. YVR Whistler SkyLynx offers service to/from Whistler and Squamish. Tickets are sold online or in the International Terminal (Arrivals Level 2) at the YVR Whistler SkyLynx ticket counter of Pacific Coach. Buses depart from Bus Bay 10. The YVR - Victoria Link offers service to/from Victoria (Vancouver Island), Gulf Islands and Duke Point. Tickets include BC ferry service from Tsawwassen or Swartz Bay ferry terminals, and are sold online or at the Pacific Coach ticket counter. Buses depart from Bus Bay 9. Credit cards are accepted at the ticket counters. Please check-in at the Pacific Coach counters in the International Terminal (Arrivals Level 2) before boarding your bus.
Avis, Budget, Dollar/Thrifty, Hertz and National/Alamo operate onsite on the ground floor of the parkade. Enterprise has a nearby offsite location, accessible by free Enterprise shuttle bus, which stops at the car rental bus shelter in the Economy Parking Lot. Enterprise can be reached by direct dial courtesy phone in the car rental bus shelter.
Several area hotels provide airport transportation service as a courtesy to their guests. The hotels shuttle stops are located at the green canopy outside of the International Terminal (Arrivals Level 2) and Domestic Terminal (Arrivals Level 1). Hotel shuttle pick-up can be requested via direct-dial courtesy phone, available on Arrivals Level 2 of both International and Domestic terminals, or at the shuttle bus stops.
The following hotels provide airport shuttle service:
- Accent Inn Vancouver Airport - (Shuttle Hours: 24 hours, pick-up from the airport is every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour. From the hotel, the shuttle departs on the :10 and :40)
- Best Western Plus Abercorn Inn - (Shuttle Hours: 4:00AM - 12:45AM)
- Coast Vancouver Airport - (Shuttle Hours: 24 hours. Departs hotel every 30 minutes. If you are arriving, call the hotel using one of the courtesy shuttle phones)
- Days Inn - Vancouver Airport
- Executive Airport Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre Richmond - (Shuttle Hours: 5:00AM - 11:00PM, every 30 minutes. After 11:00PM, call the hotel at 604-278-5555 for pick-up)
- Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport - (Shuttle Hours: 3:45AM - 12:30AM, every 30 minutes. Call the hotel for airport pick-up:604-214-0888)
- Hampton Inn by Hilton Vancouver Airport - (Shuttle Hours: 24 hours. Pick-up is on request. Use the courtesy phones located in the shuttle pick up area, on the arrival level of international/domestic terminals)
- Hilton Vancouver Airport
- La Quinta Inn Vancouver Airport - (Shuttle Hours: 6:00AM - 9:45PM)
- Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport - (Shuttle Hours: 24 hours. Pick-up locations at the airport are: International Terminal (Arrivals Level 2, green canopy) and Domestic Terminal (Arrivals Level 1))
- Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport - (Shuttle Hours: 24 hours, every 20 minutes)
- Quality Hotel Airport (South) - (Shuttle Hours: regular service every 15-20 minutes in the morning and after 2:00PM. On request, in the afternoon and evening. Call (604) 244-3051 for pick-up).
- Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel - (Shuttle Hours: 24 hours - regular service from 5:00AM - 12:00AM, departs every 30 minutes. After midnight, the services is provided on demand. Call 800-663-0299 or 604-273-7878 for pick-up)
- Vancouver Airport Marriott
- Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport - (Shuttle Hours: 4:00AM - 12:30AM)
The airport offers a free shuttle service between the South Terminal, a regional general aviation hub, and the International and Domestic Terminals. South Terminal Shuttle stops are located in front of the South Terminal, at International Terminal (Arrivals Level 2, bus bay 3) and Domestic Terminal (Arrivals Level 2).
Licensed taxis are readily available from taxi stands located on Level 2 of the Domestic and International Terminals’ Arrivals Area. Zone fares apply to rides from the airport to destinations within the zoned areas in Vancouver. Metered rates apply to journeys from the city to the airport.
The Canada Line is a rapid transit commuter rail service that runs between the airport and the city centers, reaching central Richmond in 18 minutes and central Vancouver in just 26 minutes. The Canada Line train platform is located between the International and Domestic Terminals, easily accessible by escalator or elevator. For information on fares, schedules, routes and mass transit connections, visit the Canada Line website.
Airport Sleeper Policy
As of January 2012, there have been reports that security is now checking airport sleepers throughout the night. Please have your ID, e-ticket and a good reason as to why you are not in a hotel!
Last Updated: 14 November 2015
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.