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
Just wanted to confirm the area by the USA gates is still a great place to sleep. You can get some privacy, just look around. I slept by the escalator to the hotel. I was around the corner and the lights were pretty dim. It was quite private unlike many of the other benches. The benches in this airport don't have arms (I'm 6'2' and was comfortable) and they're movable keep that in mind. I definitely recommend checking near the escalator to the hotel to see if there is a spot for you there. The showers at the hotel don't open to the public until 8am.
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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.
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.
The airport is open 24 hours.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport
The Canada Line is Vancouver’s new rapid transit rail link connecting YVR to downtown Vancouver in 26 minutes and to downtown Richmond in 18 minutes. You can access trains from both the international and domestic terminals.
Canada Line’s YVR-Airport station is centrally located between the terminals. As you exit the train, turn left for domestic flights or right for US and international flights. For information about fares, visit www.translink.bc.ca.
All transit users travelling on the Canada Line leaving Vancouver International Airport will be subject to a $5 Canada Line YVR AddFare in addition to the regular zone fare.
Tickets are available for purchase at the airport 7 Eleven and Pharmasave in the Domestic Terminal, Arrivals level, 1 or any FareSaver dealer in Metro Vancouver. For fares and schedules, visit the Canada Line web site.
Getting to and from Whistler, Victoria and Duke Point (Nanaimo) on Vancouver Island, the Gulf islands and even across the border to Washington State is easy from YVR. A number of scheduled bus services depart from both terminals.
Taxis are available on Level 2 of the Domestic and International Arrivals Area. All taxis who pick up passengers from the airport are fully licensed. Zone fares only apply from Vancouver International Airport (including the South Terminal) to the specified zones. Metered rates apply on return trips to YVRand to areas outside of the zones.
Car rental facilities are conveniently located just steps from the terminal on the ground floor of the parkade. Companies operating their vehicle pickup and return services directly from these facilities include: Alamo • Avis • Budget • Dollar • Hertz • National • Thrifty.
Hotel courtesy shuttle buses provide transportation service to many of our local hotels. To request a hotel shuttle bus, use the direct dial phones to the hotels located on Arrivals Level 2 of both the International and Domestic Terminals.
Courtesy shuttle pick-up & drop-off areas are located at the green canopy outside of Arrivals Level 2 International Terminal Building and outside the Arrivals Level 1 Domestic Terminal Building.
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!
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Last Updated: 18 February 2014
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.