Sleeping in Airports

Vancouver Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Vancouver Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

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

YVR Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Vancouver Airport.

What to Expect

Vancouver Airport (code: YVR) is large, bright and modern. The airport is made up of two terminals: Main and South.  The main terminal one large inter-connected terminal that is divided into 3 sections: Domestic, Transborder and International. You can transfer to all these sections through the airside area.  The South Terminal is used for float plans, helicopters and corporate charters.

Travellers appreciate the airport design, with lots of natural lighting, local artwork, an aquarium, and comfortable seating. You’ll find plenty of dining and shopping options, including 24 hour eats in both the International and Domestic areas. WiFi is free and mobile charging can be found at the gates. Economy class passengers looking to upgrade their layover can pay to enter a few airport lounges, a few come equipped with showers. See Airport Lounges in the guide below for locations and rates.

Vancouver Airport Guide
Photo Credit: SleepingInAirports.net

Sleeping in Vancouver Airport

Daytime nappers and overnight campers are standard here. Landside, travellers recommend heading to the baggage claim area or behind the American Airlines and WestJet desks for comfortable seating and some privacy. Airside, a lot of seating is armrest-free, so you can stretch out, and most of the floor is carpeted. International gates even have seats with foot stools and padded couches. The airport can get chilly, so bring along an extra layer. Explore our guide to sleeping in Vancouver Airport or read some traveller airport reviews for more tips.   For uninterrupted sleep, check out the hotel located landside in the International Terminal. Several nearby hotels also offer free shuttle service. See Airport Hotels in the guide below for more info.

Good to Know

If you are transiting airside from the Domestic area to the US Transborder area, you will need to go through the International section. If you have a long connection, you may opt to stay here to relax, shop, eat and check out the water displays and aquarium before proceeding to the USA security area. Allow enough time to go through security.

Covid-19 Update

Some airport reviews and tips in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos.

For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Vancouver Airport Guide.

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.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Vancouver Airport Hotels

Quick Facts
  • Nearest Hotel:  Inside the Airport
  • Sleep Cabins or Pods: Yes
  • Day Rooms: Yes
  • Nearby Hotels with Free Shuttles: Yes

When the prospect of sleeping on the floor or in a chair is giving you nightmares, there is good news for those of you who are looking to sleep at Vancouver Airport in comfort.   If you are on a layover in the international terminal, there is a lounge that offers nap rooms that can be booked for 3 and 6 hour time slots.  A hotel is located in the public area of the airport, so transit travellers would need to pass through security to access, but day rooms are available.  Most nearby hotels offer free airport shuttles.

With Covid restrictions constantly changing, we recommend that you confirm shuttle availability prior to booking and/or prior to your arrival.

Inside Airport Fairmont Vancouver Airport – (10 minute walk from Domestic Terminal or 5 minute 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 $20 per person. Day use rooms available for rent in blocks of 4, 6, or 8 hours between the hours of 8:00AM and 8:00PM. Earplugs and eye masks are provided if required.  » Check Rates

Inside Airport Plaza Premium Lounge – The International Terminal location has nap rooms available for 3 and 6 hour time slots. (Rates $70/3 hours – 110/6 hours).   See Airport Lounges above.

Nearby hotels with airport shuttles

For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near Vancouver Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Multiple Locations – (1) Domestic Departures, (1) Transborder Departures and (1) International Departures.

Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic, Gate B15) – Location: Domestic Departures, Airside, Level 3, near Gate B15. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.

Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic, Gate C29) – Location: Domestic Departures, Airside, Level 3, near Gate C29. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.

Plaza Premium Lounge (International) – Location: International Departures, Airside, Level 3. Showers and nap rooms are available ($). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.

Plaza Premium Lounge (Transborder) Temporarily Closed – Location: USA Transborder Departures, Airside, Level 3, near Gate E87. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.

Passes  SkyTeam Lounge – Location: International Terminal, Airside, near Gate 53. Hours: open 24 hours. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.

Airline Lounges

If you are a First or Business Class traveller you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s website.

International Terminal (Non-USA), Airside – British Airways Galleries Club Lounge • British Airways Galleries First Lounge • Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge.

Related Pages: Vancouver Airport Lounges

Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Vancouver Airport.

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

Communications

  • Postal Services – Send your last minute postcards to friends and family from the airport’s Canada Post branch. Location: Domestic terminal, Landside, Level 1, inside the 7-11 convenience store.
  • WiFi – see “Airport WiFi/Internet” above.

Family Services

  • Baby Care Facilities – If you are travelling with an infant, cribs, playpens and a changing area are available in the Nursery. Location: US Terminal, Landside, Level 3, next to the restrooms. Hours: 3:00AM – 8:30PM.
  • Children’s Play Area – When you want to ensure your kids burn off all their energy before their flight, take them to the children’s play area. Location: Domestic Terminal, Airside, C46 • Domestic Terminal, Landside, Level 3 • International Terminal, Airside, D54.

Fitness

  • Gym– The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel offers a gym that contains cardio and training equipment, stretching area, and free weights. The facility offers change rooms with showers, soap, conditioner, lotion, hair dryers. Location: International Terminal 1, Landside. Rate: Day passes cost $ 30 per person per day for access to the gym, pool and showers.  Workout gear is available free of charge.  Hours: 7:00AM – 10:00PM (Pool) • 24 hours (Fitness Center).

Food & Drinks

  • Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. At the time of this summer 2022 update, there was only one 24 hour food option.  All other concessions close by 11:00PM.  These options are open 24 hours:
    • International Terminal, Airside: Subway (Gate D71)

Information

  • Airport Ambassadors – Look for volunteers in green vests/jackets which are located throughout the terminal. Staff in blue vest/jacket can be found at information counters throughout the airport.
  • Information Desks – There are 12 customer care counters throughout the airport, with representatives available 24 hours a day.

Luggage

  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Store your stuff at CDS Baggage Services. Short and long term services available for $5 – $8.50 per item. Locations: Domestic Terminal, Landside, Level 2 • International Terminal, Landside, Level 2.  Hours: 7:00AM – 10:00PM (Intl) • 6:00AM – 10:00PM (Domestic).
  • Luggage Wrapping – Protect your bags from theft and damage by having your bags wrapped in plastic. Safe Bag provides baggage wrapping services, bike box purchases and other packing/shipping supplies. Location: International Terminal, Landside, Level 3. Hours: varies.

Medical Services

  • Dental Services – Check-ups, cleanings, a full range of preventative and emergency dental services and cosmetic treatments are available at the Vancouver Airport Dental Centre! Location: Domestic, Landside, Level 1. Hours: 9:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon-Fri).
  • Medical Clinic – Travel medicine, podiatry, acute pain management and more, available at Vancouver Airport Medical Clinic. Walk-ins welcome! Location: Domestic Terminal, Landside, Level 1. Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM (Mon-Fri), 10:00PM – 4:00PM (Sat – Sun).
  • Pharmacy – Pharmasave is conveniently located next to the airport medical clinic. Location: Domestic Terminal, Landside, Level 1. Hours: 9:00AM – 5:00PM (Mon-Fri). Closed weekends and holidays.

Mobile Charging

  • Mobile Charging – Charging stations are available near the seats at the gates throughout the airport.

Money

  • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans.
  • Banking Services – A full-service (including currency exchange) Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is available. Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 3. Hours: 9:00AM – 4:30PM (Mon – Fri).
  • Currency Exchange – International Currency Exchange (ICE) locations:
    • Domestic Terminal: Landside (Level 3) and Airside (Level 3)
    • US Terminal: Airside (Level 3)
    • International Terminal: Landside (Levels 2 ) and Airside (Level 2 and Gate D53).

Prayer

  • Chapel – Gather your thoughts in peace at the interfaith chapel. Location: International Terminal, landside, Arrivals Level 2.  Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM.

Rest & Relaxation

  • Hotels – see “Airport Hotels” above.
  • Lounges – see “Airport Lounges” above.
  • Rest Zones – There is a quiet zone equipped with comfy seating, a stretching mat, low-volume speakers and soft lighting. Signage asks all visitors in this area to remain quiet. Location: International Terminal, Airside, Gate D67.  Additionally, 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.

Take precaution even when sleeping in the rest zones.  In December 2019, a traveller at another airport reported that money and credit cards had been stolen from their bag even though the bag was right beside them.  Protect and lock your bags as you would sleeping elsewhere in public.

Shopping

  • Duty Free & Shopping – A variety of duty-free shops are available airside on Level 3 (US and International terminals), in the D gates area (International terminal) and Gate E85 (US terminal). Note: the location on Level 3, International Terminal is open 24 hours. The only other shop which is open 24 hours is a Connoisseur Collection (Duty Free) which sells rare whiskeys and cognacs. Location: International Terminal, Airside, across from Gate 70.

Showers, Salon & Spa

  • Showers – Freshen up before or after your flight by enjoying a shower at one of these locations:
    • Airside – Plaza Premium Lounges (International and Domestic Terminal) and the Sky Team Lounge (International Terminal).
    • Landside – The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel offers drop-in access to the Health Club, saunas and showers for $20 per person.
  • Spa – Manicures, facials, massages and other beauty services are available at Absolute Spa. Hours: vary per location. Locations:
    • Domestic Terminal, Airside: Absolute Spa (Gate C30) • Absolute Spa (Gate C47).
    • US Terminal: Absolute Spa (Airside, Gate E85).

Things to do & see

  • Aquarium – There are two satellite Vancouver Aquarium exhibits: The main exhibit is a large 114,000-litre aquarium showcasing 850 indigenous sea animals, and the other is a smaller 1,800-litre jellyfish aquarium. Location: International Terminal, Airside, Level 3 (main exhibit) and Level 4 (jellyfish exhibit).
  • Observation Area – 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.

Other Airport Services & Facilities

  • Dry Cleaners – Airport Fabricare Cleaners offers same day service if you need a quick alteration. Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 1. Hours: 7:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon-Fri) • 9:00AM – 5:00PM (Sat) • Closed Sunday.
  • Luggage & Shoe Repair – Walter’s Shoe Service provides shoes/luggage repairs and cleaning. Location: Domestic terminal, airside, near Gate C30. Hours: 6:00AM – 8:00PM (Daily).

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Layover Sightseeing

Do you have a long layover? With the proper documentation and a long enough layover, you may have time to leave the airport and do some sightseeing. Here are a few Vancouver Airport Layover Sightseeing ideas. As this is a new page, if you have a suggestion for other layover sightseeing options, click here to update this airport guide and we will add it to the list.

Airlines

Vancouver airport is served by the following airlines: Aeroméxico • Air Canada • Air Canada Jazz • Air China • Air France • Air New Zealand • Air North • Air Transat • Alaska Airlines • American Airlines • All Nippon Airways • British Airways • Capital Airlines • Cascadia Air • Cathay Pacific • Central Mountain Air • China Airlines • China Eastern Airlines • China Southern • Condor • Delta Air Lines • Edelweiss Air • Eva Airways • Flair Airlines • Hainan Airlines • Harbour Air • Helijet Airways • Horizon Air • Icelandair • Iskwew Air • Island Express • Japan Airlines • JetBlue • KLM • Korean Air • Lufthansa • Lynx Air • Pacific Coastal Airlines • Philippine Airlines • Qantas • Seair Seaplanes • Sichuan Airlines • Sun Country Airlines •  Sunwing • Tofino Air • Turkish Airlines • United Airlines • WestJet Airlines • WestJet Encore • Xiamen Airlines.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Bus

The airport is well connected to the bus system should you need to reach Whistler and beyond. The YVR Whistler Sky Linx connects to Whistler, Downtown Vancouver, Squamish and surrounding areas. For fares, routes and schedules, visit the Skylynx website. If you are looking to go to Victoria from the airport, there is a shuttle which takes passengers to where the BC Ferries depart. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the BC Ferries Connector website

Car Rentals

Alamo • Avis • Budget • Dollar/Thrifty • Enterprise • Hertz • National operate onsite on the ground floor of the parkade.  Aligo • Evo Car Share • West Coast Car Rental have a nearby offsite location.  Aligo and Routes are accessible by free shuttle bus.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport shuttle service: Accent Inn Vancouver Airport   •   Days Inn Vancouver Airport   •  Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport   •  Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport   •  Hampton Inn by Hilton Vancouver Airport   •  Hilton Vancouver Airport   •  Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport   •  Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport   •  Quality Hotel Airport (South)   c  Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel   •  Vancouver Airport Marriott.

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.

See also Airport Hotels above.

Inter-Terminal Shuttle

YVR 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 Arrival doors, at International Terminal (Arrivals Level 2, shuttle waiting area) and Domestic Terminal (Arrivals Level 1).

Ride Apps

Lyft, Uber and KABU are authorized Ride Apps at Vancouver Airport.  There are 3 pick-up areas: International Arrivals, Level 2 • Domestic Arrivals, Level 2, South Terminal.

Taxi

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.

Train

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. For information on fares, schedules, routes and mass transit connections, visit the Canada Line website.

Last updated: 2022-08-12

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.