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

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us about their time at Vancouver Airport.

What to Expect

Vancouver Airport is large, bright and modern. The airport is made up of 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.

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 airport guide below for locations and rates.

Where to Sleep

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 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 airport 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.

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.

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. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic, Gate B15) – Location: Domestic Departures, Airside, Level 3, near Gate B15. Showers and nap rooms are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic, Gate C29) – Location: Domestic Departures, Airside, Level 3, near Gate C29. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  Plaza Premium Lounge (International) – Location: International Departures, Airside, Level 3. Showers and nap rooms are available ($). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  Plaza Premium Lounge (Transborder) – Location: USA Transborder Departures, Airside, Level 3, near Gate E87. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

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

If sleeping in Vancouver Airport does not appeal to you, there is a hotel inside the airport:

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

Near Airport Pacific Gateway Hotel Vancouver Airport – (5 minutes from the airport) A new hotel open near the airport. Free 24-hour airport shuttle available daily, no reservation required. Shuttle picks up at both terminals. » Check Rates

Near Airport Days Inn Vancouver Airport – (8 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle is available. » Check Rates

Near Airport Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport – (10 minutes from the airport) A free shuttle bus is available. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Vancouver Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Free WiFi is available at Vancouver Airport.

Communications

  • Postal Services – There is a Canada Post branch inside of the 7-11 convenience store. Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 1. Hours: 7:00AM – 8:00PM (Mon-Fri), 10:00AM – 5:00PM (Sat), 12:00PM – 4:00PM (Sun).
  • WiFi – see “Airport WiFi/Internet” above.

Family Services

  • Baby Care Facilities – Cribs, playpens and a changing area are available in the Nursery. Location: US Terminal, landside, Level 3, next to the restrooms.
  • 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)

Food & Drinks

  • Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours:
    • Domestic Terminal, landside, Level 3: Subway • Tim Horton’s
    • Domestic Terminal, landside, Level 1: 7-11
    • International Terminal, landside, Level 3: Starbucks • Wendy’s
    • International Terminal, airside: Hudson News Euro Cafe (Gate D66)

Information

  • 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.”
  • 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 Terminal: 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 Terminal: 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 Terminal: 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

  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Store your stuff at CDS Baggage Services. Short and long term services available for $5 – $8.50 per item. Located landside on Level 2 in both International and Domestic terminals. Hours: 7:00AM – 1:00AM (Intl) or 5:00AM – 11:00PM (Domestic).
  • Luggage Wrapping – Safe Bag provides baggage wrapping services, bike box purchases and other packing/shipping supplies. Location: International Terminal, landside, Level 3. Hours: 7:00AM – 11:00PM.

Medical Services

  • Dental Services – Check-ups, cleanings and a full range of preventative and emergency dental services are available at the Vancouver Airport Dental Centre! Location: Domestic, landside, Level 1. Hours: 8:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon-Fri), 9:00AM -4:30PM (Sat).
  • 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 – 5:00PM (Mon-Fri), Closed on weekends.
  • Pharmacy – Pharmasave is conveniently located next to the airport medical clinic. Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 1. Hours: 8:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon-Fri) Closed weekends and holidays.

Mobile Charging

Mobile 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. 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).
  • Banking Services – A full-service 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) offices are located:
    • Domestic Terminal: landside (Level 3) and airside (Gate B17)
    • US Terminal: landside (Level 3) and airside (Level 3 and Gate E86)
    • International Terminal: landside (Levels 2 and 3*) and airside (Level 2 and Gate D53) Hours: Hours vary per location. *The International terminal (Level 3) location is open 24 hours.

Prayer

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

Rest & Relaxation

  • Hotels – see “Airport Hotels” above.
  • Lounges – see “Airport Lounges” above.
  • Quiet Zone – A quiet zone is 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.
  • 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.

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 and the Sky Team Lounge (International and Domestic Terminals).
    • 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: Hours vary per location, but most stay open until 7:00PM. Here are the four locations:
    • Domestic Terminal: landside (Level 1) and airside (Gate C47)
    • US Terminal: landside (Level 4 – at Fairmont Hotel) and airside (Gate E85).
    • Domestic Terminal: airside – The Refinery Spa offers salon and spa services specifically for men (women are also welcome). Location: Domestic, airside, Gate C31. Hours: 7:30AM – 7:00PM.

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, landside, 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 (Sun).
  • Luggage & Shoe Repair – Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 1 Hours: 7:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon-Fri) and 9:00AM – 5:00PM (Sat), Closed Sunday.

The airport is open 24 hours.

As of March 2018, Vancouver airport is served by the following airlines: Aeromexico • Air Canada • Air China • Air France • Air New Zealand • Air North • Air Transat • Alaska Airlines • American Airlines • ANA • Beijing Capital Airlines • British Airways • Cathay Pacific • Central Mountain Air • China Airlines • China Eastern • China Southern • Condor • Delta • Edelweiss Air • Eva Airways • Flair Airlines • Harbour Air • Hawkair • Helijet Airways • Hong Kong Airlines • Horizon Air • Icelandair • Island Express • Japan Airlines • KD Air • KLM • Korean Air • Lufthansa • Orca Airways • Pacific Coastal Airlines • Philippine Airlines • Qantas • Salt Spring Air • Seair Seaplanes • Sichuan Airlines • Sunwing • Tofino Air • United Airlines • West Coast Air • WestJet • Xiamen Airlines.

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, send a tip to [email protected] and we will add it to the list.

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 Pacific Coach website.

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar/Thrifty, Hertz, National and zipcar operate onsite on the ground floor of the parkade. Enterprise, Discount and Routes have a nearby offsite location, accessible by free shuttle bus.

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   •  Best Western Plus Abercorn Inn   •  Coast Vancouver Airport   •  Days Inn – Vancouver Airport   •  Executive Airport Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre Richmond   •  Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport   •  Hampton Inn by Hilton Vancouver Airport   •  Hilton Vancouver Airport   •  La Quinta Inn Vancouver Airport   •  Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport   •  Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport   •  Quality Hotel Airport (South)   •  Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel   •  Vancouver Airport Marriott   •  Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport.

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

Last updated: 2018-11-14

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,  write a review or send an email to [email protected]