Holiday travel tips from YLW

December 20, 2023
News release

Kelowna International Airport (YLW) is anticipating a busy holiday season. More than 130,000 passengers are expected between Dec. 20 and Jan. 8, with the busiest travel days being Wednesdays and Fridays.  

“YLW wants to ensure that everyone who chooses to fly with us this holiday season has a safe and enjoyable journey,” said Sam Samaddar, YLW Chief Executive Officer. “That is why we encourage passengers to plan in advance and prepare for longer than normal wait times at the airport during this time.” 

YLW is working with airline partners to help passengers during this busy travel period. Extra YLW staff will be available during this time to aid passengers in the terminal and on the front curb.  

To make your travel experience as easy as possible, please consider the travel tips noted below: 

Check-in online 
Passengers are encouraged to check-in, pay fees, and retrieve their boarding pass online from home to help speed up your experience at the airport. 

Plan how you will get to YLW in advance 
Parking at YLW is expected to reach full capacity during this peak period. To guarantee a parking spot, passengers can pre-book valet parking services. There are also alternative transportation options to the airport, such as taxi, shared ride services, limousine services, airport shuttles, public transit or having a friend or family member drop you off. 

Pre-book valet 
Make your travel day easier by using valet parking services at YLW.  Now offered at curb side, valet is offered for a one time fee that is added to the final cost of your parking stay using long-term parking rates. Pre-book now at ylw.kelowna.ca/valet

Know what you can pack in carry-on and checked baggage
When packing for your trip, visit catsa.gc.ca to check if items should be packed in checked baggage or carry-on. If you are bringing gifts, leave them unwrapped as they may need to be inspected. Check with your airline to learn about their baggage restrictions and fees. 

Arrive at the airport early
It is recommended to arrive at the terminal building at least two hours before your domestic flights and three hours before any international flight. 

Confirm your airline’s identification requirements  
Check with your airline to ensure you have the required identification and valid travel documentation for everyone, including children. If you are not a Canadian or American citizen and you are travelling to the United States you may be required to complete an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application, which you can do online before arriving to the airport by visiting esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta.  

To help passengers know what to expect, YLW will be providing daily updates, including anticipated peak times, and parking lot capacity, at ylw.kelowna.ca/traveltips

For travel to the US and Canada please consider using the Arrive Canada app or the Mobile Passport Control app prior to entry into Canada or the US. Please note there are eligibility requirements for who can use the app.