Vancouver International Airport urges passengers to arrive 3 hours early

Apr 30 2022, 6:20 pm

For a less stressful experience and to ensure travellers do not miss their flight, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is now urging travellers to arrive at least three hours before their scheduled US or international flight, and at least two hours before their scheduled domestic flight.

In a bulletin Friday, Vancouver Airport Authority states Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) — the federal crown corporation responsible for passenger security screening — is experiencing ongoing staff shortages.

This has led to unusually long lines and lengthy delays in processing passengers through security screening. The strong recommendation to arrive up to three hours early is until further notice.

“It is unclear when this situation will improve,” reads the bulletin, adding that travellers should “recognize that CATSA staff are doing their best under very busy and challenging circumstances.”

There have been social media reports this week that during some periods, US and international travellers have been routed to domestic security due to the CATSA staffing shortages, which reduce the ability to fully operate the airport’s multiple dedicated security screening checkpoints.

YVR’s bulletin specifically states this is a possibility, noting that “passengers may be directed through specific screening checkpoints depending on volume.”

All of this comes amid the the start of the peak travel season and the strongest resurgence yet in air travel at YVR in two years, with the airport now expecting to see up to 45,000 passengers daily. But this is still well below the pre-pandemic 2019 high of up to 78,000 passengers daily.

So far, much of YVR’s passenger traffic recovery has been from its domestic traffic, but there has been new growth in US and international traffic as the result of relaxed health safety requirements and testing requirements.

YVR notes masks continue to be required within the terminal building and onboard flights.

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