The Christmas/New Year period can be one of the most difficult times of the year to travel by air. Winter storms, high passenger numbers, and increased security measures have combined to make the experience particularly frustrating.
With more direct flights to more destinations, the travel season promises to be an active one. Kelowna International Airport expects a brisk but steady traffic flow from December 15 through January 6, with the busiest travel time expected the weekends of December 21, December 28 and January 4.
Here are some basic Frequently Asked Questions to help get you through the holiday travel season easier:
What time should I be at the airport before my flight?
- 90 minutes for flights within Canada and two hours for flights to the US or Mexico
What kind of identification do I need for my flight?
- Requirements can vary depending on whether you are travelling domestically or internationally so you might want to check with your airline. Be sure to have government issued photo identification for all flights. Note that all passengers, including Canadian and U.S. citizens, are required to present a valid passport when travelling by air between Canada and the United States.
- If you are not a Canadian or American and you are travelling to the United States, please apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). ESTA is an on-line application system developed by the United States government to pre-screen travellers before they are allowed to travel into the United States. There is a computer available at the airport in the Ambassadors' office between 7:30 am - 8 pm however, it is best to apply in advance when booking your flight.
Are there any special requirements for children?
- Specific documentation may be required for children under 18, especially if they are not being accompanied by a parent or guardian. Confirm details with your airline or visit the Government of Canada Travel Website for more information about travelling with children.
I am flying with my pet - is there anything I need to know?
- For specific questions regarding the flight please contact your airline. However while at the airport: a relieving area for travelling pets has been designated in the landscaping to the right of the Arrivals exit doors. (Please note that due to a local bylaw dogs and pets in general, other than service animals, are not allowed in the terminal unless properly contained within their travelling cases).
Can I reserve a parking spot for my vehicle?
- This is a busy time of year for travel and we are forcasting approximately 100,000 passengers in and out of YLW between December 16 and January 2; the parking lots can get quite full. However there is no reservation system for parking. We do however have the Gold Pass program for the lot directly in front of the terminal. See parking information page regarding the Gold Pass program and parking fees.
- Starting December 1, a valet parking service will be available at the south entrance to the terminal. This service will cost an additional $10 on top of the final parking cost, going up to $15 on January 1. More information on valet parking.
Airport Vehicle Parking ADVISORY Parking will be limited during this peak holiday travel period. There are over 2,600 parking spaces available but we do expect to go into our overflow lots. For ease, convenience and door-to-door service, we recommend having a friend or family member drop you off or pick you up at the airport or if they are unavailable call one of our licensed shuttle services, taxis or limousines. Ground transportation options
Do you have shuttle service from the long-term lot to the terminal building?
- Yes. Look for the well marked Toyota hybrid with the orange flags. Usually it is parked near the entrance to the lot or at the South entrance of the terminal building. Give the driver a wave and the driver will follow you to your parking spot to give you a free lift to the terminal. Shuttle service may not always be available in the overflow lots.
Can I bring wrapped gifts in my carry-on – what about some of Grandma’s baking?
- It is suggested if you must wrap the gifts prior to your trip to put them in your checked luggage and unwrapped gifts can go in carry-on. Baked goods are allowed as carry-on. To search whether or not other items are allowed, refer to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) list of acceptable items .
I am not sure what I can or can’t have in my carry on or checked luggage.
- CATSA has a handy site to help with your packing questions. Use the Pack Smart tool as you prepare for your trip.
I have questions about the screening process.
My flight is delayed or cancelled because of weather – who do I call?
- Passengers are asked to contact their air carrier reservations to confirm the arrival and departure of their flight:
Passengers are advised to check the status of their flight on their airline's website or, for real time information, see Arrivals and Departures. If the flight has been cancelled do not come to the airport but instead rebook from home. If the flight is delayed but scheduled to operate, check the status of the flight and leave plenty of time to check in
I am here but my luggage didn’t make it. What do I do now?
- Please do NOT contact the airport administration office – although staff would love to help you we just don’t have access to the airlines’ baggage system. Please contact your airline directly:
Airline Baggage Claim Contact information:
For further questions or suggestions please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org