YVR: Vancouver - Terminal map, lounges, bars & restaurants
Vancouver Airport Guide
It is the second busiest airport in Canada by aircraft movements, behind Toronto. However because it is so close to Asian (only about 15 hours flying time away) Vancouver is the main gateway between Canada and Asia. It has more transpacific flights than virtually any other airport in America.
Free high speed Wi-Fi internet access is available in the International and Domestic Terminals.
The International and Domestic terminals could be considered to be one very large building divided into two sections, and a link building links the international terminal with the domestic terminal. This is also the terminus for the Vancouver Airport Train. The South terminal is located in a remote part of the airport.
Vancouver Airport International TerminalConstruction is currently taking place to expand the international terminal and refurbishing and expanding the domestic terminal.
Vancouver International Airport is a lovely building. It is coloured blue and green to reflect the colours of the land, sea and sky. The is a lot of stained glass. Yes, really. And it works too.
If the terminal can be considered a large building divided into two, so the International Terminal is divided ito two - gate G and gate E.
Gate D: the main part of the international terminal has all customs and immigration services. Its interior what is called a 'British Columbian' theme, featuring a vast collection of Pacific Northwest Coast Native art including wooden sculptures and totem poles. A sculpture in bronze by Bill Reid called "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, The Jade Canoe", is displayed in the departures area. Also don't miss the 'stream in a pathway' and fish and jellyfish tanks. Meanwhile in the International arrivals hall, you pass over a platform across a large waterfall to get to customs.
Gate E: this is the transborder area for passengers to the US. Vancouver Airport is one of eight Canadian airports that has United States border preclearance facilities: what this means is that you in effect leave Canada and can enter the US once your passport has been checked. In the International terminal there are glass partitions which physically separate US-bound passengers. It has only a small selection of retail shops. The exeption to the rule is Cathay Pacific to New York and Philippine Airways to Las Vegas, which leave from the proper international area.
Vancouver Airport Domestic Terminal
Vancouver Airport South TerminalThe South terminal is located in a remote part of the airport. The South Terminal serves regional airlines which fly mostly within British Columbia. The International Terminal serves international destinations, with most US-bound flights utilising the US Border Preclearance facilities in the International Terminal.
First & Business Class lounges at Vancouver AirportNEWS: The JAL lounge Vancouver has now closed, and part of the space used to expand the Vancouver Plaza Premium Lounge, to which lounge JAL Japan Airlines give an invite.
Vancouver Airport transportationVancouver airport to city is easy: you may wish other airports had such a good public transport connection. If you want to go from Vancouver airport to downtown, the fastest and cheapest way is the train.
Vancouver Airport train
Trains take 26 minutes from Vancouver to the Airport, and cost CA$3.75. However beware you need to pay a $5 surcharge (the "YVR AddFare") incurred on cash fare tickets purchased from vending machines at the airport for tickets starting at the airport, taking the fare from YVR to Vancouver to CA$8.75. To bypass the AddFare buy a day pass at the PharmaSave or 7-Eleven in the domestic terminal. The ticket you receive is valid for one and a half hours - or you can buy a daypass for CA$9 which offers unlimited travel for all zones over one day.
Trains leave every seven minutes from YVR–Airport Station. This terminus station is in the link building which connects the international and domestic terminal.
Vancouver Airport shuttle bus servicesThere are domestic buses to Vancouver Airport.
Vancouver Airport taxi servicesGetting a taxi to and from Vancouver Airport is usually trouble free.
There is a licensed taxi rank outside both the Domestic and International terminals. Cost is about CA$30 - cabs take Canadian Dollars only. Travel time is about 30 minutes - which is longer than the train.
Car Hire at Vancouver AirportMajor car hire operators are located in the Arrivals Halls. To save time and ensure you get the car you want, book your rental in advance. Rental car operators from Vancouver Airport include: Europcar, Thrifty, Avis and Budget.
Vancouver Airport Bars and RestaurantsThere is a real shortage of airside airport bars at Vancouver: in particular in the international terminal there is a choice of one.
Milestone's restaurantInternational terminal, airside, by Gate D53
There are two Milestone's restaurant at YVR, and this is the better one.
Food is good, particularly the salads.
The bar is, well, just an airport bar really. However it does serve British Columbia wine or the special YVR cocktail, the "Sky High" Bellini.
Palomino Milestone's restaurantDomestic terminal, airside
Palomino Milestone's restaurant and bar is located in the domestic terminal just outside the security check-in. IT is not only convenient, but it is a step above the normal 'fast food' served in the domestic terminal.
Stanley's Happy Landing Lounge BarDomestic terminal, landside
If you hop off the 6 hour flight from Montreal and need a beer, the dreadfully named Stanley's Happy Landing Lounge is in a great location - it is right opposite the Domestic Terminal baggage carousel. As such, it is a great place to meet up with people.
Alas, it is heavily sports orientated: there are large TV screens showing the game.
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