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Kelowna sees air traffic boost

Kelowna airport is one of the fastest growing airports in Canada.

With the first six months of 2014 complete, passenger numbers at Kelowna International Airport (YLW) have reached a new record showing 780,651 flying through the terminal, compared to 729,175 in 2013, putting the first half of the year more than seven per cent ahead of the same period in 2013.

Air travel is good for the region. Business gets done, friends and family visit and tourists explore.

Just ask Tourism Kelowna CEO Nancy Cameron. “The summer tourist season is off to a strong start. All indications show this is going to be a successful season for the industry!”

“We are really pleased with these numbers,” says YLW Business Development and Community Relations Specialist Jenelle Hynes. “Our team at YLW is doing a great job welcoming and processing our air travellers as they fly in and out of our region; however, with this increase in passengers also comes some strain on our service provider resources.  Like many of the larger airports across Canada and the US, we are seeing longer wait times going through security at specific peak times.”

Travellers familiar with YLW might expect a quick check-in online from their home computer, drop their bag off with the airline and then head through security 15 minutes before departure time; but that can sometimes lead to disappointment and missed flights explains Hynes. 

Domestic airline data shows that passengers check in a minimum of 45 minutes before the flight; boarding times are usually 25 to 30 minutes before the flight time, and then add in a 10 to 20 minute line up through security during peak travel times of the day when there are multiple flights leaving at the same time. Passengers are now experiencing travel stress and in some cases are too late to board their flight.

An easy way to avoid the pre-boarding travel stress is to arrive 90 minutes before flights within Canada and two hours before flights to the US and Mexico, and then head through security to the departures area as soon as possible. 

Arriving early for your flight and discovering little to no security lineup is not time wasted as the airport has many services available including an expanded White Spot with new patio seating; two well stocked gift shops and a winery association wine store with plenty of the local Okanagan VQA’s represented.

The departure time on your ticket means that’s the time when the aircraft wheels must be leaving the ground. Don’t let your flight depart without you.

For more information on YLW news, destinations and services visit ylw.kelowna.ca.

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