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Kelowna  

Busiest season at airport

Madison Erhardt

Kelowna International Airport is braced for the busiest travel days of the year.

Airport director Sam Samaddar has a few tips to help travellers take off as quickly as possible.

"I think the most important thing is to give yourself lots of time. We are recommending people be here at least two hours in advance. Certainly, we have the peak days coming up on Dec. 23, 24, and again on Dec.26 and 27," he said Tuesday. 

Extreme weather can also play a significant role, he added. 

"I think for the passengers, they should have a contingency plan. We know that during winter operation there is extra time required for flights to get off the ground, such as de-icing."

"We also know that as we deal with the increased traffic, all the aircraft are full. It will take extra time to process people."

The airport expects more than 100,000 passengers through its doors during the next three weeks.

YLW offers the following tips:

  • Consider alternative transportation. Although there are more than 2,600 stalls available, parking is expected to reach full capacity. Use a taxi, limousine services, airport shuttle, public transit or have a friend drop you off.
  • Explore parking options. Do you need short- or long-term parking, curbside or valet? YLW also has a new cellphone waiting area near the airport plaza. 
  • Arrive early. The terminal building opens at 3:30 a.m. with check-in counters, pre-board screening and food services available at 4 a.m. It is recommended to check-in and drop off your baggage for domestic flights at least 90 minutes before boarding time and at least two hours prior to international flights.
  • Know what you can bring through security. Avoid surrendering items by checking CATSA’s permitted and non-permitted lists to see which items to pack in your carry-on and checked baggage. If you're bringing gifts, leave them unwrapped.
  • Confirm airline ID requirements and pet policies. Check with your airline to ensure you have the required identification and valid travel documentation for everyone, including children. Some airlines have restrictions on travelling with pets during peak holiday periods.


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