The airport is a big place. How big? We could stuff three B.C. Place stadiums into our square footage! In a facility of this size, there are bound to be services and amenities that aren't as well known as others. So we've compiled some secret (or lesser-known) YVR features that people might not know about.
1. Stay Dry
You hear a lot about the rain in Vancouver. We get it, it rains more in Vancouver than other places in the world. But it's time to embrace the rain. Our alternative is frigid temperatures and piles of snow, and besides, it keeps our city green and lush just how we like it! Preparedness is key, and arriving passengers might forget to stow the ultimate Vancouver accessory: the umbrella. Even as a lifetime Vancouverite, when returning from trips I rarely have a brolly tucked in my belongings. Which is why we have an umbrella vending machine in the terminal. Located on Level 1 Domestic Arrivals just before you walk outside, umbrellas are available for $5. They can also be purchased at the Tourism Information centres located on Level 2 International Arrivals and Level 2 Domestic Arrivals.
2. Level Up
I'm a big fan of hidden lunch spots. One of the better places to have a more muted meal is the upper level of the International Food Court. Not only is it a little more sparsely populated up there, but your vantage point gives you a bird's eye view of the fun below, and a direct line of sight to the Jade Canoe scultpure where loads of photos are snapped every day. Next time you're grabbing lunch at the International Food Court, level up!
3. Park It
YVR offers a variety of affordable parking options for hourly stays and much longer visits. One way to save some coin next time you park your car is to visit our website and download the parking coupon. There is always one available on our homepage for anybody to access, and it will save you a few bucks.
4. Airport Lullaby
Travelling with a newborn or infant can definitely be a challenge. Airports are by nature busy places with lots of people and lots of noise. To get some quiet time with your little one or a private place to change or nurse, try out our nursery, tucked away on the East Concourse, US Departures Level 3. The room features cribs, changing stations and most importantly, privacy. If the facility is locked, just ask nearby Customer Care staff for assistance.
5. Inside the Lines
We try to make the passenger experience as stress-free as possible, so naturally one of our target passengers is people travelling with small children. To placate the rugrats we offer free activity books and colouring books at all pre-security information counters. Crayons included.
6. Secret Garden
There are lots of green spaces at YVR, including Chester Johnson Park, directly across from International Arrivals Level 2, on your left as you approach the parkade. Opened in 1996 and named for YVR pioneer Chester Johnson, the park has a waterfall feature, peaceful walking path and incredible First Nations totems. Next time you're on a layover, spend some time in this sliver of serenity. There's also a less frequented spot nearby to take a load off with fewer trees so you might get a bit more sun. On your right as you exit International Arrivals, the park is up a small set of steps and is the perfect spot to read a book or eat lunch with no distractions.
7. Lunch and Latte
With all due respect to the other franchise locations out there, YVR has hit the jackpot when it comes to our Subway and Starbucks staff in the Domestic food court. Jun and the gang at Starbucks might have the most important jobs at YVR, keeping airport staff fully caffeinated. I can't say enough good things about him and his team, who put a smile on the face of every customer with their positivity. And Subway keeps us all well fed through the day, employing the most meticulous sandwich artists I've ever encountered. There's nothing worse than poorly spaced toppings or sloppy sauce application on a sandwich. Globs are no good. Not with this crew though, who expertly and evenly distribute veggies on every sub and spread the sauce out like it was their own lunch every time. All of our retail operators go Beyond, Every Day at YVR, but these two locations are true gems of service and standards.
8. Personal Services
Looking for a new dentist or a convenient walk-in clinic? Look no further than Level 1 of YVR's Domestic Terminal, which has a medical clinic, dentist and pharmacy. Add to these services a luggage and shoe repair shop, dry cleaner and post office (inside 7-Eleven), and your list of errands is a snap.
9. Free Fun
We like to party. Do you like to party? Then come join us! Next up on the list of YVR's community events is our Chinese New Years celebrations next Friday, January 31, where we will ring in the Year of the Horse. Live entertainment, fortune telling, traditional lion dances and more await. Come July and August, join us for our fifth annual Take-Off Fridays for roving entertainment, kids' activities and other fun ways to occupy the family for less than a fortune. Discounted parking is available every Friday.
10. Get Connected
Two words: Free Wi-Fi.