The winter holiday season is a busy time of year at the Victoria International Airport. If travel is in your plans, here are some tips to help ensure your plans run smoothly.
Before You Leave Home
Before you leave home, please remember:
- Make sure you have all of your documentation required to travel. 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 valid (not expired) government issued photo identification for all flights.
- Note that the ID you use must exactly match the name on your ticket. If it does not, you will need to contact your airline to have your ticket re-issued in your legal name.
- All passengers including Canadian and U.S. citizens that do not have NEXUS, are required to present a valid passport when travelling by air between Canada and the U.S.
- 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. 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. Apply for ESTA no later than 72 hours before departing for the United States.
- Airlines may be strictly enforcing baggage limitations. Please check with your airline to confirm your flight and verify that your luggage is within the size and weight restrictions for both carry-on and checked baggage. Baggage fees may be applicable and collected upon check-in or at the gate.
- Curbside Assistance service is available for a traveller with a disability or reduced mobility. If you require curbside assistance from the departures curb to check-in or, upon arrival from baggage claim to departures curb, assistance may be reserved through the airport Curbside Assistance Reservation. For Departures, there is a Curbside Assistance area on the front curb with intercom where assistance can be immediately requested. Please note: If you require assistance for your travel from check-in to the aircraft and from the aircraft to baggage arrivals – please ensure you book this in advance with your airline directly. If you forget, you can also request on the day of departure.
- If you are travelling with pets, confirm your airline’s seasonal pet policy because some airlines don’t accept pets for travel in checked baggage during the holiday season.
- Most major airlines offer customers the option of saving time by checking-in for their flights on-line up to 24 hours before departure.
- Travelling with Cannabis? Get the Facts.
Before departure (24 hours or less)
- Did you know most airlines have advance check-in to confirm your flight/seat. We always recommend travellers take a moment to confirm your travel itinerary and double check departure flight is still on the intended date of travel and departure time.
- Before leaving for the airport, suggest you always check the airline to ensure the flight is still on schedule.
- Note: if you bought your ticket directly from the airline – any delays of your flight are typically sent via email to your personal smart phone/tablet. If you bought your ticket thru a 3rd party website or the ticket was bought by someone else for you – please double check the flight status so that you are not surprised if flight details change. Unless the airline has your contact details, you may not get flight status updates.
- Give yourself some extra time to drive to airport, park, check your baggage, and clear security screening.
- If you are getting a ride to the terminal, please ensure car driver does not to leave vehicle unattended on the curb at any time. For safety and security, towing is in effect.
- If you are bringing your own vehicle, please be reminded that YYJ does not accept parking reservations. We will have ample parking. If our main parking lot is full when you arrive, please follow the directions of parking signs / attendants to alternate short or long term parking lots available.
- Electric vehicle charging stations are available in short and long term parking.
- Payment options for short term parking are coin, debit, credit, Apple and Google Pay. At this time, receipts are not given at the short term lot.
- Payment options for long term parking include cash at the exit booth, debit, credit, Apple and Google Pay, or on-line using PARKEDIN application.
- Parking lots use lettering system to remember where you parked.
- TIP: please ensure to turn off exterior and interior lights, radios or any other car accessory that may drain your battery. Remember to lock car before you leave it.
YYJ has 2,689 parking stalls available for public use. Should the stalls fill, Robbins Parking will have staff to direct you to additional overflow areas. Please follow the directions of the Robbins staff.
Lot 2 Shuttle Service
A shuttle will be available for passengers and luggage from Lot 2 to and from the terminal building beginning Friday, December 22nd 2023 at 5:00 a.m until January 2nd, 2024 at 1:00 a.m.
Complimentary taxi service will be provided between the terminal building and Lot 2 from January 2nd, 2024 until January 16th, 2024 at 1:00 a.m. Taxi vouchers will be available at the Red Coat Desk or by calling 250-888-6470
If you have any questions regarding Holiday Parking, please call the Robbins booth at 250-953-5807.
Arrival Early For Departure
- It is recommended that during the holiday season, you arrive a minimum 2+ hours prior to your scheduled departure time for check-in and pre-board security. Note: airline check-in cut-off is minimum .45 minutes to .60 minutes prior to departure time but this does not take into account security.
- Give yourself extra time so that you can relax and enjoy the airport services.
- Baggage carts are provided FREE and available on the curb as you enter departures check-in.
- If you are travelling with a smart bag or stroller, please remove the battery prior to check-in or boarding.
- If using self serve check-in kiosks, please remove old baggage tags and ensure new bag tags are correctly affixed to bags. If not sure, please check with your check-in agent.
- We recommend passengers use approved baggage suitcases to ensure a successful travel experience.
- Don’t forget to place an identification tag onto your checked baggage.
- With many bags looking the same, it is always a good idea to add a distinctive feature to the bag so that it will stand out for you.
- Take a photo of your baggage. In the event it is lost, you can provide the airline with a photo to their search record.
- If you are travelling internationally, remember what you packed and be aware of the destination border inspection rules for agriculture items, prohibited items, etc.
- Any abandoned or unattended items will be considered a security issue and will be confiscated and destroyed.
- For safety and security reasons, we cannot provide or offer any storage options for passengers.
- If you are travelling with a smart bag or stroller, please remove the battery prior to check-in or boarding.
Travellers are reminded to keep in mind security measures when preparing to travel. For the most current regulations regarding carry-on and checked baggage, please visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). The following are some suggestions to help you move through pre-board security screening:
- The Security Checkpoint is very busy during our peak period. Please give yourself ample time to be at Security. Our suggested minimum time is 75 minutes prior to scheduled departure.
- Anyone travelling with a NEXUS card may present it at the Security Checkpoint for expedited queuing and screening.
- Travellers are reminded to keep in mind security measures when preparing to travel. For the most current regulations regarding carry-on and checked baggage, please visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).
- The following are some suggestions to help you move through pre-board security screening:
- Pack you own bags and try to travel light. If you are travelling with gifts, it is recommended that they be unwrapped.
- If you are taking a wrapped item, it is best to place it in your checked baggage.
- Keep valuables, medicine and other important items in your carry-on baggage.
- Make sure you travel with government issued photo identification. (Note: Air Travel to U.S. requires a valid passport or NEXUS card.) Note – Victoria International Airport has a NEXUS line available to expedite your security screening time.
- Remember to put identification tags inside baggage as well as outside in case your tag comes off.
- Laptops, cell phones, and other electronics should have identification on them.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get through pre-board screening.
- Leave empty baggage carts outside of the screening checkpoint.
- Have your boarding pass a ready to present for verification when you get to the screening checkpoint.
- Top items not permitted thru passenger security: bullets, cat knives, brass knuckles, pepper or dog spray, knives.
- Before you get to the bins, place your valuables (e.g. money clips, watches and passports) and other small items in a jacket pocket or inside your carry-on bag, instead of leaving them loose in the bin.
- You control the order in which you place your items in the bins, so if you have something that you want to keep an eye on, you should place it in the last bin you send to the X-ray.
- All liquids, aerosols and gels need to be in volumes of 100mL or less, separated from your other belongings, and placed together in a clear, 1L resealable bag.
- Knives longer than 6cm or knife-like sharp objects will not be permitted through pre-board screening. Ensure no sharp objects, such as scissors, are in your carry-on bag. Take time when packing and avoid bringing anything that could be interpreted as a weapon or a dangerous item.
- Travellers bringing electronic equipment as carry-on baggage should be prepared to declare them and demonstrate that they are in working order.
- Sports equipment such as skis, snowboards, ski poles, hockey sticks and golf clubs are not permitted as carry-on items and must be transported as checked baggage.
- Bicycle storage boxes that contain other packed items or oversized checked luggage (kennels, large boxes) will require opening by the scanning x-ray operator at the self-serve baggage drop. This will add up to 15-minutes to the process of dropping off your checked-baggage before you can proceed to the screening checkpoint.
- NEVER joke or make “small talk” about bombs, firearms or other weapons while going through pre-board screening. It is a criminal offense.
- Avoid bringing non-permitted or dangerous goods by checking CATSA’s permitted and non-permitted items list . Get to boarding gate a little early if you have a wheelchair or stroller or require a little extra time to board.
- Once beyond the Security Checkpoint you can purchase food and beverage for the aircraft or fill your water bottle at one of the hydration stations located in the passenger departures lounge.
- Ask CATSA via Twitter @catsa_gc or Facebook.
- If travelling with a service animal, a Pet Relief washroom is located in the main floor washroom corridor of the lower passenger departures lounge.
- If travelling with your personal pet – please check with your airline first to ensure the animal is permitted on board. Some airlines do not allow pets into the cabin during the holiday season.
At The Gate
- The website of Victoria International Airport is www.victoriaairport.com;
- Washrooms: Victoria International Airport provides modern and clean facilities including accessible, family and animal relief washrooms.
- Aircraft gates 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 are all on the ground floor, Gates 3, 4 and 12, 13 are on located on the second floor of the passenger departures lounge. Access the second floor by turning right just passed the Harbour Walk Shop retail store. Stairs, escalator and elevator are all options to access the second floor.
- Electronic Devices – we recommend you charge your phones, tablets and any other devices to ensure fully charged prior to boarding your flight. Depending on which airline you are travelling, you may also want to download their onboard app for viewing digital content.
- Food and Beverage for any food offerings – between 04:00-19:00 hours – Spinnakers and Fresh Cup Cafe and Bar has fresh food options for your flight needs. Vending Machines are also available.
- Harbour Walk – has a variety of snacks, travel convenience items and gifts. Duty-Free is available for international travellers.
- Last minute shopping gift ideas? Victoria Distillers, makers of the renowned Empress 1908 Gin. Located post-security – the store is the first active distillery at an airport in Canada. Customers can experience a tasting, have their bottle dispensed, labelled, and sealed to take away. There is also an assortment of accessories and specialty items available for purchase.
- We kindly remind anyone picking up someone to please use our short term parking lot. Our curbfront is very limited for space and reserved for passengers with reduced mobility or mobility aid requirements.
- For safety and security, any unattended vehicles on the curb will be subject to towing.
- Baggage is usually delivered within the first 20-minutes after arrival. If your baggage is not delivered or missing, please see one of the airline representatives for assistance. If you are expecting any animals or fragile items from a flight, these are typically delivered at the end of baggage delivery and on the side closest to where the baggage is delivered onto the carousel.
- Baggage Carts are provided FREE for passengers that may have a little more baggage/items to carry out to their transportation.
- If you have any questions or require assistance, please do not hesitate to ask a Red Coat Volunteer at the Information Desk in Arrivals or one of the uniformed Security Officers.
- Language services are available upon request.
Lost and Found
- If you lost or forgot an item on the plane, please see your airline.
- If you lost or misplaced an item while at the airport (most common locations: check-in, food areas, security checkpoint, at the gate or in the washroom) – please reach out to a Security Officer or a Red Coat Volunteer or, submit a Lost and Found form.