Plan ahead before you take off, eh?

Some planning beforehand (above and below) can help to make your holiday airline travel much smoother and less stressful. - Photo submitted
Some planning beforehand (above and below) can help to make your holiday airline travel much smoother and less stressful.
— image credit: Photo submitted

The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) is advising travellers to plan ahead for the holiday travel season.

“We are expecting to see a significant increase in terminal traffic beginning around the third week in December and continuing until a few days after the New Year,” says YQQ CEO Shirley de Silva. “Our busiest days will likely be Dec. 20 and Jan. 3. We are preparing to process up to 1,350 passengers daily throughout the holidays.”

YQQ is gearing up for the increased traffic by assigning additional staff and volunteers during peak hours.

The airport is also engaging in regular communication with its tenants about terminal hours of operation and changing flight schedules.

De Silva says the airport is anticipating up to 2,700 people per day moving throughout the terminal building over the holidays.

This includes guests who are dropping off or picking up passengers.

Here are some tips for passengers to help improve their holiday travel experience no matter which airlines or airports they use:

• Check airports’ holiday hours.

• Arrive to the airport early. Check with your airline to determine what time you should arrive to the airport and give yourself some additional time if necessary. This will ensure that passengers have plenty of time to check in and make their way through security without feeling rushed.

• Plan for parking. Phone ahead to ensure there are spaces available and have a back-up option just in case. Once parked, don’t forget to purchase a ticket.

• Investigate check-in options. Check with your airline to determine if there are options for web, kiosk or mobile phone check in to help save time when you arrive at the airport.

• Know your baggage requirements. Check with your airline to ensure that you have the latest information about baggage restrictions. Be prepared if any extra charges may apply to you. If you have any items that you are unsure about, call your airline prior to arriving at the airport so that you can avoid any unnecessary delays while checking in for your flight.

• Help keep the security line moving. Ensure that all personal toiletry items such as liquids, aerosols and gels are packaged in containers with a capacity of 100 ml/100 grams (3.4 ounces) or less. The containers must fit comfortably in one clear, closed and resealable plastic bag, with a capacity of no more than one litre. One plastic bag per person is allowed and must be removed from carry-on baggage. Visit the Canadian Air Transport Security website at for packing, travel and security screening tips.

• Transport gifts appropriately. Keep all gifts (whether packed in your carry-on or suitcase) unwrapped until you arrive at your destination point.

• Be patient. Expect that airports will be busy and lineups may be longer than usual. Maintaining good cheer and having respect for airport staff, volunteers, tenants and other passengers will help to ensure an enjoyable holiday travel experience for all.

“The holidays are a wonderful and exciting time for YQQ,” said de Silva. “We see thousands of inbound and outbound passengers who are visiting family, receiving visitors or departing to a special sunspot destination. With the right amount of preparation, travel over the holiday season can be an enjoyable experience for all.”

Information regarding terminal hours, parking and links to all YQQ airlines are available on the Comox Valley Airport website at

The Canadian Air Transport Security website also has helpful packing, travel and security tips at







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