Vancouver Airport

Customer Reviews

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Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 213 reviews
4/10
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1/10

"The security screening is literally the worst"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | I will never make a connection in YVR ever again. Connection times are impossible to make now, with having to be re-routed outside of the secure area to re check-in for connecting flights and then pass through security again. Departing from YVR to MEX, there was one person checking the papers/vaccination etc of over 400 passengers. It was a 2.5 hour process to check in. No one is to be seen anywhere in the airport for help if needed, except for the overstaffed COVID test area where there is an excess of employees standing around directing you to get a test, including police officers. Bathrooms and food areas are disgusting and unclean. The security screening is literally the worst example I have ever seen as a world traveller. The staff are rude, especially the manager that stands around doing nothing. The screening is excessive and illogical, it is almost laughable. Security staff will not let you use your own 1L plastic bag, instead they pull you aside and transfer your stuff to another bag- which is the exact same ziplock bag! Staff are overly picky and power hungry, I witnessed them refuse to screen a passenger because he was trying to make flight and was justifiably angry at the delay, then the agent shut down the screening machine and walked away saying ‘he couldn’t concentrate’- leaving my bags along with other passengers bags stuck inside the machine, making us all late. On my return, same dismal experience and the agent made me destroy an expensive boxed gift from duty free containing honey pots because they wouldn’t fit in the plastic bag. I was not ‘allowed’ to use a second bag he said. As soon as I said I would not throw any of my belongings out, I was pushed aside so the ‘manager’ could come over and treat me like a criminal, causing a scene and telling me, "you want this guy to lose his job? Then do as he says!” I actually do hope the manager and the agent lose their jobs because they are not fit for purpose. Border agents on return when 3 international flights landed with hundreds of passengers each - three. Incredibly rude and asked the stupidest questions I have ever heard that had nothing to do with immigration. Then I was ‘randomly’ selected (tell me how it is random when there is no machine making the selection random, it is the border agent who decides based on what you say) to do a PCR test, having to leave the secure area again and re check in and go through security again in the span of an hour?! The entire Lufthansa crew was left waiting with no one screening them, and the pilot loudly told the border agents how ridiculous the entire process in YVR is, to which everyone there agreed. It was actually embarrassing to know that this is what the first impression of Canada is to all of those travellers and airline staff from around the world. Overall, after travelling from other parts of the world, landing in YVR is like landing in a paranoid pit of incompetence, with staff going off on power trips whenever they can. The security screening needs a complete overhaul.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitDecember 2021
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
5/10

"Shame on the agents who thought this behavior was appropriate"

(Canada)

Not Verified | I travel extensively and I have never experienced such intrusive measures and apparent justification of one's job. The CSB agents were pulling apart everyone's carry-ons, apparently looking for liquids. In my case, rifling through my dirty underwear and bras for all to see, redistributing fragile items and placing my legal sized liquids into their labeled 1 litre bag versus my zip loc bag, for no other reason than grandstanding. Then handing me the 1 litre bag like some sort of trophy, directing me to take my bag to a nearby table to repack. I felt demeaned and then angry about the treatment I received as a law abiding Canadian. Shame on the agents who thought this behavior was appropriate and the managers who support this archaic practice.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitNovember 2021
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"never have I ever had such a horrific experience like the one I did at YVR"

(United States)

Not Verified | Never did I ever think to write a review about an airport, because out of all the countries (18) and States (28) I have visited, have I ever had such a horrific experience like the one I did at YVR. I just wish I would have read the reviews before my travels to Canada, because I would have never purchased a ticket to fly there. I honestly suggest that Canada close their boarders to American's if you don't like us! Especially if you are going to treat us like unwanted, covid infected aliens! If you don't want tourists in your country, it's very simple, close your borders to us, I'm sure you have the power to do so. Immigration has the worst attitude! Beyond rude and so inconsiderate! I have always been extremely respectful of any country I visit and obey their laws, however, Immigration made us feel so unwelcome. Come to find out, I was not the only one who had this experience. A few of us went outside the airport and shared the same complaints and mind you, we all dealt with a different officer. Here are of few examples of what I experienced and based on the reviews I read, it's very common. 1) Many of us were told we have been "randomly selected" to take a covid test there at the airport, even though we already had our negative covid test confirmation and vaccine cards verified before arriving at the airport. 2) I was asked for the address to where I would be staying. Although I had already entered that on ArriveCan 72 hours prior to departure. I did not mind answering the same question again, however, the officer said I didn't pronounce the street name correctly and was annoyed by it. What brings you to Canada? We are here for visiting for the first time. 3) Officer asked me how I was getting around in Canada. I had rented a car. He asked me, "do you know how to drive in Canada. "Well I've never been to Canada, as I said this was my first time visiting, but I asked him, why is it difficult to drive in Canada? He says, well it's rains here. I'm sure he was assuming that because I'm from LA I don't know how to drive in the rain. Little does he know that I have driven South America and Mexico (where they don't obey the driving laws) and I how I have driven my RV cross country! 5) He asked me, after you leave the airport, where are you going? I told him our first stop was Gransville, then Gastown and then to our Airbnb. He looked down at my passport for a while and I asked him, Is Gransville a good place to eat, we are starving. He says, I don't know. We finally a clear to go to get re-tested for covid when I hear them paging my name. It was the airline that our baggage didn't make it to Vancouver and that it would arrive on the next flight the next day. The attendant at the counter had me file a report, gave me my incident number and then asked me to take a form over to exiting officer. We walk it over and once again we were questioned. I told the gentleman that I was to give him this form because our baggage didn't make it. Question: What is inside your suitcase? Our clothes and toiletries, What else? Our shoes. What else? Do you need me to name everything one by one? Any Alcohol or tobacco? No, we don't have any of that. Again, very rude. With all that happened we forgot to exchange our money at the airport and our money no one would take our money. Thank goodness for our credit card.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2021
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
5/10

"the immigration officers weren't interacting very pleasantly with incoming visitors"

(United States)

Trip Verified | This airport is quite...the experience. Upon arrival from the US, using the passport scanning machine was a breeze. Waiting in line to speak with an immigration officer was not, in true Canadian fashion, the immigration officers weren't interacting very pleasantly with incoming visitors (the worst I've encountered in about 20 countries). Even though I had proof of a negative PCR test result and proof of full vaccination, I was still ordered to undergo a PCR test in the airport, as a random selectee (pursuant to Canada's Quarantine Act). The on-site personnel who registered patients and administered the tests were very courteous, which I appreciated. Nevertheless, while I greatly appreciate that Canada is taking this pandemic far more seriously and responsibly than the US, this random selection added some serious stress to the first 24 or so hours of my trip. Thankfully, I never had to actually quarantine anyway, as I tested negative and was even able to present that negative result for reentry to the US! Now, I'm glad to say that departing from Vancouver to go back to the US was a much easier process. All I had to do was present that PCR negative to the airline check-in in order to obtain my ticket, then go through Canadian security (as unpleasant as their immigration), then go through US immigration and customs using Global Entry. Using GE, I breezed through the US checkpoint in less than five minutes, with the most pleasant and professional immigration officer I've ever met (her fellow US officers, as well as Canada, should take pointers from her!) Then once in the trans-border section of the terminal, there were relatively few stores and restaurants open (due to COVID), but I was still able to buy coffee, souvenirs and lunch with ease, and pleasant service. The gate agent for United was also pleasant. The views upon arrival and departure can be spectacular. My only real complaints about this airport are the Canadian immigration and customs process, as well as the crummy restrooms and the fact that the facility is largely outdated, dirty, and just kind of depressing. All in all, YVR is slightly below-average. However, if you're flying to the "Canadian Southwest"/US Pacific NW, then Seattle's airport is also generally dumpy, and Victoria (BC), Abbottsford (BC), and Bellingham (WA) will all be rather inconvenient to get to from Vancouver, so I guess YVR unfortunately doesn't find any incentive to improve at this time.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitSeptember 2021
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"the absolute worst airport I have ever been through"

(Canada)

Not Verified | Must say after traveling around Asia for many years, Vancouver Airport is the absolute worst airport I have ever been through. Super long lines for baggage claim and even longer for Immigration. Waiting for baggage for over 45 minutes and being questioned for 30 minutes by a customs officer before I even got to Customs. They wander around the baggage area after a 13 hour flight from Taipei, the Customs kept confusing Taiwan with Thailand and sent me to secondary inspection. Tried to explain that they are two different countries, but the guy had no clue. Your job is to protect our country and you don't even know basic geography? 1.5 hours later after having all my bags ripped apart, I was finally allowed to exit Manila Airport is a piece of cake compared to Vancouver Airport.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJune 2020
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
10/10

"it was very open, spacious, and inviting"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | This airport was one of the best I've been to, most likely my favourite. There was plenty of very beautiful artwork throughout the terminal, and it was very open, spacious, and inviting. There was plenty of seats available, it was very clean, and there was an extensive selection of food and beverage stores in the E gates. The directions were very clear, and all the staff were very friendly and willing to help. The lines at security and customs and immigration were very short. The Wi-Fi there was free and very fast. Overall, this is an excellent airport: it considerably exceeded my expectations, and I would go out of my way to fly through YVR again.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJanuary 2020
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
4/10

"Long lines, slow security personnel"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | Overall the airport is good but customs lines and security is always a nightmare. Long lines, slow security personnel. The guy literally body scanned me for 2 minutes holding up a big line behind me. The management needs to go walk through these lines and see why this airport is rated only 5/10. All the Asia airports (4 in last 24 hrs) were smooth as silk.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMarch 2020
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"struggling to cope"

(Canada)

Not Verified | The food options at YVR are improving but the amount of time spent waiting is unbelievable. Slow and long lines for security while departing. The customs hall for arrivals is a total mess with many passengers confused and in the wrong line up. I have waited up to an hour for my checked luggage to arrive on the belt. YVR is very aesthetically-pleasing but it is struggling to cope with the number of passengers it is receiving.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitFebruary 2020
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
10/10

"staff once again were kind and genuine"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | I want to thank the kind people of Air New Zealand for their professional yet caring handling of my recent situation. Somewhere between Calgary and Vancouver, I lost or had my passport stolen and was unable to board my flight to Auckland with my family. The staff were persistent in helping me in my near panicked state to search my bags while the aircraft was being readied for flight. Unable to produce a passport, the staff sympathetically ushered me to a place in the airport where I met a family member. When I returned to the airport the next day after miraculously acquiring a new passport, flight and Visas, the friendly staff of Air New Zealand greeted me with the same warmth and compassion I had experienced the night before. They informed me that I had been bumped up to Business class and was offered access to the VIP lounge in the airport before my flight. Once inside the Lounge and breathing again for the first time in a day, Douglas Siefert, Vancouver Airport Operations Manager came to the lounge to personally greet me and ensure I was aware of the many luxuries including fabulous food and drinks that I was free to take advantage of. When boarding the flight, the staff once again were kind and genuine, having recognized how overwhelmed I had been the night before watching my family depart on the flight which I could not depart on. I just want to say thank you to the team who so kindly helped me. That was my first experience in Business class and what a way to start my vacation! This was a long awaited holiday where my son, wife and their 8 month old were travelling with me to Australia for my other sons graduation from medical school and then onto New Zealand for Christmas. Having lost my husband in the summer of 2018, this was going to be a very special time with my boys and their wives and families. You can imagine how I would have felt when I couldn't board the flight which was the beginning of this vacation! The staff did not know my story yet were kind, helpful and accommodating. This is a story I will tell over and over as their kindness (which seems to be rarer and rarer these days), made such an impact on me and the experience In Business class was like none other. It goes to show that simple acts of kindness will always be appreciated. We don’t often know what someone else is going through so in the words of another “be kind to each other”! Thank you again Air New Zealand!
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitDecember 2019
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"a lot of complaints online but nothing changes"

(Philippines)

Trip Verified | The airline check-in staff are always very pleasant and accommodating. But the security Staff scanning the luggage are always unpleasant and rude to passengers scolding them. Also the security scanning the hand carrying luggage are always trying to pick an argument with passengers and are very rude, unpleasant and condescending to passengers. I have been through Vancouver airport a dozen times in 2018 and 2019 and always the same experience with Vancouver airport security, it seems there are a lot of complaints online but nothing changes.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJanuary 2020
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no