Vancouver Airport

Customer Reviews

No Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Staff 12345
Customer rating from 254 reviews
4/10
No Skytrax Rating
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2/10

"generally not very friendly"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | An absolute dumpster fire of an airport every time I’ve been there. Endlessly being herded through hundreds of metres of empty corridors with random check points to verify your boarding passes multiple times. Staff is generally not very friendly, likely because of the number of disgruntled travellers passing through. Avoid this airport if it all possible and save yourself the headache.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitFebruary 2023
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"YVR is in complete shambles"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | YVR is in complete shambles - and no indication things will improve anytime soon. There was a very long security line for passengers departing on international flights - it took roughly 30 minutes for the security staff to process 100 passengers. And this was not even the peak time for international departures. Once airside, there are limited food and beverage options, such that one must wait some 45 minutes in order to get something to eat. Most shops and restaurants are closed - at 8 or 9pm in the evening. The shortage of staff in general is noticeable at YVR. While walking to my gate, I also noticed extremely lengthy queues in the arrival hall for arriving passengers - I reckon it would have taken those poor passengers some 60 to 90 minutes to clear customs, and collect luggage, before exiting the airport. For an airport that once prided itself as North American's #1 airport, YVR has fallen very far from where it used to be. Time of YVR staff to get off their pedestal, and start fixing their airport.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitFebruary 2023
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
1/10

"encountered rude, angry and disrespectful airport staff"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | We are two people with mobility challenges and travelled through YVR with our dog who was a paying passenger at the beginning of December and then again at the end of December. We had arranged for mobility assistance in the airport when booking our flights several months prior to our flights. We encountered rude, angry and disrespectful airport staff who treated us like garbage. We were dumped in the middle of the airport and left with no assistance or guidance in getting to our gate, not acceptable. Our dog was only permitted to relieve herself on a tiny patch of artificial turf with a giant fire hydrant in the middle of it. We trained our dog to relieve herself outside so she was not able to use the turf, I was told "too bad" by the cart driver, absolutely not acceptable. The particular gates we were at had no food or hydration anywhere in our vicinity, when you have mobility issues what do you do, especially when flights are delayed for several hours or days again not acceptable. We feel disrespected, discriminated against and completely disregarded, terrible job YVR!
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitDecember 2022
Type Of TravellerFamily 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
2/10

"complaints with customs and security processes"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | I had a terrible time going through YVR and I’ve flown countless of times in airports. My main complaints are with the customs and security processes. First with customs, I flew from San Francisco to Vancouver so had to go through customs. This was by far the worst experience I’ve had in a Canadian airport. The line was long and unclear and people kept cutting in because they get the receipts from the kiosks and walk directly to the line rather than the end of the line. I stood in line for close to an hour only to be asked by the border guard the same question I answered in the kiosk. The exchange took about 5 seconds. Why have the border guards as the bottle necks? Why not separate the line based on the receipts? Why have this disorganized, innocuous process? I felt bad for all the visitors coming to Canada and experiencing this for the first time. Second, as I flew out,my luggage went into second screening by security. I have flown countless of times with the same set of toiletries and can count on one hand the number of times I have actually had to open it up. The security personnel proceeded to open up every single piece of makeup and toiletry I had and asked me to put it in a clear plastic bag. The contents fit and most of them were near empty. A more experienced personnel might have been able to tell at a glance rather than waste 20 minutes of both of our times. The rules about flying with liquids is ridiculous enough as it without them having to treat these like hazardous substances. I should add that the security line was empty at this time and there were about 20 officers milling about - it seems like maybe they hired too many people and didn’t have enough work to go around and therefore had to create some.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJanuary 2023
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"under equipped for snow"

(United States)

Not Verified | YVR is sensibly designed and pretty, but massively under equipped for snow. And this airport charges a huge, but hidden, improvement fee. Where is the money going? It snows in Vancouver sometimes -- not every day, but sometimes. Other basic services, buses, SkyTrain, even taxis and 24 hour stores can cope. What's up with YVR? In November during a snow event (not the December event that hit the media) YRV was instantly brought to the brink. Sitting in the business lounge, I watched one (1) medium sized snow plow attempt to clear the area around gates 83-86. (Gates 87/88 ands 81/82 were simply abandoned). This one plow could not cope, and the snow was deeper when I left the lounge to go to my gate than when I arrived. The plane was in snow at the gate and the snow had to be, slowly, cleared, maybe by hand or maybe after limited equipment became available. Baggage could not make it onto the plane for 45 minutes after boarding because of the snow. A further hold at the gate because the airport had maxed out on the number of planes for the amount of plowed taxiway. After we left the gate there was snow anyway and the tug pulling the plane lost traction -- 45 minutes wait for chains to be put on the tug. Now it's close to midnight and trans-Pacific flights are being de-iced, so a 1.5 hour wait to get to the one de-icing station. All in all a 5.5 hour delay caused by: not enough snow plows, equipment does not have winter tires, limited facility to de-ice departing aircraft at an airport with many long haul flights. Every non-local passenger pays $25 to the airport for an "improvement" fee. You get hit with a $5 surcharge on a $3.65 train ticket into town as well.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitNovember 2022
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
no
2/10

"baggage delivery is the absolute worst"

(United Kingdom)

Trip Verified | I like Vancouver. I like the surrounding geography, the people, and the ambience of a multi-cultural destination. Sadly, the airport arrival experience doesn’t even begin to match the city. I travel into YVR regularly (and have done for 15 years) and their baggage delivery is the absolute worst. I’ve travelled all over the world - Africa, Central Asia, the Americas, the Far East - and I would still put YVR baggage at the bottom of the list. Why on Earth can’t the airport management get this right? It really isn’t rocket science. Airplanes arrive, they have bags which need to be delivered to one place, most of the bags will have little labels telling the baggage handlers where to put them. Simple. But can YVR do it? Nope. Fail every time.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitDecember 2022
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
no
1/10

"Vancouver was by far the worst"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | First of all, inbound flight was 40 mins late, and then had to wait to park as Air Canada did not have ground handling staff ready on arrival. As I arrived on an international flight, I had to clear customs, but then basically had to exit the airport to make my domestic connection, thus having to go back through security leading to throwing out a full bottle of water I had just purchased. Race to the gate only to find out the connecting flight is delayed. So then tried to find some food and despite the airport's online info stating that several places were open past security, none of them were. To add insult to injury, the only places open for food after 10 pm in the main terminal are in the unsecure side of the terminal which you can see through the glass as you walk past them. Both of them (subway and Tim Hortons) are basically beside each other. Have been through six airports on this trip and Vancouver was by far the worst.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 2022
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
2/10

"What an exceptionally poor customer experience"

(Australia)

Not Verified | It is ridiculous and exceptionally poor customer service that at an International Airport to have all Food and Beverage services closed at 10pm on a Friday night! With the exception of A&W and Subway, all others are closed. And those lines are currently 30 people long each. What an exceptionally poor customer experience.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitOctober 2022
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
1/10

"YVR is completely disorganized"

(United States)

Trip Verified | I am astounded to learn that YVR was ever considered North America's best airport. YVR is completely disorganized. The check in kiosks do not work. Once you wait a long time to check your bag, you have to get in a long (unmoving) line to load it onto a belt yourself. Then you realize the belt isn't working, so everyone is rerouted (with all their luggage) to another line. Is this 1952? Then you have to try to find the correct line for security. The traffic patterns lead you through a corral for luggage carts. Hopefully one of the corrals is empty so you can actually get through. The pre check line and the regular line are side by side with a little tiny sign indicating the two. None of these lines are moving. Finally getting through security you then walk over a mile to your gate with no food or beverage options.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitSeptember 2022
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
no
2/10

"Worst airport experience"

(United States)

Not Verified | This airport is a joke. First they won’t let you check on for an international flight until exactly 3 hours early yet they have poor seating available while you wait. You print your own luggage tags, wheel it to the luggage belt and put it on yourself basically you are your own airport agent. They have one long line to get to security. It took us 30 minutes to make it around the corner where we were greeted by a sign telling us another 30 minutes to get through security. Other airports have multiple lines going to security and this airport has one. It’s hot and masks are required. We flew in to Vancouver for a cruise and will never come here again. Worst airport experience we have ever had.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitSeptember 2022
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no