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Holiday travel tips for visitors to YYC Calgary International Airport

YYC Calgary International Airport prepares for busiest travel time of 2019
WATCH: Calgary airport officials are asking travellers to arrive early if they’re flying over the next two weeks, which are anticipated to be the busiest travel time of 2019.

Travellers heading to YYC Calgary International Airport over the holidays are asked to arrive early and leave extra time to get through security.

The next two weeks are the busiest travel time of the year, with more than 47,000 people expected to pass through Calgary’s airport each day, according to the Calgary Airport Authority.

READ MORE: City of Calgary looking for opinions on transit options to YYC airport

“We’re expecting nearly a million people here over the next two-week period,” spokesperson Reid Fiest said, referring to the time from Dec. 16 until Jan. 5, 2020.

Officials anticipate that Friday, Dec. 20 will be the busiest holiday travel day with 50,000 visitors passing through the airport.

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Lost luggage: What happens to your baggage after check-in

To help keep things at the airport moving as efficiently as possible, the airport authority says a fifth screening security point has been added at Concourse B for flights departing out of B gates from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday to Friday.

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The airport authority said the change means approximately 30 per cent more domestic guests can now be processed, making things at concourses A and C move a little smoother.

“This will help get people through more quickly, probably, hopefully, reduce some of those lines,” Fiest said.

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In addition, the airport has recently moved to a centralized de-icing model, which sees planes de-iced in two specific spots.

“Maybe you’ll recall when you’d get de-iced in the past, you’d board the plane, the plane would get pushed back again and you’d get the [de-icing] trucks around,” Fiest explained. “Now, you’re going to dedicated paths, the trucks are there waiting, the planes pull in, they get de-iced, then they depart from the runway.”

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The airport has also expanded parking options, with new electric-vehicle parking and charging stations and a new weekly parkade parking promotion.

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“We’re always focused on making our guests’ experience better at YYC, and these are just some of the ways we’re delivering this holiday season,” Chris Miles from the Calgary Airport Authority said.

Over the weekend, the second phase of Air Passenger Protection Regulations from the federal government took effect in Canada.

READ MORE: Changes to air passengers’ rights are now in effect. Here’s what you should know

The first phase, introduced in mid-July, focused primarily on travel mishaps like tarmac delays, lost baggage and overbooking.

The second phase, meanwhile, focuses on compensation for delays and cancellations, including rebooking and refunds, and outlines where children can be seated on planes.

Next phase of air passenger rights rolls out
Next phase of air passenger rights rolls out

“We support our airline partners who are responsible for making sure that they’re abiding by those rights,” Fiest said. “We have signage throughout the airport so that we’re making passengers and guests aware of what their rights are as they’re travelling.”

Tips for holiday travel at the Calgary International Airport:

  • To save time during your trip, you can check in online and print your baggage tags at a self-serve kiosk when you arrive at the airport.
  • Travellers are asked to keep their souvenirs or gifts unwrapped and store them in their checked luggage if possible.
  • Download the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) app to check current wait times and carry-on restrictions.
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