Navigate the holiday hustle and bustle at the airport

Catching a flight during the busy holiday season is easier and less stressful if you know what to expect and can plan ahead.

At Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, we are expecting to see an increase in traveller traffic from now up until the New Year. On average, we see approximately 12,300 passengers a day, which will climb to 15,000 travellers on December 21 and 22. Our two busiest days of the year are once again going to be December 27 and 28, where more than 16,000 travellers will pass through YWG. While the airport is designed to accommodate these large passenger volumes, a few helpful tips can go a long way in enhancing and streamlining the travel experience this time of year.

1) Confirm travel details ahead of time
At least two days before your trip, check in with your airline to confirm your reservation, review baggage specifications and to receive information if you require travel assistance. Here is the contact information list for all airlines flying out of YWG.

2) Check the status of your flight
It is always a good idea to monitor the status of your flight to make sure it is on-time or to be aware of any delays. To keep an eye on your flight, visit www.waa.ca or check the website/app for your respective airline.

3) Arrive early at the airport
We encourage all travellers to give themselves extra time during the holiday season to account for transportation to the airport and potentially longer queues. Taxis and rideshare apps may experience a higher volume of calls/requests this time of year, and/or road conditions could also cause delays depending on the weather. Avoid feeling stressed in traffic, come to the airport early as there is plenty to do once you get here!

4) Pre-book parking online
If you are driving to the airport, you can consider booking your parking or valet reservations online before you get to the airport to save time. This eliminates having to spend time at the pay station and also guarantees you a spot during peak times.

5) Pack for a smooth security experience
Did you know snow globes are not allowed through security? At this time of year, a variety of different gifts and goods need to be transported and it can be difficult to know which items belong in your checked bags instead of in your carry-on. Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) provides a helpful online tool to assist travellers in packing any item they wish to bring on their trip.

6) Wrap your gifts post security
Wrapping a gift before you travel may seem like you are thinking ahead, but for security purposes a gift may need to be unwrapped to ensure the contents are safe. If you come to the airport early, you can wrap your presents post security at our DIY gift wrapping station to ensure you do not have to wrap your gifts more than once. Everything you need is available at the wrapping station!

7) Enjoy the Seasonal Experience
We expect the holidays to be bustling at YWG and so we’ve prepared festive activities and touches around the terminal to add to the traveller experience. From our Holiday Concert Series showcasing local musical talent to our beautiful seasonal décor, there is plenty to enjoy and see within the terminal. There is also an opportunity to shop in case December 25th snuck up on you this year.

If you need help on-site, look for one our Gold Wing volunteers in a gold jacket to assist you further in the terminal. We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to seeing you at YWG!

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