Canada

All You Need To Know About Calgary Airport Terminal

Dec 23 , 2021 · 10 min read

When it comes to Canadian airports, Calgary International Airport is one of the biggest and also nicest to arrive and depart from, according to the millions of travellers who pass through every year. 

You can catch direct flights around Canada and to America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia with Air Canada and WestJet. Other airlines offer connecting flights to all of these exciting destinations and more. 

If you arrive at Calgary Airport and have a layover or long transit stop, you can check into the Marriott In-Terminal Hotel or the Delta Airport Hotel inside the terminal, and there are many more hotels near the airport. So you can go sighting and see Calgary, then stay near the airport to board your flight when it is time to fly again.

Calgary International Airport term

The airport is so enjoyable for travellers who need to pass the time waiting for flights. There are shops, restaurants and lounges to relax in as well as all the facilities you might need. The new international terminal is sparkling and modern, so your travel experience is pleasant every leg of the way.

How Early to Arrive at Calgary Airport

Like every other airport, it is recommended and advised to reach two hours before your domestic departure and three hours before if you have an international departure. It is advised to get 2-3 hours prior to your flight as the Check-in and security procedure at the airport may take longer than usual. Also, if you are traveling during the peak or holiday season, plan accordingly and keep extra time in hand to be safe. 

YYC offers a YYC Express, a reservation program for access to security screening via a dedicated queue for guests flying out of YYC. All you need to do is reserve your time and show up at the designated checkpoints, and you can enjoy an expedited security experience. 

The Domestic Terminal

You can find three concourses at the domestic terminal: A, B, and C.

The International Terminal

You can find two concourses at the international terminal: E for flights to America and D for all other international flights.

Arriving At The Airport

There is plenty of short and long-term parking at Parkade 1 (P1) and Parkade 2 (P2). Short term is considered less than 30 days and can be found on the ground level of each area. Hourly, daily and weekly parking can be found on levels P2, P4, P5, P6 and P7. On those levels, you can park for up to two months.

For travellers going to the domestic terminal, the nearest parking is at P1 and for international, it is P2.

People taking taxi

Take note that you need to drive through P1 to reach P2 and from there, you can take the Plus 30 Skywalk or the pedestrian tunnel. Getting to the airport early is always wise, so allow extra time during busy periods such as long weekends and holidays.

Be aware you can’t pay for parking with cash. Only credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, and American Express), debit cards, and Discover cards are accepted. There are express pay stations in the lobbies and walkways of P1 and P2. 

Insert your parking ticket into the machine and follow the instructions to have your ticket validated with a receipt. You will need this to exit the car park through an express pay exit lane. You can also pay from your car when you leave the car park by inserting your ticket into the machine and paying to have the gate arm opened.

Going Between The Domestic And International Terminals

To go from the domestic to the international terminal (or vice versa) quickly, you can use the YYC LINK. There are four stations and part of the 12-minute trip includes a view of the Rockies. If you prefer to walk and get the circulation going, follow the Connections Corridor that has moving walkways and a pedestrian walkway and bathrooms along the way.

International Terminals

There are lots of maps, signage and information desks around the airport if you happen to get disorientated and lose your way. If you are unsure of where you are going, there is always a friendly face around to help you out.

Shopping

Duty-free shopping is often a highlight of being at the airport. There’s always an excuse to buy at least a few things for yourself or as a gift for someone you will see during or after your vacation. Roam around the shops and buy some books to read on the flight, snacks and luxury items like skincare and perfume.

There are over 135 shops, so if you are a shopaholic, allow time to get your retail therapy fixed at Calgary International Airport.

Finding Food And Drink

If you are hungry or don’t like airplane food, there are lots of good restaurants, cafes and bars to grab a bite and drink. Fast-food favourites like Subway, Starbucks and Tim Horton’s are there to tempt travellers with delicious treats. 

There are healthier options too and everything from budget and casual to expensive and fancy is there. If you are heading to Europe, you might like to get in the mood with a beer from the Belgian Beer Café.

Filling In Time

The airport has entertaining zones for all kinds of travellers. If you have young children, they will be dragging you to the colourful and entertaining play areas that are scattered around the terminal.

shopping in airport

If you don’t have kids, you are more likely to gravitate towards the OraOxygen Wellness Spa for a massage or indulgent spa treatment to uplift your mind, body, and soul before the flight.

-There is free Wifi in most areas of both terminals and you don’t need a password to connect. You can also charge your devices before boarding at charging stations around the airport.

-The Vin Room YYC Airport in Concourse D has a complimentary business centre if you need to do a little work before your trip. They also offer a dog-friendly patio for travellers with pets.

dog waiting in airport

-There is a complimentary quiet zone next to gate A24 in the domestic terminal that has seating and yoga equipment, so you can stretch it out by doing a few sun salutations before the final call. Use of the yoga gear is free.

-Another free and fun activity is plane spotting. There are many areas of the airport with large windows to watch the giant aircraft taking off and landing. It’s often a dramatic sight against the bright blue skies of Calgary or moody skies you may see in winter.

-Just walking around the airport is a fun way to pass the time. The decor is attractive and there is art displayed in many airport areas.

More Interesting Info About Calgary International Airport

Now for a truly innovative and lovely service available at the Calgary International Airport. Pre-board Pals is run by the Calgary Airport Authority and Calgary’s Pet Access League Society (PALS) to help passengers who get stressed out about flying.

dog walking by the airport

They arrange for dogs to spend time with passengers to help calm down anxiety levels and get the happy vibes flowing. Studies show animals can reduce stress and symptoms like high blood pressure and it seems to be true if the Pre-board Pals program is anything to go by. Volunteers take the dogs to the airport during busy times from Wednesday through Sunday. What a great idea!

Cannabis may not be consumed at the airport. The maximum amount a person may carry is 30 grams of dried cannabis. It may not be taken outside the country. Recreational and medical cannabis can be taken on domestic flights in carry-on or checked luggage. Travellers may be asked to show proper documentation and allowable amounts to avoid confiscation.

Airport Improvement Fees

An airport improvement fee of $35 per traveller on all flights departing Calgary International Airport is included in your ticket price. Exempt from the fee are passengers meeting the following conditions:

The airport improvement fees go towards a range of improvements and expansions of the airport, including the associated debts, necessary to stay current with the air transportation infrastructure requirements of the city of Calgary and the province of Alberta. 

Getting To And From The Airport

Going to the airport from Calgary, drive east along Memorial Drive and then north on the QE2 Highway (Highway 2) and follow the airport signs. If you want to catch a bus, you can catch the Calgary Transit service from many points in the city to both terminals.

If catching a bus from the domestic terminal, look for exit door two on the arrivals level, then walk across the road to pillar 7. From the international terminal, take exit door 15 on the arrivals level, then walk across the road to pillar 32. 

There are ticket vending machines at the bus stops that take cash, debit or credit cards. You can also buy tickets at 7-11 in arrivals and the Sandstone Pharmacy on the departures level of the domestic terminal.

Taxi

Taxis are also convenient. There are taxis on the arrivals level of each terminal and you can catch one most times of the day or not have to wait long.

Taxis use meters and you can expect to pay about $45 to reach the downtown area. If you are staying in an airport hotel, check if they have a complimentary shuttle which is situated on the arrivals level at bus bays 16, 17, and 37.

Quick Guide to Calgary Airport

  • The Calgary International Airport code is YYC
  • Important phone numbers: 403-735-1200 (select 8), (toll free number: 1-877-254-7427)
  • Address: 2000 Airport Rd
  • The travel time by car to the downtown area is about 20 minutes
  • Twitter@FlyYYC is a great place to find last-minute info and news coverage about happenings at the airport
  • The airport’s Instagram page is another good source of up-to-date information, promotions and competitions
  • The Health and safety of all staff, visitors and travellers moving around the airport is prioritized and Covid safety precautions are always followed

If you find out you will depart, land or stopover at Calgary International Airport, you are in luck because it’s one of the best airports in all of Canada. It’s clean, modern, high-tech and ultra-convenient. 

Not only can you effortlessly easily fill in hours at the airport without getting bored, but you will also actually have fun there. The airport is set up to give travellers the most positive travel experience possible. The only thing better might be your destination!

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