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Travel alert: Vancouver airport to offer hotels for some stranded travellers

“As much as we love our airport, it is not the ideal location to spend the night."
Stormy Vancouver, BC weather leaves people stranded at the YVR airport in December 2022. Find out what you need to know about getting accommodation.

"We've been providing support for customers who have been spending sometimes two or three days now in our terminal."

That's Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO at Vancouver Airport Authority, explaining what stranded air passengers have faced at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) after their flights were cancelled once or several times due to the winter storms. 

While the airport has provided travellers with snacks, blankets, refreshments, and real-time assistance over the past week, it will now offer additional support over the holidays, she told Vancouver Is Awesome in an interview.

In an update Friday, YVR announced it will now provide access to over 400 hotel rooms at local hotels, and restaurant gift cards for meals to passengers facing overnight delays.

Passengers will be able to stay up to four nights for free as they wait for their next flight.

“As much as we love our airport, it is not the ideal location to spend the night. We’d like to thank our local hotel operators and restaurants for working with us to book these rooms and meals so quickly," said Vrooman.

The hotel rooms and meal vouchers will be available from Friday, Dec. 23 through Dec. 27.

Stormy Vancouver weather leaves people stranded at the YVR airport  

There is also a designated area of the airport for passengers to stay in to be as "comfortable as possible." It is located in Level 3 departures (past US check-in) and it will have cots, blankets, hygiene kits, and other supplies available. 

YVR staff and volunteers will continue to offer snacks, blankets, refreshments, and real-time assistance to guests, as well as other comfort items such as stuffed animals, toys, and colouring books. 

So far, the airport staff has handed out over 10,000 snacks,15,000 water bottles, and 1,500 blankets.

YVR is currently offering at 50 per cent of its scheduled capacity but the 48-hour on international arrivals was lifted at 5 a.m. Friday morning, noted Vrooman. 

Travellers who have an upcoming flight should check with their airline before heading to the airport due to the dynamic Vancouver weather. 

Vrooman encourages air passengers to visit for current updates and to pay attention to weather conditions driving to and from the airport. "If you rely on transit, make sure you're allowing enough time to get to the airport," she said.

"And then finally, it's not just what's happening here. It's what's happening at your final destination as well. And so as we know there are major weather disruptions and events happening in the eastern part of the country and in the eastern United States."

Find out everything Vancouver travellers need to know about cancelled flights right now.