Ready to fly into Vancouver for the Games? YVR is waiting.

Our friend and colleague over at Stuck at the Airport, Harriet Baskas, has been following developments at Vancouver’s international airport (YVR) as the Olympics draw preciously near. Anticipating a massive crowd, the normally serene, Pacific Northwest city is neck-deep in preparations, particularly at bottleneck junctions such as borders and airports.

To help soothe the massive flow, YVR is taking a proactive approach to managing traffic on the days of and after the games. Particularly on outbound flights the day after closing ceremonies, the airport suggests arriving for flights 4 hours prior to departure, with the check-in process complete after 3.

As Ms. Baskas points out, they’ve even gone so far as to ask hotels to allow unilateral late checkout and to post the adjacent placard onto every door, advising travelers on the best departure and airport strategy.

It’s good forward thinking by an airport that’s sure to see record traffic over the next few weeks. Hopefully passengers and security move smoothly in kind.

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Flying into SeaTac for the Winter Olympics? Here’s what you need to know

Whether it’s to avoid stringent passport regulations, fly into a cheaper airport or just enjoy the beautiful drive up the coast, there are plenty of reasons that Winter Olympics travelers have to fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA or SeaTac) next week. The Pacific Northwest, a beautiful corner of North America has plenty of natural and cultural offerings to woo the passing traveler, so why not take the long road up to the 2010 games?

Should you be working your way north from SeaTac, here are a few logistics to keep in mind:

I-5 will take you almost all of the way there, from the periphery of SeaTac to across the border at Blaine, WA. Once in Canada, travelers can continue straight onto 99 northwest around the bay and then west into Richmond, just below Vancouver. Several of the XXI Olympics venues are in Richmond and there’s a chance that your hotel will be here too, so this is where your GPS or your map printout will come in handy.

Car Rentals
If you’re renting a vehicle, make certain that the provider knows that you’ll be taking it out of the country. While most won’t have a problem with this, additional insurance and fees may apply, and if you neglect these options you could be in serious trouble if something goes wrong north of the border.

Travelers crossing the border by automobile are only required to show a valid, state issued ID and proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate. If you’re an American citizen, more data can be found at, while citizens of other countries can check with Canada Border Services Agency.Food, beverages, tobacco and duty free
While it’s always a good idea to pack a lunch ahead to save a few dollars, be aware that Canada has rules on what and how much can be imported. It’s safe to say that your sack lunch will be allowed, but if you’re bringing enough beer to stock your hotel for the week you might run into trouble. Be sure to check out the CBSA site on entry allowances for more details.

Don’t forget that the duty free will often offer booze and tobacco at reduced prices, so plan accordingly and stop when you’re at the border.

Getting around

Once docked into your temporary residence, check out for information on how to get to the games without your vehicle — there is no parking provided at any of the venues.

US Consulate
The US consulate in Vancouver is located at:
1095 West Pender Street
Telephone: (604) 685-4311
Facsimile: (604) 685-7175

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