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BrandFam4

How early to arrive at YVR (Vancouver) for a flight to US?

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Hi everyone!

 

Our flight home to Florida is at 6:15am on a Monday out of YVR. Our hotel has a free shuttle that starts at 3:30am; however, according to YVR's website it says we should arrive 3 hours early. That would be before the shuttle even starts running. If we wait for shuttle and get to YVR around 2.5 hours early, will that be plenty of time to get through bag drop, security, and US pre screening? We will have a 10 and 12 year old with us too. 

 

Thanks in advance!

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You MAY clear customs and immigration before boarding, making your flight "domestic" for arrival into the US.

 

Here is the info on the USCBP at YVR.  It says they operate between 4:30AM and 10:30PM.  I believe those are the ranges for flight departure times as I was definitely in the airport before 10:30PM but didn't have to go through USCBP clearance before going to my gate for a midnight flight to the US.  https://www.yvr.ca/en/passengers/navigate-yvr/customs-and-immigration/us-customs-and-border-protection

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OP,  you will use the US pre-clearance for your flight into Florida from YVR. I have read on these boards that although US CBP opens at 4:30, it's really closer to 5 am when they start getting going and screening. If you are in line early and get through the checkpoint around 5 am, you should easily make your 6:15 flight. The US departures wing is not a long walk and there are several coffee spots open, good for a coffee and light breakfast for your family.

 

Honestly, I would not hesitate to take the hotel shuttle at 3:30 am, no worries. 😊

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30 minutes ago, hallux said:

You MAY clear customs and immigration before boarding, making your flight "domestic" for arrival into the US.

 

Here is the info on the USCBP at YVR.  It says they operate between 4:30AM and 10:30PM.  I believe those are the ranges for flight departure times as I was definitely in the airport before 10:30PM but didn't have to go through USCBP clearance before going to my gate for a midnight flight to the US.  https://www.yvr.ca/en/passengers/navigate-yvr/customs-and-immigration/us-customs-and-border-protection

 

5 minutes ago, Langley Cruisers said:

OP,  you will use the US pre-clearance for your flight into Florida from YVR. I have read on these boards that although US CBP opens at 4:30, it's really closer to 5 am when they start getting going and screening. If you are in line early and get through the checkpoint around 5 am, you should easily make your 6:15 flight. The US departures wing is not a long walk and there are several coffee spots open, good for a coffee and light breakfast for your family.

 

Honestly, I would not hesitate to take the hotel shuttle at 3:30 am, no worries. 😊


Thank you both! I feel better now about my early flight. When I booked it I just focused on the arrival time to Florida and not all of the steps in the morning. 

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I'd personally be aiming for a 5am YVR arrival - the biggest issue is actually ensuring that you are early enough to meet the minimum bag drop time, without being so early that CBP aren't operating yet! Any time from 4:30 until 5:15am (most airlines demand 60mins preflight for checking bags at YVR) should be OK - so I'd take the shuttle on the second or third go-around, some time between 4 and 4:30am leaving the hotel. If you want to play it super safe, sure, take the first shuttle but be aware that you'll probably be through bag drop and security before CBP open and have to wait.


Also note that CBPs listed hours are indeed when they operate, not flight times that make use of them - 20:30 is actually 8:30pm, not 10:30pm. So flights that are after ~9pm are the ones which would not be Prescreened in the evenings. The morning delays are due to having a meeting at start of shift, so it's 10+ mins before anyone actually starts processing people - and the big backlog of folks who arrived 3 hours early because they didn't know about CBPs limited hours takes at least another 20mins to actually clear, hence my preference to arrive just after 5am.

 

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8 minutes ago, martincath said:

I'd personally be aiming for a 5am YVR arrival - the biggest issue is actually ensuring that you are early enough to meet the minimum bag drop time, without being so early that CBP aren't operating yet! Any time from 4:30 until 5:15am (most airlines demand 60mins preflight for checking bags at YVR) should be OK - so I'd take the shuttle on the second or third go-around, some time between 4 and 4:30am leaving the hotel. If you want to play it super safe, sure, take the first shuttle but be aware that you'll probably be through bag drop and security before CBP open and have to wait.


Also note that CBPs listed hours are indeed when they operate, not flight times that make use of them - 20:30 is actually 8:30pm, not 10:30pm. So flights that are after ~9pm are the ones which would not be Prescreened in the evenings. The morning delays are due to having a meeting at start of shift, so it's 10+ mins before anyone actually starts processing people - and the big backlog of folks who arrived 3 hours early because they didn't know about CBPs limited hours takes at least another 20mins to actually clear, hence my preference to arrive just after 5am.

 

Oh thank you! Feeling better and better and glad I picked that early flight home! I've heard it's a very nice and traveler friendly airport, but I always like to extra precaution if needed. 

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8 minutes ago, BrandFam4 said:

I've heard it's a very nice and traveler friendly airport, but I always like to extra precaution if needed. 

 

It's a beautiful airport. We've won awards!! 🤣🤣🤣

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This summer we flew home from Vancouver to the US. We left the cruise area around 3pm and went to the airport. We were too early to check in for our 7:20pm flight home on Alaska Airlines. Due to customs pre-clearance to the US, they won't take bags until 3 hours prior to departure. When we checked in there was no real delay (a few people max) at any point and went very fast to clear security, Canadian customs and pre-clear US customs, maybe 30-45 minutes max. We were traveling with younger kids (6 and 8). 

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11 hours ago, martincath said:

20:30 is actually 8:30pm, not 10:30pm

Oops, did my math wrong.  Thanks for the correction!

 

11 hours ago, BrandFam4 said:

I've heard it's a very nice and traveler friendly airport,

It's a beautiful airport, coming from someone that's visited the area...

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10 hours ago, thegoaliegirl said:

This summer we flew home from Vancouver to the US. We left the cruise area around 3pm and went to the airport. We were too early to check in for our 7:20pm flight home on Alaska Airlines. Due to customs pre-clearance to the US, they won't take bags until 3 hours prior to departure. When we checked in there was no real delay (a few people max) at any point and went very fast to clear security, Canadian customs and pre-clear US customs, maybe 30-45 minutes max. We were traveling with younger kids (6 and 8). 

Perfect, thank you!

 

You all are the best and super helpful. Thank you. 

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