Ten light-hearted ways to reduce holiday travel stress

VANCOUVER ISLAND, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) has issued its annual top 10 holiday travel tips to help passengers plan ahead for the upcoming busy travel season.  Addressing a range of issues from pesky elves to reindeer parking and unwanted grumpy pants, YQQ is hoping that passengers will use the following tongue-in-cheek tips to help make their journeys over the holidays as enjoyable as possible:

  1. Some elves have tampered with our holiday hours, so don't get caught by surprise.
  2. Get on Santa's good side by arriving early for your flight.
  3. Don't get stuck in a "Reindeer Only" parking zone.
  4. Get tech savvy (if you don't know how, your kids will show you).
  5. Ho-Ho-hold the stress and understand your airline's baggage requirements.
  6. Leave the surprises to Santa and keep those gifts unwrapped.
  7. Don't be "that person" in the security line (you know who you are!)
  8. Rudolf needs proper ID to fly and so do you.
  9. Don't let Fido get left behind, check with your airline if you want to travel with a pet.
  10. Leave your grumpy pants at home! Santa will know if you have been naughty or nice.

"Each year we consult with Santa, our airlines, airport staff and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to put together this list of travel tips to help our passengers prepare for one of the busiest times of year at our airport," explained YQQ CEO Fred Bigelow.  "Our goal is to keep our guests from migrating over to Santa's naughty list due to holiday travel stress and basically ensure an enjoyable airport experience for all."

The Comox Valley Airport generally experiences a significant increase in terminal traffic beginning around December 18 and continuing until a few days after the New Year.

The terminal's busiest day will likely be December 23 with up to 1,300 passengers travelling through YQQ. Including guests who are dropping off or picking up passengers, there could be up to 2,600 people moving through the terminal on any given day over the holidays.

YQQ will accommodate increased terminal traffic by assigning additional staff and volunteers during peak hours.  The airport is also engaging in regular communication with its tenants about terminal hours of operation and changing flight schedules. YQQ is also liaising with 19 Wing Air Traffic Control to request that Rudolf be given the right of way in the event that Santa's sleigh is spotted on Christmas Eve.

"This time of year is always a fun and exciting time for the Comox Valley Airport," said Bigelow.  "With the right amount of patience and preparation, travel over the holiday season can be an enjoyable experience for all involved."

Information regarding terminal hours, parking and links to all of YQQ's airlines are available on the Comox Valley Airport website at: www.comoxairport.com. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website also has helpful packing, travel and security tips at www.catsa.gc.ca.

BACKGROUNDER
December 11, 2013

YQQ Holiday Season Travel Tips

  1. Some elves have tampered with our holiday hours, so don't get caught by surprise. Apparently Santa won't slide down our chimney if the building is open, so we have to close down early on Christmas Eve (and on a few other nights too). Please note the following holiday hours:

    December 24 - 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    December 25 - 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    December 26 - 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    December 31 - 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    January 1 - 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

  2. Get on Santa's good side by arriving early for your flight. Check with your airline to determine what time you should arrive to the airport and give yourself some additional wiggle room.  This will ensure that you have plenty of time to check-in and move through security without feeling rushed. Please note that WestJet check-in counters now close 45 minutes prior to aircraft departure.

  3. Don't get stuck in a "Reindeer Only" parking zone.  There are ample parking spaces available at YQQ, but please be aware that our lot can fill up during the busiest travel days and it might take a bit longer to find a parking space than usual.  Allocate some additional time for parking and don't forget to purchase a ticket or the parking lot elves will find you!  Parking rates at YQQ are $69/week for the paved lot and $48/week for the gravel lot.  More information can be found on the YQQ website at: comoxairport.com/parking.

  4. Get tech savvy (if you don't know how your kids will help you). Check with your airline to determine if there are options for web, kiosk or mobile phone check-in to save time when you arrive at the airport. If you are feeling especially adventurous, check out the new WestJet App for Android at: https://play.google.com/store/apps and entering WestJet in the search bar.

  5. Ho-Ho-hold the stress and understand your airline's baggage requirements.  Check with your airline to ensure that you have the latest information about baggage restrictions.  Be prepared if any extra charges may apply to you.  If you have any items that you are unsure about, check with your airline prior to arriving at the airport so that you can avoid any unnecessary surprises or delays while checking in for your flight.

  6. Leave the surprises to Santa and keep all gifts unwrapped.  Unless your present is intended for our security personnel, it is best to keep all of your items (including those packed in your checked baggage) unwrapped until you arrive at your destination point.

  7. Don't be "that person" in the security line (you know who you are!) Don't hold up the line. Ensure that all personal toiletry items such as liquids, aerosols and gels are packaged in containers with a capacity of 100 ml/100 grams (3.4 oz) or less. The containers must fit comfortably in one clear, closed and re-sealable plastic bag, with a capacity of no more than 1 litre. One plastic bag per person is allowed and must be removed from carry-on baggage.  Any containers over 100 ml should be placed in checked baggage. All liquid food in your carry-on (for example, yogurt, pudding, peanut butter or jam) must be in containers of 100 ml or less.

    Still unsure about the rules? Visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website at: catsa.gc.ca for packing, travel and security screening tips.

  8. Rudolf needs proper ID to fly and so do you.  You are responsible for making sure that you have the proper identification and travel documentation for yourself and your children as required by the country of destination. Within Canada, adults 18 years of age or older are required to have one piece of government-issued photo ID or two pieces of government-issued non-photo ID (one of which must show the name, date of birth and gender of the traveller). Proof of age for your infant may also be required, check with your airline if you are unsure.

  9. Don't let Fido get left behind, check with your airline if you want to travel with a pet. We want your furry friend to be in that holiday photo as much as you do. Make sure you check with your airline ahead of time to ensure you understand any requirements for travelling with a pet.  If you are taking your pet(s) in or out of any province, territory or country, you are responsible for meeting the customs and/or regulatory entrance requirements of your destination.

  10. Leave your grumpy pants at home. Santa will know if you have been naughty or nice! Expect the airport will be busy and lineups may be longer than usual.  Maintaining good cheer and having respect for YQQ's staff, volunteers, tenants and other passengers will help to ensure an enjoyable holiday travel experience for all.  Remember, Santa will be watching!

SOURCE Comox Valley Airport

Contact:


Media Contact:

Christianne Wile
Comox Valley Airport
Phone. 250-890-0829 ext. 253
Cell. 250-218-2249
cwile@comoxairport.com

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