I was just wondering if I had to stay in the airport when i arrive? I have a connection but i have like 6 hours between the time i get into the airport and the time my connecting flight leaves. One of my friends wants to catch up while I'm in Vancouver (on my way to Australia) but i'm not sure if i could leave the waiting area. I'm kinda confused some insight would be most welcome
Yes, you can leave the airport. You don't say where you're from or where you're going, which determines specifics (e.g. do you need to clear immigration and customs? What will security be like when you go back in (you need to reserve much less time for this for a follow-up domestic flight than for an international one)), but basically with a six hour window like that, you should be able to be outside the airport for four hours or so. (I'm assuming you're from Europe or the USA and don't need a visa to enter Canada proper here.)
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 7, 2009, at 1:18 PM by Sander ]
oh, sorry. i'm coming from toronto, going to australia. the lay over is in vancouver. but thank you for the quick reply
*checks your profile* and you're a Canadian citizen... Okay, so yeah, then you can head out in Vancouver without any problems. Since you're going out on an international flight, you want to be back at the airport two hours before your next flight (you'll already have received a boarding pass in Toronto, so will be able to avoid at least that queue at the airport, but security and passport control is the one which can take longest going into the airport). If you're unlucky, you'll have gone through extra security checks at Toronto already, and could've avoided those at Vancouver by staying in the airport, but that should be a small price to pay for four hours outside.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 7, 2009, at 1:49 PM by Sander ]
Thank you soooooo much you've been a great help
If you're unlucky, you'll have gone through extra security checks at Toronto already, and could've avoided those at Vancouver by staying in the airport...
Actually, most likely not true in Vancouver, as you will have to exit the secure area from the domestic arrivals to get to the international boarding area, which requires clearing security again.
The specifics in Vancouver (YVR) are that you will land in the domestic area and come out to the baggage claim area on level 2. Assuming you are on a single carrier, or on carriers that have an interlining agreement, your baggage will be passed through to the next flight, so you won't need to pick anything up.
After leaving that area, you can head outside from there. Hopefully your friend is coming to pick you up, because YVR is kind of far away from downtown Vancouver.
I'm on Air Canada, my last trip with them they checked my bags all the way through to Sydney. I think my friend will come to hang out at the airport for a bit because i dont' wanna worry about traffic and what time i have to get there.
You'll have no trouble then. I did the same thing a few years ago, and we met at a bar right outside the domestic arrivals area called Stanley's Happy Landing Lounge. If that doesn't float your boat, there is a bunch of stuff in the international terminal pre-security.
Check out the airport guide for options.