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July 12, 2007 | General

Edmonton — Santa has an army of elves and nine reindeer to ensure his annual holiday trip runs smoothly. But for the rest of us travelling by air over the holidays, here are some key travel tips.

Preparing to travel

Before leaving home, please remember the following:
• Ensure that you have packed all documentation required to travel. Documentation requirements vary depending on whether you are travelling within Canada or to another country. Regardless, bring photo ID for all flights;
• Specific documentation may be required for children under 18, especially if they aren’t accompanied by their parents/guardians. Confirm details with your airline. Airline contact information is available on Edmonton Airports’ airline listings page.
• Call your airline to: confirm your flight, verify that your luggage is within the size and weight restrictions, and ask your airline to clarify any questions you have regarding restrictions for carry-on and checked luggage; and
• You can check your real-time flight information status on Edmonton Airports’ homepage by clicking on the “Current Flight Info” button.

Reporting to the airport

Listed below are airline guidelines for reporting to Edmonton International Airport. However, Edmonton Airports recommends that throughout the holiday season, you arrive at the airport 30 minutes earlier because of increased passenger volumes.

Airline check-in recommendations:
• Air Canada/Jazz: 1 hour for domestic; 3 hours, (minimum 2 hours) for international (including international passengers transferring in Calgary)
• Air North: 1 hour ahead of departure
• Air Transat: 4 hours ahead of departure
• America West Airlines: 3 hours ahead of departure, (minimum 2 hours)
• Canadian North: 1 hour ahead of departure
• Central Mountain Air: 1 hour ahead of departure
• Continental Airlines: 2 hours ahead of departure
• Delta Airlines: 2 hours ahead of departure (minimum 90 minutes)
• First Air: 1 hour ahead of departure
• Horizon/Alaskan Air: 2 hours ahead of departure
• Integra Air: 1 hour ahead of departure
• Northwest Airlines: 2 hours ahead of departure (minimum 1 hour)
• Northwestern Air Lease: 90 minutes to 2 hours ahead of departure (minimum 45 minutes)
• Peace Air: 1 hour ahead of departure
• QuikAir: 1 hour ahead of departure
• Skyservice: 3 hours ahead of departure
• United Airlines: 90 minutes ahead of departure
• WestJet: 90 minutes for domestic departures and 3 hours for U.S. departures

Edmonton Airports estimates passenger traffic will increase up to 40 per cent this holiday season with peak times being a few days before Christmas and a few days following New Year’s Day. Overall, passenger traffic is expected to peak at approximately 16,000 passengers compared to 11,500 passengers travelling through EIA on a normal winter day.

Dropping off/picking up passengers:

Curbside meters are available. However, availability will be limited during the holiday rush and the maximum time allowed is 20 minutes per vehicle. The hourly level of the Parkade provides added flexibility and convenience for well wishers.

Parking while away:

Edmonton Airports has three levels of parking service available to passengers. The recently expanded Value Park offers long-term economical parking with shuttle bus service. Parkade Park is adjacent to the terminal and can be accessed via covered pedways. Valet Park offers premium curbside service on the departures level.

All Edmonton Airport parking facilities offer free plug-ins, battery boosts, coat-check service for anyone heading to a sunny destination, as well as reasonable rates.

Jingle and shop:

For that last-minute Christmas shopping, take advantage of Edmonton Airports’ “Jingle Bucks.” Customers receive a $1 Jingle Buck for every $10 spent at participating food and retail outlets during the holiday season. Each Jingle Buck can be used towards another purchase at participating outlets. With an array of shopping and dining options at the international airport, it’s easy to find the perfect gifts or relax at one of our many restaurants.

Security screening at the airport:

To assist with efficiently moving through security screening, please consider the following guidelines:
• Check with your airline to determine their carry-on limits. Some carriers permit one carry-on item and one personal item such as a purse on board the aircraft. Some carriers allow two carry-on items.
• Pack your own bags. Travel light; this will help you through security screening quickly, and will assist the travellers in line behind you.
• If you are unsure about an item you wish to take through security, please declare the item. Do not let security screeners “discover” an item that may be questionable.
• Do not bring wrapped packages. Wrap your gifts once you arrive at your destination.
Knives or knife-like sharp objects will not be permitted through pre-boarding screening. Ensure no sharp objects like scissors are in your carry-on bag. Take time when packing, and avoid bringing anything that could be interpreted as a weapon or a dangerous item.

Examples of items NOT permitted through security include:
Flammable liquids, golf clubs, hockey sticks, knives or knife-like objects, liquids in unmarked bottles, large quantities of matches, paint, pepper spray, straight razors, toy weapons and trade tools. See for an abbreviated list of items that are prohibited on board an aircraft.

Electronic equipment:

Travellers bringing electronic equipment as carry-on must be prepared to declare them, and if required, demonstrate that they are in working order. These include radios, radio cassette players, personal stereos, compact disc players, laptop computers, electronic games, calculators, portable telephones, pagers, cameras, video cameras, children’s battery operated toys, etc. Electronic devices, such as portable computers, cellular phones and CD players, may be screened using special screening equipment. This procedure will not harm your electronic devices.

Packing for your trip:

For more information from Transport Canada and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, please visit the Packing for your trip page.

Other sources of information for travellers:

You can contact us by calling (780) 890-8382 or (800) 268-7134. Travel Agents are also a good source of advice and can provide you with travel options.

Edmonton International Airport is committed to complying with all government directives to provide a safe and secure trip for all travellers. We wish you a joyous and peaceful holiday season.

Edmonton Airports is a not-for-profit organization mandated to manage the region’s airport assets on behalf of and in the best interest of the community.