I flew into the Vancouver Airport in June 2019, in order to board the cruise ship to Alaska inland passage. Don’t get me wrong I love Canada, so clean (no litter), great views, everyone nice; but that airport was the pits.
It looked like 3 or 4 jumbo jets landed around the same time which is not unusual as 5 or 6 cruise boats were loading that day. Deplaning was fine but it took four hours to get out of the airport.
The custom officers had 5 people for all non Canadians, they knew the number of planes landing that day months in advance. Still they had FIVE people!? We stood in lines that were queued up for the next line, I felt so bad for the people with health issues and couldn’t stand that long. Image if you where pregnant and having that wait because I didn’t see any seats. Then there was the smell. There is a reason body heat is use for people with hypothermia because us humans are just bags of radiating constant heat.
The last line was the valet rope large room, with all those bodies the AC couldn’t keep up with the heat a huge crowed creates. Now think about people who had been on an airplane for over 12 hours and think about how long your deodorant last. It was hot and smelled like a high school gym, so sweaty socks. When I looked at the Canadian custom side they had 20 booths and 17 were manned with custom officers. So it’s wasn’t a strike or lack of people. A few years ago when I went to France they shut the airport down due to an unaccompanied language, and I still got out of there in an hour.
The plan was to land, check into the hotel, and then use half a day to explore the city. Fast forward four hours of standing in hot smelly rooms and I just wanted food and a shower. And that is why I plan to never return to that airport. This is always why you should have snacks, a water bottle (doesn’t have to be water, wink), and entertainment (phone, MP3 player, tablet) when you travel, just in case you are stuck in line for hours.