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New YYC International Terminal - Opens Oct 31/16

New YYC International Terminal - Opens Oct 31/16

Old Sep 21, 16, 6:51 pm
  #1  
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New YYC International Terminal - Opens Oct 31/16

I did one of the trials for the new terminal today, and it is absolutely stunning. Got to see both the International and US areas, as well as parts of the new Marriott (which is now open to the public). Here are some highlights:

- Very few services landside. A Tim Hortons on the Departures level, and a Starbucks and (very nice looking) bar/lounge in Arrivals. That's it.

- Dedicated priority check-in area for AC. Nothing fancy, but separate glassed in area. About 6-8 desks total, 2 of which were already labelled SE 100K.

- Rest of check in zones are common use, and easily changeable to any airline. All signage is digital, including large LED displays to identify each airlines check-in zone.

- State of the art security facilities for both departure zones. Separate Trusted Traveller entrances at each, as well as permanent signage for Priority Access. Security lanes have automatic bin return systems, and each belt had 4 "loading zones". So you step up into the zone, grab your trays from the conveyer below, then load onto the line when you're ready. Bins were notably larger than any other security facility I've been to.

- Both US and Canadian Customs Halls are fully automated. Around 50 kiosks in each area for automated passport scan, declaration. Dedicated Connections counter in CDN hall for passengers connecting Int'l to US or vice versa. It's a hike from most gates to the Customs Hall, it'll take some folks up to 10 minutes. The good news is that the halls are wide, so room to get by pokey tourists.

- Int'l/US to Domestic connections area right outside Customs exit. Bags are dropped with agent, then passengers are directed up to a security checkpoint that exits into Domestic zone C (AC area). As well, there appears to be 2 flex gates in the int'l area that can be boarded as either Int'l or Domestic (Gates C/D 70 & 71), with separate boarding podiums that lead into the same jetbridge.

- Domestic to US connections are vastly improved. There is now an airside connections corridor (beside new gates C70/71), you scan your boarding pass, identify your luggage, proceed through a security check, then to US Customs, who will then require you to identify your bag again. Once your through that, you're done. Much like the YVR model. Even passengers travelling on Westjet will have this capability, through the new Connections Corridor, which connects all Domestic area of the terminal, with a golf car like service if you can't/don't feel like walking.

- Both new zones appear to be modelled on the central seating area model, as opposed to seating at every gate. It seems like the plan is that gates will only be announced just prior to boarding, and passengers wait in the central area until that time. There are big information desks with huge gate info monitors as soon as you exit security in each area.

- There are Aspire brand lounges in each area. I didn't get a chance to go in, but at least the Int'l lounge is accessed by elevator, so it may have some great views.

- Tons of shops and food options in each area. Int'l had Starbucks, a handful of fast food (Thai Express, A&W, Subway, Jugo Juice), as well as a nice looking sit down lounge (Vin Room), and I think a Chili's. US had similar fast food (BK instead of A&W), and the sit down was the "Belgian Beer Bar"

- Some gates are clustered to allow for sharing of podiums (i.e D76-79 all shared 5 or 6 podiums)

Overall, the terminal is big, bright and airy. It's night and day from the current facilities, and the nicest terminal in the country hands down. If you get a chance to transit through, absolutely do. As well, the Marriott has great views of the tarmac, downtown and the mountains. Looks like a great hotel.

I asked YYC if domestic passengers will have access to the international portion of the terminal. I'll update if I get an answer. I really hope so, the choices in the AC area are pretty dismal. You'd have to assume they'll start updating other portions of the terminal once this is up and running.
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Old Sep 21, 16, 7:04 pm
  #2  
 
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Thanks for the detailed report - glad to hear the new terminal will be a big upgrade.

I'd put my name in for the trials as well checking off the options to say I was only available evenings/weekends, but was given a Wednesday morning timeslot. As much as I'd like to see it, I can justify taking a day off work.
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Old Sep 21, 16, 7:25 pm
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Curious it the priority check-in is just that or a YYZ style business class check-in that is restricted to J, *Gold/E50K+ and PY?
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Old Sep 21, 16, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by VoodooYYC View Post
Int'l/US to Domestic connections area right outside Customs exit. Bags are dropped with agent, then passengers are directed up to a security checkpoint that exits into Domestic zone C (AC area).
So is One Stop Security not in place yet?
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Old Sep 21, 16, 8:55 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by yvr76 View Post
Curious it the priority check-in is just that or a YYZ style business class check-in that is restricted to J, *Gold/E50K+ and PY?
Not 100% sure, final signage was not in place as of yet.

Originally Posted by OSSYULYYZ View Post
So is One Stop Security not in place yet?
Is that in place anywhere in Canada?
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Old Sep 21, 16, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by VoodooYYC View Post
Is that in place anywhere in Canada?
According to the website, YYC would be one of the first when the new terminal opened. I was just curious if you saw any corridor...

It is supposed to be in place at YUL sometime this year...
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Old Sep 21, 16, 10:20 pm
  #7  
 
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I too was at the trials, there is a second group of trials in 2 weeks on October 5th.

WRT AC premium checkin, there will be a combined checkin area for USA and International, it will be similar to YYZ domestic in that restriction for access at the front door. The glass will be frosted by next week, then a seating area and small plants installed to make a homey feel. On the other side of premium checkin is special assistance. AC checkin is the closest to Marriott and old terminal, as well as closest to the covered walkway to/from the parkade.

Just like YVR and YYZ, the next area is preboard security. This is the only area that requires modification prior to opening. The airport is rushing the installation of glass wall partitions so that D security will be physically partitioned from E security. Glass walls looked like they will be installed by next week.

I don't know about D security, but E security trusted traveler lanes has an Epic fail. The door for trusted travelers is on the east side of the hall. I confirmed with CATSA that lanes 13 and 14 will be used for Nexus security. However the Global Entry lanes for USCBP are installed on the west side of USCBP primary inspection. Therefore trusted travelers will have to traverse the length of the USCBP primary inspection terminal. Priceless was the look on the construction managers face when I pointed out the pax flow issue.

The divest station for preboard security xray machines is as described above. 5 travelers stand shoulder to shoulder to fill grey bins (smaller than the white bins used at checkpoint C but larger than grey bins used by the Americans). Issue is that your divest station will only fit two bins at once. The only way to get a third bin is to place the previous bin on the conveyor belt that leads to the xray machine. Problem is that if you need three bins your first bin is going to get separated from the last two because other travelers are divesting upstream of you. Also, if you are at the farthest divest station from the xray machine there is a wait for the bins while people downstream take additional bins. Overall CATSA will have to change their processes to get everyone to adhere to the 2 bins per traveler set up.

No more blue USCBP forms to fill out. All travelers must use the APC kiosks. There are plenty of airport customer care ambassadors to help out the technology challenged.
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Old Sep 21, 16, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by VoodooYYC View Post
I did one of the trials for the new terminal today, and it is absolutely stunning. Got to see both the International and US areas, as well as parts of the new Marriott (which is now open to the public). Here are some highlights:

- Very few services landside. A Tim Hortons on the Departures level, and a Starbucks and (very nice looking) bar/lounge in Arrivals. That's it.

- Dedicated priority check-in area for AC. Nothing fancy, but separate glassed in area. About 6-8 desks total, 2 of which were already labelled SE 100K.

- Rest of check in zones are common use, and easily changeable to any airline. All signage is digital, including large LED displays to identify each airlines check-in zone.

- State of the art security facilities for both departure zones. Separate Trusted Traveller entrances at each, as well as permanent signage for Priority Access. Security lanes have automatic bin return systems, and each belt had 4 "loading zones". So you step up into the zone, grab your trays from the conveyer below, then load onto the line when you're ready. Bins were notably larger than any other security facility I've been to.

- Both US and Canadian Customs Halls are fully automated. Around 50 kiosks in each area for automated passport scan, declaration. Dedicated Connections counter in CDN hall for passengers connecting Int'l to US or vice versa. It's a hike from most gates to the Customs Hall, it'll take some folks up to 10 minutes. The good news is that the halls are wide, so room to get by pokey tourists.

- Int'l/US to Domestic connections area right outside Customs exit. Bags are dropped with agent, then passengers are directed up to a security checkpoint that exits into Domestic zone C (AC area). As well, there appears to be 2 flex gates in the int'l area that can be boarded as either Int'l or Domestic (Gates C/D 70 & 71), with separate boarding podiums that lead into the same jetbridge.

- Domestic to US connections are vastly improved. There is now an airside connections corridor (beside new gates C70/71), you scan your boarding pass, identify your luggage, proceed through a security check, then to US Customs, who will then require you to identify your bag again. Once your through that, you're done. Much like the YVR model. Even passengers travelling on Westjet will have this capability, through the new Connections Corridor, which connects all Domestic area of the terminal, with a golf car like service if you can't/don't feel like walking.

- Both new zones appear to be modelled on the central seating area model, as opposed to seating at every gate. It seems like the plan is that gates will only be announced just prior to boarding, and passengers wait in the central area until that time. There are big information desks with huge gate info monitors as soon as you exit security in each area.

- There are Aspire brand lounges in each area. I didn't get a chance to go in, but at least the Int'l lounge is accessed by elevator, so it may have some great views.

- Tons of shops and food options in each area. Int'l had Starbucks, a handful of fast food (Thai Express, A&W, Subway, Jugo Juice), as well as a nice looking sit down lounge (Vin Room), and I think a Chili's. US had similar fast food (BK instead of A&W), and the sit down was the "Belgian Beer Bar"

- Some gates are clustered to allow for sharing of podiums (i.e D76-79 all shared 5 or 6 podiums)

Overall, the terminal is big, bright and airy. It's night and day from the current facilities, and the nicest terminal in the country hands down. If you get a chance to transit through, absolutely do. As well, the Marriott has great views of the tarmac, downtown and the mountains. Looks like a great hotel.

I asked YYC if domestic passengers will have access to the international portion of the terminal. I'll update if I get an answer. I really hope so, the choices in the AC area are pretty dismal. You'd have to assume they'll start updating other portions of the terminal once this is up and running.
Is it the same YVR model that requires you to exit landside and trek to the E gates yourself if you want to use NEXUS?
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Old Sep 21, 16, 10:27 pm
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Hi OP!

Thanks for the amazing report.Any chance you took some pictures?

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Old Sep 21, 16, 10:39 pm
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The vendor food selection looks pathetic. Canadian airports have to be among the worst worldwide for food.
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Old Sep 21, 16, 11:14 pm
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Thanks for the detailed report, VoodooYYC! I've been selected for the October 5 group. Looking forward to checking it out!
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Old Sep 21, 16, 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by keitherson View Post
The vendor food selection looks pathetic. Canadian airports have to be among the worst worldwide for food.
THIS !!!!!!

I look at YYZ T1, and I wonder what the GTAA etc were thinking when they built a nice, new terminal with no food offerings landside except a Tim's and Starbucks etc.

Forget the fantastic offerings in places like SIN, I was always impressed with the varied and multiple option available at SFO.

Either the GTAA did not want to free up "real estate" for proper eateries, or the planner could not conceive the possibility of providing nice places to eat landside, thinking a quick drive onto Dixon or Airport Road would solve the problem.

At least YVR has a few options in that centre food area and some nice artwork and places to sit.
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Old Sep 22, 16, 12:55 am
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You can always eat in the MLL, oh wait...
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Old Sep 22, 16, 2:01 am
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
THIS !!!!!!

I look at YYZ T1, and I wonder what the GTAA etc were thinking when they built a nice, new terminal with no food offerings landside except a Tim's and Starbucks etc.

Forget the fantastic offerings in places like SIN, I was always impressed with the varied and multiple option available at SFO.

Either the GTAA did not want to free up "real estate" for proper eateries, or the planner could not conceive the possibility of providing nice places to eat landside, thinking a quick drive onto Dixon or Airport Road would solve the problem.

At least YVR has a few options in that centre food area and some nice artwork and places to sit.
I hope the $12 per glass plonk served at YYC beats the $12 per glass plonk served at YYZ. (YYZ is all Jackson-Triggs, whereas YYC can actually get someone line Mission Hill in BC. Even that celebrity chef place in T1 has that crappy wine at $12 a glass)
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Old Sep 22, 16, 2:19 am
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No MLL?
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