YYC (Calgary) preclearance times?

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Old May 14, 12, 4:36 pm
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YYC (Calgary) preclearance times?

In mid July I have a 6 a.m. flight from YYC to ORD. How early should I get there? The hotel shuttle doesn't start until 4 a.m. Should I plan on a taxi? FWIW, I'm coming from Asia the night before, so I'm not very concerned about the early hours
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Old May 14, 12, 4:40 pm
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It generally depends on how many flights are heading to the USA around that time, but without Nexus I would plan to be at the airport roughly 2 hours before the flight is scheduled to depart. Sometimes this leaves me with a decent chunk of time and I grab a coffee and a bagel, other times I've just had enough time to board.
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Old May 15, 12, 8:02 pm
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So, what exactly is the scene at 4:30 a.m.? Is the preclearance dept. even open? Or is there a huge line?

I don't have Nexus, so I'm going to be with the unwashed masses.
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Old May 19, 12, 8:08 am
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Last time I flew from YYC (June 2011) the soonest you were permitted to enter pre clearance was two hours, which is a total PITA, because the early morning flights produce a clog. It takes at least 60 minutes early in the morning to clear. I have cleared immigration and customs and security and arrived at the gate while it is boarding after entering the pre clearance hall at exactly T minus two hours.

However, YEG used to be the same way. But like YVR, the order of U.S. pre clearance and security has reversed. So the two hour thing is history. My guess is the same thing is coming to YYC if not already.

Also OP, there is an on airport hotel which is an easy walk to the trans border area. Stay there. If not, yes take a taxi that gets you there at at 3:45 am. Good luck.
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Old May 23, 12, 8:05 pm
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Calgary preclearance opens at 0430. Summer travel season is about to start so mid July depending on the day you are traveling may be busy. Get there 2 hours early just to be safe.
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Old Jun 6, 13, 7:48 am
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I have Global Entry, and I understand that YYC now has the GE kiosks. Is it safe to assume that means preclearance and security will be pretty quick (i.e., 20 minutes or less)?

My experience with GE at US airports is that it makes the customs and passport control incredibly quick, but this will be the first time I use GE for preclearance at a Canadian airport. My guess is it'll be essentially the same experience there, but I want to check to be sure.
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Old Jun 6, 13, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by roberton View Post
I have Global Entry, and I understand that YYC now has the GE kiosks. Is it safe to assume that means preclearance and security will be pretty quick (i.e., 20 minutes or less)?

My experience with GE at US airports is that it makes the customs and passport control incredibly quick, but this will be the first time I use GE for preclearance at a Canadian airport. My guess is it'll be essentially the same experience there, but I want to check to be sure.
Haven't used GE at YYC, but have at YEG. The kiosks weren't even installed despite the signs. Still got front of line access.

GE did not change priority for passing through security.
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Old Jun 11, 13, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by roberton View Post
I have Global Entry, and I understand that YYC now has the GE kiosks. Is it safe to assume that means preclearance and security will be pretty quick (i.e., 20 minutes or less)?

My experience with GE at US airports is that it makes the customs and passport control incredibly quick, but this will be the first time I use GE for preclearance at a Canadian airport. My guess is it'll be essentially the same experience there, but I want to check to be sure.
It's very quick just about every time I've been through recently. Typically under 10 minutes for preclearance and security. Sometimes one or two of the machines are down and it takes a bit longer if it's busy, but I'd say 20 minutes is pretty much on the top end of things.
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Old Jun 11, 13, 3:16 pm
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Just came back from YYC today on a 6:30am flight. Hopefully this information is useful!

Arrived at rental car return around 4:50am, checked in @ 5:00am (confirmed that you cannot go through preclearance more than 2 hours before flight time). There was about 5 officers without anyone in line at 5:15am, so we got through preclearance smoothly and was done with security at around 5:25am.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 2:39 pm
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Any recent YYC (Calgary) preclearance experiences? I'm flying this summer on a 6am YYC-ORD-xxx flight. I have global entry . . .
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