This post is sponsored by YYC Calgary International Airport

In the next couple of weeks, one thing is for sure:  You’ll probably find yourself at YYC Calgary International Airport. Maybe you’re picking up your family who are coming to visit, or maybe you’re flying to visit them, or maybe you’re treating yourself to your own holiday gift and going somewhere warm and far away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Whichever one, going to YYC during the Christmas season is almost as a part of the tradition as kissing under the mistletoe.

Despite what the Home Alone movies have taught us, the holidays at the airport don’t have to be chaotic and stressful. And in fact, YYC has a few different programs to help you either take off or land as gently as Santa and his reindeer.

So before you head to the airport, make sure you check out some of these holiday hacks.  

Park and Stay with Ease


If you live in Calgary, you might not necessarily think about staying at the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel before your flight. But have you ever stayed at the hotel before an early morning flight?  It’s amazing. One, because you can get those extra minutes of sleep. But also, when you walk out of the hotel and right to your gate, your energy and mood is so much better. Because you haven’t had to fight your way through traffic and worry about parking when you get to the airport.

When you stay at the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel for $249/night, you can get up to 8 nights of valet parking in a covered parkade. So not only do you start your vacation on a relaxing tone, when you come back, you’ll have a warm and non-snow covered car waiting for you. Sure it adds a little extra cost to your trip, but if it means that you’ll be more relaxed, rested and warm, that sure seems like it might be worth it.

If you aren’t planning on using the valet service, you can still park nice and close in the parkade.  Use the online parking calculator to budget for your trip.


Check Your Coat and Boots for Only $2 a Day


If you’re going somewhere warm for the holidays, there’s nothing more annoying than having to bring your big winter coat and winter boots, so why not just leave them at the airport?  At the InfoCentre area on the arrivals level (around baggage carousel 7 and 8), you can leave your winter jacket and/or your boots for only $2 each a day. That way, you have way more room in your luggage to bring me back some Jamaican rum. Win win.


Squeeze in a Doggie Cuddle or Two

Okay, so now you’re well-rested, you’ve dropped your heavy coat, on to the most important part: Dog cuddles!  One of my favourite things about going to the airport is getting a few minutes with the cuddly doggies from PALS Calgary, a volunteer organization that brings dogs (and two cats) to the airport on a regular basis. And unlike assistance dogs, you’re allowed to touch them, and yes, hug them. A lot. There’s no amount of holiday stress that can’t be wiped away with a good dog cuddle. And if you need an extra reason to smile during the holidays, I always love watching people when they spot the dogs and learn that they can cuddle with them. I love it so much!


Get Some Help

Did you know that the airport offers this great Meet and Assist program, where they’ll have someone guide you through the airport or even meet you at your gate. So if you’re worried about how your big family will navigate security, or perhaps you have a member of your family that might need help getting from the plane to meeting you in arrivals, the airport will dispatch an amazing White Hat Volunteer to meet them and make sure they get where they’re going safely. It’s a free service.  You just have to fill out the form, and they’ll take the stress out of travel. How awesome is that?  


White Hat That Special Guest of Yours


Speaking of the White Hat, did you know that you can welcome any of your guests with an official White Hat ceremony? So cool.  Maybe you have family coming to Calgary for the first time, or someone that’s been a way for a while, there’s no better welcome to Calgary than by having a White Hat Volunteer perform the world-famous White Hat Ceremony.  You have to purchase the hat, but after that, the volunteer takes care of the rest.  Definitely an amazing way to kick off your holiday celebrations. Please make sure you give the team notice of at least two-business days.


Take Care of Your Best Friend

Lots of people travel with their dog during the holidays and the Calgary Airport has lots of ways to make sure that traveling through the airport is easy for them too. They have a special washroom just for pets, fire hydrant and everything. YYC is actually one of the first airports in Canada to have an in-terminal pet relief area. You can find it post-security in Concourse B adjacent to Gate B34 in the Domestic Terminal Building.  Vin Room in the international terminal even has a doggie patio. And if you do end up staying at the Marriott, dogs are welcome there too.  

Relax with Some Tunes Before Your Flight

A few months ago, the Calgary Airport started a new music program with the help of organizations like Calgary Folk Fest, Calgary International Blues Festival and the Honens International Piano Competition. So while you’re waiting to board your flight, you’ll be treated to some of the city’s amazing musical talent.  You’ll find the artists in Concourse A and in the International Terminal on Arrivals Level during the Christmas season. You’ll be amazed how much this adds to the atmosphere and a it’s great way to celebrate the city’s fantastic local talent.

Find a Quiet Place

In any airport, it can be hard to find a quiet place. Maybe you want to crush a power nap, or maybe you need to make a last minute call or charge all your devices without fighting for power sockets.  Let me introduce you to Gate 70 on the domestic side. There you’ll find a quiet cafe, charging stations, comfy seats and because it’s pretty far from all the other gates, it’s shockingly quiet. To get there, take the LINK Passenger Shuttle all the way to the end.  It’s my favourite discovery of the airport that I’ve been in many times.


Enjoy a Christmas Dinner

If you’re like me, you’re much more interested in spending time with your friends and family, than you are cooking.  Which is why I think it’s super cool that you can pick up an entire Christmas dinner to-go from the Delta Hotels Calgary Airport In-Terminal .

The dinner costs $289 and feeds 8 to 10 people. It comes with fresh Baked Rolls, Butter Mixed Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Roast Turkey, Whipped Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Bacon Brussel Sprouts, Almond Asparagus, Savoury Stuffing, Traditional Gravy, Cranberry sauce and assorted festive desserts.

You have to order the dinner before December 18th and the meal is ready to pick up on December 24th or 25th. So this is a great way to not worry about dinner and focus on your family. Simply pick your family up at the airport, and then pick up your Christmas Dinner and head home to enjoy! To order, call Delta Hotels Calgary Airport In-Terminal 403-250-2609.



So those are your holiday hacks for YYC. For whatever reason that you find yourself at the airport in the next couple of weeks, make sure you leave plenty of time and check-in early.  Make the most of the holidays, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.


Mike Morrison