YVR Express: Priority Security for Domestic and US Flights from Vancouver

Over the past few months, we’ve seen the launch of several programs that expedite the journey from check-in to the departures area at Canadian airports.

In September, the US Customs and Border Protection released Mobile Passport Control, an app that allows Canadian travellers to submit passport information in advance of their arrival at the US pre-clearance facility. By using this app, passengers can save time by using expedited lines at pre-clearance facilities in some airports.

In October, Vancouver International Airport debuted YVR Express for US-bound passengers, which allowed travellers flying to the United States to reserve a time at security, thereby skipping what could be a very long line. The program is free to use, and only takes a few minutes of your time to complete the process online.

YVR Express is now available to passengers departing on domestic flights from Vancouver, too. This comes at a very opportune time before the holiday travel season, so if you don’t have a NEXUS card, be sure to utilize these programs if you’re flying within Canada or to the US from Vancouver.

YVR Express: Skip the Security Line by Booking in Advance

If you’re able to plan for your arrival at the airport, YVR Express allows you to schedule a time to pass through security screening for domestic and US departures. Reserving a time in advance lets you bypass the line, and gets you front-of-the-line access to security screening.

You can schedule your time to enter security screening through YVR Express up to 72 hours ahead of your flight’s departure time. 

For domestic passengers, YVR Express is only available at Security Checkpoint 3 on flights with departure times between 8am and 12:30am. This includes scheduled domestic flights with Air Canada, WestJet, Flair Airlines, Air North, Lynx Air, Air Transat, and Canada Jetlines.

Note that Security Checkpoint 3 is on Level 4 of the airport, close to the access for the Canada Line SkyTrain. The regular security screening areas are on Level 3, so be sure to look for YVR Express signage to help guide your way.

For US-bound passengers, YVR Express is only available at Security Checkpoint E on Level 3, for flights departing between 6:30am and 8:30pm. YVR Express is available at the security checkpoint between 5am and 7pm, to allow enough time for passengers to complete US pre-clearance.

There’s no cost to use the service, you don’t need to create any accounts, and the entire process is completed in four easy steps:

  • Head to the YVR Express website within 72 hours of your flight’s departure time
  • Enter in your date of travel, flight information, number of passengers in your party, and your email address, and receive a QR code

  • Arrive at the airport in advance of your reserved time, complete your check-in, and head to the designated security checkpoint within 15 minutes of your reserved time
  • Keep an eye out for the YVR Express signs at Security Checkpoint E (US Departures), show your QR code, and head to the front of the line

Note that you can also use YVR Express at the airport, as long as you’ve arrived with some time to spare. Furthermore, up to 10 passengers can use the same QR code for YVR Express. 

Passengers who are connecting in Vancouver won’t have access to YVR Express, unless they leave the airport.

Currently, YVR Express is only valid for flights departing to domestic destinations and to the United States within the specified time period. The airport has stated that it hopes to expand the service to other checkpoints in the future, which would be great for passengers departing on international flights.

You can cancel or change your booking at any time by clicking on the appropriate link in your confirmation email.

YVR Express and Mobile Passport Control – A Perfect Combo?

For US-bound flights, if you’ve managed to breeze through to the front of the security line, your journey into the US isn’t quite finished. You’ll have to then pass through the US pre-clearance facility, where you’ll essentially enter the United States.

Recall that Mobile Passport Control is also available at Vancouver International Airport. Since the app’s release for Canadians in September 2022, we’ve received many reports that it has saved travellers a significant amount of time at pre-clearance facilities.

So, if you’re able to make use of both YVR Express and Mobile Passport Control, you should be able to significantly expedite your entry into the United States. You’ll skip to the front of the security line, and then you’ll head through the expedited Mobile Passport Control line to meet with a border officer. 

Conclusion

By making use of YVR Express, Vancouver-based passengers bound for domestic destinations or the United States can enjoy a streamlined airport experience. 

With YVR Express, passengers can book a time slot at security, which results in heading to the front of the security queue for domestic and US-bound flights.

Furthermore, with Mobile Passport Control, passengers can submit their information to US Customs and Border Protection in advance. Once at US pre-clearance facilities, passengers can head through a dedicated line, thus expediting the process.

If you are a Vancouver-based passenger heading to the United States, be sure to make use of both programs. Doing so could result in plenty of time saved, affording you more time to spend in lounges and less time waiting in endless lines.

2 Comments
  1. Mae

    Q: if I have Nexus, does this still save time?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      On the YVR Express website, they encourage anyone with Trusted Traveller or NEXUS to use the appropriate lanes.

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