Getting to Edmonton, Edmonton
~ Arrivals ~
If you're flying into Edmonton you are going to land at the Edmonton International Airport (EIA).
Each time I have returned from overseas and was required to go through Customs I found that it was a relatively reasonable time to get through. It could be quicker but it was fast enough that I couldn't complain about it. The baggage carousel is right there as you leave customs. Two loaders so the luggage can come down quicker.
There is a Tim Hortons for those who need a coffee after your long flight just outside the arrival doors.
If you are renting a vehicle, the car rentals are across the street, in the bottom of the parking lot section. All the of car rentals are done there.
There are airport shuttles to take you to the different hotels. There are also taxis too. If you fancy being chauffeured there are even limos for hire,
~ Departures ~
Departures are on the top level of the airport. As you drive down the departures road there are signs above the doors telling you which airline is in that door.
If you wish to grab a bite to eat before heading through security you can go to Harveys, Booster Juice, Jasper Bar and Grill, Mac's Convenience, Tim Hortons and Second Cup.
Once you get through security on the US side there is Artizan, Red Canoe, and RELAY for gifts, Duty Free, Currency Exchange, iStore (electronics), Chili's Express, Quiznos, Starbucks and Plaza Premium Lounge.
On the domestic side, after security, there are 32 places to go while waiting for your flight. 17 places to grab a bite to eat, 14 stores to shop in and the Currency Exchange.
There is lots of signage to let you know where your gate is for departure. There is plenty of seating. In some areas there are small places for young children to play while waiting.
This airport is about the same size as the one in my hometown of Albuquerque, but handles so much more volume! This airport never shuts down, as there are red eye flights zooming in and out of here constantly.
Directional signs are clear and easy to follow. The car rental counters are in the parking structure, but some of the easiest to access in any airport I've traveled to the past year. Tim Horton's is open 24/7, as is the duty free shop (only one and quite pricey).
This airport is located on the south end of Edmonton ... actually 2 communities south of Edmonton in Leduc - practically right off of Hwy2 - making Leduc a great place to book a hotel room if you arrive late, or need to leave early ......
I visited with employees from Air Canada (they were on a break, I was really early for my flight home) for quite a while, and they were personable and funny as we chatted away. When I mentioned my flight time, they knew the airline and all .... for despite the constant flights in and out, this airport is sort of like a small town .... every one knows every one else's business.
Though we don't usually have many choices when arranging flights to our destination of choice, in this case, you'll be pleased with the airport you end up at ....... the ease of access as well as the staff really help make this a stress free place :)
Sadly, the Red Arrow only goes to four places: Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray. If you're coming to or travelling from Edmonton to one of those cities, take the Red Arrow. It has leather seats, free coffee and snacks in the back (but be considerate of other passengers), and it doesn't stop in all the little towns like the Greyhound, so you'll get there faster. Bring your own headphones, they sell crappy ones for $5 on the trip that aren't worth 50 cents.
Edmonton International Airport is the 5th busiest airport in Canada by passenger traffic. It is also one of 7 Canadian Airports that has US Border pre-clearance facilities. The airport is located outside of Edmonton in Leduc County to the south, so transportation to and from the airport will need to be arranged as there is no public transportation available to the airport. Fortunately, there is an airport shuttle available at reasonable cost. Taxi service is also available, but costs $40-45 to travel to the university area or downtown. The drive between the airport and downtown is about half an hour in normal traffic.
For a measly $15, this shuttle will take you to Edmonton from the International Airport, or back to the International Airport from your hotel. Unlike the shuttle services I am more familiar with, this shutlle has scheduled stops for hotel pick-ups so you can change your mind about timing at the last minute with worries :) There are a few hotels on each route that do require a call to arrange transport, but luckily, my hotel was on the schedule and I didn't find that necessary.
To get to your hotel from the International Airport, just wander over to Door 7 and get in line to find out which shuttle you need to get to your hotel.
Travelers with disabilities can arrange transport by calling at least 7 hours in advance for the wheelchair accessible shuttle.
I found this service timely, clean, and quite easy for me to use ... all things that as a traveler are important when you are tired and stressed and feeling lost in a new location.
I purchased a last minute fare to Edmonton, Canada with Air Canada. Excellent pricing made a last minute trip affordable.
I had to do the "Western Canada airport tour" to get there. LA to Vancouver, Vancouver to Calgary, Calgary to Edmonton. Having a disability made this slew of airports a bit overwhelming. But I was pleasantly surprised when Air Canada came to my assistance and helped me navigate the airports,customs and getting me and my luggage to my next flight.
This was not just in one airport but in all of them both on arrival and departure.
Air Canada was a comfortable and clean airline with superior staff and crew. I highly recommend this airline, especially for the disabled traveler.
If you, like me, think that getting to the airport, checking in, boarding, etc etc for a half-hour flight to Calgary is not worth the hassle, or you don't feel like driving the 2hr piece of flat-flat-flat pavement, then a good alternative is the Red Arrow.
In fact, if you're going to travel by land between Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton or Fort McMurray, the Red Arrow offers a superb bus service. The seats are comfortable and very spacious, plug-ins for your laptop, copmlementary soft drinks and cookies.
And it actually goes downtown to downtown (none of that between-the-river-and-a-freeway nonsense for Greyhound in Calgary). In fact, the price is not that much more expensive than Greyhound. With student and AMA (CAA/AAA) discounts, it is definitely worth looking into.
This tip is moreso for people traveling out of Edmonton.
If you have a car and no one to take you to and from the Int'l airport, there are a number of affordable park'n'ride services in Nisku, right near the airport. The one I recommend has the lowest rates and premium service, called E-PARK (Econo-Park) Airport Parking. Cost is just $4.75/day to have your car parked there. You park your car, they help you load your luggage into van and take you straight to the airport, just minutes time. They give you a slip with a toll-free number on it, that when you return you give them a call and they'll be right over to take you back to your car. An excellent service. Note also: i think they usually have a weekly rate and perhaps a monthly rate as well. This Christmas they had a Holiday special of $19.95/wk. Additional services are: gas, detailing, plug-in, car wash, and convenience store. There is no need to call in advance.
The Edmonton Int'l Airport (YEG) is located about 17 km. south of Edmonton city limits, so you have to consider how're you're going to get to the city. Of course there are taxis, but those are quite expensive. I recommend taking the Sky Shuttle from the airport into the city. Much more economical. They make a number of stops around the city, like different hotels and even the U. of A. residence. Cost should be somewhere between $10-14 I believe for one-way.
Edmonton International Airport serves 3,8 million passengers annually; all major North American air lines are here to help you (when the weather permits).
You can check your flight (and get other relevant information) at the Edmonton Airports bilingual site www.edmontonairports.com/
Edmonton International is a medium sized airport accepting many direct/non-stop flights from many cities throughout North America.
Rent a Car if you plan to stay long or want to see the entire city! If you want to spend time downtown only, use the subway, its free for use in the downtown area.
Westjet offers flights to and from Edmonton at the cheapest rate possible. At the moment, Westjet only operates flights within Canada.
Fly into Edmonton International Airport at Nisku (south of the city). It's a very small airport -- quite surprising for the capitol of Alberta, I thought.