If you’re planning a visit to the Okanagan, chances are you’ll be arriving at the Kelowna International Airport (YLW). Serving as the main aviation hub for the area, YLW provides excellent connectivity and easy access to Kelowna and its surrounding attractions.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about Kelowna Airport and how to make your visit seamless and enjoyable.
Location and Accessibility
Located just a short drive from downtown Kelowna, YLW is situated in the heart of the Okanagan Valley. The local time is Pacific Standard Time, matching up with BC and only one hour behind Alberta’s Mountain Time. Its strategic location ensures easy access to the region’s renowned wineries, stunning lakes, and outdoor recreational activities.
Whether you’re traveling by car or public transportation, the airport is conveniently located off Highway 97, making it a breeze to reach your destination. There’s plenty of short-term and long-term parking available (including long-term overflow), with a variety of options to pay.
Regardless of what time you’re flying, you can feel secure in well-lit parking areas that are patrolled by security guards. In addition to accessible drop-off locations at the terminal, accessible parking is also available for both short-term and long-term parking. You can find these spots in the rows closest to the terminal building.
For more information on parking, be sure to check out the airport’s Parking Guide & Map.
Most popular destinations
As Kelowna is an International airport, it offers plenty of flights across Canada as well as select routes throughout North America.
Before you go: If you’re heading out of Canada, make sure that your passport is up to date. Kelowna’s passport office is conveniently located downtown at 471 Queensway, Suite 106, just off Pandosy.
Edmonton to Kelowna flights
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
Time difference: Edmonton is 1 hour ahead
Calgary to Kelowna flights
Duration: 1 hour 5 minutes
Time difference: Calgary is 1 hour ahead
Vancouver to Kelowna flights
Duration: 55 minutes
Time difference: no time difference
Toronto to Kelowna flights
Duration: 4 hours 40 minutes
Time difference: Toronto is 3 hours ahead
Kelowna also offers snowbird routes to places like Phoenix and other popular tourism destinations throughout Mexico.
Facilities and Services
The Kelowna airport offers a range of facilities and services to ensure a comfortable and stress-free experience for visitors.
Here are some key amenities you can expect at the airport:
Dining and shopping options
In the Kelowna airport departures lounge you’ll find a variety of coffee and dining options, including White Spot, Tim Hortons, Subway, and a Cruze Co fresh food vending machine for healthy grab-and-go meals. There’s also a souvenir shop and the Okanagan Estate Wine Cellar for last minute gifts and treats to bring home to friends and family. Check out the Farm to Flight program, which is designed to provide travellers with fresh, quality fruit they can take on the airplane to anywhere in Canada.
Local currency and cash
Take advantage of currency exchange services and conveniently located ATMs throughout the airport.
Canadian Customs Office
It’s conveniently located just inside the doors by baggage claim.
Before you get to the airport, you also have some options to grab a meal or quick snack. There’s a Starbucks within walking distance if you’re dropped off a bit early and need a quick caffeine hit. The family-owned Kelowna Fruit Stand is a great stop along the highway just before the airport. They bring in fruit from their orchard in Osoyoos regularly so you’re sure to find something to tickle your taste buds. The Airport Village across the highway from the airport offers different food options, including Dairy Queen, sushi options, a Nester’s Market, and more.
Flying Without Your Furry Friend
Can’t take your furry friend with you on your next vacation away from Kelowna? Behind the airport is an award-winning doggy daycare and boarding centre, Bark ‘n Fly, so you can feel better leaving your pet in good hands. Located on 5 acres of spacious countryside, they have luxurious overnight kennels plus full bathing and grooming amenities so your pet can feel like they’re getting a little vacation of their own.
Getting to and from the airport is a breeze with multiple transportation options available. Taxis and rideshare services are readily available outside the terminal building, providing a convenient way to reach your accommodations. Kelowna’s Regional Transit System also operates bus services connecting the airport to various locations in Kelowna and the surrounding areas.
There are several trusted ways to get a car rental at the Kelowna Airport. There are four rental companies available, including Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz, with counters right outside of Kelowna arrivals next to baggage claim. With cars waiting on-site, you can easily get out and explore the region at your own pace.
Exploring Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley
Once you’ve arrived in Kelowna, prepare to be captivated by our region’s natural beauty and vibrant culture. Here are a few highlights to consider during your visit:
Wineries and vineyards: The Okanagan Valley is renowned for its world-class wineries. Embark on a wine tour and indulge in tastings, taking in the stunning vineyard landscapes along the way.
Okanagan Lake: Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy water activities such as boating, paddleboarding, and swimming in the pristine waters of Okanagan Lake.
Cultural experiences: Immerse yourself in Kelowna’s vibrant arts and cultural scene, with galleries, museums, and performing arts centers showcasing local talent. Check out our blog post on Kelowna’s Best Spots for Art Enthusiasts for some of our favourites!
Visiting via the Kelowna Airport
The Kelowna airport serves as your gateway to the breathtaking beauty of the Okanagan Valley. From the moment you step off the plane, you’ll be greeted with warm hospitality, convenient services, and a world of adventure awaiting you.
With its excellent connectivity, modern facilities, and proximity to incredible attractions, YLW ensures a memorable and enjoyable experience for visitors from out of town. So pack your bags, hop on a plane, and enjoy the trip!
Staying at the Shore
While there are a few accommodation options near the airport, including Four Points by Sheraton and a Hampton Inns and Suites, they do situate you about a 20 minute drive outside of town.
Conveniently located in Kelowna’s central South Pandosy neighbourhood, The Shore offers beautiful apartment-style living with modern amenities and great beaches, restaurants and shops within walking distance. Easily accessible from the airport by car, transit, or shuttle, The Shore is the perfect place to enjoy your stay while you’re exploring the beautiful Okanagan.